Memories from Three Fairview Seniors
Submitted by Devonna Edwards
Lorraine (Daine) Rozee
I started school in the two room school house on Main Avenue. One night there was a fire caused by the door of the furnace room being left open and the school house burnt down. I then had to travel to the school house on School Avenue for three or four years until the new school on Main Avenue was built. The school on School Avenue was called Central Armdale School at that time, it was located across from the Ashburn Golf Links. The new school on Main Avenue (the second one) was called Fairview Jr. High School, later called Fairview School and finally called Titus Smith School.
The carpenters that were working on the new Fairview Jr. High School had built some cabins at the top of the property for their family to live in until construction was completed.
|My father approached the contractor and inquired if he could buy one of the cabins to move to his property on Evans Avenue. He wanted it for me so that I would have a place to go and do my poster and art work. My friend and I would play school and do our homework there. The contractor sold my father and others the cabins for $75.00 each.
During the war years, the top of the property where the school had been, is where the Air Raid Patrol (ARP) station was built by the Volunteer Fire Fighters. It was Fairview’s first fire station before the new fire station was built on Main Avenue also called Geizer’s Hill.
In the winter I coasted down Geizer’s Hill, starting in front of Bert MacDonald’s house.
Bert MacDonald was a roofer and his business building was located on the back of his large property which was located on the corner of Main Avenue and Berts Drive.
The bottom pasture use to be boggy and have water on it which would freeze. I had many a happy evening skating on it. I also use to coast from Ford Street from the top of the hill down to almost Vimy Avenue. I also coasted on Evans Avenue, it use to be one of the last streets to be plowed and when it was plowed it was very hard and slippery which made it very hard for the cars to get up. They had to drive over to Bond Street then to Vimy Avenue and go out that way.
We got our milk from Farmers and every morning a team of two big horses would come down the hill pulling the milk wagon behind them. The driver or his helper would stay with the horses or deliver the milk.
We got our meat from Kelly’s van. Morton Kelly (former Mayor Peter Kelly’s father) would load the van from Kelly’s Meat Market on Frederick Avenue once or twice a week and deliver his goods to customers around Fairview and Dutch Village Road. For other groceries, my mother would send me down the hill to Pete Prought’s Store on the Bedford Highway, across from Fairview Station or I would walk down the Village to a store on the corner of Frederick Avenue, which burnt down one night.
Later Allen O’Neil opened a store next to the White Cross Drug Store across the street from the old Deal house on Dutch Village Road. He owned and operated a store on the corner of Kempt Road and Barrington Street up from the Department of Highways office building. It had first been Crawford’s Store.
Every day at 12 noon, the Canadian National Railway (C.N.R.) Roundhouse would blow their horn.
There was no indoor water and we all had our wells. No electricity, so we used oil lamps.
My street, Evans Avenue, was the first one to be paved in 1958 and Frederick Avenue was the second street to be paved also in 1958.
Roy Manuel, who operated his own heavy machinery, cleared Central Avenue up as far as the Beaver property on the corner of Cross Street.
The streets in Fairview only went up as far as Alex Street, beyond was woods. There was no Willett or Dunbrack Streets in those days, Main Avenue just went beyond the MacDonald House (just up from Berts Drive) from there only a wooded trail continued up to the top of Geizer’s Mountain and the tall Transmission Tower.
|There was no television or movie theatre in those early 1930s and 1940s. The guys and their girls and some of the rest of us would go for walks along the Dutch Village Road in the evening, and stop at Keeler’s duck pond, to watch the ducks jumping and frolicking in the water. From there we would go to the old “Snack Bar” which later became the “Coffee Cup” on Dutch Village Road.
We use to skate on Devlin’s Pond on Melrose Avenue. When we went to Central Armdale School on School Avenue, we would take a short cut up along the ridge of the pond and down to Central Avenue and across a brook to the property where my house was later built. The water in that brook was so high after a storm, us girls would need help getting across the rocks. It would join another brook, flowing down across Manuals yard and down to the bottom of Central Avenue where there would be a big pool.
It is still wet down there after a rain storm. It had been all low bushes and trees on the property where my house and others were. Today there is an apartment building on the property where Devlin’s Pond was filled in. There is a big granite rock where the sides of the pond were.
Webb Engineering was on Dutch Village Road below the old Village Grocery Shop, the Bank of Montreal and the Girl Guides are there now. Across the street was Heinish’s Store, they sold everything; pans, dishes and school supplies. We use to stop there and buy our scribblers, pencils, note pads, cards and anything for school. After many years the store is still there, under new ownership and now known as ”The Hub”.
