(Special staff correspondence of The Halifax Herald.)HANTSPORT-ON-AVON. August 25.—While a burnished brass sun burned the pitch pine from her new decks, and caused her white sides to glisten with reflected rays like searchlights thrown upon an ice-berg, the 1,000 ton four-masted schooner Margaret F. Dick slipped smoothly down her tallow coated ways, at the North Shipyards here yesterday afternoon, and nestled into the turbid tidal waters of the Avon silently, smoothly, and naturally as a swooping swallow takes the air. Three thousand people viewed the spectacle lined along the natural amphitheatre which backs the North yards in a sloping hillside which rises to the sky-line, scattered at various points of vantage inside the yards themselves, and watching the launching from the crowded decks of smaller sail and power craft which had gathered from every public and private landing stage on the Avon within a twenty mile radius. And the unanimous opinion was that Saturday's ceremonial was “the finest launchin'...
Twenty years after the dedication of the William Hall VC Cairn, the Memorial received another plaque - Sunday July 9th, 1967. The final day of the Canadian Centennial Programme in Hantsport was designated William Hall V.C. Memorial Day. The new plaque was fastened to the front of the top base, the inscription reads:
THIS CAIRN MARKS THE LAST RESTING PLACE OF WILLIAM HALL, V.C.
Led by the Guard of Honour and band from CFB Cornwallis, members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Lucknow Branch 109 Hantsport and the William Hall V.C. Branch 57 Halifax marched from William Street to the Hantsport Baptist Church. At the reviewing stand at the Legion Hall, the Salute was taken by Lieutenant Governor H.P. MacKeen and His Worship the Mayor L.G. Bishop.
The church service was conducted by the Rev. Gordon Gower, assisted by the Rev. Dr. W.P. Oliver of Halifax. The address was given by the Rev. George R. Bell, Protestant Chaplain of CFB Cornwallis. This service...
Mayor Claims Lack of Co-operation, Resigns
HANTSPORT, March 6/52 – Stemming from vandalism last Hallowe’en, Mayor Burpee T. Smith, resigned at a meeting of Town Council when he claimed that members of the Council were not giving him co-operation as evidenced by refusal to accept his ruling.
On Hallowe’en night, two blue spruce trees on the lawn of Town Clerk D. M. Frittenburg were chopped down and a fence on the mayor’s property was also wrecked. Just prior to this incident, town officials, it is said, had been pressing for payment of poll tax arrears.
Subsequently, Council empowered the mayor to take measures dealing with the apprehension of those responsible and later, with Town Police and R.C.M.P. on the job, His Worship secured circumstantial evidence on which he requested the Council to take action toward prosecution.
At the Council meeting Tuesday night, Bruce McDade, Hantsport lawyer, was given permission to address Council on behalf of a client. He demanded that the mayor resign.
Lighthouses and light keepers serve many purposes besides marking dangerous coastlines, reefs or shallow areas and guiding ships to safe harbour. They also sound fog alarms, assist in aerial navigation, provide weather observations, maintain radio communication and assist search-and-rescue operations.
Mitchener Point Beacon - note the Hantsport Gypsum Shed/Wharf1 and Cape Blomidon in the distance
On the Avon River there are two, now inactive, lighthouses; Michener Point in Mount Denson and Horton Bluff in Lockhartville. There may also once have been a light at Summerville.
The following description was provided in the Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries for 1909.
It is a wooden tower, square in plan, with sloping sides, surmounted by a square wooden lantern, the whole painted white. It stands on a square cribwork foundation, and is 42 feet high from base to top of ventilator on lantern. The illuminating apparatus is fixed white dioptric2, of the sixth order. The tower was erected by contract, by Mr. L. Mury,...
Photo MP210_7_1 courtesy Maritime Museum of the Atlantic4
Stephen Duncanson (back row, far right) wearing a leather apron, owner of the Hants Border sawmill with his 18-man crew. Notice the two men (back row, 3rd from left and front row, 2nd from right) wearing a padded protector on their left shoulder. This indicates their job as deal pilers. The photos were taken about 1901.
