Fairview Historical Society Articles Archives

The Deals From Fairview

Submitted by Devonna Edwards

The Deals were among the very first settlers who came to the Dutch Village (Fairview) in 1751.
Dutch Village was originally called “Deutsch Village,” deutsch, was the German word for “German”- the quaint village built by the early German settlers and named after them.

The early German settlers, both men and women wore wooden shoes, or clogs that they made by scooping out blocks of birch. The wealthy wore wood-and leather shoes with ornamental buckles. The men wore stockings, breeches fastened with buckles at the knees, jackets made from rough cloth or homespun materials, and small, broad-brimmed hats. The women wore linen petticoats made from home-grown flax, calico gowns, and handkerchiefs.

Shahoon Adam Deal, Conrad Deal and John Deal were Protestant Germans from Hanover. Although we know the Dutch Village was settled in 1751, the original grants of land at the Dutch Village dated April 28 1763. The grants of land were given to John Kuntz, Gottieb Shermiller, John Diel (Deal), Christian Peitsh, Frederick Kohl, Jacob Kuhn, Conrad Burgg, Bairar Gebhard, Adam Isler.

Johannes and Catharina Deal and their four sons, John Adam, Emmanuel, John Nicholas and John Jacob arrived in Nova Scotia from Wurtenburg, Germany in 1752 aboard The Pearl. Within two years of the Deal family’s arrival, Catharina, Emmanuel, John Nicholas and John Jacob had perished. John Adam survived and had two sons; John and Conrad. John had six children, one of them a son named John, who had three sons, George, John Edward and Augustus.

John Edward had two sons, John and Stanley Augustus, John died at an early age leaving Stanley Augustus. John Edward became a Catholic on November 11, 1867, thus starting the Catholic Line of the Deal family. John Edward built a house at 362 Dutch Village Road (today that part of the old Dutch Village Road is known as Alma Crescent) Stanley Augustus married Gwendoline Mary Gough in 1901 moved in his father’s old house after his father died. The couple had 16 children; three of the girls became Sisters of Charity: Virginia Catherine Deal, Pauline Shirley Deal, and Nora Francis Deal. Stanley and Gwendoline had 39 grandchildren, 99 great-grandchildren and 22 great- great-grandchildren.

Names such as O’Flaherty, Duggan, Mader, Chamberlain, Bishop, Quaintance, Leitch, Bradshaw, Montgomery, Berry are all related by marriage to this Deal family.

The British Government took steps to procure Foreign Protestants to colonize Nova Scotia by offering them free land grants, free passage to Nova Scotia, one year subsistence, tools, utensils to build their huts and to clear and cultivate the land, arms for defence, seed for corn, and breeding cattle.

Many Foreign Protestants agreed to settle here because in their home land, they were basically “Serfs” owned by the landowner, there were no jobs, or money there. They could not own land, told what to do, and what religion to practice. Here in Nova Scotia they could retain their language, own land and practice any religion that they wanted.

The first ship of settlers was “The Ann” in 1751, next came “The Pearl” in 1752. They settled in the north end of the city, later that area was called “Dutch Town” and at the head of the Northwest Arm and at the Bedford Basin. Many were lured to Lunenburg with the promise of larger lots.

In 1763 nine lots consisting of 150 acres each were granted along the west side of Dutch Village Road, extending north of the eastern end of Geizer’s Hill Road (Main Avenue) and south to the present day “Glen Eagle Way” located off Joseph Howe Drive, at the bottom of Mumford Road.

The Deal settlers were thrifty, hard-working and practical farmers. They cleared the dense pine forest from the land, sold the wood for firewood and lumber in Halifax. They pulled out the stumps and ploughed and worked the land. They removed tons of iron stone and granite boulders from the fields and piled them into miles of fence.

Today behind Glen Eagle Way (located off Joseph Howe Drive) is a walking trail (once railway tracks) and between the trail and the Ashburn Golf Club fence, there can be seen the remains of an old stone wall. This stone wall was built in 1751, Harry Piers said that this stone wall was built by the soldiers to mark off the land given in 1749 to the church of England (Glebe Lands), and the settler’s land. Harry Piers was a curator of the Provincial Museum and Keeper of Public Records, Halifax.

Before wells were built, buckets of water were laboriously transported, often on a Neck York, from lakes, ponds and brooks for the family use.

