“Disaster is frequently the parent of legislation. In surveying the long history of Nova Scotia, we find this saying particularly true.” “The first recorded instance of illness in Nova Scotia is the account of Champlain of an outbreak of scurvy at Port Royal in 1606. His group of settlers had spent the winter of 1605 at St. Croix Island, where, of a group of seventy-nine, forty-four died of scurvy. In Port Royal in the following year twelve of forty-five died.” “Of all the epidemics, that of smallpox carried with it the greatest destruction and terror. In 1694 an epidemic was …

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia More…

“By 1799, only three hospitals continued to function in the city: the hospital for the Maroons at Dartmouth, the naval hospital, and the poor house hospital.” “It appears from the archival records that the manufacturing of coffins proved to be a significant source of revenue for the institution, supplying coffins for the use of the town, the Cholera Hospital, the Richmond and Melville Island Hospitals, Dartmouth Hospital, Waterloo Hospital, the Bank Head Hospital, as well as the City Home. In the account books recorded on October 21, 1827, the sum of £15.s5 was received by the poorhouse for 61 coffins …

The treatment of Halifax’s poor house dead during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries More…

Is Dartmouth different? In the 19th century it certainly was. From the Reports of the London Vaccine Institution, we have a contribution from July 28th, 1823 about Dartmouthian and Quaker Seth Coleman and how he tended to the people of Preston (and Dartmouth at large) who had smallpox. In 1814, when the “medical gentleman of the town of Halifax were not to be induced to cross the harbour”, Seth Coleman stepped in and saved the lives of at least 423 people, including 285 Black refugees and 59 Mi’kmaq. Coleman regretted the racial prejudice expressed by most colonists and Nova Scotian …

Seth Coleman More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: A major change in educational arrangements was made by an Act of the Legislature in, 1908 when all districts outside the boundaries of Dartmouth were separated from the Town, as far as school accommodation was concerned. Ever since incorporation in 1873, Dartmouth had provided for the education of pupils living in the vicinity of Tufts’ Cove, of Cole Harbor Road and of Woodside. Residents of these places then paid school taxes to the Town, and general taxes to the County. The new Act authorized the organization of the Woodside-Tufts’ Cove School …

1908 More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In February 1902 the last of the old-style “Town meetings” was held. The question discussed that night was the purchase of Daniel Donovan’s pasture-land which drained into Lake Lamont. On a show of hands, the proposal was rejected by a vote of 42 to 27. Within the next few weeks, legislation was obtained providing that in future all such matters must be decided by a plebiscite. In 1902 a frightful epidemic of smallpox struck at Dartmouth. The dreadful disease raged from February until the end of June. It began in Halifax. …

1902 More…

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 …

1882 More…