Saturday, 3 May 2014

Past and Present Street Names

The blog is only just up and running and I'm starting to get requests for historical topics. Since I was already planning to cover it, I will start with 'street names' and go from there.
My great grand uncle, John Patrick Martin, was the town historian for Dartmouth in the mid twentieth century. He was the author of The Story of Dartmouth, the Dartmouth history bible. It is my go-to source for anything connected to the history of our great city. Although potentially thought of as a dusty old man (he once got locked in the Registry of Deeds vault because he was lost in a fascinating, obscure document well past closing time),  John Martin was a brilliant, relentless  researcher and a historic visionary. He spent years talking to 'old timers' (considering he became an 'old timer' himself, this resulted in the gathering of a wealth of otherwise lost information) and always considered future generations when writing about Dartmouth's history (this particular point ties in to the overall theme of the blog entry). Realizing that researchers could find it difficult in figuring out street name changes over the years, John Martin made an extensive list of old and new names that he mined from a variety of sources (especially old maps and plans of the town). For the benefits of my readers, I have summarized his list which can be found in the appendix of The Story of Dartmouth. Current streets will be in bold type and old street names will be italicized :

Albert Street: Evergreen Street. Evergreen House, the current home of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, is situated at the end of Albert Street, on Newcastle.

Banook Avenue: Winter Road and Lake Street. Banook Avenue leads directly to Banook Canoe Club, the oldest canoe club on Lake Banook. It was founded in 1903.

Bolton Terrace: Paul Street. The Paul family has a long Dartmouth history. Their ancestors summered on the shores of Lake Banook. A prehistoric campsite was located at the end of Bolton Terrace.

Crichton Avenue (entire length): Ochterloney Street and, before that, Gates' Road and Colored Meeting House Road.

Crichton Avenue
Dundas Street: Fifth Street, Sherbrooke Street and Wallace Street. The block from Queen to   Ochterloney Street, according to Martin, was Hawsey Lane.

Dundas Street (facing south) from Ochterloney Street
Edward Street (from Queen Street to Park Avenue): Prince Edward Street. John Martin also notes that the block between Ochterloney and Queen was referred to as Chapel Lane.
Edward Street (facing north) from Ochterloney Street
Erskine Street curved northeasterly into part of Summit St.

Hawthorne (should be Hawthorn) Street (from Prince Albert Road to Crichton Avenue): Tony Street and Beresford Avenue. Tony Street is named for a Mi'kmaq family.

Hawthorne Street between Crichton Avenue and Prince Albert Road.
Jamieson Street: Mill Street.

King Street: King William Street.
"King William Street is on a plan of the Tremain property 1831. It extends from Canal St., to Maitland St., and is midway between Portland St., and the old bathing beach fronting the Molasses Factory. (The whole area was later ‘the Hamilton fields.')"

Lyle Street: Howe Street. Joseph Howe, father of responsible government in Nova Scotia, built his home Fairfield near Lyle Street. Dartmouth, in the mid 1800s, was considered the 'country' to the Halifax 'city.' Maitland Street: Cove Street (named for Dartmouth Cove).

Maynard Street: Pipe House Road.

McKay Street: Charles Street.

Ochterloney Street: “the road from Skerry’s Inn”.

Ochterloney Street (facing east)
Park Avenue: Stairs Street.

Pleasant Street, from Prince Albert Road to Burton’s Hill (today's Five Corners): Bishop Street.

Pleasant Street (Burton’s Hill southeasterly): Eastern Passage Road.

Pleasant Street (Old Ferry Road to the Nova Scotia Hospital gate): Asylum Road. "The road from the Lower Ferry wharf, now part of Newcastle Street extension, to Pleasant Street: Eastern Passage Road."

Portland Street (from Burton’s Hill northeasterly): Cole Harbor Road and Mulgrave Street.  

Portland Street (from Canal Street to Burton’s Hill): Eastern Passage Road.

Portland  Street: Front Street, Princess Charlotte Street and Hartshorne Street.

