Digby County Trivia


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Did you know that:

Enoch Towner - a New Light preacher challenged the authority of the Established Church in 1800 and married Jacob Cornwell and Sarah Titus. He was chased out of town (Digby), pelted with eggs and fish gurry---it is reported that he stopped at the top of town hill, shook the dust off his feet and cursed the town for 100 years.

Southville, then named Duck Pond, was founded in 1827 by Gilbert Cossett. Other early settlers were William Graham, David Sabean and Charles Greene.

Corberrie was founded by Mathurin McCullough in the spring of 1829.

The founders of New Edinburgh were conveyed to their new home by the ship Woodcock, owned by Samuel Goldsburgh

On old charts Digby Gut is shown as St. George's Channel.

Freeport was originally called Long Island... it was renamed in 1865

The first Masonic Lodge in Digby was established on Sept 29, 1784, only one year after the settlement was founded.

The first agricultural exhibition was held in Bear River in 1873

Digby was named in honour of Robert Digby, a British admiral, who commanded the convoy "Atlanta" which brought 1500 Loyalist refugees from New England in 1783. Among the Loyalists settling in Digby was John Edison from Newark, New Jersey. He brought his family with him and remained until 1810. In April 1799, he was appointed a director of the town marsh, and in 1808 assessor. In 1804 a grandson, Samuel, was born in Digby, who, in 1847, at Milan, Ohio, became the father of Thomas Alva Edison, the famous inventor. One of the features of the town is the old "Admiral's Well," dug at that time, on the Cannon Banks at the

head of the pier where the ferry used to dock on her daily trips
from St. John, N. B.

A lobster weighing 9.5 lbs was caught by Clarence Webber of Freeport in Feb 1901. It sold for the outrageous price of $1.40 (for the whole thing... not per pound)

The Western Counties Railway was incorporated April 18,1870. Work began in 1874 and the line from Yarmouth to Digby was completed in 1808.

In 1864 there were 45 large sawmills in Digby County as well as many smaller ones. Some of the earlier ones were erected by Solomon Bunnell & Samuel Goldsbury on the Sissiboo River and by Col Taylor & John Journeay on Indian Creek in 1784. Col Moody & Capt John Cosman erected one on Cosman's Creek in 1790. Enough lumber was being sawn in the St Marys Bay area to support an export trade with the West Indies by the 1790's. Lumber was bought from mill owners at $5.00 per thousand board feet and sold in the West Indies at $50.00 per thousand.

The first attempt to ship live lobster to Boston was made in 1872. Fishermen in Digby County received 4 cents a pound for lobster in 1887.

The Fundy tides are among the highest in the world- rising 18-25 feet each day.

The first school buildings in Digby County were erected in 1789 at Digby and Westport. Prior to that instruction was in the homes of private individuals and the teacher travelled from home to home.

Bear River is known as "the Switzerland of Nova Scotia".

Smith's Cove was settled in 1759 by people from the New York area named Potter, Smith, Sulis and Odelle. One of the earliest settlers was Joseph Potter Jr (1763). In 1783 Mr. Potter exchanged land grants with a Loyalist named Joseph Smith from whom the community derived it's name.

The name Sissiboo is, according to legend, derived from a French Acadian who exclaimed quot;six-hoboux" (six owls). It was later translated into English as Sissiboo.

The first Post Office along Saint Mary's Bay opened at New Edinburgh on November 14, 1784 when Thomas Bannister was commissioned Post Master by the Government of Great Brittain. It closed in 1797.

Little River was settled in 1784 by Loyalists. Among them were Addington, Tidd, Denton & Gidney.

Saint Peter's Church of England (present day Weymouth North) was erected in 1790 on land donated by Col. James Moody

The first lighthouse in Digby County was constructed on Brier Island at a cost of
700. It was completed in 1808.

Among the first settlers in the area of the Sissiboo River were the Stricklands from Weymouth, Mass. It is believed that they are responsible for the naming of Weymouth.

Tiverton was first called Petite Passage. It was settled in 1785 and renamed in 1842,

The population of Digby county in 1771 was 100 persons by 1881 it had grown to almost 17,000.

Daniel Roy operated a "fulling mill" on Broad Cove Road before 1799.

Digby Town was settled in 1783 by United Empire Loyalists led by British Admiral Sir Robert Digby aboard the vessel HMS Atlanta. The town was first called Conway but was later renamed in honor of the Admiral.

Trinity Anglican Church (Queen St, Digby) was built in 1785. The church was designed by Stephen C. Earle, the noted New England architect. It is the only church in Canada to be built by shipwrights and it's design is similar to an upside-down wooden ship. Rev Roger Viets was the first Rector, arriving in Digby in 1786. In 1994 Trinity Church was designated a Historic Property by Parks Canada.


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