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Here you will find useful information on the communities that make up our home of East Hants. This material is of public record, so feel free to use it at your leisure especially if working on a school project or the like. The only thing we here at www.easthants.com/ Kimnat Internet Services ask is that your material is properly cited as coming from our site.
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Enfield
The history of European settlement of Enfield, covers a period of over 175 years.
Grants of land around what is now Enfield, were given after 1760. The first was given to Benjamin Franklin, a parcel of land on the side of the Shubenacadie River opposite the main part of the present village. A Mr. Hall was hired by Franklin to take charge of the grant, and to operate a Wayside Inn.
The Grand Lake East area was the location of another grant, 1100 acres that was given to a man by the name of Uniacke. Several men, of the name McDonell, now own this land. Another grant of land was given to Jacob Horne Sr., a German who enlisted in the 42nd Highland Regiment. Horne; being familiar with the coast of Nova Scotia, accompanied General Wolfe as a pilot, fighting under him at Quebec in 1759.
Jacob's son, Andrew Horne was the first settler in Enfield district, clearing a farm in the wilderness near the lock at Horne Settlement.
Enfield became a village comparatively late in the history of Nova Scotia, it does not appear in any early census of the province. Early people living in the area were probably listed under Nine Mile River, Douglas or 'The Crossing'.
It is recorded that Enfield was named at a public meeting, called at Malcolm's Pottery in 1862. Thomas Donaldson, suggested the name after his hometown Enfield, in the Connecticut River Valley. It was previously known as 'The Crossing'.
The population of Enfield increased due to the work on the Shubenacadie Canal and the Railway to Truro.
The first school was built at Horne Settlement, and serviced young and old alike. Among some of the schoolteachers was Miss Hansen who came out of the state of Maine, with others who were interested in investing in the Shubenacadie Canal. Later a school was built at Enfield and the school in Horne Settlement was done away with.
Elmsdale
Like Enfield, Elmsdale owes it early settlement and growth to the canal and railroad. Before the demand for workers brought in new families, there were only scattered, lonely farms along the river. William Read was granted 200 acres of land in 1785 at the confluence of the Wokomeak (Nine Mile River) and the Shubenacadie. In the same year Phillip Fisher, of the Hussein Regiment of Col. DeSeitz, received a grant of land halfway between Elmsdale and Enfield.
Except for a slight relationship with the 84th Highlanders, little more is known of William Read. Phillip Fisher on the other hand has remained in history. By the 1820's his son's had homes from the Ox Bow on the river near Elmsdale for a mile or so along what was called for decades "The Fisher Road". Four son's rest today in a neglected grove behind a modern lumber mill on Hwy #2., while the last descendant of Phillip, Albert Fisher, who died in 1913, is buried in Elmsdale Cemetery.
Later families to the Elmsdale district were Logans, Frasers, and MacDonalds. Logan settled across the Shubenacadie River while the Fraser and MacDonald families at first were joint occupants of the Tremain "Brick House". (Charles Tremain, a brick maker built a fine brick home near the Shubenacadie River; this property was named "Elmsdale Farm" in an indenture made in 1818.)
Alexander Fraser built the first house in the village proper in 1852. Still standing about a 100 yards from the railway crossing; the home features a glassed in porch across its Cape Cod exterior. Over the next 6 or so years, more buildings appeared including a hotel, and a boarding house.
Brick makers (Robert L. Miller), potters, tanners (Daniel, John McDonald), leatherworkers (Alexander Dunbar, Alexander Gilbert, James Rae, Daniel Duncan McKenzie), shoemakers (James Stirling), carriage and sleigh builders (John Cameron Fisher and John Fisher of 'Fisher & Son'), blacksmith, railway hands, carpenters and clerks all found employment on the two mile stretch between Enfield and Elmsdale. Not to mention those who worked in the woods, on the farms, and always, the housewives who cleaned, churned, cooked, wove, spun, quilted, hooked, bore and raised children.
In 1895 after Mr. Robert L. Miller retired from his brickyard, he gave the drying yard to the young people of the village for use as a tennis court for over 30 years!
Until the line was extended the Nova Scotia Railway ran between Truro Crossing (now Lantz) and Halifax. Since the former had no roundhouse the train had an engine at each end, nicknamed "Joe Howe" and "Grasshopper". Saloons were located near the railway stations to "benefit the traveling public" to the frustration and despair of the members of the growing Sons Of Temperance Movement.
The road from Nine Mile River (Wokomeak) met the Enfield road near Elmsdale railway station, then continued over the tracks for about a half a mile, crossed the wooden bridge over the Shubenacadie River to join the Post Road running from Halifax to Truro. This T formation was changed in 1932 when a new highway, parallel to the railway, was laid from Elmsdale to Lantz. This spoiled Elmsdale's favorite picnic spot, "Putty Point". Here the course of the river was diverted. Traces of the original riverbed can be seen curving from the railway bridge around the site of the Canadian Legion Hall on the other side of the road.
