(Originally published in the 1969/70 Hantsport High School Yearbook)
INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
In an effort to add “something different” to our Year Book, the Editors have decided to include a local history supplement. We have arrived at this decision for a number of reasons. First, in April of this year our town marked its seventy-fifth anniversary and we felt it had earned some sort of recognition. Secondly, we thought the results might be interesting: to the young who had never heard, a new story of the old town, and to the less young, the reliving of a memory. Finally, we knew it would be fun to do.
The first section of our supplement consists of excerpts from the “Hantsport Advance”. The Advance was a weekly paper published in Hantsport from some time in the 1890’s until around 1914. It is believed to have been founded by O. C. Dorman and later published by J. W. Lawrence, followed by Stanley Marchant. From early in the century till the end of the Advance, G. W. Woodworth was the publisher.
The original office was in the building known as the Mumford Block, which is the building directly across the track from the Town Hall and presently owned by Arch Kerr. At that time, there were three small places of business on the lower floor, the barbershop, Town Office, and Customs Office in the far end. Overhead was the Advance office. During Woodworth’s time, he moved a small building from the property owned now by Mrs. David Freeman to where Karl Dowe’s house now stands. This was the Advance office until its closing.
We are greatly indebted to Eric Smith who has kindly allowed us to use Advance clippings from a scrapbook in his possession and once belonging to George Dorman. We believe there must be many copies of the Advance around town and would much appreciate hearing from any of our readers who have copies. We wish to make an inventory of these and if possible, borrow them for use in later Year Books.
In all excerpts from the Advance, no effort was made to modernize, punctuation, paragraphing, or spelling.
DOMINION DAY 1898
The 1st of July celebration was a success. The weather all that could be desired by the most fastideous. Early in the morning a slight shower to lay the dust, by 9 o’clock a.m. the sun broke away the drifting clouds and the day continued fine throughout followed by a beautiful moonlight night.
The events of the day commenced at 9:30 o’clock by a procession of lady bicyclists in fancy costume, they looked “just lovely,” as we heard a spectator remark, The first prize was a mounted gold pen and was won by Miss Evernia Lockhart as “Purity” the 2nd prize a gold pen in black handle won by Miss Adria Coalfleet, as “Partial Eclipse.” Next event, the procession of all kinds from the sublime to the ridiculous led by the Hantsport Brass Band; a nice feature in this was the fairy waggon, banked with evergreens and bowers. The 1st prize for the original rig was won by Borden Bros. and Ferguson (five dollars in cash) with their “caged wild man” 2nd prize $2.00 went to Jas. L Barker for “Morro Castle,” 3rd, box of cigars, presented by A. Riley won by Ezra Coffin, with the “revolving coops.”
The judges in the foregoing events were W. S Whitman, J. E. Stevens and G. P. Schurman. At 1 p.m. there was a procession of school children (girls) dressed in white, each carrying a small British ensign, and singing the Canadian National Anthem and God Save the Queen. At 1 p.m. the bicycle races were on. The first was a half mile straight away open, 1st prize, a gold lined silver cup presented by Capt. Chas. Davison, was won by Willie Cochran of Kentville, second prize, cyclometer went to Perry Cook, also of Kentville. Half mile same course, local riders, 1st prize bicycle lamp, won by Seymour Fisher, 2nd, Egeria diamond pin, won by Clarence Smith. Next two mile road race, 1st prize, silver medal presented by W. C. Balcom, won by Bert Frizzle, 2nd prize, Bicycle bell, Perry Cook, Then came the friendly bout between W. S. Whitman’s and W. H. Kennedy’s trotters. Mr. Whitman’s horse was an easy winner, the prize was a silver butter dish, a beautiful boquet was presented to the winner on the course, after the event was over.
Now came the Derby. In this, John DeWolfe’s running horse beat the field and Mr. Wolfe won the box of Santiago cigars. The foot races were on Foundry St. 1st, 100 yds. dash for silver ring won by Reppie Malcolm. 2nd prize cuff links went to Ralph Malcolm. 100 yds for boys, 1st, Harmonica and 2nd, pocket knife won by Clyde Malcolm and Charlie Macomber respectively. Now came the 220 yds run, 1st prize gold watch chain was won by Bert Frizzle 2nd, prize cuff links went to Fred Lake.
