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Authority record
Colchester Historical Society

Patterson, Hon. Mr. Justice Frank Harris, 1891-1976

  • Person
  • 1891 - 1976

K.C., LL.B., D.C.L., Lawyer, Judge, Author.
Born in Tatamagouche, Colchester County, NS, son of William and Elizabeth (Campbell) Patterson, his great grandfather came to Pictou from Linwood, Scotland on the Hector in 1773. In 1925 he married Ina MacNee and they had two daughters: Edith and Mary. He was educated at Pictou Academy and Dalhousie University. He practiced law in Yarmouth before moving to Truro where he continued to practice. In 1958, he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, retiring in 1965. He was very active in writing the history of Pictou and Colchester Counties and in this regard authored several books. Mr. Justice Patterson was President of the Nova Scotia Historical Society from 1960 to 1963. He died in Truro, NS.

Vernon, Ernest Daniel, 1872–1941

  • Person
  • 1872-1941

Architect, Merchant
Born in London, England, E. D. Vernon and his mother and two brothers came to Canada and lived in Salmon River, Colchester County, near what is known as Vernon Bridge. He first married Ella Thomas, then Annie Dodson, and then Myra Barnes. His children were David, Jack, Russell and Dorothy.
Ernest received his general education in England where he passed his matriculation for Oxford. After locating in Truro he went to Halifax where for several years he studied architecture. He did his thesis on the gates of the Halifax Public Gardens. In early 1892, Ernest D. Vernon advertised architectural and draughting services and opened an office on Prince Street in July of that year. .
In 1911 he built the large brick store at 802 Prince Street and started a furniture business there, of which he was manager. His involvement with Vernon & Co Ltd. continued for the rest of his life, concurrently with his architectural practice. His plans of the new store for Vernon Furniture Co., several buildings of the Nova Scotia Residential Centre (then called the Maritime Home for Girls), the Central Fire Hall with Extension (1915), St. John’s Parish Hall (1916), Alice Street School (1920), Colchester County Hospital (1925), a modern residence on Victoria St. For W. H. Faltenhine (1938) as well as the residence of Frank Stanfield at 38 Dominion St., are a few examples of his work.
Ernest Vernon was a member of the St. John’s Church of England and is buried in Terrace Hill Cemetery, Truro, NS

Congdon, Captain John Dynham, 1825–1896

  • Person
  • 1825–1896

Sea Captain. Born in Great Village, Nova Scotia, he was the son of Phillip and Jane Congdon. First married to Susan Mahon, their children were Jane, Josephine and Ida. By his second wife, there were four children: Emma, James, John and Sarah. “Captain John” was educated in the local elementary and secondary school and was a Presbyterian. He built his house in 1858 and in 1992 it was still occupied by one of his decendants - his great-grandson, Douglas Congdon. Captain Congdon received his Masters Certificate in 1872. Amongst many vessels, he miraculously sailed the Barque “Bedford” across the Atlantic in 1885 after being hit by lightening mid-ocean and managing a contained cargo hold on fire for half the journey. Ironically, after many dangerous years at sea, Captain Congdon died in a farming accident at nearby Lornevale. He is buried in the Mahon Cemetery, Great Village, NS.

Elliot & Hopson (active 1895 – 1901)

  • Corporate body
  • 1895 - 1901

Edward Elliot and Charles H. Hopson partnered to form Elliot and Hopson, Architects in 1895, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The firm moved to the new Harrison Building on Barrington St. In 1896. Introducing the latest American styles, the firm executed a number of commissions for important residences in Halifax: the H. B. Clarke mansion, the Simon Holmes’ on South Park St., and the “Lindola” granite mansion on Young Ave., built for the Hobreckers in 1901 in teh Richardson Romanesque style. They also designed new buildings in Windsor, Sydney, and Truro, including the New Science Building (currently home to the Colchester Historical Society Museum and Archives) on Young Street in 1901.
Elliot’s death in 1901 caused the dissolution of the firm, and C. H. Hopson, with his brother, the engineer Edward G. Hopson, became the successors in the Hopson Bros. partnership.

Henderson, Dougald, 1844–1910

  • Person
  • 1844–1910

Architect, carpenter
Born at River John, Pictou County to parents John and Catherine Henderson, young Dougald worked for some years at Old Barns, Colchester County on the interior carpentry and finishing of vessels built on the Cobequid shore. He married Adelaide Wilson at Clifton on January 1, 1873.
Around 1885 they moved to Truro, where Dougald first worked as a carpenter. It is unclear at what point he acquired his draughting skill, but in 1896 Henderson was receiving tenders as the architect of the Presbyterian Church in Belmont. In 1897 he operated a cabinetmaking business in Truro and is called “the town architect” in connection with the plans for a church hall, and he was also supervising architect for the construction. A $30 invoice for building plans and specifications for J.D. Murray Crockett for 82 Arthur Street revealed his business office to be on Revere St., Truro in 1904. His business met with great success, and his obituary recalls that Henderson designed some of the best residences in Truro, among them the Crockett House, one for the Stanfield family as well as several public buildings. He also designed Great Village School, opened in 1904.
A member of the First Presbyterian Church, Dougald Henderson had a kind, genial way and was said to be “willing to assist unobtrusively in every good cause”. He continued to practice in Truro until his death at his Park Street home in September 1910. Buried in Clifton, he was survived by his wife, a son in Winnipeg, and a daughter on the faulty of the Maritime Business College in Halifax.

