Thursday, September 25, 1902
Old Time Records
There has been placed on our table by Dr. S. M. Weeks, of Brooklyn, a copy of an Almanac for the year 1800. The old pamphlet is in good condition having been cared for by its original owner, George Creed, Esq., of H. M. Ordnance, and by those who have handled it subsequently. It bears the imprint of John Howe, and was sold at his Printing Office in George Street, near the Parade, Halifax. There are thirty-two pages of matter, which contain the usual announcements of Legal Holidays, Directions to Farmers and Gardeners, Monthly Calendars, which are embellished with sonnets or stanzas applicable to the several months, Army and Navy Lists, Lists of Justices of the Peace and other matters of provincial interest.
Mr. Creed has interleaved the almanac and made on the inserted pages several notes. He tells us that 30th Jan. there was "a severe frost and cold the whole day" and "the month ended with a very fine day and sunny thaw." On June 2nd he began to build again the Chimnies of R. M. A. Barracks but does not tell us what had happened to the originals. He notes on Sept. 4th the sailing of H. M. Ship Assistance with H. R. H., the Duke of Kent. His other memoranda are taken up with the forwarding by several ships of originals and duplicates of his monthly returns, many despatches for the Duke being sent by the ship Isabella on Dec. 30th.
The fleet was under the command of George Vandeport, Esq., Admiral of the Blue, and was composed of the Asia, 64 guns; St. Albans, 54 guns; Cleopatra, 32 guns; Boston, 32 guns; Andromache, 32 guns; Hind, 28 guns; Porcupine, 24 guns; Pheasant, 16 guns; Termagant, 18 guns; Fly, 16 guns; Swan, 14 guns, and Lilly, 14 guns. The troops were under the command of H. R. H. the Duke of Kent, and consisted of Royal Artillery one Company, the 7th Regiment (Royal Fusiliers); 24th Regiment, 66th Regiment (Berkshire), and the Royal Nova Scotia Regiment.
Dr. Weeks; grandfather was a member of the 7th Regiment. His name appears in the Almanac. Sir John Wentworth was Governor of the Province and commander of the Militia. He had as his council Honorables Sampson Salter Blowers Chief Justice; Richard Bulkeley, Henry Newton, Alexander Brymes, Isaac Deschamps, Thomas Cochran, Charles Morris, John Haliburton, Henry Duncan, James Delaney, Benning Wentworth and James Brenton. The Hon. I. Deschamps was also Judge of Probate for Hants County.
There are many family names now in the county which appear on the list of Justices of the Peace in 1800. Jeremiah Northup, of Newport, whose descendants are still in that section; Constant Church whose name remains in Falmouth; John Chambers, also of Newport; Joshua Sanford, of Kennetcook the name is now legion; in Windsor Benjamin DeWolfe, Andrew Shaw, Shubael Dimock, William Smith, Isaac OBrien, Nathaniel Rickards have still remaining many called by their several patronymics.
A pocket sailed regularly between Windsor and Parrsboro twice every week, always from Parrsboro, every Monday in the summer season. We learn "the passage money for each person is five shillings, and the freights for horses and neat cattle is seven shillings and six pence per head. The vessel is forty two tons burthen, and hath good accommodation for passengers." Think of it ye travellers of today who grumble at the comforts of first class coaches and the speed of A 1 steamships.
To be delayed in these days for a few minutes is counted an imposition. What would it be to be cooped up in the diminutive not over clean cabin of a forty ton hooker, smelling foully of bilgewater, becalmed over night in the Basin of Minas? The writer of the present lines remembers just such an experience less than fifty years ago on the same route.
The times we write of were days of the stage coach in its rather primitive form. The distance between Halifax and Annapolis was divided and the division accentuated as follows: -
From Halifax to Fort Sackville,
Maddockss, 10 miles
To Weomans Farm 5 "
" Springfield 2"
" Eglington 3"
" Pences Farm 4 ½"
" Morriss 5"
" Montague House 6"
" Margaret Place 2"
" Windsor 6 ½"
" The Ferry House, Falmouth 2"
" Halfway Railway 5"
" Bishops Farm 7"
" Fowlers 3"
" Pecks 6 ½"
" Inglis Farm 41/2"
" Marshalls Farm, Steadmans 5"
" Aylesford Township Boundary 6"
" Bowens Farm, Buskirks 6"
" Clermont (the Bishop of Nova Scotias Seat) 1"
" Dodgers farm 71/2"
"Leonards Farm 101/2"
"Hicks Ferry 6"
" Annapolis Ferry 15"
Total miles 133
Few will now recognize the points named in this itinerary. Windsor, Falmouth and Halfway River remain. Aylesford Township boundary and Annapolis Ferry may be identified. We can find Clermont. Hicks Ferry may be remembered by some. The farms may or may not continue to be known by the names of the then owners, but the whole country has undergone great changes in the century. Places have changed in name and lands in ownership, so that a cyclist taking this old time document as a guide book would be muddled, discouraged and lost. The names given and of "Houses of Entertainment on the Road." We have in our possession sundry other old almanacs of various years, and may in the future refer to some of them. The records will be interesting to many of our readers Hants Journal.