History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation

Chapter 14
1 January 1894   to   31 December 1899


Commercial Cable Company's
Third Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable

In 1894, the Commercial Cable Company laid its third submarine telegraph cable between Ireland and Hazel Hill, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. This additional cable was needed because the heavy telegraph traffic had grown beyond the capacity of the two earlier cables. The 1894 cable was an improved design, and was able to handle telegraph messages at a considerably faster rate than the earlier cables.

Go To:   History of Transatlantic Cable Companies

1894 June 20

First Alarm Rung In On
Yarmouth's New Electric Alarm System

The first alarm to be given by Yarmouth's new electric fire alarm system was sounded shortly after 1 o'clock in the afternoon from box 23, at the corner of Alma and Clements Streets. This equipment was known as the Stevens system, and cost, complete, $1500. From the fifteen alarm boxes located in various parts of the town, an alarm was "pulled", and the number of the box, and thus the location of the fire within a block or so, was sounded by blasts of a "powerful steam whistle" erected over the boiler room of the Electric Street Railway Company's power house. The alarm apparatus was worked from a battery located in the central engine house.

1894 October 1

DAR's First Through Train,
Yarmouth to Halifax

"Under financial and political pressures, the Windsor & Annapolis Railway and the Western Counties Railway united as the Dominion Atlantic Railway, and their first train ran through from Yarmouth to Halifax, October 1, 1894."
[From 99 Years of Dominion Atlantic, by J.B. King, in the December 1968 issue of The Maritime Express, a newsletter published by the Scotian Railroad Society.]

36 days short of 100 years

The DAR continued operating trains for a long time, running its last four trains on
the morning of Friday, 26 August 1994, just 36 days short of one hundred years.

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

1895 March 3

Death of A. Lawson

Alexander Lawson was editor, publisher, and proprietor of The Yarmouth Herald for 62 years. Lawson took an active interest in technology, and over the years printed much more material about current developments in technology than was the usual practice for most other newspapers. This makes the archival copies of The Yarmouth Herald particularly interesting and useful for anyone who is researching developments in technology during the years 1833 - 1895, a time when technology was developing at least as rapidly as has been experienced during the latter half of the twentieth century.

1895 April 24

Joshua Slocum Sets Sail

On this day, Nova Scotian Joshua Slocum sailed out of Boston Harbour in his small boat Spray, intending to sail around the world single-handed.
[Halifax Daily News, 24 April 2000]

Joshua Slocum   http://newscotland1398.ca/99/histindx.html#slocumj


Midland Railway Company

The Act (chapter 85, 1896) to incorporate the Midland Railway Company was passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature. The plan was to build a railway from Truro through Clifton, Princeport, South Maitland, Kennetcook, Stanley, and Scotch Village to Windsor.


Liverpool & Milton Tramway Company Limited

The Liverpool & Milton Tramway Company Limited was incorporated in 1896. The L&MT built and operated a 4.63 mile 7.45 km railway along the west side of the Mersey River, between Liverpool and Rapid Falls, near Milton, in Queens County. The line's principal business was freight for a pulp mill at Rapid Falls. It also operated a steam dummy railway (steam-powered streetcars) in the streets of Liverpool which carried passengers. On 25 April 1905, the L&MT was bought by Mackenzie & Mann's Halifax & South Western Railway.

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

1896 February 13

Electric Streetcars Begin Operating in Halifax

"The first trolley car started out on February 13, 1896," according to a technical paper Halifax Electric Tramway Plant and Steam Engineering read on May 7, 1907, by Philip A. Freeman, Chief Engineer of the Halifax Electric Tram Company, before the Nova Scotia Society of Engineers. It is unclear whether this was a test run or the beginning of regular service, but it is certain that the electric street railway was able to operate at least one car on the track on this day.

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To:   History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia

1896 October 24

First Issue of the Yarmouth Daily News

The first issue of the Yarmouth Daily News newspaper was published this day.


Map of Underwater Telegraph Cables
in the Vicinity of Nova Scotia

Cable Map published 1897 by the International Telegraph Bureau, Bern, in 1897
Map of submarine telegraph cables in the northwest Atlantic Ocean
by the International Telegraph Bureau, Bern, 1897

Source: History of the Atlantic Cable... (an excellent history)

1897 April 1

The Insular Steamship Company Limited

Spring and Summer Schedule, 1897

Commencing April 1st, 1897
the S.S. Westport
will sail (weather permitting) according to
the following Time Table:

Leave Westport every Tuesday morning for Weymouth via Freeport, Tiverton, and Mink Cove. Time of departure and arrival dependent on tide.

Leave Weymouth every Tuesday for Westport via Mink Cove, Tiverton, and Freeport. Time of departure and arrival dependent on tide.

Leave Westport every Wednesday at 5am for Yarmouth via Freeport and Meteghan, touching at Cape St. Mary when clear.

Leave Yarmouth every Wednesday at 2pm for Westport via Meteghan and Freeport, touching at Cape St. Mary if clear.

Leave Westport every Friday for St. John calling at Freeport and Tiverton when required.

Leave St. John every Saturday at 2pm for Westport.

[Display ad in the Digby Weekly Courier, 24 September 1897]

"S.S." means Steam Ship.

1897 July-August

Passenger Services, Digby - Saint John

On and after July 3rd, 1897,
the Steamship Service of the Dominion Atlantic Railway
will be as follows:

Royal Mail Steamship Prince Rupert
Between Saint John and Digby

Operated by the Dominion Atlantic Railway Company
1897 Summer Schedule

Daily Except Sunday
Leaves Saint John 7:00am
Arrives Digby 9:30am
Leaves Digby 1:00pm
Arrives Saint John 3:30pm
[Source: DAR display ad in the Digby Weekly Courier, all issues, July and August 1897]

1897 July-August

Passenger Services
Halifax - Yarmouth - Boston

Big and Fast

From Lloyd's Register it appears that the Dominion Atlantic Railway's new twin-screw steamship Prince Edward has a registered tonnage of 1,416, and from the particulars of her engines a speed of considerably over 19 knots is quite certain. This new steamship cost about $350,000 to build.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 30 July 1897]

The Steamship
Prince Edward
Sails from Yarmouth for Boston
every Monday and Thursday
immediately on arrival of
Flying Bluenose

Halifax to Boston in 23 Hours

On Mondays and Thursdays the Flying Bluenose [express passenger train from/to Halifax] connects at Yarmouth with the Prince Edward for Boston. The Dominion Atlantic Railway company are now in a position to carry passengers from Halifax to Boston, or vice versa, in 23 hours.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 1 October 1897]

1897 August

Weymouth & New France Railway

Digby County, Nova Scotia

By the end of the summer of 1897, the Weymouth & New France Railway track was finished from New France to Riverdale, about eleven miles 18km and the railway was in business, with the home-made locomotive Fire Fly hauling logs to the mill and sawn lumber as far as Riverdale. The speed was only ten miles an hour 15km/h, but this was a tremendous improvement over the two miles per hour 3km/h by ox team.

