History of Halifax City

“The [Indigenous people] had appeared in the neighborhood of the town for several weeks, but intelligence had been received that they had commenced hostilities, by the capture of twenty persons at Canso… On the last day of September they made an attack on the sawmill at Dartmouth, then under the charge of Major Gilman. Six … Read more

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia

“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 … Read more

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

“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 … Read more

Seth Coleman


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 … Read more


natalday race 1908

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 … Read 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 … Read 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 … Read more


From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: A packet-boat from England which arrived on Saturday, May 21, 1814, brought the most welcome news in 20 years to Governor Nicholas D’Anseville still in exile at Woodlawn. Napoleon had abdicated; and the Bourbon King Louis XVIII was being restored! Mrs. Lawson, in her History of … Read more