Lantz
Three brothers named Lantz moved from Queens County to Milford shortly after 1890. They established a lumber mill near the railroad and built both a siding and a brickyard. The area in which they settled was given the name Lantz Siding in 1902.
The Miller brothers bought the brickyard soon after and renamed it Elmsdale brick. In 1908, the brickyard was again sold, but to N.S. Clay Workers this time. The new owners built a 175-foot chimney and 2 weeks after it was built, it fell down into the steam boiler. It took a year to rebuild the chimney; during this time the plant was not in operation.
In 1930 L.E. Shaw bought the Brick Co., upon purchase he had 100 feet of the 175-foot chimney removed- this chimney remains standing to this day. At first, the Brick Co. operated during the six summer months only and employed about 30-40 people. Today is operated all year round and employs a much larger number.
The L.E. Shaw Brick Company has obviously exerted a strong influence in this community, for not only are many homes built from L.E. Shaw bricks, but also a brick rink was built in 1948. Some of the other services available to people living in Lantz are:
1945- first brick Elementary school in Nova Scotia
1957- Christ Church of England
1967- L.E. Shaw Memorial Swimming Pool
1972- Sewer and Water installed
It might be interesting to note that Lantz expanded into 3 subdivisions in the decade from 1965- 1975.
Milford
From 1785-1858 this area of Hants County was known as Shubenacadie in the township of Douglas. Later in 1858 the Nova Scotia Railroad went through and the community was given the name of Wickwire Station, honoring the Wickwire family. After 12 years in 1870, a meeting, to have the name changed, was held in the old Drill shed. (A drill shed was built in Milford in 1862-63. It was here that the young men of the area trained to fight against the participants in the Fenian Raids.) After discussion, John Wardrop suggested the name 'Milford'. The community felt this was an appropriate name, seeing that a lumber mill was erected near the fording place on the river. The new name was accepted and remains to this day. The word "Station" added to the name Milford was suggested by Mr. Edgar Scott. However, since 1914, the Post Office has been called Milford Station; this name came to prevent confusion in the postal system. There are other Milford communities in other locations in Nova Scotia.
Farming and lumbering were among the first industries in this community. The first steam mill on the Shubenacadie River, owned and operated by Amos Woodworth, was located to the left of the present bridge.
The original Milford Bridge was located approx. 3/4 of a mile from the present bridge towards the Wardope property. Remnants of the old bridge can still be seen when the water is low.
Shubenacadie
The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia are a branch of the Algonquin tribes. The early French kept these local place names for us and spelled, pronounced them according to the French system. So the SEGUBUNAKADE of the Mi'kmaq became to the Acadians CHIGABENAKADY; then SHEBENACCADIE and later SHUBENACADIE. Although the name SHIPOUDIE was also used at one time.
The Mi'kmaq SEBUNAKADIE means, "abounding in ground nuts" or "place where the red potato grows"; and refers to the prized, edible root which was plentiful along the banks of the river.
The first European building erected in Shubenacadie was probably the Mass House, which was set on the land now belonging to Herman Jurlink. Joseph De LaLoutre, who came from France as missionary to the Mi’kmaq in 1740, built the original French church here. The church was dedicated to Ste. Anne and is located not far from the bank of the Shubenacadie River and about half a mile from the centre of the village.
An interesting note; in 1755, a year before the expulsion, the French and Mi'kmaq rallied against the English killing 30 of them in an attempt to save the church. Later on around 1770 the English Government in Halifax was trying to win back the favour of the Mi'kmaq, and built a new church on the old site. This church is mentioned in documents as existing late as 1830.
The French had a settlement here before the English; five years after their expulsion the British came. There were three brothers named Ellis, who were from Londonderry, Ireland. Thomas Ellis settled on the right bank of the river on the back road leading from Miller's brickyard to Stewiacke. Another brother Henry settled in Upper Stewiacke, while the third James settled on the left bank of the river where the Mass House stood. This was in 1760. Shortly after this and in early 1800 other settlers moved in; particularly after the American Revolution, a number of United Empire Loyalists arrived receiving various grants of land in or near Shubenacadie. Some of these were - James and Peter Etter, Lt. Col. Frederick Hamilton, Joseph Moore, Thomas Andrews, Robert, Alexander, and Donald MacDonald, Jacob and David Withrow, James and Thomas Parker, Paul Woodworth, John and Richard Cunningham, John and William Wallace, William, James and Alex Nelson, Andrew Belcher, John Anislie, Rev. William King, John McPhee, Henry Leck, Napier Christie and many others.