On August 6th, 1897, a Dominion Atlantic Railway freight train delivered two carloads of equipment for the W&NF Railway at Weymouth. The equipment had been shipped from Amherst, Nova Scotia, by Robb Engineering Limited and Rhodes Curry Limited. The passenger car Caribou arrived in this shipment, together with trucks to make more flat cars. Caribou was twenty feet 6m long, with the sides covered by narrow wood sheathing painted eggshell blue with maroon trim along the edge of the roof. There were four windows on each side and a door at each end. There was an observation platform at the back. The roof was rounded and covered with brown-painted canvas. Just above the windows in large yellow letters was painted
W. and N.F. Railway
Below the windows, also in large yellow letters, was the name Caribou. The inside was divided into two compartments, the forward one with fixed wooden seats for use by the workmen, was smaller than the rear one. The rear compartment with observation platform was for the Stehelin family and had no fixed seats. Easy chairs would be taken from the house when ladies and the owner were to travel. Caribou was hauled from Weymouth to Riverdale by several yokes of oxen, and was put on the rails and pulled along by Fire Fly for a trial run. Everything seemed to work well, although the extra load slowed the train down to about eight miles per hour 12km/h. One can imagine what this sort of luxury travel meant to these pioneers.

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

For the Pole Railway

Two railway carloads of Messrs. Stehelin's New France railroad equipment went down [westbound from Digby] by yesterday's freight, from Amherst. A number of trucks and a caboose were on board, and each was marked with "W. & N. F. Ry." The caboose, which is a good-sized car, is named "Caribou", and looks as if the passengers on the Weymouth & New France line are to travel in comfort.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 6 August 1897]

Electric City

Electric City, which is marked on Nova Scotia maps as New France, existed only from 1895 to 1912, yet it had an impact on life in Nova Scotia that continues today (2001). About seventeen miles 27 km south of Weymouth, it was listed as a part of the Parish of Digby, in the County of Digby.

The aristocratic Jean Jacques Stehelin arrived in Digby County in 1892, and built a homestead, large enough to house all fourteen members of his family, modeled on his family home back in St. Charles, France. In 1895 the family joined him and helped to build the rest of the settlement.

They developed a lumbering operation with a sawmill, and built a bunkhouse for the loggers. There was a cookhouse and gardens to provide the meals. The barn, home to horses and oxen, took two months to complete, and measured fifty feet by fifty feet fifteen by fifteen metres, with a high roof. They built a large chicken coop, and bred Plymouth Rock hens for eggs. There were extensive kennels with dogs to accompany the men when they went out into the woods to hunt. Eventually there was a wine cellar, a chapel, an office, a clubhouse for relaxation, and a boathouse called the casino. The Stehelin family even constructed a pole railway and trains ran to Weymouth to move the lumber produced in the New France sawmill.

Two dams were built of logs and gravel to raise the level of Little Tusket Lake and channel the water flow to the Silver river. This powered the sawmill. There were three turbines which drove long hardwood shafts. Placed at intervals along the shafts were pulleys with belts that powered the gang saw, the haul-up, the trimmer, the edger, and the planer.

A small building beside the mill, called the powerhouse, housed a dynamo, a rotating machine that produced direct current electric power to provide light for the settlement's buildings, a full twenty years before Weymouth was first supplied with electric power in 1926. It was this that caused New France to be popularly known as Electric City.

The forests of Digby County were diverse and rich in hardwoods. The mill at New France exported maple, oak, beech and birch lumber for sale for flooring and doors, as well as red spruce and balsam fir for framing, and white pine for ships' masts. the mill could saw and trim fifteen thousand board feet of lumber in a single day, and much of the product was sold to South America and England.

A hundred years ago the Stehelin family entertained friends and business colleagues from around the world with dinners, dances, hunting and skating. New France blended European French, Acadian, Black and Mi'kmaq cultures. In its short history it had a major impact on the culture of southwestern Nova Scotia, including a role in the development of today's Universite Ste. Anne. Today only a few foundations remain visible at New France.

To get to New France from Weymouth, travel south on Route 340 for seventeen kilometres, then turn east on Langford Road and drive another 5.5 km. At Southville Corner, turn on to the dirt road and after 11 km turn north on Silver Road, which leads to the settlement.

[Down Memory Lane, in the Middleton Mirror-Examiner, 19 July 2000]

Electric City: The Stehelins of New France (book) by Paul H. Stehelin
Lancelot Press, Hantsport, Nova Scotia, 3rd printing December 1983

Industry Canada Internet history resources, Electric City

1897 August

Nova Scotia Carriage Company Busy

The Nova Scotia Carriage Company, Kentville, have manufactured and sold 300 carriages this year. About 30 men are employed.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 6 August 1897]

These were horse-drawn carriages.

1897 August

Parlour Car in Operation

A Parlour Car is now attached to the mail expresses between Yarmouth and Halifax.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 6 August 1897]

This refers to the Dominion Atlantic Railway's trains.
In 1897, there was only one railway between Yarmouth and Halifax.

What is a “parlour car”?  A parlour car is a railroad car where passengers ride.  It is furnished with individual extra-fare reserved seats, and is used for day travel by people who are willing to pay extra for more space and more comfort. Also called chair car.  Anyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's movie Strangers on a Train has clear understanding of what a parlour car looks like and how it is used by travelers.

1897 August

Granville & Victoria Beach Railway & Development Co.

Annapolis County, Nova Scotia

These are days of much talk in railway circles, and there is no lack of schemes. The recent impetus given by the transpirings on the south coast of Nova Scotia has started the Granville project again. One of the promoters of this road, which is as yet only in the prospective, is quoted as saying that the prospects are growing brighter every day and that it is a sure thing. The expense will be only about $12,000 per mile $7,500 per kilometre and it is thought that this can be raised by subsidies and debenture. The chief hope of the scheme lies at the western terminus of the line. At Digby Gut nature has provided a magnificent harbour and the Furness and other lines of steam ships running between St. John and England would probably make this a port of call during the apple-shipping season, thus diverting a large amount of this business from all along the Granville country. A summer hotel at Victoria Beach is another probability. The scheme has a good sound and it is to be hoped that it may materialize, but it will likely be some time in the future.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 27 August 1897]

Go To:   Granville & Victoria Beach Railway & Development Co.

1897 August

Expansion of Digby Telephone System

The Digby telephone central is to be increased by several new instruments.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 13 August 1897]

New Telephones

Add to your local list:
              4   L.D. Morton, residence
             50   Feltus & Morton, store
             14   Oakes' Livery Stable
             43   Mrs. Merkel, residence
             48   Mr. Geo. Lynch, residence
and, in a few days, Fairweather Bros. store. C.W. Muise has ceased to have connection.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 20 August 1897]

Messrs. Fairweather Bros., the enterprising provision dealers, have had a telephone placed in their premises, No. 14. Short and Ellis, fish dealers, at their office at the Racquette, No. 21.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 8 October 1897]

1897 August

The Chronicle Installs Typesetting Machines

The Halifax Chronicle has put in an outfit of typesetting machines, and now presents a greatly improved appearance.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 6 August 1897]

It is believed this is the time The Chronicle made
the transition from hand-set to machine-set type.