Longworth, Israel, 1835–1902

  • Person
  • 1835–1902

Lawyer, Author. Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Israel Longworth was the son of Robert Longworth, a successful ship builder. Married to Mary Starr, they had eight children, however seven died in a diphtheria epidemic in 1876 and daughter Marion was the only surviving child. Educated at Mount Allison University, he worked in Halifax until he became a student of law with Sir Adams Archibald. He was admitted to the Bar in1861, and set up a practice in Truro, NS. During his term as Truro’s second Mayor in 1878 -79, the town reservoir was opened and fire bells were installed. He was the author of several books and papers on historical subjects – his History of Colchester County has been reprinted. In religion he was Methodist and is buried in the Robie Street Cemetery, Truro, NS.

Municipality of the County of Colchester

  • Corporate body
  • 1897

Colchester County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. With a population of 50,585 the county is the fourth largest in Nova Scotia. Colchester County is located in north central Nova Scotia.
The majority of the county is governed by the Municipality of the County of Colchester, the county also is home to two independent incorporated towns, Stewiacke and Truro, two village commissions in Bible Hill and Tatamagouche, and the Millbrook 27 First Nations reserve.
For several thousand years the territory of the province has been a part of the territory of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki. Mi'kma'ki includes what is now the Maritimes, parts of Maine, Newfoundland and the Gaspé Peninsula. Colchester County is located in the traditional Mi'kmaw districts of Sipekni'katik to the south and west, and Epekwitk aq Piktuk to the north and east.
French colonization of the area began during the 1680s. Acadian settlers were farmers were accustomed to farming on dyked lands in France. They used normally salty but fertile marshes that were found on the banks of the Minas Basin and through the use of dykes and aboiteaux that allowed fresh water to enter but kept out the salt-water tide.
The appellation Colchester was applied in 1780 to the district previously called "Cobequid," and was derived from the town of Colchester in Essex. The old name Cobequid was derived from the Mi'kmaq word "Wagobagitk" meaning "the bay runs far up", in reference to the area surrounding the easternmost inlet of the Minas Basin, a body of water called Cobequid Bay.
The District of Colchester, which was at first part of Halifax County, was established as a county in its own right in 1835. In 1838 a distinct line of division between Cumberland County and Colchester County was established. Two years later, in 1840, the Township of Parrsboro was divided and part of it annexed to Colchester County. In 1871, the boundaries between the Counties of Hants and Colchester and between the Counties of Halifax and Colchester were established. In 1880 the boundary between the Counties of Halifax and Colchester was revised. Eventually in 1897 a portion of the boundary between the Counties of Colchester and Cumberland was fixed and defined.
The Municipality of the County of Colchester is governed by a municipal council composed of a Mayor elected at-large and 11 Councillors elected to represent districts.

Town of Truro, 1875

  • Corporate body
  • 1875

Truro (Mi'kmaq: Wagobagitik) is a town in central Nova Scotia, Canada. Truro is the shire town of Colchester County and is located on the south side of the Salmon River floodplain, close to the river's mouth at the eastern end of Cobequid Bay
The area has been home to the Mi'kmaq people for several centuries. The Mi'kmaq name for the Truro area, "Wagobagitik" means "end of the water's flow". Mi'kmaq people continue to live in the area at the Millbrook and Truro reserves of the Millbrook – We’kopekwitk band.
Acadian settlers came to this area in the early 1700s. The Mi'kmaq name for the Truro area was shortened by the settlers to "Cobequid", and the bay to the west of the town is still named Cobequid Bay. By 1727, the settlers had established a small village near the present downtown site of Truro known as "Vil Bois Brule" (Village in the burnt wood). Many Acadians in this region left in the Acadian Exodus which preceded the Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755. In 1761, the British settled the area with Presbyterians of predominantly Ulster Scottish origin who came from Ireland via New England. They named the new settlement after the city of Truro in Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Originally a small farming community, the construction of the Nova Scotia Railway between Halifax, and Pictou in 1858 caused the municipality to experience a fast rate of growth which increased even more when the railway connected to central Canada in 1872 and became the Intercolonial Railway. The Intercolonial, which later became the Canadian National Railway built a large roundhouse and rail yard in Truro. Further rail links to Cape Breton and to the Annapolis Valley through the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1905 increased the town's importance as a transportation hub for Nova Scotia. The railway also attracted industries such as the Truro Woolen Mills in 1870 (which later became Stanfield's) and provincial institutions like the provincial Normal School (later the Nova Scotia Teachers College) and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. The town officially incorporated in 1875. The history of the town and surrounding county is preserved at the Colchester Historical Museum (c.1900-1901), which is designated under the provincial Heritage Property Act.

Morris, John Spry

  • Person
  • 1831-1851

Surveyor General
The Morris family practiced surveying through at least four generations: Charles Morris, Charles Morris II (1711 – 1781), Charles Morris III (1759-1831), and John Spry Morris (one of fifteen children born in Halifax, NS after 1786.)
In April 1831 Charles Morris III was replaced by his son John Spry, who served as Surveyor General of Nova Scotia until the office was merged with that of commissioner of crown lands in 1851. The Morris family thus held the position of Surveyor General of Nova Scotia for its entire existence, a continuity of service rivalled only by that of the Wrights of Prince Edward Island.

Stanfield, Frank, 1872-1931

  • Person
  • 1872-1931

Manufacturer, Lieutenant Governor. Born in Truro, Nova Scotia, Frank was the son of Charles and Lydia (Dawson) Stanfield. His father came from Prince Edward Island from Yorkshire, England in 1855, then to Truro in 1866. Frank Stanfield was an Anglican who married in 1901 to Sarah Thomas and had five children: Robert, Charles, Frank, Gordon and Kathryn. He was an executive in the Stanfield Mills in Truro. From 1911 to 1920 and from 1925 to 1928, Frank Stanfield represented Colchester County in the Nova Scotia Legislature as a Conservative. In 1930 he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Province. He died in 1931, while still in office. His home at 38 Dominion Street was designed by well known architect E. D. Vernon of Truro.

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