Shubenacadie had the same pattern of settlement, with farms along the river owned by emigrants from the North of Ireland or New England. Moores, Woodworths, Ellises, Nelsons, and Williams, who were content to till the land in comparative isolation until a focal point drew the community together. This arose with the building of a covered bridge across the Shubenacadie River in 1841 and the opening of the post road. Then with the coming of the Nova Scotia Railway and the building of a station, Shubenacadie became a village instead of "The District of Shubenacadie".
Shubenacadie had a daily mail service. Besides the aforementioned industries a tannery and carriage shop provided work for many inhabitants while five shoe makers and a tailor helped keep them clothed and shod. Shubenacadie had two hotels, The International Hotel run by James M. Nelson, and The Union Hotel, the proprietor Archibald Nelson. Charles Boggs, John Lynch and J.A. Gass had general stores, whilst Andrew Kirkpatrick was postmaster as well as storekeeper. The Rev. James McLean was the Presbyterian Minister, Duncan McLean, M.D. the village doctor. For those of the Wesleyan persuasion the R.E. Crane served their spiritual need; while the Rev. Father Peter Danaher, of St. Benard's parish at Enfield ministered to the Roman Catholics. No saloonkeepers are listed in the N.S. directory so we can assume that here the Sons Of Temperance tilled more fertile ground than at Enfield or Elmsdale.
Gore
Disbanded soldiers of the 84th Regiment began settlement in the Gore area about 1785. In the laying out of land grants for Kennetcook and for the Douglas Township, there was a triangular piece of land, located about four miles south- east of the Kennetcook River in the central part of Nova Scotia. This land was referred to as 'The Gore'. The name Gore has two possible derivations- one source says that Gore was named after Sir Charles Stephen Gore (Deputy Quartermaster General in Canada during the rebellion of 1837.); a second source suggests that Mrs. Catherine Gore (a cousin to the wife of Sir John Wentworth, former Governor of Nova Scotia) may have had some connection with the name of the Gore section of Hants County.
Early Church services at Gore were held in a barn, however several churches were built in the 1800's.
William MacKay was one of the early teachers in 1837. A schoolhouse was begun in West Gore in 1865 and a school was completed in East Gore in 1872.
Postal Way Offices were in operation at Gore in the year’s 1832- 42, and onwards from 1848. At West Gore a Way Office was established in 1861.
The old courthouse, standing on 'Judgment Hill' for 90 years, was destroyed by fire on July 22, 1956. It had served as the courthouse at East Hants; but its rather isolated position caused it to be abandoned.
Antimony mines at West Gore began operations about 1884 under the supervision of the Dominion Antimony Mines Ltd. This operation lasted until 1917; Antimony was shipped to Wales where it was used to strengthen lead. Farming was and still is another basic industry of the area.
Maitland
The earliest dwellers in Maitland were the Mi'kmaq. Rivers and Bays being their main highways, they naturally had an encampment at the mouth of the largest river in the peninsula. They gave this area the name "TwitNoock" (due-weed-om-nook); meaning ' the tide runs out fast '. The river they called the "Saa-Gaa-Bun-Akady", that is ' the place where the Saagaabun or Miccuac potatoe grows'.
France was the first foreign nation to colonize the land; they called it Acadia. The Acadians settled here into a quiet farming life on the fertile lands around, planting fruit trees and building dykes. Some of these dykes can still be seen today.
The first settler in the surroundings of Maitland after the expulsion of the Acadians was John Ranes (later called Rines) from Mass. His first house was on this side of the foundry site, built over an old French cellar. Later he built another house opposite the 'spring'.
January 30th, 1771 was the date of the first grant in the middle of the present village. This belonged to New Englanders, Wm. Putnam and his stepfather Luke Upham. This grant included land from the Mr. Pressley place to the Salter Grant and was divided between the Putnam's Caleb and William.
The Whiddens came from Truro in 1795 to engage in shipbuilding. William Frieze of Providence, Rhode Island was married to Abigail, Mr. David Whidden's daughter. Disbanded soldiers from the American Revolution settled areas close to Maitland.
In 1831 there were eleven houses in the village, four of which were licensed taverns.
Without a doubt, history remembers Maitland for its shipbuilding era. From 1843- 1893, ships were built and sent all over the world to carry on trade. The most famous of these was the W.D. Lawrence; built in 1874, and weighing in at 2459 tons. The largest ship of its kind ever built, laid out on the grass to be built, the keel of the ship measured two hundred, forty-four feet and nine inches long!
The builder of the great ship William Lawrence died on December 8th, 1886 after seeing the world upon his vessel. Soon after his death the shipbuilding industry died as well.
Noel
Douglas Township comprised the communities of Noel, Selma, Maitland and surrounding districts. The first pastor of that Township was Rev. Thomas S. Crowe, born in Scotland in 1786, and the founder of the Crowe families on this shore.
