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History Of Fairview

By: Devonna Edwards

Fairview is the area lying to the northwest end of Halifax and on the southwest of Bedford Basin, about three miles from the business section of downtown Halifax.

In 1832, under an act of the legislature, Titus Smith Jr. surveyed and bench marked the then newly defined boundary between the town of Halifax and the rest of the county, a straight line from the head of the North West Arm to the brook at Fairview on the Bedford Basin. He set up three granite monuments to establish that line. The last of these three foot obelisks, the centre one, was removed when the Terminal Railway was constructed in 1914. In 1894 the Fairview Cemetery Company decided to make their forty-five acres with its “Fair-View” of the Bedford Basin, into a beautiful park and so the district came to be known as Fairview.

At one time the boundary of Fairview included the area from School Avenue to Main Avenue, and over to Vimy Avenue. It also included the area down to the Fairview Cemetery and Fairview Cove then along the shore of Bedford Basin pass the Fairview Middlemore Home to where Bayview Road is today.

In 1964 Randall Park was added to Fairview, this was land between Main Avenue and Glenforest Drive which was the beginning of Clayton Park.

Randall Park was a $5,000,000 housing scheme for Fairview, allowing both general and single family home development. Randall Development Ltd. was the new company formed to carry out the plan.
John R. Fiske was the Secretary Treasure of the company. Two local companies backed the Randall Development Project, they were Stevens and Fiske Construction Ltd. of Fairview and J. Bert MacDonald and Sons Ltd. Roofing Contractors. Also of Fairview Principal involved were Aubrey and Gordon MacDonald, William Stevens and John R. Fiske. The homes were factory built in Halifax and assembled on the site. The apartments were rented between $120 and $150 per month.

Access points were on Titus Street and Main Avenue.

In the course of time, the little Dutch Village no longer exists even on government maps, was swallowed by the expansion of Fairview from the north and Armdale from the south.

1894- Fairview unofficially named.

1871-1931- Fairview and Armdale were both in a district called the North West Arm.

1941- Fairview and Armdale were separated for the first time.

1941-The boundary line between Armdale and Fairview was the Dominion Atlantic Railway (D.A.R.) tracks which crossed the Dutch Village Road at Ashburn (today that part of the Dutch Village Road is now called Joseph Howe Drive and the tracks are no longer there, replaced by a walking trail). The district lying north of the railway was Fairview and that to the south belonged to the Armdale.

1941-Fairview was named officially in the Federal Census.

1966- Fairview and Rockingham were annexed to the city of Halifax in a grand consolidation that included Armdale, Spryfield and Lakeside.

When Fairview was considered Halifax County, Dutch Village Road in the Fairview area became the boundary line between Halifax City and Fairview. The students on the eastern side of the road had to go to Halifax City schools and the students on the west side of the road went to the Fairview schools.

1969- Now the community of Fairview was no longer the county but part of the city of Halifax along with Rockingham, Spryfield, Armdale, Clayton Park, and Purcell’s Cove.

1996- The city of Halifax was merged with all other municipalities in Halifax County to form the new Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Under HRM Fairview was jurisdictionally placed in Mainland Halifax.

The area was settled by the Germans in the 18th century. The community called the Dutch Village occupied the west side of Halifax Peninsula, the North West Arm and the Bedford Basin.

Originally “Deutsch Village”- Deutsch being the German word for “German”. The quaint village, Dutch Village, was named after the Germans who built it.

The area was also known by the German name Neunhausen (nine houses) then later as Westerwald, Westervolt, and West Wood. To the original settler’s descendants it became known as Geizer’s Mountain. The ship called the Anne arrived with three hundred and twelve Germans, in September 1751 and settled in the north suburbs or “Dutch Town”. On July 31, 1751 two hundred more Germans arrived and the government decided to place them at the head of the North West Arm and at the mouth of the Bedford Basin.

The colonist’s family names were: Frederick, Gedhardt, Diel, Hiltz, Hirschmann, Meisner, Merkel, Shaffner, Schultz, Westhoffer, Winter, and Wentzel.

On April 28, 1763, ten years after many Germans left Halifax, lured to Lunenburg with the promise of larger lots, nine Dutch Village lots consisting of 1, 350 acres of farm and woodland were granted to Frederick Kohl, John Kuntz, Christian Peitsh, Jacob Kuhn, John Diel, Gottieb Shermiller, Conrad Burgg, Balrar Gebhardt and Adam Isler.

The lands were on the west side of Dutch Village Road and extended north of the eastern end of Geizer’s Hill Road (Main Avenue) and south to present day Glen Eagle Way which is the street at the north end of Mumford Road where it joins Joseph Howe Drive.

On June 7, 1765 three larger grants were given to George Fredericks, George Jost and George Kohl, Today these three lots were located on the west side of what used to be known as Dutch Village Road (now called Joseph Howe Drive) started near the Mumford Road area and continued south to the North West Arm.

It was stipulated that the original grantees were to hold the land rent-free for ten years after which they were to pay a shilling an acre to the King on each Michaelmas Day (The Feast of St. Michael which was held on September 29 in England). They were also directed to plant hemp at the rate of two acres a year until all their land was under plough.

The German Settlers built houses to the back of their lots but eventually moved closer to the pathway that subsequently became a rough cart trail. Around 1887, this thoroughfare was straightened, paved and called Dutch Village Road.

Today the Dutch Village Road from the head of the North West Arm to the over-pass at the Bedford Basin is now called Joseph Howe Drive. That winding part of the original Dutch Village Road that starts at the north end of Bayers Road and runs until it connects to Joseph Howe Drive is still known as Dutch Village Road.

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Devonna is the author of four books and is an avid archivist. For more information on Devonna’s other books please click here

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