Friday, 30 May 2014

Why is it called that? Street Name Origins

In an earlier post (http://historydartmouth.blogspot.com/2014/05/street-names.html), I listed historic street name changes in Dartmouth. Now, I am expanding upon that previous entry by attempting to explore the origins of current Dartmouth street names. John Martin offers a great deal of helpful information on this general topic and starts out by saying: "Up to the end of the 18th century, only a few of Dartmouth streets had names. On property descriptions of that time, Wentworth Street and Dundas are marked 'Fourth' and 'Fifth' Streets respectively, as if they were numbered easterly from the harbor"(100). "As Portland Street fronted the Cove, it was called Front St. Commercial Street was 'Rockingham Street', a name chosen perhaps by Sir John Wentworth to honor England's late Prime Minister Lord Rockingham, whose family was closely related to the Wentworths. So were the Fitz-William families" (101). John Wentworth, Governor of Nova Scotia (and, before the American Revolution, New Hampshire) has already been mentioned in this blog as previous owner of the corner cannon found at Portland Street and Alderney Drive in downtown Dartmouth. He had an estate in the Preston area and has a connection to the African Nova Scotian Colley family of East Preston. Page 537 of The Story of Dartmouth serves as an excellent starting point for research into Dartmouth Street names and be sure that I relied upon it heavily for this post. Please be patient while I get through the large number of street names and please let me know of any suggestions/corrections/questions. I have italicized old street names that have been replaced by the current ones.

Sullivan's Pond (showing Crichton Avenue, Hawthorne Street, Prince Albert Road and Ochterloney Street). Photo taken by David Jones on May 28, 2014.

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Official Halifax Regional Municipality Street Names: https://www.halifax.ca/civicaddress/documents/HRMstreetlist.pdf

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Albert Street: Evergreen Street. Evergreen House is the current home of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum and  is situated at the end of Albert Street, on Newcastle Street. Albert Street was created to serve as path to what is now Newcastle Street. This addition created "Five Corners."

ALBERT STREET INFO UPDATED JULY 10, 2014
From pages 24-25, Story of Dartmouth:
West of the Hazelhurst railway trestle, the line fence meets the first of the estates "across the Canal." This is "Evergreen" at 26 Newcastle Street, built with 20 Rooms on the 19th century property of Judge Alexander James. On the point of land jutting into the Mill Cove was James' wharf. His boat-house, seen in old photos, stood on the present location of the landing stage of the Town Construction Material, Limited. A much earlier chart has this place marked as being Synott's wharf and limekilm. Tons of broken stone under the thin layer of grassy surface on the point bear evidence of the presence of stonecutters.
There used to be a thick stand of spruce trees on that high bank of glacial clay which is now being gradually carted away. This grove must have extended all around the plateau fronting Newcastle Street. Judge James' daughter, Mrs. Saidie Morrison now in Vancouver, informs me that when her father moved into their new house in June 1867, he had a rough coach-road cut through the Evergreen woods to Burton's Hill. Thus we have authentic information of the beginnings of Albert Street. Mrs. Morrison was later born at Evergreen.
Front entrance of Evergreen House (operated by the Dartmouth Heritage Museum). Photo: David Jones, July 9, 2014.

Corner of Albert Street (originally a private driveway) and Newcastle Street taken from the Dartmouth Heritage Museum's Evergreen House.
Photo Credit: David Jones, July 9, 2014.

Alderney Drive: Named after the ship Alderney which carried Dartmouth's first large wave of immigrants in 1750.
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. I think Banook Canoe Club is the main reason that Banook Avenue is no longer called Lake Street.

Blink Bonnie Terrace: According to pages 18 and 19 of The Story of Dartmouth, Blink Bonnie Terrace is named for 'Blink Bonnie' (Beautiful View) house which was on the site of today's #7 Blink Bonnie Terrace. Blink Bonnie (named by David Redmond) was a house built  by John P. Esdaile in 1870. Blink Bonnie was called, for a time, 'Mount Pleasant' by the family of Judge Benjamin Russell.

Blink Bonnie Terrace Information Updated July 10, 2014.


Backyards of Blink Bonnie Terrace. Photo Credit: David Jones, June 5, 2014.

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 is named after the Crichton family but I need to find out why there is a Creighton spelling and  a Crichton spelling... Update: I have found the answer on page 117 of The Story of Dartmouth: "A son born in 1810 in James Creighton's home at former Fort Grenadier, Jacob St., Halifax, to James Crichton, R.N. and Mary Creighton, must have so pleased the latter's father that he deeded 200 acres of Dartmouth land, described on page 94, in trust for this grandchild. Hence Crichton Avenue. Old Mr. Creighton died in 1813 in his 81st year. He had been associated with Dartmouth over 40 years."
UPDATE (JUNE 27, 2014):
"In 1894 the first street signs were put up, and certain changes made in street names. The southern section of Prince Edward Street was changed to Prince Street, and the northern part changed to Edward Street. Colored Meeting Road was changed to Crichton Avenue. The present Prince Albert Road, hitherto called Portland Street, was changed to Canal Street and then ran from the shore to the Town limits. Portland Street was lined up as at present. Bishop Street, which extended from the Starr Factory to Burton's Hill, was incorporated into Pleasant Street" (Story of Dartmouth: 452-453).