In the 1901 Census of Canada, Stephen Duncanson gave his occupation as farmer. In 1911 his occupation is listed as engineer and in 1935, at the time of his death, his occupation is given as merchant – groceries. He purchased the 10 acre property in 1879 from William Beckwith.2
Photo MP210_7_2 courtesy Maritime Museum of the Atlantic4
Interior view of Duncanson’s Hants Border Mill shows six of the crew: left, the setter and dogger riding the log carriage, centre, the sawyer ‘in his stylish cardigan jacket’ and behind him the cantor and, far right, two boys easing logs...
Many families may have lived in the same house over the years, sharing the joys and tragedies of family life. Are you curious who they were and perhaps what their experiences were? Who built your house and when? Who were the previous owners and residents?
The Hantsport & Area Historical Society may be able to help with trained volunteers using resources like Property Online1 which allows access to historical deeds and property records. In combination with genealogical research an interesting profile can be developed as the following example illustrates.
The McDade Heritage Centre was contacted by the current owners of the house at 11 Willow Street in Hantsport, Will and Jane Kerr. They knew a little about the history of their property; that it once was the parsonage for the Baptist Church and that it may have been a boarding house at one time. They noted several odd occurrences and thought the house might be haunted. In June 2021 the house was...
In her remarkable 2001 book "invisible shadows : a Black woman's life in Nova Scotia", the late Verna (States) Thomas writes about her experiences growing up in Mount Denson, leaving home and moving to Preston where she later married and raised a family, and also her awakening to the experiences of other Black Nova Scotians; "how they climbed out of the bondage of slavery, isloation, exploitation, and neglect and what effect that process continues to have on those who live in the province today". 1
Col. Henry Denny Denson
Mount Denson was named for the manor built by Colonel Henry Denny Denson. Born about 1715 in Ireland he was in Nova Scotia by 1760 receiving a grant for 2000 acres and bought an additional 2250 acres making him one of Falmouth Township's largest landowners. "Denson realized a substantial income through the breeding and raising of livestock. He was a militia officer from the founding of Falmouth and road commissioner and collector of impost...
Margaret Dickie played a significant role in her community throughout all stages of her life. Not only does she represent her own benevolence, but that of Hantsport women in general. Through her diary it is clear that the work she and other women put into their community and loved ones required commitment and courage, even if it wasn’t recognized as such at the time.
Margaret was born to Samuel and Sarah (Brothers) Dickie on July 4th, 1827 at Halfway River (now known as Hantsport). She was very active in her community, participating in many clubs and events. Margaret had many interests including sewing, knitting, singing, poetry, and writing. Her love of writing is evident in her diary where she wrote accounts of her day-to-day life. This diary starts in 1847 (when she was age 20) and continues roughly until February 1st, 1869 with some breaks in between. Not only is this diary valuable in detailing the life of Margaret Dickie, but it also gives insight...
The first Post Office was a box on a tree on the side of the Post Road, two miles out of the settlement. If letters were important, then the sender waited for the stage coach to come along, on its way to or from Halifax and Yarmouth. Much shipping mail was sent that way and received. 1
"Hantsport passed from an isolated village officially in 1849 when it was established as a postal way office as part of the provincial system. Indeed a directory of Nova Scotia post offices published in 1850 (London) listed Hantsport by name. Within four years it was upgraded to a full post office stop (6 July 1853) with D.G. Harris as the first Post Master. He was succeeded in 1855 by Nathan T. Harris who was to serve until Confederation. The earliest Hantsport postmark located is dated 1856." 2
The Post Office kept by Nathan Harris was on Main Street, the first Telegraph Office was on the...
Richard Paul (Dick) Beazley was born on June 19th, 1911 in Hantsport, Nova Scotia, the son of Gabriel Beazley and Blanche Wambolt. His older brother Fred was an aspiring runner who had competed in the Halifax Herald and Evening Mail Modified Marathon. On October 23rd, 1926 Fred invited Dick to train with him so that he could judge his pace during practice. When Fred returned home at the end of his run, Dick was waiting for him. Dick had outpaced his brother for the entire run! This made Fred decide to give up on running and encourage his younger brother to train and pursue running instead. In 1927, at the age of 16, Dick Beazley won his first road race. The race was 8 miles, from Hantsport to Windsor. That same year, he was included in the list of runners in a news article promoting the upcoming Halifax Herald and Evening Mail Modified Marathon. This would be the first time...