1897 August

The Coast Railway Begins Operations

The Coast Railway has commenced a regular train service.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 13 August 1897]

The business on the Coast Railway is away beyond the expectations of the management.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 20 August 1897]

200 Passengers a Day

Work on the Coast Railway is progressing nicely. The road is already doing an immense business in natural local trade, which is supplemented by one or two excursions each week. On boat days the road sometimes handles as many as 200 passengers, and local freight is developing wonderfully. In fact, the business is beyond the expectations of the company. The "bargain excursion" feature is being well received by Yarmouth merchants. As yet the public are somewhat hampered in transfer arrangements at Yarmouth as the Coast Railway company have been unable to make amicable arrangements with the D.A.R.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 27 August 1897]

Coast Railway Plans to Build to Shelburne

The Yarmouth News says that the Coast Railway proposes completing their line to Shelburne early next year. They will then place a fast boat on between Shelburne and Halifax to connect at Shelburne with the train to and from Yarmouth.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 8 October 1897]

Go To:   History of the Coast Railway

1897 September

Electric Power for Bridgewater

An electric and water power company has been organized in Bridgewater for the purpose of lighting and watering the town. The company has a large capital and holds the control of several lakes near Bridgewater. Mr. F.W. Clarke, formerly manager of the Grand Hotel, Yarmouth, has been appointed general manager of the concern.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 24 September 1897]

1897 September 8

St. Peter's Frightful Experience

The Windsor barquentine St. Peter, Captain Skaling, outward bound from Bear River to Buenos Ayres before reported putting back to Halifax reached there late Saturday night [night of October 2-3, 1897] assisted into port by a tug. She is partially dismasted and gave evidence of having had a rough experience. Her captain reports that on the 8th of September, in latitude 38, longitude 38, the barquentine encountered a hurricane. The barometer dropped to 28. The vessel seemed to be right in the center of the storm. The St. Peter was hove down on her beam ends and remained in that position for nearly ten hours, during which time the crew were all lashed to various parts of the deck. It was a frightful experience and those on board hardly expected to come safely out of it. The deckload of lumber was all washed off and when the vessel righted it was with the loss of the jibboom and all head sails. All the water casks on deck were destroyed and since then the crew have had to use the water very sparingly. None of the crew were seriously injured by the storm.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 8 October 1897]

The barometer dropped to 28.

This means the barometric pressure dropped to 28 inches of mercury.
28.0 inches of mercury   =   94.9 kPa   =   949 millibars

The millibar is a unit of atmospheric or barometric pressure.
It is defined as 1,000 dynes per square centimetre.
The dyne is a now-obsolete unit of force.
One dyne   =   10-5 newton
Thus one millibar   =   10-1 kPa
Thus 100 kPa   =   1000 millibars

Normal atmospheric pressure in the Northern Hemisphere is
1013.25 millibars   =   101.325 kPa   =   29.92 inches of mercury
and seldom goes below
982 millibars   =   98.2 kPa   =   29.00 inches of mercury
but as a hurricane approaches, pressure can drop rapidly, as much as
33 millibars   =   3.3 kPa   =   0.97 inches of mercury
in an hour.

The lowest barometric pressure on record in the Northern Hemisphere is
888 millibars   =   88.8 kPa   =   26.2 inches of mercury
on September 13, 1988 in the Atlantic basin during Hurricane Gilbert.

Hurricane Categories (adopted in the 1990s):
Category 1:
    Barometric pressure of 980 millibars 28.94 inches or higher
    Winds 120 to 153 km/h 74 to 95 mph
    Storm surge 1.0 to 1.5 metres 4 to 5 feet
    Minimal damage.
Category 2:
    Pressure 979 to 965 millibars 28.93 to 28.50 inches
    Winds 154 to 177 km/h 96 to 110 mph
    Storm surge 1.5 to 2.5 metres 6 to 8 feet
    Damage extensive.
Category 3:
    Pressure 964 to 945 millibars 28.49 to 27.91 inches
    Winds 178 to 209 km/h 111 to 130 mph
    Storm surge 2.5 to 4.0 metres 9 to 12 feet
    Damage extreme.
Category 4:
    Pressure 944 to 920 millibars 27.90 to 27.17 inches
    Winds 210 to 250 km/h 131 to 155 mph
    Storm surge 4.0 to 5.5 metres 13 to 18 feet
    Damage extreme.
Category 5:
    Pressure less than 920 millibars 27.17 inches
    Winds greater than 250 km/h 155 mph
    Storm surge higher than 5.5 metres 18 feet
    Damage catastrophic.

Disaster Dictionary: millibar
Hurricane Categories
Handbook of Engineering Fundamentals, Ovid W. Eshbach, editor.
New York, John Wiley & Sons Inc., first edition, twelfth printing, 1947.

Conclusion:   The barquentine St. Peter encountered
a strong Category 3 hurricane, a very serious matter.

1897 October

Standard Oil Makes Better Lamp Oil

The lack of capital has hitherto not been the most serious obstacle to industrial development in Canada, but rather lack of enterprise. Old processes are used without the employment of continuous and systematic efforts looking toward the discovery of new. The difference between the illuminating oil produced by Canadian refiners, and the Standard Oil Company, from similar crude petroleum is a good illustration of the advantages resulting from continuous efforts at improvement. "Rule of thumb" is too often followed in Canadian refineries, while some of the expert chemists employed by the Standard Oil Company receive salaries of ten to twenty thousand dollars a year.
[Digby Weekly Courier, 1 October 1897]

The History of The Standard Oil Company by Ida M. Tarbell, 1904

The History of the Standard Oil Company: Ida M. Tarbell's exposee of Standard Oil

1897 October

Maitland Telephone Company Ceases Operation

The Maitland Telephone Company of Yarmouth Limited sold all its plant, equipment, lines, and rights of way, to the Nova Scotia Telephone Company, for $2200. The Maitland Tel. Co. abandoned its territory and ceased operations forever.