My father was a member of the old Fire Department in the 1950s and president of the Fairview Aces Hockey Club which had Haddie Morash as coach and Everett Goodall as manager for several years.
Goodall’s owned the old “Dutch Nursery” on the Dutch Village Road, today that site is where the Fairview United Church stands.
Ann (Veinotte) Tattrie
Growing up Ann lived at the bottom of Frederick Avenue, at the corner of Frederick Avenue and Dutch Village Road in Fairview. She moved to Beech Street at the age of eleven.
|Her father was George William Veinotte who was a contractor, he bought land in Fairview in the early 1920s because his wife wanted to move there so he built a house with a store attached. He owned land from the bottom of Frederick Avenue to the top and over as far as the Fairview Legion on the corner of Hillcrest Street and Main Avenue. He later sold the land to Piercey because his wife Grace (Hubley) Veinotte did not like living in the country. Most of the area was woods. Grace looked after the general store called G.W. Veinotte Store. This store sold rubber boots, and just about everything else. This store burnt down but her father built another. He also built Lilac Cottage next door to their house.
Dutch Village Road was not paved, it was just a dirt road and muddy at times.
The Deal’s owned a Saw Mill (Lumber Mill) in the back of the Deal, later known as the Keeler’s Farm.
|The Saw Mill was located in back of where the old Halifax West High School once was in Fairview and at the bottom of what is now Coronation Avenue.
Ann’s father George also built the unique styled old house on the “V” between Willow Street and Chebucto Road in Halifax.
I lived in that house when I was two years old. We lived upstairs and my dad John O’Brien worked downstairs in the pharmacy before moving to Fairview.)
Ann remembers the Simpson’s building and recalls the man, who bought the property on
Chebucto Road, where Simpson’s was built in 1919. She said that he was fired because they couldn’t believe he would buy property for the new building in the middle of the woods.
|She went to school on School Avenue called the Dutch Village School at that time. It was a two room school house with grades 1-7 in one room and grades 8-12 in the other.
The teacher of the school boarded with Ann’s family.
One of Ann’s favourite memories was sleighing down Lighting Hill (also called Geizer’s Hill and Main Avenue) and flying down the hill so fast, on a Bob-Sleigh that her father made.
Ann’s family went to the Deal’s house, located where the old Halifax West High School was on Dutch Village Road, with their baskets to buy vegetables. Her father brought a basket to the Aalders family on Lighting Hill every Christmas. One of the Aalders children was Minnie Aalders who married the singer Hank Snow.
The Veinotte family had the first telephone in Fairview as well as the first electric lights in the county, in the heart of the Dutch Village.
Thomas Proudfoot was the caretaker at Ashburn Golf Club. On Christmas Eve after chopping down a Christmas tree, he tried to cross the ice covered pond at Ashburn and fell through the ice and drowned.
William Olie had a farm across the street from Ann’s house. The Olie farm is where the Dairy Queen, the Tiger Store and the Head Shop are now located. William Olie came from Holland. He had three sons Sam, Tony and William (Bill). Ann remembered there being a barn on the property near his house. She also said that he was a cruel man, when he punished his sons, he locked them in the basement or the barn for a long time. An aunt lived with the Olie family as well, she was unbalanced and they locked her in the basement and she was never allowed out.
|Ann’s mom, Grace (Hubley) was friends with two of the Edwards girls from Chebucto Road, cousins of Don Edwards from Fairview.
Ann had one sister Helen, who was a talented artist and three brothers Spenser, Frank and Jack.
Ann’s father George built a raft to use on Deal’s Pond, located behind the little Dutch School on Dutch Village Road. The Banister boy took the raft out on the pond and drowned.
Ann’s mother Grace had a horse which Gordon Yeadon looked after. Gordon would hitch the horse to a sleigh and she took it by herself, down Dutch Village Road (Joseph Howe Drive) for a ride down as far as the Arm and back.
Ann recalled the time Mary Pitcher, her brother Spencer and herself went sleighing at the top of Frederick Ave. They were told to wait for their mother to get back from her sleigh ride to the Arm, but they became impatient and went up the hill. In the back of Ann’s house was a fence with a gate. On sleighing down they would go through the gate but Ann’s mom would only let them go down one at a time so that they could easily go through the gate and not crash and that is why she wanted to supervise them.
Spencer went down the hill first and Mary came down behind him, but with only room for one through the gate, Spencer allowed Mary to go through first and he crashed into the gate post. Spencer was hurt very bad and they had to put him in a sleigh and with a horse dragging the sleigh, they proceeded all the way into the city to the Victoria General Hospital. The doctors had to do surgery on Spencer, where they inserted a steel rod with nuts and bolts from hip to below his knee, after surgery he remained in the hospital for a year. Ann always felt such remorse because she had talked Spencer into going without their mother’s supervision.
