Saturday, 3 May 2014

Dartmouth History... Why Care?

Today, in the spring of 2014, as the Halifax Regional Municipality rebrands itself, the former city of Dartmouth must reaffirm its proud identity and heritage. Dartmouth, the City of Lakes, is one of the oldest communities in Nova Scotia, which, being on the Atlantic coast, makes us one of the oldest in the country. We were founded by the British in the same year, 1749, as Halifax. Edward Cornwallis, the controversial colonial solider and administrator, ordered Major Ezekiel Gilman (he earned his rank by devising a unique method for transporting artillery - inspired by his career in the New Hampshire lumber industry - through the swamps of Louisbourg in the first siege of that fortress by New England soldiers) to establish a sawmill and fortified house at the river on side of the harbor opposite from Halifax. Since then, Dartmouth has grown to become a large part of this province in many, many ways. Dartmouth is a diverse, historic, beautiful, athletic and friendly community. Through continued expansion and transformation, we face the risk of forgetting, ignoring or even destroying our history. When I see an old building wantonly torn down or a giant hole dug in the middle of Downtown Dartmouth, I cringe at the lack of historically-minded planning. If we take the time to discuss, record and preserve our heritage, it can be saved for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

Beautiful Sullivan's Pond in the heart of Dartmouth
This blog is intended to serve as the go-to space on the Internet for learning about Dartmouth's vibrant and extensive history. Whether you are a student from Hawthorn School working on your grade four Dartmouth history project or an armchair historian trying to figure out where the old sawmill used to be, this blog is for you. If you are an HRM staffer swamped with inquiries about an historic property, this blog is for you. If you are a professional archaeologist/historian/curator looking to hire a hard-working, enthusiastic recent graduate (hint), this blog is definitely for you!

I will blend my background knowledge (gained from years of being curious and hanging around family historians) with the tricks of the trade learned at school. This blog is not designed to be a Dartmouth (or Prince Andrew) High reunion page or a "I want my sidewalk repaired" site.
Dartmouth History Blog is a treasure-trove of historical tidbits concerning this wonderful city. I also fully desire to use this forum to advocate for the promotion and protection of our past (above and under ground, being an archaeologist). If we don't act now, it will be a lot harder to look at old things through a sea of condo buildings. Additionally, please be patient while I adapt to this whole blogging thing! Thank you for coming here and be sure to enjoy our history!

1 comment:

  1. Its still Dartmouth and the branding is just a logo and its still the Halifax Regional Municipality and cannot do it without a full public hearing and provincial approval .Its really the people who accepting this branding or dogma as what I call it . People should remain to say they are from Dartmouth ,Bedford and etc and get caught up in this branding . What we should be doing is making sure that HRM is not favouring Halifax over other communities . That way we are protecting what we care for is our community something a current resident of Dartmouth does not do -the current mayor of HRM