Go To:   History of the Maitland Telephone Company

1897 October 19

North Sydney Ferry
Begins Operation

100 Years of Service
SS Bruce to MV Caribou

(from the Marine Atlantic Mariner,
and the book Lifeline by Harry Bruce, 1977)

The Trans-Newfoundland Railway was not quite complete in 1897 when SS Bruce arrived in Newfoundland from shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland on October 13th. Almost immediately Bruce began sailing the 265 miles between the railhead at Placentia and North Sydney. At 2pm October 19th, she steamed into North Sydney on a warm, bright autumn afternoon. Passengers were mostly young Newfoundlanders, coming to work in the Cape Breton coal mines, who swelled Sydney's population from 3,000 to 10,000 within three years. Bruce was 237 feet 72m long, weighed 1155 tons, and was all steel. She was as elegant as she was seaworthy, with carved gilt curlicues, brass fittings, and a stack with a jaunty rake. During the ensuing winter, she won the name of "ice crusher" by plowing easily through the two-foot 60cm ice in North Sydney harbour. Her speed, accomodations, and power became a legend. At 10:45pm on the night of June 30th, 1898, a double-headed train arrived in Port-aux-Basques completing the inaugural 27-hour trip across the island from St. John's. About fifty passengers disembarked from the diner, coach, and two sleepers and in an hour were aboard Bruce enroute to North Sydney. Many passengers spent July 1st in Canada at the annual fair in Sydney, then returned to Newfoundland on Bruce that same night, arriving in St. John's in time for Sunday dinner. In the following thirteen years, Bruce completed over 2000 round trips, carrying about 350,000 passengers! She was lost near Louisbourg on March 24th, 1911, but with the loss of only two lives. Today [1997], the Cabot Strait is crossed by two giant ferries of over 15,000 tons, Caribou and Joseph and Clara Smallwood each capable of carrying 800 passengers by night or 1200 by day, at speeds up to 22 knots 40 km/h.
[Source: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2463/dec97.html#Page 2 ]
[SS Bruce: "SS" means Steam Ship. MV Caribou: "MV" means Motor Vessel]

1898 March 1

New Passenger Train Put Into Operation
Halifax to/from Montreal

On this day, The Maritime Express, the Intercolonial Railway's new Montreal - Halifax passenger train began regular service. This train remained in operation for many decades — Canadian National continued this service after the ICR became part of CNR. Known named passenger trains operated by CN or its predecessors to/from Nova Scotia are:
     Date of
    first run          

    1 Mar 1898    The Maritime Express   Montreal - Halifax
    3 Jul 1904    Ocean Limited          Montreal - Halifax
   26 Jun 1927    The Acadian            Montreal - Halifax
   28 Jun 1929    Down Easter            New York - Halifax
   28 Jun 1929    Pine Tree Acadian      Boston - Halifax
    2 Mar 1930    The Gull               Boston - Maritime Provinces
   16 Mar 1941    The Scotian            Montreal - Halifax
   14 Jul 1956    The Bluenose           Edmonton - Halifax
    1 Jun 1967    The Cabot              Montreal - Sydney
[Source: Canadian National in the East, Volume Three (book) by J. Norman Lowe, ISBN 0919487149, October 1985. Published by the Calgary Group of the British Railway Modellers of North America, 5124 33rd Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 1V4.]

The Maritime Express
by J.B. King

Members of the Scotian Railroad Society are to be commended on their choice of a name for the newsletter which will record their proceedings and the progress of their efforts to keep alive the legends and traditions of the old steam railways of the Atlantic Region. Nothing could be more typical of this part of Canada than The Maritime Express, the first name train to operate in Canada east of Montreal.

When the Intercolonial Railway opened for traffic between the Maritimes and Quebec on June 30 - July 2, 1876, the passenger train which was to become The Maritime operated over the ICR proper only from Moncton to Riviere du Loup, thence over Grand Trunk iron (rail) to the Quebec city ferry wharf at Levis.

Northbound passengers came up from Halifax on old No. 1 express of the original Halifax - Saint John main line to Moncton, where they were joined by Saint John passengers ex No. 2, and all transferred to the North Shore train. On the return trip the procedure was reversed.

Some years later when sleeping cars were introduced, they started on alternate days from Halifax and Saint John. That is, on a Halifax night the passengers from Saint John rode the day coaches to Moncton and there took up reservations on the sleeping car from Halifax. Next day, the Haligonians rode the day coaches and boarded the sleeper from Saint John at Moncton.

Just when the whole train began to run east of Moncton no one I have consulted seems to know, or when the Maritime Express officially replaced Halifax Express (eastbound) and Quebec Express (westbound). There is nothing about it in the federal papers I have examined, but a search of old newspapers and timetables might turn it up, and this would make a worthy assignment for our historically minded members.

I am not sure that the names were ever officially adopted by the road, but the eastbound train was popularly known as the Halifax Express and the westbound as the Quebec Express. In time these names also came to be applied loosely to Nos. 1 and 2 on the old main line, although only the sleeper actually ran through.

The locomotives were small eight wheelers and the passenger cars were of the open platform type, with link and pin couplers and "Armstrong" (hand) brakes. Closed vestibule cars were not provided until late in the 1890s, although air brakes had been installed in 1886. The train was a pioneer in the electric lighting of passenger cars. At first this was a clumsy system worked by storage batteries, which eventually gave way to pintsch gas lights, which in turn was superseded first by steam-driven dynamos on the locomotives, and later by individual car generators operated by belts from an axle...

The Maritime of necessity did much local work which greatly slowed her average speed, and in 1904 Hon. Henry R. Emmerson, of pious and immortal memory, supplemented her with a faster through summer train which a public voting contest named the Ocean Limited, and which eventually operated the year round...

Through the 1950s The Maritime Express slowly declined. After working in various combinations with other name trains, in the mid-1960s she finally wound up as she had started in 1872 — handling local traffic between Moncton and Montreal. In 1967 she vanished from the schedule.

The above is excerpted from The Maritime Express, volume 1 number 1, June 1968,
the first issue of this newsletter, published quarterly by the Scotian Railroad Society, Halifax.

"J.B. King" was the pseudonym of Mr. H.B. Jefferson (1893-1970),
a well-known writer on the history of railways in the Maritimes.
He wrote a series of 191 articles on railway history that ran in
the Halifax Chronicle-Herald from 1957 to 1961.

Go To:   History of the Intercolonial Railway

1898 March 24

First Automobile Sold in U.S.A.

On this day, mining engineer Robert Allison, a coal-equipment inventor and entrepreneur from Port Carbon, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, paid $1,000 for a two-cylinder automobile manufactured by the Winton Motor Carriage Company of Cleveland, Ohio. It was the first automobile sold in the United States.
National Post, 24 March 2000
Classic Cars of Schuylkill County

Famous But Forgotten: The Story of Alexander Winton, Automotive Pioneer

CNN Almanac (Cable News Network)

1898 July 4

Sinking of La Bourgogne

On July 4, 1898, in the Atlantic ocean, about 60 miles off Sable island, as the result of a collision between the British ship Cromartyshire and the French steamship La Bourgogne, bound from New York to Havre, La Bourgogne was hopelessly damaged, sank in a short time, and most of her passengers, her captain, other principal officers, and many of the crew, went down with the ship.

