Berwick Register, August 21st, 1935

Wind Ships Of Nova Scotia

Those who love a long fine curve in the hull of a boat would have delighted in the wind ships of Nova Scotia, which gave this province wide fame. During the years from 1840 to 1886 the romantic industry of wooden shipbuilding was at its height in Nova Scotia, and the Bluenose vessels were renowned for their buoyancy, a quality which at that time was often lacking in ships built elsewhere. The Nova Scotian ship-building industry began at Yarmouth in 1761 with the construction of a small schooner of twenty-five tons and developed up to 1884 at that port and around the entire southwestern portion of the province. At the height of the shipbuilding era, 3,025 vessels, with a tonnage of 558,911, were registered in Nova Scotia - 1 1/4 tons of shipping per capita of the population, a larger holding than any other country in the world. Those splendid wooden ships, of great tonnage for the times, were constructed by local workmen in villages far removed from great cities.

The wooden fleet of Nova Scotia, manned by iron men, sailed on every ocean. Active and resourceful seamen were bred on the farms and trained in the ships. The tank of the sea permeates Nova Scotia, and from the sea the Bluenose breed have learned the largeness of vision, the freedom of thought and the spirit of adventurous daring that is so much a part of a maritime country. While the era of wooden ships has passed, the shipbuilders of Nova Scotia have not lost their cunning. The "Bluenose", queen of the Atlantic fishing fleet and the fastest fishing schooner in the world, was built in 1921 at Lunenburg. Finely constructed and appointed yachts and schooners are also being built at Shelburne and Mahone Bay.


Berwick Register, August 21, 1935

Centennial of Historic Covenanter Church At Grafton

Impressive Service Conducted by Rev. Robert Park, D. D., Who Gave an Interesting Historical Sketch of the Church and Its Founders.

The little Covenanter Church at Grafton was well filled Sabbath afternoon with survivors of old Covenanter families and friends when a service was held to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of this congregation.

Rev. Robert Park, D. D., professor at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pa., who has had charge of this congregation for the summer months for several years, conducted the service, and Rev. David Price brought greetings from the Berwick United Baptist Church. Other pastors who had been invited to take part in the service were unable to attend.

Dr. Park gave a short historical sketch which disclosed some interesting facts. This Cornwallis Congregation of the reformed Presbyterian Church of North America which received its name from the Township of Cornwallis, was organized in May, 1835, two years after the organization of the congregation of Horton or Grand Pre. Cornwallis has the unique distinction of having had only two pastors in the past century, whose pastorates extended over a period of ninety-three years. The first pastor, Dr. William Sommerville, had been pastor at Grand Pre for two years when he was called to become the pastor at Cornwallis also. From that time until his death in 1878 Dr. Sommerville preached in this church. Rev. W. J. Sproul was then given a unanimous call but he declined. In 1880, the second pastor, Dr. Thomas McFall was called and in 1881 was ordained and installed pastor. He continued pastor until his death in 1929. Both these ministers began and ended their ministry in this field of labor. Both were born in Ireland. Dr. Sommerville completed his education at Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, and Dr. McFall at Westminster, and Geneva College, of West Pennsylvania. Dr. Sommerville received his theological training in the Seminary of Paisley, Scotland, and Dr. McFall in the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary of Allegheny, now Pittsburgh, Pa. This congregation, Dr. Park pointed out, has had the fruit of the training of the schools of Ireland, Scotland and the United States. These two men, he affirmed, of fine minds and great hearts, had a mighty influence for good – Dr. Sommerville, aggressive and evangelical; Dr. McFall, steadfast and kind. The speaker quoted a tribute paid to Dr. Sommerville at the time of his death: "The chief excellence of his character and work as a missionary and pastor lay in his fervent love to Christ and his earnest desire to gather souls, not to swell a party, but as jewels for the Master’s crown." Dr. McFall, the speaker stated, ministered not only to those of his own faith but to those of any, or no faith, a ministry of love, and was held in the very highest esteem by all.

By questioning, Dr. Park learned that three of the congregation present were baptized by Dr. Sommerville and fourteen by dr. McFall, and one present was received in the church by the former, and nineteen by the latter pastor.

From the earliest records that he could locate, Dr. Park learned that in 1858 the session was composed of Solomon Woodworth, George Parker, John White and Hugh Newcombe. In 1802, Gordon A. Calkin was elected and in 1809 Edward Holmes Morton and Samuel White. The last session was composed of James Hird, Thomas Lawson, John Newcombe, Elihu Morton, Andrew Morton and Nelson Morton. Of these, three survive, Elihu Morton being an elder in an American congregation, and Nelson Morton and Andrew Morton composing the present session.

Rev. David Price, an aged Baptist minister, who had known both Dr. Sommerville and dr. McFall, brought greetings from the Berwick Baptist Church and paid a tribute to the fine Christian character of these men and the high standard of their work in the community. He said some things are indestructible. These men have passed on to their reward, but the truth they preached is indestructible and they live in the lives of men and women whom they brought to Christ. In his closing prayer, Dr. Price returned thanks for men like Dr. Sommerville and Dr. McFall who preached the truth in love.

Dr. Park preached a strong sermon on the Resurrection, from the text, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto the gospel which I preached unto you." We must accept the indisputable fact of the resurrection of Christ, he stated. If there be no resurrection then, (I) we have an empty gospel; (2) we are false witness of God; (3) our gospel has no power to save from sin; (4) we are eternally lost. If Christ was not raised from the dead, then lives like those of Dr. Sommerville and Dr. McFall are valueless, he said.

Two granddaughters of the late Dr. Sommerville were present at the service; Mrs. A. S. Banks, Waterville and Mrs. Perry Borden, Berwick. Representatives from other Covenanter families for miles around were also present despite the very intense and unusual heat and the service was greatly enjoyed.


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