From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1914 the whole world commenced to turn topsy-turvy. Our first upset occurred on January 28th, when wooden Greenvale School with its valuable museum specimens and library books was completely destroyed by fire. We got another shock in May when the “Empress of Ireland” sunk in the St. Lawrence with several prominent personages. The crowded school situation was now greatly aggravated. In this expediency, most pupils were put on part time in Central and Park Schools. Other classes were set up in Christ Church Parish Hall and in the Merson building on Dundas Street. Plans were then made to erect new schools, and contracts were subsequently awarded to Rhodes Curry and Co., for the construction of fireproof structures at Greenvale and at Hawthorne. Meanwhile the work of demolishing and removing buildings on the new Post Office site was rapidly progressing. The track …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On January 3rd, 1895, Mayor Sterns and the Councilors attended the state funeral at Halifax of Sir John Thompson, Prime Minister of Canada, who had died at Windsor Castle in December. In the spring, the “Atlantic Weekly” moved to the southern half of McDonald’s “skyscraper”. The man-power press was usually operated by Tommy Hyles. If he failed to appear for the Saturday morning run, we newsboys used to take turns at the big wheel until enough papers were rolled off to supply our needs. (I walked to South Woodside and back, and averaged 6 cents.) According to this newspaper, local industries of that time included Starr Manufacturing Co., skates, bolts, nuts and electroplating; employed from 75 to 100 hands depending on orders. The skate business was then on the decline. Dartmouth Ropeworks, when running full time employed 300 hands; Oland’s Brewery …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The bridge over the Canal at Portland Street was reconstructed under the direction of Street Superintendent Bishop, and the hollow filled in with material excavated from the water trenches. The sturdy stones on both sides which are now visible only on the northern side, are from the ruins of the Canal Locks, and bear the familiar 7-point etchings of stone-cutters of a bygone day. The stones were set in position by Messrs. Synott and Barry. Thus went the last of our downtown wooden bridges. The railway bridge over the Narrows, which had been repaired in the previous year, collapsed on the night of July 23rd. The piles must have been very unstable because a large section extending from the Draw to the Halifax side simply floated away in the calm weather then prevailing. Many residents are still alive who had walked …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the winter of 1882 the dreaded smallpox made its appearance in the home of ex-Councillor Maurice Downey. One of his sons and a maid named Catherine O’Neil unexpectedly contracted the disease. Both died. Despite the fact that the Federal Government was now extending railway tracks from North Street to Cornwallis Street, and buying up Halifax waterfront property for a grain elevator and piers at Deep Water, Dartmouth people persisted in their efforts to obtain railway connection. At an expense of $101.24 they sent Warden John Y. Payzant and Councillor Benjamin Russell to Ottawa for another attempt. Upon their return these delegates reported that there was no prospect whatever of any government assistance in the matter. Backward weather that April recalled to old residents the hard winter of 1816-1817 when Bedford Basin froze so solidly that the ice was passable for …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The year 1849 was long remembered by residents hereabouts. For one thing, the winter was very severe, and the summer unusually dry. Halifax celebrated its 100th anniversary in June, and by the end of the year was enjoying its first street lighting and water system, and also the first telegraph connection with the United States, via Amherst and Saint John, N.B. Cold weather seems to have prevailed through most of January and February, without any sign of a thaw. Sub-zero temperatures gradually froze the harbor until the ice extended to Mauger’s Beach on McNab’s Island. Only by keeping a channel open at night, was the ferry able to maintain communication. The ill-wind of that winter blew somebody good in Dartmouth, because pedestrians and market people no doubt took advantage of the ice-bridge to make uninterrupted journeys to the City. Usually the …

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