‘The Grindstone’ by Harold Gloade

Joe Harvie owned a farm in Kelleyville on a sideroad near Skull House. It was a quiet place, where one seldom saw a car, or for that matter, any kind of a vehicle pass their gate. From the farmyard, you saw rolling hills on one side, and gentle flatness of a fertile interval on the other, and a narrow brook meandered through the fields, crossing the sideroad, and disappearing into the thicket beyond, eventually spilling into the Halfway River. The house was painted white at one time, but the rest of the buildings were bare wood, for it seemed only the more affluent could afford paint on outbuildings. I am not sure if he had a pair of horses or just one, and I don’t remember him hauling anything to Hantsport, but he came to our place when we lived where the Strickland barn is now, to plow up the ground for us to plant. I remember that it was near...
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A Salute to the Tugboat “Otis Wack”

It has been said that the mining and shipping of gypsum rock or plaster began at Windsor about the year 1832.1 It is known that E. Churchill and Sons built a tug boat called the “Chester” at Hantsport in 1890. It was steam powered. Also in the years 1890-1892 the D.S. Howard shipyard at Parrsboro built four large schooners for the gypsum trade, namely the "Gypsum Queen", "Gypsum Princess", "Gypsum Emperor" and the "Gypsum King". J.B. North built the "Gypsum Prince" at Hantsport and the "Gypsum Empress" at Horton. All six schooners were of four masts. The tugboat “J A Mumford” was built at Spencer's Island in 1903 for the Gypsum trade. The “Mumford” was of 115 gross tons and had a forty horsepower steam engine. The "Mumford" was still in use by the Gypsum Company in 1947. Later that year she was taken to the drydock at Saint John, New Brunswick where her engine and boiler were dismantled and placed in a dredge. This work, as...
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Hantsport Women’s Institute 1915-1965

The Hantsport W. I. came into existence in 1915 in the Presbyterian Church. Their motto then as now, "For Home and Country." Mrs. A.O. Graham, Mrs. S. Morse, Mrs. McKeen, Mrs. William Dorman (still living), Mrs. Asa Newcombe, Mrs. Blackburn and Mrs. B. Davison were some of the Charter Members. Mrs. Sterling became a member at an early date. This was during World War 1 and they worked hard and faithfully, making quilts, sewing, knitting for the Red Cross and helping wherever need arose. Homemaking was perhaps the main interest at that time in its early days and many were the aids and hints for better ways and means. They later did much for the schools, sponsoring school fairs, sewing and cooking classes before we had established Home Economics in this school. Reclaiming River Bank Cemetery was the big project at this time. Mrs. Lyon was the leader in this work and no effort was...
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J.B. North 1825-1907

On Wednesday last, the 27th ult., Mr. J.B. North who has been an invalid by reason of paralysis, for some eight years, passed peacefully to his reward at the age of 81 years. The deceased was a native of Cornwallis, Kings County, where he grew to manhood and married a Miss Ells, a sister of the late David and Nathan Ells. Mr. and Mrs. North came to Hantsport about 1855, and he commenced business as a general dealer and shipbuilder. He bought the house now known as the Campbell house, built a store where now stands the Evangeline house, on the corner of Avon and William Street. After coming to Hantsport he first built vessels in Mr. Churchill's yard, where he launched at least three, the "Herald," the "Persis," and the “Augusta C. Small." About the year 1863 he bought property over the line on the river front, built a house and commenced building vessels in his new yard. Here he built vessels...
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Hattie Chittick – Historian

Hattie Clark Chittick was born on the 20th of May 1883 in Hantsport, daughter of David Chittick, a blacksmith from Halifax County, and Margaret Utah Davison. Margaret was the daughter of Capt. Joseph Davison and Olivia Dickie of Hantsport. The Chittick family came from Ireland. David Chittick and Margaret Davison were married in 1871 by Rev. Thomas Angwin of the Wesleyan (Methodist) Church in Dartmouth and raised four daughters and two sons. Hattie was the second youngest. The family was enumerated in the Lower Horton, Kings County census division in 1881 and had farmers, ship masters and shoe makers as neighbours. By 1891 they had moved across the Minas Basin to Cumberland County where Hattie's sister Utah Marie was born on the 19th of March 1893 at Apple River. This was the same year that her oldest sister, Lottie, first married. By 1901 all but Marie had either married or moved away, Hattie's brother Fred moving the furthest. He can be found...
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‘The Hantsport of my Youth’ by John “Sandy” Davison