Years later, World War 11 broke out and Spencer was refused admission to the army because of his injury, Ann jokingly, told him that she saved his life.
Ann called the area around the Fairview Legion, “The Daisy Patch” due to the abundance of daisies growing in the area.
Sir John Thompson School on Mumford Road took Protestant and Catholic students equally.
Sam Purcell who lived on Main Avenue would jump out of the bushes and scare Ann and her friends when they went to Sunday School.
Pete Henderson’s Store (formerly the Dutch Village School) on Dutch Village Road in Fairview started out as a Feed Shop and sold hay and oats for horses. Bill Whiting took over the store.
|Ann played baseball on Mumford Road on the field next to St. Patrick’s Boys Home where the Halifax Shopping Centre is located today. She was a catcher but she couldn’t tell her parents that she played ball because she would never have been allowed to continue. She changed into her ball top when she got to Mt. Olivet Cemetery. She also played hockey where she was a goalie. She also would put on a pair of over-hauls and tuck her long curly black hair under a cap and go to the Golf Links to caddy. One day she caddied for two doctors and earned 69 cents for her troubles.
When she was told that she could not have the blue CCM bike that she wanted, and that all her friends had, she went to Simpsons and charged it on her mom’s account. She hid the bike away but her parents found out when the Simpson’s bill arrived.
When the Airport on Mumford Road offered flights over Halifax for $5.00, her father, George was one of the first passengers.
Mr. Yeoman had property where the Down’s Zoo was once located on Dutch Village Road (today known as Joseph Howe Drive) and the property was only sold on agreement that the land was not to be sold.
Ann said that there once was a wall running from Springvale Avenue to the Arm.
She also said that Mr. Henneberry owned the stone crusher (the Quarry) on the Bedford Highway at one time.
Rev. Deathe, pastor of St. John’s Church on Kempt Road lived with her family for a while.
She remembered Chief Lonecloud living on property off Mumford Road and recalled him wearing a long loose gown but she never saw his wife or children. She was afraid of him.
He went to a school on School Avenue called Central Armdale School at that time and to Fairview School on Main Avenue which later burnt down. His photo is in the graduating class of 1947 at Fairview School.
He went back to the camp at Susie’s Lake on many occasions. The hermit who lived at the camp was Percy MacLean (Purse) and he described him as was a well-read man who had a droopy mustache. Purse had a great knowledge of ships and was interesting to talk to, John always brought him newspapers or magazines to read. He said that Purse was from Yarmouth and that when he died, he was buried in Yarmouth. Purse had his own bed in the camp and cooked for everyone that was there at meal time. People that went to the camp always brought extra food with them. There was a Crystal Radio Set (a simple radio receiver) at the camp which people would listen to and oil lamps for light.
Five or six people could sleep at the camp in a common bed.
John Hurst had many friends at the camp such as Morton Kelly, Reg Parsons, Gordon Kelly, Ray Hodder, Ralph Faulkner, Don Poole and Kenneth Coakley. Sometimes teachers from Central Armdale School would take the whole class back to Susie’s Lake for the day.
|John was 12 or 13 years old when he first went back to the camp at Susie’s Lake. He lived on Dutch Village Road in Fairview (the city side of Dutch Village Road). He hunted rabbits at the Television (T.V.) Tower which was a power house up on Mountain Road (Main Avenue). The date 1913 was engraved in the concrete above the door. He would set snares for the rabbits there and he also took his “22 rifle” with him. He enjoyed fishing and swimming at Susie’s Lake, and remembers a big rock at the lake which was called “Saddle Back.” Cranberry Lake was located above Susie’s Lake and a stream ran down into Susie’s.
There were other camps back at Susie’s such as the Robinson’s camp, they lived on School Avenue.
There were also two other camps on islands at Susie’s Lake, one was Mr. Smarr’s camp, he owned a repair shoe shop and had a daughter named Diane and the other was Mr. Cook’s camp.
Going back to Susie’s Lake in the latter part of World War Two, after Mr. Clark’s property, on what is now Washmill Lake Drive and before the Fairview Hill’s Golf Centre, there was a winding path or trail with many rocks and holes. It was a rough going, one guy broke his leg while walking back.
In 1948 John went to sea at the age of sixteen years old, on a ten thousand ton merchant fleet Acadia.
He was also on the ships Shelburn County and Digby County, he then returned again in the mid-1950s
after Canadian shipping declined. He took a job as treasurer at the Dockyard for two years before he went back to sea. John went ashore again in 1961 and worked with Texaco Oil Company.