For about ten years, La Bourgogne had been in a regularly-scheduled service, completing one round trip between Le Harve, France, and New York every 28 days. La Bourgogne was built in 1885 for the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, commonly known as the French Line. 7,400 tons; 150.7 × 15.9 metres 494.4 × 52.2 feet (length × breadth); straight stem, 2 funnels, 4 masts; iron and steel construction, screw propulsion, service speed 17 knots; accommodation for 390 passengers in first class, 65 in second class, and 600 in steerage. Launched on 8 October 1885, she sailed on her maiden voyage from Havre to New York on 19 June 1886. In 1897-98 she was fitted with quadruple expansion engines and her masts reduced to two.

On 4 July 1898, La Bourgogne sank after colliding with the British ship Cromartyshire off Cape Sable. At the time, she was carrying 506 passengers and 220 crew of whom 546 were lost. . (Some accounts say 549 died, some say 571, and others 584.) The following is an account of the sinking, from Charles Hocking, Dictionary of Disasters at Sea During the Age of Steam; Including Sailing Ships and Ships of War Lost in Action, 1824-1962 (London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 1969), volume 1, pages 406-407. The liner La Bourgogne left New York on Saturday, July 2nd, 1898, bound for Havre with 711 persons aboard. Among the passengers was a party of Austrian seamen who had been shipwrecked sometime previously and were returning home, also a large number of Italians. When the vessel reached the Newfoundland Banks she ran into dense fog and this, coupled with faulty navigation, contrived to throw her 160 miles north of her proper course. Despite the fog the ship proceeded at an excessive speed throughout the night of the 3rd-4th July. At about 5 o'clock on the morning of July 4th, some 60 miles off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, La Bourgogne was in collision with the British ship Cromartyshire, 1,462 tons, Captain Henderson, from Dunkirk to Philadelphia with coal. The French vessel was struck on the starboard side abreast the engine room, which was immediately flooded. The heavy swell hastened the end of the ship, which disappeared below the waves only forty minutes after the collision.

Captain Deloncle and his officers were powerless to control the disorderly elements. The second officer particularly distinguished himself in providing for the safety of the passengers, while three Roman Catholic priests did their utmost to quell the panic. All four men went down with the vessel. The boats on the port side were the only ones fit for service, as the collision had smashed all those to starboard. A short, but fatal, delay in launching these was caused by the captain's decision to steam for Sable Island. It soon became obvious, however, that this was impossible and the port boats were lowered, several being swamped in the process. Many of the steerage passengers, mostly men, rushed the lifeboats with knives and revolvers. This only added to the confusion and terror that already gripped the passengers. With not enough lifeboats, many were launched overloaded and swamped, dumping their passengers into the sea. One lifeboat carrying mostly women and children was crushed by one of the ship's funnels as it collapsed. No lifebelts were distributed to the unfortunate people, so that those among them who could not swim were drowned immediately they fell into the water. The Cromartyshire, whose people were at first persuaded that their own ship would be the one to sink, carried only two or three boats. These proved of little assistance, as the way on La Bourgogne at the time of the collision carried her some distance beyond the British ship. The total number drowned was 546, maybe more, including Captain Deloncle and all his officers. The saved numbered 165, of whom 104 were crew and 61 passengers, there being only one woman survivor. The Cromartyshire picked up the survivors and transferred them later in the day to the Allan liner Grecian. This ship then took the sailing vessel in tow and brought her to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Cromartyshire had her bow cut off by the impact and her foremast and main top-gallant mast carried away.
Louis Alfano's extensive website on Immigrant Ships

Shipwrecks in the North Atlantic

Lost Liners

The story of La Bourgogne told by a survivor

U.S. Supreme Court, Deslions v. La Cmpagnie Generale Transatlantique

Disasters at Sea

Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway: An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New 2nd edition, Brookside Publications, Jersey, Channel Islands, vol. 2, 1978.

1898 November 27

The Great November 1898 Gale

Sinking of S.S. Portland

On this day, 91 people died when the sidewheel steam ship Portland sank in a severe gale off Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The same storm killed 400 other people in the Maritime Provinces.
[National Post, 27 November 2000]

About 3000 vessels lost during the same storm
between New Jersey and Nova Scotia

One of the best among the recent crop of local histories is Four Short Blasts — The Gale of 1898 and the Loss of the Steamer Portland, by Peter Dow Bachelder and Mason Philip Smith (127 pages; US$17.50 — The Provincial Press, 98 Chestnut Street, Portland, Maine 04101). Cleanly written with no wasted words, the book reports the mysterious disappearance of the state of the art steamer, Portland, in November of 1898. Since there were no survivors, sources are newspaper articles of the day and interviews with survivors of the gale in other craft ... Four Short Blasts is extremely well organized, covering the storm itself, the tragic foundering of Portland, the storm's effect ashore, the official investigation of the sinking and ongoing legends which exist to this day. Illustrations and photographs are plentiful and poignant. In addition to a helpful index and biblography the authors have provided appendices — lists of victims as well as vessels lost or damaged in the gale, an amazing 3000 or more schooners, yachts, steamers and barges between New Jersey and Nova Scotia. Bachelder and Smith do more than justice to one heck of a storm. They've produced a non-ficition page turner — as informative as it is entertaining.
March 1999, Book Review by Carol Standish

New England's Worst Maritime Disaster

It was a century ago — on Nov. 26, 1898 — that the ship departed for Portland, only to run into a monstrous blizzard that pounded and battered the steamship into history. The sinking of the Portland and the loss of the nearly 200 people on board is still considered New England's worst maritime disaster and remains the source of nagging mysteries. Why did Blanchard leave port? And when and where did the pummeling winds and towering waves finally send the Portland to the still ocean floor?

The storm buried much of New England in a crippling avalanche of snow, washed away coastal buildings and destroyed neighborhoods, sank or grounded hundreds of boats and ships and killed more than 400 people. Yet, because of the devastation caused by the loss of one ship, it is still known simply as the Portland Gale.

A century later, the legacy of the Portland is still passed along in artifacts and family stories of ancestors who perished with the steamer and those onshore who endured painful days of waiting for the ship that would never arrive...

It's clear the ship sank on Sunday, Nov. 27, either at around 9am or 9pm, because watches recovered with the bodies stopped between 9 and 10 o'clock. It's unknown, however, whether the ship capsized, broke apart, collided with one of the other lost ships, or exploded...
Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc., Sunday, November 22, 1998

Four Short Blasts Of A Distress Whistle Were Heard

On November 27, 1898, the sleek, 280-foot sidewheel steamer Portland vanished with more than 190 passengers and crew on a run from Boston to its namesake port. Intense speculation in the newspapers was followed a few days later by bits of wreckage and a score of bodies on the beaches of Cape Cod. But the final resting place of the great ship has never been definitely established.

In the hundred years that followed, Portland became the stuff of legend, with the why, how and where of it much debated. There were numerous articles, several diving expeditions and frequent discussion in the storm and shipwreck sagas of the late Edward Rowe Snow. In spite of much research, Snow was a soft historian who never produced a serious book on the Portland.