Dundas Street: Fifth Street, Sherbrooke Street and Wallace Street (1830s). The block from Queen to  Ochterloney Street, according to Martin, was Hawsey Lane.

Eaton Avenue: Page 131 of The Story of Dartmouth states that "Daniel Eaton announced in 1818 that he had taken over  the Dartmouth brick kilns where he would in future be able to supply white and brown burnt lime at short notice." On the 1878 Hopkins map of Dartmouth, the land around today's Eaton Avenue is owned by B. H. Eaton but a street was not yet built. http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/maps/archives.asp?ID=54.

Edward Street (from Queen Street to Park Avenue): Prince Edward Street. This is why we now have an Edward Street and a Prince Street... John Martin also notes that the block between Ochterloney and Queen was referred to as Chapel Lane.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 2014):
"In 1894 the first street signs were put up, and certain changes made in street names. The southern section of Prince Edward Street was changed to Prince Street, and the northern part changed to Edward Street. Colored Meeting Road was changed to Crichton Avenue. The present Prince Albert Road, hitherto called Portland Street, was changed to Canal Street and then ran from the shore to the Town limits. Portland Street was lined up as at present. Bishop Street, which extended from the Starr Factory to Burton's Hill, was incorporated into Pleasant Street" (Story of Dartmouth: 452-453).


Erskine Street curved northeasterly into part of Summit St.

Green Street: Named (I infer) after Benjamin Green who was granted 10 acres at the point of Dartmouth Cove. Benjamin Green's entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:
http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/green_benjamin_4E.html

George Street: John Street.

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. HAWTHORN was the maiden name of the wife of a  prominent Dartmouthian (Judge Alexander James, who built Evergreen House). My grandmother told me that the Hawthorne tree in my old backyard on Elliot Street was planted by the Hawthorn family.


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.')"

King Street is named after King William IV (Queen Victoria's uncle) who reigned from 1830 to 1837. King Street, as mentioned previously was named King William Street at one time. This King William was the same Prince of Wales who commanded in Halifax.

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.'  Lyle Street is named for the Lyle shipyards.

Maitland Street: Cove Street (named for Dartmouth Cove). I think Maitland Street is named for Maitland, Nova Scotia which is on the other end of the Shubenacadie Canal.

Maynard Street: Pipe House Road.

McKay Street: Charles Street.

North Street marked the northern boundary of the original town plot.

Ochterloney Street:
the road from Skerry’s Inn." The Skerry referred to here was John Skerry, proprietor of the ferry.
John Skerry entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:
http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/skerry_john_7E.html.
John Martin on Ochterloney Street:
 "The Maroons, deported from the island of Jamaica, arrived in this port in the summer of 1796. For a time they were employed by the Duke of Kent on the Citadel fortifications at  Halifax. Later, most of the band were settled at Preston where their superintendents Colonel William D. Quarrell and Alexander Ochterloney bought some 5,000 acres of land with funds furnished by the Government of Jamaica. More was purchased on the Windsor Road near Sackville. In addition, Colonel Quarrell secured several properties in the town-plot of Dartmouth"(Story of Dartmouth, 99). "The names of Ochterloney and Quarrell were commemorated by streets in downtown Dartmouth"(Story of Dartmouth, 100).


Park Avenue: Stairs Street. Park Avenue, as far as I can tell, is named for the Dartmouth Commons.

Parker Street: Named for the Hon. Daniel McNeill Parker, MD. He is my Great Great Great Grandfather and was the first doctor in Canada to administer an anesthetic (other than alcohol) to a patient.  He'll be the subject of an upcoming blog post! Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online entry on Dr. Parker: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/parker_daniel_mcneill_13E.html.

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

UPDATE (June 27, 2014):
"In 1894 the first street signs were put up, and certain changes made in street names. The southern section of Prince Edward Street was changed to Prince Street, and the northern part changed to Edward Street. Colored Meeting Road was changed to Crichton Avenue. The present Prince Albert Road, hitherto called Portland Street, was changed to Canal Street and then ran from the shore to the Town limits. Portland Street was lined up as at present. Bishop Street, which extended from the Starr Factory to Burton's Hill, was incorporated into Pleasant Street" (Story of Dartmouth: 452-453).

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.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 2014):
"In 1894 the first street signs were put up, and certain changes made in street names. The southern section of Prince Edward Street was changed to Prince Street, and the northern part changed to Edward Street. Colored Meeting Road was changed to Crichton Avenue. The present Prince Albert Road, hitherto called Portland Street, was changed to Canal Street and then ran from the shore to the Town limits. Portland Street was lined up as at present. Bishop Street, which extended from the Starr Factory to Burton's Hill, was incorporated into Pleasant Street" (Story of Dartmouth: 452-453).

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".
 
 

Prince Albert Road is named after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

Prince Street: Formerly known as Prince Edward Street. Now there is a Prince Street and a separate Edward Street!