January 18 / 79 We have been waiting a long month for tonight's meeting and it is my privilege to introduce our guest speaker. We are fortunate to have him share his talent for story telling with us. (John) Sandy Davison  left Hantsport as a young man for Mt. A in 1921, then graduating from N.S.Tech. in 1925. He worked as a Junior Engineer with the Canadian International Paper Co. in Three Rivers Que. until 1926 when he moved to Can. Comstock – now known as Can. International – and until 1939 directed projects in the Eastern Provinces. At that time he was loaned to The Aluminum Co. of Canada and was in charge of Industrial installations across Canada, in India and South America. This was an exciting move in Sandy's career as at that time he acquired a charming Sec'y who later became his wife. After the war he returned to Comstock as Manager of their Electrical Division, becoming General Mgr. And Vice Pres. of Quebec and the Maritimes – a position he held until his...
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Hantsport Suffragists 1918

The Women's Suffrage movement in Canada relied on petitions to provincial governments; on lecture tours and speaking engagements; on meetings with politicians; and on public meetings and events. In 1918 at least 3,865 names on 18 petitions, representing areas from across Nova Scotia, were presented to the House of Assembly and on April 26, 1918, the “The Nova Scotia Franchise Act”1 was passed granting women the right to vote, with certain conditions. Twenty three individuals from the Hantsport Area have so far been identified on those petitions and their names and further details are listed below. Qualification of Voters. Every person (male and female) shall be entitled to be registered in any year upon the list of voters for the proper polling district of any county, if such person - Is of the full age of twenty-one years and is not by this Chapter, or by any law of the Province of Nova Scotia, disqualified or prevented from voting and has not since the last revision...
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Sea Cadets in Hantsport

This post is based on a presentation by Martin Gillis and Carol Smithson given at the March 2017 Hantsport & Area Historical Society meeting. Navy League of Canada   This group of Sea Cadets is the first to have their picture taken after the group formed in 1949. In boat, from left, Edward Pearson, Les Beazley Standing, from left, (Inspection Officer from Navy name not known), Leonard Winchester, Warren Tompkins, Earl Schurman, Bev Patten, Carl Salter, _ Skiner, Edward Veino, Fred Turner, Donald Miller, Joe Winchester, Ross Merriam (first Commanding officer). Front row, from left, Malcolm Coffill, Burton Smith, Joe Saulnier, Dick Cohoon, Glenn Salter 1951 WARRANT FOR RCSCC LINDSAY WAS ISSUED FOR THE HANTSPORT SEA CADET CORPS The Corps was named after the HMCS Lindsay, a Flower-class Corvette, which fought mainly in the Battle of the Atlantic as convoy escort. Ross Merriam was the first Commanding Officer. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1939 just before the Second World War, as a boy seaman. He served in...
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Audio Visual Historical Insight

The Hantsport & Area Historical Society has, over the years, produced or acquired a large number of audio and video recordings, mostly of Hantsport residents. An inventory created in 2015 is listed below with a few notable additions. A complete set of audio cassette tapes, together with transcripts and log books from a 1975 Federal Opportunities for Youth Summer Grant program sponsored by the town was recently donated by the family of Joseph McGinn, former Hantsport town clerk. Copies of some of the tapes and transcripts were already in the Historical Society collection but many were new or in better condition. The audio tapes have now been digitized as MP3 files and the typewritten transcripts are in the process of being converted to electronic format. The Project title was “Audio Visual Historical Insight” (AVHI). It ran from May to August 1975 and was led by Leah Clark, Julie Comstock, and Patty Fraser. The scope of the project included a portable display and plans for...
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Church Bells

St. Andrew's Anglican Church On June 11 of 1896 the Congregation purchased a bell from Meneely and Co. of West Troy, New York for the sum of $89.28. The purchase included mountings and ringing ropes, also delivery to vessel in Boston, Mass., thence to Saint John, New Brunswick, thence by steamer Hiawatha. Terms of payment were 45 days and the account was settled on July 23rd, 1896. The weight of the bell is 354 pounds. The prompt settlement of this account can be appreciated in light of the fact that at the Annual Meeting the following year, the Treasurer reported that with all bills paid except insurance, cash on hand was $7.69. The following account of the Service at which the bell was dedicated is taken from the Hants Journal of June 1896. “On Friday evening last a service was held in St. Andrew's Church for the purpose of dedicating the bell which has lately been hung in the tower. The exercises were...
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