From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In January 1832, there appeared in the “Nova Scotian” seven stanzas of poetry written by “Albyn” at Ellenvale on the occasion of the death of John D. Hawthorn. The latter was a prominent merchant of this community, and a Justice of the Peace. He had been a promoter of the Aboiteau, across the Lawrencetown River near the present railway trestle, which resulted in the reclamation of a wide area of dykeland for hay. The weather that season continued cold. Ice formed in the Coves and extended all over the harbor by …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1920 we had the coldest winter for years. There were 21 days of good sleighing, and 11 days of sub-zero weather in January with the mercury down to 17 below near the month-end. In February the harbor froze over for the first time since 1898. The ferries kept a lane open, and the tug “Ragus” bucked her way daily from the Sugar Refinery to the Imperial Oil wharf at Halifax. On a Sunday afternoon, a number of us skated from Mill Cove to McNab’s Island, without experiencing any difficulty except …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The year 1905 ushered in the winter of the big snow when drifts around the streets and on the sidewalks accumulated to a height of over ten feet. Traffic was either at a standstill or was so tied-up that milkmen from rural Dartmouth had to use two horses tandem to haul light sleigh-loads. On a dozen different nights that winter, the thermometer went below zero, reaching a minimum of 22 below on February 6th. In those years there was a specific part of Dartmouth from which the law required that snow …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: January of 1898 was very cold and snowy, resulting in the worst harbor freeze-up since 1875. Mill Cove and a wide area off the cradles of the Shipyard provided a hockey and skating surface for about ten days. Often boys would venture out to the middle of the harbor where a channel was kept open by running intermittent trips of the ferry throughout the day and night. By the first of February all three boats had their paddle-wheels so badly damaged that they abandoned the ice-battle. For the next three days, …

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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 …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The winter of 1875 was the coldest in half a century. The season was vividly remembered by old residents of the present century as the year that the harbor was frozen for the longest period within memory. According to their oral accounts, nearly everybody in Dartmouth and multitudes in Halifax took advantage of the solid surface to cross and re-cross the ice-bridge, either on foot or on runners. Even children in arms were transported, perhaps for the sake of saying in after years that they had gone through the experience. The …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On January 29th, the fifth Sunday of the month in 1871, St. James’ Presbyterian Church was opened for the first services, and the new edifice was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. On the next evening, the ladies of the congregation held their annual tea-meeting and salon in the basement hall where a large number of members and guests met in a “most successful housewarming,” according to the Presbyterian Witness. At the capitulation of Paris towards the close of the Franco-Prussian War in February, William Gar vie lectured on the beauties of that …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The year 1866 opened with a sharp spell of weather. On January 8th the thermometer at Citadel Hill registered 20 below zero. On February 2nd, Henry Y. Mott, former political partner of Joseph Howe, died in his 69th year at his residence near the brickyard mentioned on page 113. William Condran, born in 1859, well remembered the funeral procession passing his home*, and often told me that it was the longest ever seen in Dartmouth up to that time. The Starr Manufacturing Co. were now exporting their newly invented Acme spring …

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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 …

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