He did, however, inspire Maine authors Peter Dow Bachelder and Mason Philip Smith to produce a centennial account that is exciting, well-researched and handsomely presented.

Bringing order to the chaos of the disaster is no easy matter. Though not a scholarly book, there is ample documentation, a passenger list and a tally of other vessels lost. Bachelder and Smith follow the wake of the steamer through one of the greatest New England gales of all time. While never losing sight of the statistical and human dimensions, they tell a compelling and accurate tale.

The opening chapter describes the Great November 1898 gale complete with weather charts from the 26th and 27th. They delve into how news of the storm was transmitted and how the weather downed telegraph and telephone connections.

Chapter Two describes Portland, the state of coastal passenger service and the decision of Captain Hollis H. Blanchard to take his vessel out, and it charts the voyage to the point when "four short blasts" of a distress whistle were heard off Cape Cod.

The chapter traces the aftermath on the Cape Cod shore: "Undertakers in Provincetown, Wellfleet, Orleans and Chatham were temporarily overwhelmed by the sudden deluge of bodies, to say nothing of the widespread attention of newspaper reporters, the constant comings and goings of bereaved individuals searching for family members — and the just plain curious."

The bereaved were mostly Mainers looking for their loved ones. Though the Portland Steamship Co. kept no passenger list, the authors have cobbled a list that includes the names of 127 passengers and 65 crew members.

Perhaps the hardest group hit was Portland's African-American community. On Dec. 4, the Rev. Theobold Smyth of the Abyssinian Church conducted "a solemn liturgy in memory of 19" of his congregation, all of whom were in service on the vessel as stewards, stewardesses, saloon men, cooks and deck hands. Other African-Americans who were not church members were also lost, extending the chilling list to as many as 30.

It was a grim time for others, including Jes Jessen Schmidt, his wife and two children, just returned from a trip to Denmark, and fledgling artist Henry de Merritt Young, "en route to Portland for the first public exhibition of his paintings — watercolors which depicted the Massachusetts north shore and Maine coast." There were those who had not intended to sail but did and those who had tickets but changed their minds. There are details, as well as images of both travellers and crew spread throughout the text.

Chapters Three and Four detail the enormity of the storm on land and sea and provide a context for the steamers last, undocumented hours. Wind, rain and snow stopped trains and washed out tracks, and such places as Nantasket Beach were destroyed. In southern New England waters, 155 vessels were sunk or wrecked and an estimated 500 lives were lost.

The final chapters return to the sinking of the Portland, the legal hearing that cleared the company of liability and the efforts of Snow, diver Al George and the Historical Maritime Group of New England to find the wreck site.

"While some have produced evidence that partially lifts the veil of secrecy, the final story has yet to be told," the authors write. "With few exceptions, these specifics will forever remain a secret."

Book Review by William David Barry

William David Barry is a writer and historian who lives in Portland.

News of the Wreck Relayed Via France

On the evening of Saturday, November 26, 1898, New England was struck by the most destructive storm the region had ever experienced. The gale killed over 200 persons and wrecked or sank at least 140 major vessels. The best-known victim of the gale was the coastal steamer Portland, lost off Cape Cod with 191 people aboard. The steamer gave her name to the storm, and has since been memorialized in New England folklore and legend. This photo feature looks at the ships and events of that terrible storm, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the event.

The storm started quietly on the evening of the 26th of November, with a light but strengthening wind. Within hours it had grown to hurricane proportions and was creating havoc all along the coast. The winds raged all through the night of the 26th, all day on the 27th, and did not subside until the 28th, some 36 hours after the storm had started. Winds were clocked at up to 72 mph in Boston, and were probably even stronger along the coast southeast of Boston, especially on Cape Cod.

To call the damage widespread is a vast understatement. Houses were blown over and washed away all along the coast from Cape Cod to Portland, Maine. The coastline was littered with the wrecks and wreckage of dozens of vessels, large and small, smashed or sunk by the fierce winds and seas. In Provincetown harbor alone over 30 vessels were blown ashore or sunk. Damage along Boston's south shore and Cape Cod was probably the worst; telegraph lines were brought down, railways washed out, and even the low scrub trees of Cape Cod were blown away. In Scituate, a small coastal community 30 miles south of Boston, the coastline was permanently altered...

At 7:30 on the night of November 27th, more than 24 hours after Portland had sailed, a lifesaver on his regular beach patrol found one of the steamer's lifebelts washed up on the beach. Fifteen minutes later several forty-quart dairy cans were found in the surf. At 9:30 doors and woodwork from Portland were found. Around 11:00 the rising tide brought in massive quantities of wreckage, giving clear evidence that Portland had been lost.

It is said that this tragic news was communicated to the world via a bizarre relay — by telegraph across the trans-Atlantic cable to France, then to New York via another undersea cable, and from there on to Boston — for the telegraph lines between Cape Cod and Boston had been blown away by the storm...

The Portland Gale, November 26-27, 1898

An excellent photograph of the steamer Katahdin, a ship similar to Portland. The photo clearly shows the ship's side paddle wheels, and the now-forgotten prominent external appearance of the ship's massive beam engine, a then-common reciprocating steam engine design often used to power ships.

The Only Passenger List Travelled on the Ship

A 1,400 horsepower steam engine powered Portland. A walking beam turned side-wheel paddles port and starboard...

Somewhere between 160 and 180 people died on Portland. No one has ever known exactly because the only passenger list travelled on the steamer. No photocopiers in 1898.

Approximately 400 vessels went down in the storm. No one knows for sure. No satellite positioning in 1898.

The Portland Gale of 1898 forced changes in maritime law. Within a year, all passenger ships left a manifest of passengers on shore and screw propellers replaced paddlewheels on the ocean.

Blown Away, By Charles Matthewson, MPG Newspapers, November 25, 1998

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Blown Away, by Charles Matthewson
MPG Newspapers, 25 November 1998

Archived: 1999 October 22

Archived: 2000 May 10

Archived: 2000 October 21

Archived: 2001 April 18

Archived: 2001 August 04

Archived: 2002 February 11


Remembering the Portland Gale

Atlantic storms leave coast awash in history
Cape Cod Times, 27 November 1998

Disasters : Shipwrecks : 1854-1914

Notable shipwrecks

Some notable shipwreck disasters since 1884

Great marine disasters

Shipwrecks, 1866-1912


Commercial Cable Company's
Fourth Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable

In 1899, to meet ever-increasing traffic, the Commercial Cable Company laid its fourth submarine telegraph cable between Europe and North America. This cable was laid on a route different from its predecessors, from New York to Hazel Hill in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, thence to Horta in the Azores Islands, and from there to Waterville, Ireland. This route enabled the Company to establish a direct exchange at the Azores of traffic with the Eastern & Associated Telegraph Companies, and Eastern Extension Australasia & China Telegraph Company, in addition to carrying through traffic between North America and Ireland.