These early Deal settlers helped to make Fairview the community that it is today. Although it is a small community it has a wealth of interesting history. The Deals certainly deserve an honourable place in the history of the community.

Three streets on the east side of Dutch Village Road in Fairview are named after some members of the Deal family:
Andrew Street is named after Andrew Deal.
Percy Street is named after Percy Deal.

Andrew and Percy were brothers and owned a business on Dutch Village Road called Fairview Machine Works (Blacksmith Shop), in later years that shop became known as Webb Spark Engineering Ltd. Deal Street is named after Levi Deal who owned a farm on Dutch Village Road known as the Deal Farm, later it became known as Keeler’s Farm. Roy Deal (son of Levi Deal) and Edith (daughter of William Keeler) Deal lived and worked the farm for many years; Edith remembers taking the cows to pasture, in the summer, up the hill that is now Coronation Avenue, as far as Willett Street. Later Edith and Roy Deal built a house on the northern end of the property after Keeler’s Farm was demolished and the first Halifax West High School was built. Today three buildings occupy the site called the Boss Plaza but Roy and Edith Deal’s house still remains there in 2019.

The Deal (later Keeler) farm was on Lot # 2, the original land grant to John Kuntz. It was the first framed house in the area at that time, all other houses were made of logs. It was described as a storey and a half high, with a cellar underneath. The cellar, built into the sloping ground could be reached either outdoors by a cellar door or by means of a hatch in the floor of the living room. There was also a kitchen next to the living room and a fireplace made of rough stone. A narrow stairway led upstairs to two bedrooms. The chimney was also made of stone. The timbers were all axe hewn and were held together with wooden pins. The boards for its walls and flooring were all sawn in a saw-pit on the property. The house was turned into a hen house years later. A Saw Mill was located on the farm in 1925 behind Levi Deal’s house.

John Deal, the son of Shahoon Adam Deal and grandfather of John Levi Deal, lived in the old Kuntz House. John Deal was born in 1804 and died 1877. John Levi Deal later became the owner of the farm. His sons Edward and George were born there. George married Elizabeth Gebhardt and built the house William Keeler was later to live in when he bought the farm from John Levi Deal.

Today (2019) many descendants of the Deal family still live in or near the Fairview area.

Deal’s Pond

The pond was located on the property of Henry (Harry) Deal; Harry ran a dairy farm on his land called Oakfield Dairy. In 1909 his dairy was listed in the City Directory and he continued to run a dairy for many years, being one of the last in Halifax to keep a dairy within the city. He gave up his dairy in October 1939 and disposed of his seven cows.
His barn was located by the southwestern railway track (now a walking trail) and at one time part of his pasture was use by the military as the site for a defence post for many years.
His wife Katherine (Kate) was a school teacher at the Dutch Village School located on Dutch Village Road.
Married for 65 years, she first came to the Dutch Village in 1892.
Their house was located in Fairview on the corner of Dutch Village Road and Bayers Road (Shoppers Drug Mart now occupies the site), the two-storey, white framed house was well over 100 years old when it was demolished to make way for St. John’s Church and Church Hall. Harry and Kate’s attractive house was surrounded by a white picket fence and had a lovely large coach house that stood directly behind their house, reminiscent of earlier years. They operated an extensive farm that covered an area from the Dutch Village Road east as far as the railway bridge on Bayers Road and expanded for a distance west on Dutch Village Road. The pond itself was located to the east of his house, where Joseph Howe Drive is today and it extended near to where Bayers Road Shopping Centre is today.

Deal’s Pond was divided into two ponds, “Little Deal” and “Big Deal.” “Big Deal “was formed when a stone dam about 15 feet high was built to the north end of “Little Deal Pond” before it ran into the Bedford Basin. The stream coming from “Big Deal” was the water source for the reservoir at the dam. The pond was formed to provide power for a small saw mill operated by Richard (Dick) Deal, grandfather of Harry Deal. A house built for the mill workers by Richard Deal, once stood on the shore of the smaller pond.