Prince Albert Road: Canal Street, Truro Road, Preston Road and Portland Street.
Quoting from the appendix on pages 537 and 538 of my copy of The Story of Dartmouth: "Lawrence Hartshorne’s subdivision plans of Cottage Hill (Silver’s Hill), contained Hartshorne Street, running east from Prince Albert Road. Parallel with Hartshorne Street near Carter’s corner was Lorne Street, or Lawrence Street. About the present Sinclair Street  extension was Myrtle Avenue and east of that was Chebucto Avenue".

Sullivan's Pond from Prince Albert Road
Prince Street: Prince Edward Street.

Queen Street: Quarrell Street.

Queen Street from Edward Street
Shore Road: Upper Water Street.

St. George’s Lane: Mott’s Lane, and Cross Lane.

Victoria Road (from Portland to Ochterloney): East Street, Warren’s Lane and Wilson’s Lane.

Victoria Road (from Park Avenue to Albro Lake): Common Road and Wilson Street and near Woodland Avenue it was Kenny Road. Wentworth Street: Fourth Street, Tremain Street and Fitzwilliam Street. (Lord Fitzwilliam was a member of the Wentworth family.)

Windmill Road: Basin Road and Windsor Road. Woodland Avenue: Gillard’s Road.

Wyse Road: Ropeworks Road. 


Notes by John Martin (Story of Dartmouth) on Dartmouth place names:

The name "Burnside" comes from the rural estate of Duncan Waddell whose farmhouse stood about 100 yards west of the underpass on the south side of the road opposite the Western Plumbing Co.
Tufts' Cove is named for Gersham Tufts page 71.
Wallis Heights is named for Admiral Provo Wallis, described on p. 118.
Port Wallace is named for Hon. Michael Wallace, Canal President p. 144 (Please don't spell it Port Wallis.)
Westphal is named after two brothers of that name who became Admirals in the British Navy, page 19, also see Index.
The name Preston is explained on page 92. There are two claimants to the title. See Mrs. Lawson's History page 171.
Montague is named for Colonel George Montagu whose property described on page 292 extended to the present mining village. (There is a Montagu Road in Point Pleasant Park named for a cousin of Colonel George Montagu).
Waverly was the name of the estate of Charles P. Allen who was a great admirer of Sir Walter Scott's novels. The house used to be called Palmer Lodge but is now named Full Circle.
The name Woodlawn was first applied to the cemetery of that place, according to Mrs. Lawson's History. Ebenezer Allen owned the land and laid out a burial place for the dead in the late 1700s.
The name Woodside is explained on page 12. The building is 428 Pleasant Street. It was still standing in 1965.


  1. Hello David, I recently returned from a short research trip to Dartmouth. Your great grand uncle John Patrick Martin's book, The Story of Dartmouth, was so very helpful. On page 320 and 321, he describes a shipwreck in 1848. My great-grandfather was a survivor of that shipwreck, though he lost his mother, a sister and three brothers. J.P. Martin believed they were buried in Geary Street cemetery, and last summer I went there for a visit. On page 321 of his book, there is a picture, that is causing me some confusion and I hope you can help. I think the picture was taken from upper Portland Street looking toward the water. Is the flat roofed building in the right forefront, what is known today as the Stern building across from the public library? When I was there, I noticed "1848" high on the building face. I am also trying to positively identify the hospital building where my relative surely were treated.

  2. Hello. I wonder if you know of the former location of the "Oakwood Trailer Court." ('Former', as I can't find it and believe it no longer exists.) We lived there from approximately 1955 to 1961. I understand that it was (from the Rural Preliminary List of Electors of 1957) in the area "... commencing at Southern Boundary of Woodside South and to comprise both sides of Eastern Passage road and roads leading thereto and as far as Hynes [sic] Road." From what I remember, it was on the opposite side of the road to Shearwater Base, on the waterfront, and somewhat south of there. From what I see on this page, I find that (as I suspected) Eastern Passage Road is the former name of Pleasant Street. The Voters' List shows our location as "Shearwater," although some of our known trailer neighbours show "Oakwood Trailer Court."
    Hoping you can help me,