Commercial Cable Company's
Fourth Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable

1901 December 1

The Commercial Cable Company laid its fourth submarine cable between North America and Europe. The section between the Azores and Ireland was completed on 1 December 1901.
[100 Years Ago in The Globe and Mail, 1 December 2001]

Comment by ICS (3 December 2001): There seems to be some
conflict in the two items above, about the year — 1899 or 1901 —
in which this fourth cable was laid.  I'm looking for clarification.
My guess (and that's all it is) is that the cable was ordered in 1899
and it took two years for it to be manufactured and then put in place.
Two years for manufacturing and placement on the ocean floor seems
about right, and with a suitable rewording of the first item this
would straighten out the confusion in the dates.

1899 February

Incorporation of the Town of Bridgewater

The Town of Bridgewater, in Lunenburg County, was incorporated in February 1899.  One hundred years later, in February 1999, the local newspaper, the Bridgewater Bulletin, published a special anniversary feature, with numerous articles reviewing the town's history.  These special articles have been archived and are available for us to enjoy now.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The development of a town
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 July 14

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 7 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The great fire of 1899 leaves unprotected town in ruins
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2001 July 16

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Rising from the ashes
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2001 November 18

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The ocean was the highway
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2001 July 19

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Trivia teasers for local historians
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 November 22

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

Note: in this trivia article (above), this appears:
"In 1654, an order was given from France, to burn all the buildings, including the chapel
at LaHave.  The property then destroyed was valued at one hundred thousand francs.
In today's standards that is approximately $26,680 Canadian."

That's wildly wrong. Apparently the hundred thousand francs was converted to dollars at
the 1999 currency exchange rate, simply ignoring 350 years of change (inflation) in the
value of money. A much better estimate of the value of the property destroyed would be
more than two million dollars in today's money (and even that figure is probably too low).

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Bridgewater: The heart of the raging rail monster
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 August 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Many ships were built in the early 1900s
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 August 23

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 7 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Industrial prosperity began in Sebastopol
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 November 22

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Wile Carding Mill: The last remnants of Sebastopol
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 13

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Over a century of news reported in The Bulletin
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 December 21

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 7 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
From bucket brigade to fire department
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 April 22

Archived: 2001 July 14

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The Post Office - a community meeting place
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 March 06

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 6 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Success of Lumber King grew with Bridgewater
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 08

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 December 21

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
E. D. Davison and Sons nationally acclaimed
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 08

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 December 21

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Acadia Gas Engines Limited: The makings of a dream
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 11

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 July 16

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The man with the vision
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 2001 July 16

Archived: 2001 November 17

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Michelin still making milestones
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2001 August 22

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Years of books on the move
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 July 16

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The Valley of LaHave
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 09

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Bridges span town's history
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2001 August 22

Archived: 2001 November 18

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Racing put Bridgewater on the map
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 November 18

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Magic of Water Carnival lost in Bridgewater's modernization
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 09

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 August 22

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
A pretty town situated on a sensible kind of river
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 December 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The LaHave - the 'Rhine of Nova Scotia'
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2000 August 24

Archived: 2001 November 18

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Coughlan & Coughlan firm celebrates centennial
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 1999 November 04

Archived: 2001 August 23

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 7 March 2008.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
The life and times of MacKenzie Bus Line
100th Anniversary Special Feature
Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2001 January 12

Archived: 2001 November 18

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 7 March 2008.

1899 July 24

Only 550 Passengers

The Plant Line steamer La Grande Duchesse sailed this morning from Halifax for Charlottetown via Port Hawkesbury. The big liner was a little late in arriving yesterday owing to a short stoppage on the voyage, caused by a temporary derangement of the machinery. She brought 550 passengers, being some 200 or 300 less than on the previous trips ... Prominent among those who came down in the steamer were W.H. Hendee of New York, private secretary of R.G. Ervin, president of the Plant system ..."
[Halifax Daily Echo, 24 July 1899]

1899 August

Rush of Work at the Tar-Paper Factory

Working Night and Day to Fill the Orders

One Halifax manufacturing plant that is compelled to work overtime to keep up with its orders is the Carritte-Paterson Company's tar-paper works, which are situated on the Heat & Light Company's property at the North West Arm. This company has a contract with the Heat & Light Company for the supply of tar from the latter's works, but the supply, though amounting to 10,000 to 12,000 gallons 180,000 to 220,000 litres per month, is found to be insufficient, and from 1,000 to 2,000 barrels 500,000 to 1,000,000 litres of tar per year are imported from abroad. The company also has a contract with H. McC. Hart for raw felt paper, but the demand exceeds the supply, and quantities of this paper have to be imported from the Carritte-Paterson mill at Port Neuf, Quebec.

The capacity of the Halifax tar-paper factory is 24,000 pounds 11,000 kilograms per day, and at present, besides running full time during the day, the employees are working three nights per week. The market for the tarred roofing paper is in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E. Island, and Newfoundland, and the Carritte-Paterson works also handle extensively English and American pitch, which latter they also manufacture at times. The total capacity of the works for roofing paper, pitch, and bye-products amounts to about 5,000 tons 5,000 tonnes per year.

The Halifax works are under the management of A.P. Saunderson, who today described the roofing-paper process to an Echo reporter. He said: "We first make the composition for saturating the paper, taking the raw bye-product tar from the Heat & Light Company, distilling it at high temperature, and drawing off the naptha and creosote, which brings the stuff to a heavy consistency. Then it is heated to a temperature of about 130 centigrades 130° Celsius and next comes the single-ply saturation. The paper is put through the machinery, which makes the patent Star Brand three-ply roofing. It goes over three different spindles and through heated press rollers, and asphalt composition seals the three layers together. From there it is carried through the cooling water, and then goes over the drying belts to the winding end and is measured off into lengths, rolled, the ends white-washed, and labelled all ready to ship ... The naptha and creosote bye-products are shipped to the States."

Regarding pitch, Mr. Saunderson said that they manufacture it when they have time, but at present they are so rushed that none is being made. Asked to describe the method of manufacture, he said: "In the process of distillation of tar to pitch, the quantity we distill at a time is about 1,200 gallons 22,000 litres. This is heated first at a low temperature of 100 centigrades 100° Celsius until water and ammonia liquor are condensed. The water being distilled off, there is then no danger of boiling over, and the fire is raised and the temperature rises to 170, at which the naptha and light oils condense. After this state is reached it requires considerable raising of temperature to distill off the next oil, which is creosote, requiring about 270 degrees. The proportion of quantities distilled to make nice, soft pitch for roofing purposes is: Ammonia liquor 2%, naptha 4%, creosote 30%, and pitch or residue 64%. The time required for the distillation is about twelve hours."
[Halifax Daily Echo of 18 August 1899.]