Deal’s Pond was also a popular skating spot when the harvesting of ice did not prevent it. William H. Deal had an extensive ice business; cutting ice on the pond and storing it in a large building at the foot of the pond. A horse-drawn ice-plow was used to cut the ice into forty-four inch thick squares, which were band-sawed around the ends and barred or sliced off to form a slab of ice eight or ten blocks long. These slabs were sliced off with a slice bar with a flat or chisel-shaped end. The ice blocks were loaded on sleighs and hauled to the ice house where they were packed for summer use in a huge storehouse. The ice blocks were piled a foot away from every wall, sand stacked tier upon tier until the storehouse was full. The space around the walls was filled with sawdust and the top was covered with marsh hay. In later years, cut ice was transported to Boutilier’s Ice-House where Sir Charles Tupper School now stands in Halifax. After William’s death the ice business was continued by his son Fred H. Deal.

Deal’s Pond was also known as the place where the Halifax Suburban Hockey League first started in 1927-28. Young men from all over Halifax-Dartmouth area braved the cold to gather at the pond, lace on their skates, pick up their hockey sticks and wheel around the ice. In the winter of 1930-31 the Suburban League played their hockey games at the Shirley Street Arena.

A terrible tragedy happened on Deal’s Pond in November of 1927;

William Bannister, age ten years old and his friend George Taylor, age eleven years old had finished class at the Dutch Village School on Dutch Village Road (Today a Day Care stands there next to St. Lawrence Place) around 3 P.M.
They went to Deal’s Pond which was located behind the school house, on their way to their homes in Fairview. William Bannister took a raft into the water and was returning for his playmate when the fatality occurred. George Taylor said he was standing on the shore when he saw the end of the raft tip and William fall off the raft into the cold water. William could not swim so George jumped into the water and swam out to him. George was an excellent swimmer for his age. He made three attempts to reach the drowning boy under the water, once George grasped William’s coat but was unable to bring him to the surface. The work of the rescue was impeded by the soft mud which lay under the pond.

When George managed to grab hold of William again, William tried to grasp on to him, and George knew if he grabbed him, and they struggled, they both would go down. There would be no chance to save him. George said, “If he only hadn’t tried to grab hold of me, I knew I would have been able to save him.” George turned and swam to the shore and ran towards the school for help. At the school house he informed Miss Mitchell, a teacher, of William’s plight. The teacher secured the service of Albert Keeler, who was working in his yard nearby. Mr. Keeler rushed to the pond. He was a tall man, and he waded in the water up to his neck. He raised the drowned boy, and brought him to the shore, about 30 minutes after the accident but William had expired. The next day, after a sleepless night, George, son of Frank Taylor said, “Gee, but I’ll miss him, he was an awfully good chum”, William Bannister, son of Arthur Bannister, and brother to sisters Annie, Viola and Olive, is buried in St. John’s Cemetery on Kempt Road.

Washmill Pond was another named given to the pond when Richard Deal had a wash mill on Deal’s Pond, just west of his house (Richard’s log house was located on the west side of Dutch Village Road, on a small hill at the bottom of what later would become Sunneybrae Avenue).

He had a contract with the military to wash large quantities of grey military blankets and sheets, since a large number of soldiers were stationed through the years in Halifax. Operating the wash mill was a huge undertaking; the blankets were trucked to the mill, pushed through holes in a big wheel, than swirled about the water until clean. Hundreds of blankets were hung over fences and bushes or laid out flat on the grass to dry in the sun. Richard’s son William H. Deal also operated the wash mill.

In 1858 William Deal purchased a house on the west side of Dutch Village Road, today that part of Dutch Village Road is called Westerwald Street at the bottom of Melrose Avenue. The house is said to be the oldest house in Fairview today, although remodeled, it is alleged to contain the frame of an earlier dwelling. William’s house was 35 feet long, had one storey in front and two storeys in the rear. It included a large barnyard and other outbuildings.

The property was on lot six, originally assigned to German settler Gottieb Shermiller by a grant dated April 28, 1763. Later William’s son Fred H. Deal lived there with his wife Sadie and family. Jane Karrel and John James, owners of the house in 1995, were told by the former owner that the house was well over 100 years old.

William also managed the Omnibus Line that connected Dutch Village with the city of Halifax in 1875. It ran three trips a day to the Halifax Post Office, via Dutch Village Road, Quinpool Road, Cunard and Cogswell Street. After operating it for seventeen years William retired and on May 3, 1892 Thomas Robinson (with Harry Innis as driver) started a new bus line.

There was also a Muskrat or Mink Farm on his property. In 1930, I found a listing in the City Directory for
Maritime Fur Farm Ltd. located on the west side of Dutch Village Road.