Queen StreetQuarrell Street. Named for Queen Victoria. Shore Road: Upper Water Street. This is an obvious one: it is on the shore of Halifax Harbour.


St. George’s Lane: Mott’s Lane, and Cross Lane.  Name goes hand in hand with St. George's Tennis Club which is located on this lane. Since it was called Cross Lane (most likely because you can use it to get from Portland to Pleasant), St. George's (Cross) might have been a spin-off name for the tennis club which I believe was Protestant (and, therefore, connected to St. George and his cross). Please clarify this for me!

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.


Victoria Road is, like Queen Street, named for Queen Victoria.

Wentworth Street: Fourth Street, Tremain Street (1830s) and Fitzwilliam Street. (Lord Fitzwilliam was a member of the Wentworth family.) Named after Governor Sir John Wentworth. Here is his write-up in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/wentworth_john_1737_1820_5E.html

Windmill Road: Basin Road and Windsor Road. "John Dooley was the last known proprietor of the historic Windmill from which the road gets its name. It stood on the flat part of the field still noticed in the rear of no. 207 Windmill Road, where it would get the full sweep of winds from Bedford Basin. Miss Edith M. Russell, niece of the late Justice Russell, says that it was built by her relative James Munn, who came here from Scotland late in the 1700's. The ruins of this grist-mill remained until 1901, when the Oland family cleared the ground for a tennis court. It was a landmark of old Dartmouth, and was always included in sketches by early landscape artists" (Story of Dartmouth, p. 70).


Woodland Avenue: Gillard’s Road.

Wyse Road: Ropeworks Road. 



Last surviving Canal worker house, Ochterloney Street. Photo taken by David Jones on May 28, 2014.


Prince Street (facing Portland). Photo taken by David Jones, May 28, 2014.

11 comments :

  1. Regarding Banook Avenue, the name derives from the name of the Lake, as does the canoe club take its name from the name of the Lake. In some old maps, what we now call Lake Banook is called First Lake. In fact "First Lake" is the English translation of what "Banook" means in the Mi'kmaw language. The word "Banook" or "Panook" or "Ponook" or "Panuke" in Mi'kmaw means the first lake as you go upstream in a chain of lakes, or as you go upstream from the river mouth.

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    1. Although I knew about the First Lake translation (it was one of my favourite facts as a kid), I am grateful that you've shared all of those separate spellings, Terry. I don't think I clued in to 'panuke' before. Please keep sharing your interesting historical anecdotes, on this blog.

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  2. Congratulations on the site. I'm enjoying it. One question: Do you have any more information of the "prehistoric campsite was located at the end of Bolton Terrace"? I'm quite curious about this. Historians in California have vastly revised their understandings of pre-contact native population. It used to be that many sites were considered "campsites" or "seasonal villages," but with further investigation it was decided that there sites were actually permanent town sites. There had been an earlier bias that prevented Europeans from believing that the native population could have possibly been as large as it was; I think there may be a similar bias at play here in Nova Scotia. It seems inconceivable to me that many, many natives did not live full-time on both sides of the harbour: why wouldn't they? But anyway, if you have any info on the Bolton Terrace site, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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    1. As a little boy, I heard that there had been an old Mi'kmaw campsite between Lake Banook and Sullivan's Pond. Certainly, there were camps (possibly houses) there in the 1800s. Steve Davis conducted archaeological work on Lake Banook (where exactly on Lake Banook?) in the 70s and I am trying to get hold of his report. I agree that there would have been significant, well-established populations on both sides of the harbour and I am trying to pull together a bunch source material. We need to shake off a bunch of biases: you are on the right track! I should start engaging with phrases such as habitation sites, areas of occupation, communities, etc. Nova Scotia's early peoples were not simply avid eco-tourist campers!

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    2. In concentrating on delivering a thoughtful answer, I forgot to say thank you! Thanks!

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    3. Tim, the fact that the Mi'kmaq lived a seasonally-nomadic lifestyle is well established here in NS. Unlike California, the seasonal weather extremes and food availability were the driving factors. The Mi'kmaq returned to their summer seaside campsites in the spring and retreated to their interior winter hunting grounds in the fall. It was out of necessity.

      The Mi'kmaq attacks on the Dartmouth settlement, on September 30, 1749; March 26, 1751; and May 13, 1751; although not the only factor, there is no doubt that the dam across "Saw Mill River", at Gilman's Mill, was significant factor of annoyance to the Mi'kmaq, since this was their "super highway" for canoe travel between the coast and the interior, now blocked and occupied by these foreigners.

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  3. You mention that part of Crichton was called "Colored Meeting House Road."
    -can you say more about this intriguing name?

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    1. Yes, I will blog about this shortly. To this day, there is a small Black community at the very end of Crichton Avenue.

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  4. Can you comment on how School Street and Brightwood Avenue got their names? It would seem as if the names should be reversed since the golf course entrance is on School Street and Brightwood Avenue leads to Dartmouth High Scool.

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  5. Any history on the naming of Joffre St?

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