In 1976 at the age of 44 years old with a wife and two children, he became a lawyer which he practiced for many years. He graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1979, and practiced Marine and Admiralty Law, and became a Chartered Arbitrator (C.A.R.B) in 1995.
Sam Purcell lived at the top of Main Avenue, up by where the Power Line is now. He lived with his parents who were in their fifties or maybe sixties in the early 1950s. Sam picked up garbage with his horse and buggy and dumped the garbage in the woods across from his house.
Mr. Clark owned land where Gumpy Smith lived at the top of Main Ave. (Washmill Lake Drive), he was also a bootlegger, who made home brew. He would travel to town with his horse and cart with a blanket over his legs, he also had crutches. John said he looked like President Roosevelt.
He had ducks and chickens on his property and once some boys took his ducks and brought them back to the camp at Susie’s Lake. The boys were plucking them as they walked, police followed the trail of feathers and caught the boys. One boy was Gumpy Smith, some of the boys may have got six months in jail for thief.
Race horses were kept where St. John’s Church was once located at the corner of Dutch Village Road and Bayers Road, today Shoppers Drug Mart stands on the site.
|Happy Hiltz had stables on the corner of Connaught Ave. and Bayers Road in the late 1930s and 1940s after World War 11. Horses were rented for one dollar, the horse rides started at Bayers Road and went down that dirt road, then turned right onto what is now Joseph Howe Drive, then up Dutch Village Road and back on Bayers Road. Happy had 28 to 30 horses. Happy was quite a character, he always wore a cowboy hat and carried two real pearl guns.
There was also a riding stable on Mumford Road as well.
Con Easton lived on Dutch Village Road in 1942, on the old Piercey property. He owned a service station at the Armdale Rotary.
It was called Con Easton’s Velco Service Station and opened in 1931. It was located at the intersection of Quinpool and Chebucto Road.
The grocery store at the corner of Andrew Street and Dutch Village Road was called Coulter’s Store at one time.
No. 6 Army Depot was located at Westmount where the old Halifax Airport once stood on Chebucto Road.
John Hurst experienced “The Blitz” while living with his mom in England.
In his memory project he writes:
The letter was written by me, (at the time I was about eight and a half years old)describes an air raid, which as it turned out was the beginning of the blitz. I think the actual date was September 7, 1940.
It was written to my father, who was safely back in Canada. He was then a Captain in the Canadian Army Provost Corps and in charge of security on the Halifax waterfront, particularly Pier 21.
We had gone to England, initially, in April 1936, returned to Canada after a couple of weeks and went back in February 1937. My father decided to return to England to go into business with my uncle, (his brother) which he did.
In Canada, he had been commissioned in the Halifax Rifles. When the war broke out, he reported in, to join the British Army, however, they said he would be returned to Canada, as the Rifles were being mobilized. The authorities suggested he attend to business affairs and prepare to return to Canada.
He was given priority and returned on the Duchess of York in late December, 1939. We were told that my mother and I would be coming in another ship shortly. As it turned out it was almost two years, November 1941 before we returned. Consequently we got to experience the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.
We boarded the M/S Llangibby Castle, November 10, sailing in the night. The following day enemy aircraft made an attack on our convoy. Our ship was not hit.
We arrived in Halifax on November 22, docking at Pier 21. My father was on the dock but had no idea we were on the ship, it was a complete surprise. Due to wartime security all ship movements were kept secret.
He volunteered for overseas service as soon as he returned to Canada. Shortly after our return (about three weeks) he was sent to Newfoundland, which at that time was overseas, i.e. pre confederation with Canada. He spent the rest of the war there as a Deputy Provost Marshall and Commandant of the Military Detention Barracks at Buckmasters Field near St. John’s. We visited there for Christmas 1944.
John’s letter to his dad.
I will tell you about the air raids I have been caught in. One day I was not far from home when we heard a drome of aeroplanes, we looked up and saw a lot of little silver dots in the sky. Then we heard bombs dropping but we did not know they were bombs so we went over and asked a soldier who said that they were bombs and to take cover. We ran down to a house and went into the air raid shelter and stayed there for a long time, but we could not hear the planes. We left the shelter and looked around and saw some smoke. We asked a lady if we should go home and she replied yes, if we go quickly. On the way home we saw some soldiers and asked them if the planes had gone and they said yes, so we continued on home. Once home we saw a man was standing in the garden and he said to Maurice, “Your mums up here,” so we went up the garden and sat in the shelter for a little while .When we left the shelter we saw Spitfires and Hurricanes. They landed and we got the ‘all clear signal’ so we went in to the house.
So Cheerio, that’s all for now,
Love from Johnnie
John passed away September 23, 2006
He was the son of Major Noel and Ida (Easton) Hurst.