1899 September 6

Copper Mines Sold

Messrs. Alexander and George McPherson, of Oxford, Cumberland County, who have been prospecting for ore during the past summer, have succeeded in finding two very excellent leads of copper, one near the town of Oxford and the other a few miles further down the River Philip. They have recently disposed of both to the Copper Crown Company, of Boston, Massachusetts, at a good price. Copper Crown is now building a smelter at Pictou, and expects to commence operations on two shafts at Oxford this week, and will also start a diamond drill in a few days. They will have, in a short time, six mines in operation in Cumberland and adjoining counties.
[Halifax Daily Echo, 6 September 1899]

1899 September 7

High Speed Chase

Captured Near Hantsport

The man who stole the horse and buggy from Inglis' livery stable was captured yesterday afternoon. Early in the morning Detective Power traced him at Mount Uniacke, and later on at Windsor. The constables at Windsor were telegraphed to apprehend the man and take charge of the turnout, but before they could do so he had started on the road to Hantsport. The Windsor police hired a team and went after him. An exciting chase then followed for several miles, in which the pursued and his pursuers drove at a terrible pace. The police changed horses and caught the runaway, who offered no resistance whatever. Detective Power left Halifax yesterday to bring the man and the team back to the city.

"Hard Chase" From Windsor to Wolfville,
Pursuing Officer Driving "at the Highest Speed",
Halifax Thief "Captured at Last"

Word was sent to Constable MacDonald at Windsor, telling him to apprehend a man who had stolen a horse and team from the owner in Halifax. MacDonald noticed the accused driving through the streets of Windsor and immediately secured a team and gave chase. The man had a good lead on the constable, which he kept until the officer secured another horse and team and started in pursuit once more. This time the chase was very exciting, with the officer and the man driving their horses at the highest speed. At last, when within three miles five kilometres of Wolfville, the "naval" officer was overtaken and hauled out of his team by the constable. In a scrimmage that followed the prisoner's coat was torn.

He was lodged in jail during the night and was taken to Halifax the next morning by Detective Power. The prisoner, "Captain Smith," was charged with clearing out with a horse and team belonging to Inglis Bros. At the police station, he stated to The Echo that he went for a drive with a young lady the afternoon he hired the team, and after leaving her at her residence met an American friend, who suggested that they take in the Kentville races. "Smith" drove as far as Bedford, and met his friend by appointment. The two then drove to Windsor, where they separated. He said he intended to return and pay for the hire of the team. "Smith" stated that the chase was a hard one, and that the constable never would have caught him if his horse was not fatigued by excessive driving...

[Two items in the Halifax Daily Echo, 8 September 1899]

1899 September 8

Shipment of Rails

The schooner Keewaydin arrived in Halifax from New York with a cargo of steel rails "for the Midland road."
[Halifax Daily Echo, 8 September 1899]

This was the Midland Railroad, then under construction, from
Truro through South Maitland, Kennetcook, and Stanley, to Windsor.

1899 September 9

Grindstones, Potatoes, Coke, and Fish

The steam ship Saltram, which arrived at Halifax yesterday morning from Annapolis, will sail for Havana Monday morning. Most of her cargo has already been loaded, but some other freight is being brought here by The City of Ghent. The Halifax portion of her cargo includes 3,000 drums of fish, a large quantity of potatoes, and a big consignment of grindstones, of which several shipments have recently been made to the Cuban capital. Saltram is also taking 300 tons 300 tonnes of coke, which was manufactured by the Peoples Heat and Light Company.
[Halifax Daily Echo, 9 September 1899]

The coke was manufactured in Halifax, at a plant located on the
shore of the Northwest Arm.  It was a byproduct of the process used
to manufacture gas, which was distributed through pipes laid under
the streets of Halifax, for lighting and heating.  This gas system
continued in operation in Halifax until the late 1940s.

1899 September 11

The First Automobile

"The first automobile ever seen in Nova Scotia, arrived on the Allan liner Siberian from Liverpool (England) this morning. It is a gasoline horseless carriage, owned by William Exshaw, son-in-law of Sir Sanford Fleming. It was built in France and has been run by Mr. Exshaw since the first of the year. The propelling motor is operated by gasoline. The automobile is boxed up, but Mr. Exshaw expects to be driving it around the streets in a few days."
[Quoted whole from the Halifax Daily Echo of 11 September 1899.]

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia

1899 September 12

Two Electric Railways Planned

Halifax to Bedford, to carry passengers
Halifax to Lunenburg, for passengers and freight

A plan to build a railway, to carry passengers in electric streetcars between Halifax and Bedford, along the west shore of the Bedford Basin, was actively pursued in 1899. The promoters expected it to be in operation in the summer of 1900, reported the Halifax Daily Echo on this day. "The promoters will devote all their attention to the Bedford tramway for the present. Their charter ... allows them to run cars into Almon Street, and it is understood the Halifax Tram company are willing to make a fair and equitable transfer arrangement ... The promoters of the company have reserved their option on the water power near Birch Cove, and hope to have the road in operation by next summer.

The idea is to run the line to the rifle range and to have near the terminus there a picnic ground with facilities for bathing, boating, acquatic sports and other amusements, with a building properly equipped for dining. The cars would run hourly during the summer season ... The promoters favour the line running along the eastern side of the Bedford road, between the road and the Intercolonial track, and would widen the road to twenty-six feet eight metres in places where at present it is not of that width. The streetcar track would be far enough from the ICR track so that snow thrown from either would not interfere with the other, though they would run parallel most of the distance."  The promoters thought this line "could be built inside of three months."

Also, "the promoters have the utmost faith" in the plan to build an electric railway from Halifax to St. Margaret's Bay, "and think if a line were built right to Lunenburg it would pay well, carrying freight and mail as well as passengers. They argue that the tourist traffic in the summer would be immense, as there are no prettier spots in the province than are to be found between Halifax and Lunenburg..."

[Neither of these electric rail lines was built, but the Halifax & Southwestern Railway built a steam railway from Halifax to Mahone Bay in 1903-04, which carried considerable passenger traffic into the 1940s, and carried the mail until the late 1950s, with freight service continuing into the 1990s.]

[Halifax Daily Echo, 12 September 1899]

1899 September 18

Excursion Tickets to Boston

The Plant Line will issue, commencing Sept. 18th, 1899, excursion tickets from Halifax to Boston, and return, good for thirty days, at $7.50, via steamships La Grande Duchesse and Halifax.
[Halifax Daily Echo, 14 September 1899]

Go To:   History of Telegraph and Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia

Go To:   Nova Scotia History, Chapter One

Go To:   Nova Scotia in the War of 1812

Go To:   Nova Scotia Historical Biographies

Go To:   Proclamations: Land Grants in Nova Scotia 1757, '58, '59

Go To:   Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805, edited by Richard John Uniacke

Go To:   Home Page

Valid HTML 4.01 webpage

W3C HTML Validation Service

Valid CSS webpage

W3C CSS Validation Service

Moved to new hosting company:   2011 February 02
Latest update:   2011 November 24