Sunday, 4 January 2015

Dartmouth Lakes Name Contest

Have you ever wondered how Dartmouth's lakes were named?

On July 29, 1922, the Evening Echo announced the results of a contest to name the first three Dartmouth Lakes. Panel judges Mayor Walter Mosher, Dr. A. H. MacKay (Superintendent of Education) and A. C. Pettipas (Dartmouth Town Council) made their selections from a list of suggestions contributed by 77 different readers. According to the Evening Echo's announcement, "the three beautiful Dartmouth lakes hitherto known as First, Second and Third", were to be re-named, respectively, Banook, Micmac and Lake Charles. If multiple people suggested a winning name, they would have to split the 10 dollar prize. Mrs. A. G. Gates of Tulip Street successfully selected the names for two separate lakes!

BANOOK winners: Mrs. P. A. Benjamin, Lyle St.; G. J. T. Russell, 22 Dahlia St.; W. P. Moseley, Harold Conrad, Erskine Street; Mrs. A. G. Gates, Tulip Street; James Ross, 14 Tulip St.

MICMAC winners:  Mrs. Clarence Hatton, 388 Portland St, and Miss Isabel I. Robson, 62 Queen St.

LAKE CHARLES winner: Mrs. A. G. Gates, Tulip Street.

Explanations from Walter Mosher, A. H. MacKay and Arthur C. Pettipas:

Your committee appointed to select the names approved for the three Dartmouth Lakes from the list of those contributed by your competitors who number 77 as shown on the accompanying summary and numbered envelopes, beg to recommend for the First Lake the name "Banook" already adopted by the "Banook" Club for its club house. The name is good Indian related to the form "Ponhook" of like signification already on the Geological Map of Halifax County elsewhere. The name is easily pronounced and spelled and conforms to the recommendation of the Geographic Board of Canada. Six competitors proposed this name for the First Lake, namely Nos. 17, 25, 37, 40, 41 and 45.

We recommend "Micmac", proposed by Nos. 27 and 34 for the Second Lake, as fulfilling the conditions specified in the preceding paragraph. This chain of lakes and the Shubenacadie River was the great Micmac highway or route of travel from the West to the Atlantic seaboard, as tragically demonstrated by the history of the early settlers of Dartmouth. The name is not otherwise commonly applied to local geographic features, so that from a historical point of view this name appears to be called for.

For the Third Lake we recommend the proposal Lake Charles of No. 41, for the following reasons, as the name is neither difficult to spell nor to pronounce, and serves as a memorial of a man of remarkable energy, who if the Halifax-Truro Railway had not been promptly opened might have given the Province a functioning canal connecting Halifax Harbor with the Bay of Fundy. In addition the name has already appeared extensively in our maps . . .

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