Then the Hurdle race was called, 1st prize in this was a silver ring, won by Fred Lake, 2nd cuff buttons won by Arthur Wolfe. Putting shot for a silver watch chain was won by Mort Schurman, with Mr. Ernest Robinson of Canning a good second. The pole vault was easily won by Fred Lake the prize being a gold ring. Running high jump was pretty closely contested, but finally won by Fred Lake, the prize being a gold stud and scarf pin.
During the afternoon a tug of war between 10 men of Kings and 10 men of Hants Counties, was won by the latter after a short hot engagement.
Mr. C. A. Holmes jr. was Marshal of the days proceedings, and Mr. Lockhart announcer of events. G. W. C Davison was a leader in getting up the sports. What was a surprise to our towns-people as well as strangers was the fine music furnished by our band, they have only been practicing about three months, and this was their first appearance in public, but under the efficient tutorship of Prof. Adams, (who as a band instructor is not sur-in this county) they have made great progress, and their playing was a big feature in the days event.
The concert in the evening in Messrs. Churchill’s Hall was well patronized, and at 10 and 15 cents admission yielded $46.59.
Following is the
March “Spartan” Band
Greeting Glee Company
Vocal Solo Miss Walley
Piano Duet Misses Margeson and Davison
Vocal Solo–The Old Sexton W. S. Whitman
Cornet Solo–With The Stream G. Dixon
Male Qrt.–Away to the Woods Messrs Harvie, Whitman, Lockhart, Newcomb
Concertina Solo—Fantasia Prof. J, Adams
Waltz–Fairest of the Fair Band
Male Qrt.–Silent Mead Messrs Harvie, Whitman, Lockhart, Smith
Vocal Medley of old Songs J. J. Anslow
Violin Solo Miss L, Lockhart
Vocal Solo J. E. Newcombe
Piano and Concertina Prof. J. Adams
Vocal Solo–The Village Blacksmith C. Smith
Chorus–Village of the Vale Company
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
The first election in the Town of Hantsport took place on Wednesday, April 24th, for the office of Mayor, The candidates were Mr. W. A. Porter, who has filled the Warden’s chair for two and one half years. He was opposed by Mr. W. S. Whitman, who moved here some four years ago. The count was very close, there being 122 votes cast, of which W. A Porter received 61 and W. S. Whitman 61, but on one of Mr. Whitman’s ballots there were found two crosses, This ballot being thrown out, left Mr. Whitman only 60, thus giving W. A. Porter his election by one vote, and the Shrriff declared him elected Mayor of the Town of Hantsport. The Councillors are R. W. Sweet, T. A. Masters, S. H. Mitchener, Chas. S. Davison, J. E. Stevens and H. S. Parker.
Lest we feel too sorry for Mr. Whitman, we must note that although Mr. Porter was mayor in 1895-96, Mr. Whitman made a come-back and was mayor from 1897-1902.
EDITOR OF ADVANCE–
Having noticed in a recent issue of the “Advance” an enquiry concerning the origin of the name of William Street and your reply thereto and having found that very little is known of the visit of the then Prince of Wales, to Hantsport, I have thought that a short account of that event would be of interest to your readers.
I was at that time 14 years of age and was working on my uncle’s farm in Newport, and the day before the arrival of the Prince, walked from there home, 14 miles, to see him. There was at that time no railway between Windsor and Hantsport, and he came up to Windsor in the train and drove down to Hantsport, passed down Prince Street and there embarked on the war vessel “Styx,” Commander Vesey, and in her made the trip to St. John, N. B., and from there the tour of New Brunswick. He returned to Hantsport by the same ship just a week after and landed on the beach at the foot of William Street, where the Government wharf now stands. Carriages were in waiting and he drove to Windsor by way Prince Street, and there took the train for Halifax. I well remember the bustle and excitement everywhere evident on my arrival, Men were busy building an immence arch of maple festooned with flags and bearing mottos and words of welcome and loyalty across the street nearly opposite my house that now is, under which the Prince passed. The “Styx” was lying at anchor in the channel and boats were passing to and from the shore in charge of officers resplendent in gold lace uniforms, which to my unaccustomed eyes looked simply gorgeous. The wharf at the foot of Prince St. was the only one here at the time and that contained an immense pile of deals up which a way was made for the Prince to ascend to receive the address and to make his reply. Commander Vesey was much in evidence making suggestions and seeing that things were in proper order, On the day of the Prince’s arrival the place was literally filled with people, and from his elevated station on top of the pile of deals he was plainly visible to the whole Multitude.
