One of Halifax’s oldest buildings has been located in the Old North End since 1755. The Little Dutch Church has sat at the corner of Brunswick Street and Gerrish Street for 258. However in 1896 it was very much in the news.
One of the things I hope to highlight through this blog is the type of records that are available to researchers in doing family, genealogical and urban history. One set of records which are particularly useful are Church Records as they give you a snap shot of what the people who lived in a certain area were like.
One group of records which is available online to genealogists, and interested researchers, are the entire set of ledgers covering baptisms, marriages, and deaths from Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on Brunswick Street.
The birth place of a Prime Minister or national leader in most countries is marked by a preserved house, a plaque stating the significance of the site, etc. In Halifax these things usually go unnoticed.
One such place that goes relatively unnoticed today is Prince William street a short side street that runs between Gottingen street and Maitland street in the Old North End. Once in the middle of the busy shopping and business district it now stands empty and abandoned – the soon to be home of a new condo development.
In an earlier post we looked at an incident of infanticide that took place in Halifax’s North End in the 1890s. The act of infanticide seems to have been an issue for much of the 19th Century. Another such incident took place on Brunswick street outside of the Wesleyan Church.
As the article below, snipped from the pages of the 29 January 1853 Acadian Recorder, shows the shock of finding a deceased infant outside was palatable to the editors of the paper – however what appears to be more of an issue is the level of indifference to the incident on the part of the police and the city’s coroner.
A search through the city’s coroner records might provide us with more examples of this type of incident. Given that Halifax is today often referred to as a violent city – where gun crime, drunken brawls and so on are prominent in the news – its interesting to see the last paragraph of this article
In a heathen or savage community such indifference to the prompt execution of duty on the part of public officers might be excusable; but in a christian city it is shocking.
Though the acts described in the article are rare today the sentiment of the newspaper’s editors to the acts themselves ring very familiar.
A scan of the pages of the Acadian Recorder for the first 6 months of 1853 turns up three more cases of infanticide in Halifax.
2 April 1853 - body of a healthy looking newly born male child was discovered in the sluice leading from the Pong into the Horticultural Garden. It had evidently floated through from the Pond.
16 April 1853 - The body of a male child was found on the Commons, packed in a small raisin box. It had apparently been there for some time.
4 June 1853 - The body of an infant was found exposed in the enclosure of the Poor House Old Burying Ground.
The corner at this point felt the need to make comment in his report about the number of cases of infanticide:
“The Jurors also call the attention of the Citizens of Halifax to the exposure of the body of another infant; and earnestly urge upon them the necessity of reporting to the Authorities, any party of parties implicated of committing or conniving at an act of depravity so repugnant to law and the best feelings of our nature, that some clue may be obtained to discover the unnatural perpetrators of a crime which has become so frequent as to demand the most serious consideration and vigilance of the community to suppress.”
Infill houses are very popular right now in large cities like Vancouver where garages and former out buildings that fronted lane ways are now being converted into small one bedroom apartments. Density is the key.
Halifax has a long history of infill development and this was especially popular in Halifax’s old north end. A look at old photos and fire insurance maps confirms these “hidden” homes of the Old North End. Continue reading
I had the privilege of being invited to appear on Global Maritimes’ new morning television show “Morning News” to talk with host Crystal Garrett about the history of the new Global Television studio which you can see in more detail in the post I made on the North Baptist Church below
Clayton & Sons – Clothing Factory, Barrington Street
One of the largest manufacturers of clothing in Canada for much of the late 19th and half of the 20th century was Clayton & Sons on the corner of Barrington and Jacob streets. The large modern textile factory was the home to over a five hundred employees at the height of its success.
The company is interesting from the perspective of it being run for most of its history by women as the Clayton & Sons refers to Mary E. Clayton and her sons William and Edward.
From time to time I will post photos or interesting facts about people and things that happened outside of the “Old North End”. Today’s post is to celebrate the wonderful photos of Arthur F. Pelton (1863-1944) a contractor and architect who was responsible for the construction of many prominent buildings, specifically churches, throughout Halifax at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries. All the photos below are from Arthur’s album.
On December 3rd I was invited to speak with Stephanie Domet (@StephanieDomet) the host of CBC’s afternoon show Mainstreet. They found this blog to be an interesting look at the history and life of the North End so asked me to come and speak about it. In case you didn’t hear the interview here is the LINK.
I would like to thank Spacing Atlantic, CBC and Stephanie for taking the time to work with me on this blog and for having me on the show to talk about it. Thank you as well to everyone who has come to visit the blog and learn a little bit more about our city!
As mentioned many times before Brunswick Street was one of the most religious streets in Halifax due to the fact that it had 6 churches located along its short three blocks between Cogswell and North streets. One of those churches was St. John’s Presbyterian Church and today being the 95th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion its very appropriate to look at the building of St. John’s Presbyterian church which was destroyed in that massive disaster.