Noel, facing on the Cobequid Bay still shows signs of its Acadian origin. Here a few old French willows still stand, and the outlines of the dykes, which the English and Scottish settlers never could maintain as efficiently as the French; are plainly visible along the marches.
The earliest of the French settlers, so the old legend runs, landed at that spot, after a stormy passage, on Christmas day. The forest reached almost down to the tide line. Its protection was welcome after their arrival on dry land, and so they named the spot Noel, the French word for Christmas; to this day the name is used.
Some recognizable names to the Noel area include Anthony (the first Anthony came to Pictou on the Hector, and then to Selma. The Anthony property has since been donated to the Provincial government, and in 1966 it was converted to a provincial park.), and McKeil (who came first to Pictou with the United Empire Loyalists.). Other early names were MacAskill, O'Neill, Dalrymple, Faulkner (a blacksmith), and McKenzie.
The first school in the settlement was a small one-room building. In 1876, with the expanding population, a new two-room school was built, which continued in use until Hants schools consolidated in 1962. After that the children traveled to Maitland
Rawdon
Rawdon is located along the upper courses of the Herbert and Meander Rivers in central Nova Scotia. It takes its name from Rawdon Township; which was set up in 1784 and named in honour of Lord Rawdon, a British military officer during the American Revolutionary War. John Bond was one of the principal early settlers, when he arrived on the land in 1788; he cleared fifty acres and erected two consecutive gristmills. The original settlers were mostly veterans of the American War of Independence.
A schoolhouse was built in the middle district before November 1812. Dubois Smith was hired to teach in the south district in November 1814.
Postal Way Offices were established at Rawdon in 1832, Upper Rawdon in 1848, and at South Rawdon in 1855.
Gold was mined at Rawdon Gold Mines in the late 19th century. A public hall/ meetinghouse was built inn 1886. In June of 1888 the entire settlement of East Rawdon Gold Mines, consisting of thirty buildings was destroyed by fire. Mining operations ceased in 1898.
Tenecape
(In researching for this community, little was found from our main source of information, here is a summary of what we did find however.)
The name Tenecape, contrary to popular belief, is not credited to be of Mi'Kmaq origin. Older residents there say it came from the fact that there were ten capes or points of land jutting out into the water, and that early settlers referred to it as "Tencapes". This in Minas Shore dialect became "Tenecape".
The East Walton people attended church in Tenecape, and their dead are buried in Tenecape Cemetery.
Early schoolhouses once stood in both villages. But with the consolidation of schools along the shore, these buildings were closed and put to other uses.
The people living along this section go to Walton for groceries. East Walton and Tenecape are strictly farming communities and no stores are operated there even today.
The Stephens family developed Tenecape lumber mills, well known around Hants County. William (Billy) Stephens started the business and his son Willie carried it on. William F. Stephens had two sons, Colin and Harold; who eventually inherited the business. Harold operated the mill while Colin did the woods work.
Kennetcook
Kennetcook lies halfway between the source of the Kennetcook river and the tidal water. This village is situated on the old trail from the Acadian village in Noel to Halifax. Kennetcook is derived from an Indian name, KUNNEYKOOK, meaning "The Place Ahead" or "The Place Close at Hand".
The first settlers were disbanded members of the 84th of Foot Royal Highland Regiment, they did not stay in great numbers however. The slow settlement of the area was due to the areas isolation and that the ex-soldiers storehouse was located in Stanley, miles down river.
Some of the family names who were among the first to stay in Kennetcook include: Barron, Ettinger, McCulloch.
Early industry included farming, lumber, and dairy.
Kennetcook was once considered the capital of East Hants whereas the Municipal Council at one time held its annual sessions here during the third week of January in Anthony's Hall. As well, Kennetcook was connected to the larger centre by train service to Windsor and Truro and by bus service via the shore to Truro.
In 1919, a branch office of the Bank of Nova Scotia was opened. The bank originally used rooms in the Kennetcook Hotel with one teller and a manager.
The Chronicle Herald of October 22, 1958 had an article on the first "Folk School" in the province. This school was an experiment in residential adult education held in Kennetcook in 1948. The purpose of the school was to bring groups of men and women together to gain a better view of the possibilities of life in rural Nova Scotia.
Not only was the folk school idea applied to rural people, but also Mi’kmaq of the Maritime Provinces had a folk school held in Kennetcook in 1958. This native folk school was the first of its kind in Canada. Its purpose was to help the Mi’kmaq to find their own social leaders. The school, grew out of courses designed to help develop social leaders among the Indian population. The intention was to develop leadership qualities and to make the students aware of the needs existing in their community. There were more than 36 students elected from 21 Mi’kmaq communities throughout the Maritimes.

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