I well remember his looks, a rather pale, somewhat swarthy slip of a man as much unlike His Majesty, the present King of England, as you can imagine. On his return there was no demonstration of any kind and very few strangers in the place beyond the retinue of servants and officials connected with the management of the tour. The landing was made early in the morning and on his entering the boat which brought him to the shore the Royal Standard was unfurled and during the passage a royal salute was fired from the shore. The tide was about half off and the shore was somewhat muddy and we carried deals from the wharf and made a plank walk up the beach up which he and his attendants walked to the carriage waiting above.
After the Prince had landed there came two large boats filled with the baggage and we boys helped the servants to carry it up to the teams. I carried several loads and among the things I particularly remember was the Duke of Cambridge’s cocked hat. Another incident I remember was that the then Hon. Joseph Howe had left his horses and carriage at Mr. Ezra Churchill’s, who then lived on the old homestead, and wishing to have them brought down to the shore was looking for some boy to send a message by to his coachman and I volunteered to go. When I arrived there the whole yard and barn was filled with carriages and horses and I had a good deal of trouble to find the man I was after, but after a time I did so and delivered my message and was turning to come away when he told me to wait as he was coming right along and would give me a ride. I climbed up alongside of him on the box and you may depend I was a proud boy and the envy of my chums as we bowled along down to the shore.
Hoping that this little bit of history and reminisence will not be without interest to your readers,
l remain, Yours very truly,
John R. Woolaver
Hantsport, March 20th., ‘07
TO DAVISON’S LAKE
This lake or lakes, for there are two of them, are situated about eight miles from Hantsport in a south westerly direction. They are quite celebrated for their beauty, and not without good reason, as we have good cause for saying, for on Friday last, we had the pleasure for the first time of visiting them. There were a party of twelve individuals, driven by Mr. C. E. Burgess in one of his vis-a-vis vans, ten ladies and two gentlemen, about the usual proportion of the sexes in Hantsport. The party was collected by Mrs. Dickson of the Evangeline House and the participants were largely the guests of the house with a few of those who lived near. The picnic however was for the purpose more particularly of showing the lakes and the way to them to Mrs. Habberton, the wife of the noted author of “Helen’s Babies” and the Misses Faith and May, her daughters, who are the guests of the House, and are spending a few weeks of their vacation there. Mrs. Habberton resides in New York, when she is at home, where her talented husband is still engaged in the writing of many books.
WEDDING BELLS 1897
One of those incidents which are constantly occurring yet never lacking in interest, took place at Lower Falmouth, on Wednesday evening, Sep. 29th, when Rev. J. Murray united in marriage William Hugh, only son of Capt. McKinley of Mt. Denson, and Eva Maud, only daughter of Mr. Stanton Chandler of Lower Falmouth. They were supported by Mr. Edson Harvey, and Miss Annie, only sister of the groom. It is beyond the reporter’s power to describe the bride’s costly and beautiful silk dress, except that it was such a perfect combination of rich colorings, with artistic fittings that it was exceedingly stylish and pretty. After due congratulations refreshments were announced, and the interest seemed if possible to deepen! Oh, ye Household Deities! What a revelation! The very table seemed to cry out, “Ease me, or I perish”. The response was prompt and general, and soon all faces glowed with the happy consciousness of a kindly deed generously performed.
The one drawback to the festivities was the unavoidable absence of the bride’s father, who was unable to leave his ship, on the happy occasion, But Mrs. Chandler, assisted by her mother, Mrs. Allen of Parrsboro proved herself a generous hostess.
There were many useful and valuable gifts, a few of which we mention:
A beautiful gold watch and chain, from the groom; Cheque for $25.00, T. H. Armstrong, relation of the bride; Dinner Set, mother of the bride. Fur Cape, father of the bride; Kitchen Range and $10, Capt. McKinley; Large Parlor Lamp and Globe, Groomsman; Set Silver Knives and Forks, Bridesmaid; Beautiful Toilet Set, W. deMill, brother of the bride.
The happy couple are soon to occupy their new house in Mt. Denson. With the handshaking and parting words kindly wishes were expressed that the voyage of life might be as prosperous and happy as the embarking.
Two children of Mr. and Mrs, McKinley now live in the area–Evelyn (Mrs. John Trenholm) and Louise (Mrs. Cecil Van Buskirk). Great-grandchildren now in our school are Corinne, Trudy, Trina and Tony Cuvilier.