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Old 06-01-2011, 01:18 PM  
mohel
 
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French Activity

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French presence along this section of the coast seems very quiet while Portugal still attempted to maintain claim. After 1588, French texts start to hint of the general area; however, no text directly speaks to this specific area. We can start with Champlain?s narrative of 1604 1 to show French activity/interest in the area of Mahone Bay. This 1604 was not Champlain?s first trip to the New World and it was not his first trip to Canada, but it was his first trip to this area of Nova Scotia.


Champlain is well aware of Portuguese activities in Atlantic Canada; however, he is most reluctant to directly mention them being connected to anything else other than Sable Island. This author thinks Portuguese claims may have still been a concern to the crown of France.

On this trip was Mathieu DaCosta 2 who was a person of African-Portuguese heritage. Mathieu was contracted to act as an interpreter with the Indians. One must naturally wonder how and where he learned this skill. you can read a great deal more about Mathieu Da Costa at the following:

http://www.iocp.info/articles/dacosta.pdf


Champlain says they initially departed France for Canso; however, de Monts changed his mind and set course for a place they would later call Port Mouton. Navigational errors cause them to site Sable Island, and then on 8 May 1604, they arrived at 44.5? and named the place La Have.

Champlain scholars have thought missing narrative regarding La Have to Port Rossignol were omissions from his original journals 3 and 4. Given the prolific writings, drawings, and details; Champlain spent three days at La Have but does not write about it. Others have concluded that Champlain may have kept a parallel narrative for another patron. This author thinks the suspicious omissions were for the purpose of not mentioning Portuguese activities, as this was the exact place on the coast which the Barcelos family claimed and attempted to settle.

Champlain also mentions the discovery in another part of NS, of a wooden crosses which he attributes to previous Christians being there 5. Knowing of the Portuguese Padrao , the cross found by Champlain is consistent with a Portuguese presence. He ought to have reasonably known of the Padrao cross as the French adopted this cross raising practice from the Portuguese.

Champlain next mentions the Mahone Bay area as he is sailing north along the coast to Canso. He names a series of large islands at the entrance to Mahone/St. Margarets Bay as ?the Martyrs, because some Frenchmen had once been killed there by the Indians.? 6



While we don?t know who these supposed Frenchmen were, a martyr in the Catholic sense to warrant such a place name should be after someone who died for religious beliefs. Does Champlain place some religious context to the death of these Frenchmen? This author thinks the name Martyr was given due to the two bays named by the Portuguese as Gulf of St. Bernard and Gulf of St. Anthony. While these men were not Martyrs, the name is consistent with keeping a religious association to the bays, perhaps for good luck. Regardless, Champlain is either familiar with, or gives name to the river at the head of St Margarets Bay, which he identifies as Ste Marguerite.



After this mention by Champlain, French texts regarding this area go quiet until 1632.






From 1632 to 1635 - Knight Commander Razilly 8 established his capital at La Have.


Logging efforts and exploration as told through Nicholas Deny 9 during this 1632-1635 period. The text starts on page 146 and goes to page 154.



An incredible story is told by Deny on page 153 of an island ?when a man set foot upon this island instantly a fire would seize upon his privy parts, and they would burn up, so the Indians said?.

There is no geological feature in this area that could explain fire coming from the ground. Did the Indians observe an underground mining chimney which crudely provided ventilation?



The remaining information is provided to show the French maintained a presence in the area. It may not have been a very large presence, but it was still a presence.



1658 - Le Borgne rebuilds the fort at La Have in 1658 with 58 men.

1664 - France grants Emmanuael Le Borgne (Bourge) Du Coudray a seigneury at La Have.

French Census identifying folks in the area.

1686 - National Archives of Canada MG1, Series G1, Vol. 466, No. 10 Microfilm No. C-2572

1698 - National Archives of Canada MG1, Series G1, Vol. 466, Nos. 18-20 Microfilm No. C-2572

1703 - National Archives of Canada MG1, Series G1, Vol. 466, No. 25 Microfilm No. C-2572



On 5 September 1726, Jean Baptiste Guidry, Philippe Mius d?Entremont Jr, and Jacques d?Entremont Jr, seized at Merliguesh (Lunenburg), the ship of Captain Samuel Daly of Plymouth, Massachusetts. On October 15th, 1726 the men were tried in Boston and hung for piracy on November 13, 1726.

All of this shows a French presence in the area starting in 1632. It may have not been a large population; however, they were there.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:29 PM  
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Metal found during 1849

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Records do tell of metal being retrieved from boring efforts of 1849. There are contradicting notes and testimony which naturally causes the reader much confusion as to exactly what was found and under what circumstances.

Only after collecting a great deal of original correspondence relating to this metal can we draw some conclusions.
For the purpose of understanding how this metal entered the story, we must be mindful of who relayed the specific information and when.
Rambles of the Blue Noses summer 1862, AL Spedon Oak Island details provided by JB McCully
No mention of metal being found.

The Oak Island Excavations, Halifax Sun and Adviser 2 July 1862 by J.B McCully
?We also brought (up) three small links which had apparently been forced from an epaulette. They were gold. After that another gang bored but the results were known only to the person who conducted the boring, which he managed to keep to himself. But a short time after he made such disclosures to Mr. Charles D. Archibald who was then concerned in the Londonderry Iron Mines, that he, Mr. A., went to the Government and got a licence to dig.?

Letter RB Brown to JB McCully 19 December 1862
RB Brown was the representative in Yarmouth and in extensive communication with J.B. McCully.
?Having learned the goldsmith trade, and in the habit of having seen a great deal of old jewelry, I am convinced that the 3 links, you took out of the pit, were gold what we call ?Copper-Gold?; until say 50 to 60 years ago, gold for making jewelry was always alloyed with copper; and you could only tell the difference between gold & copper by testing them with acids, and by there being a total absence of green tarnish (sulfate of copper) in the former metal. A skillful jeweller might tell the difference, by the texture so to speak, of the two metals, the postscript of your letter also reminds me that 160 years ago, jewelry was always made without solder, for where the two thin edges came together they were overlapped and burnished down, something like an ironsmith, and the links of a chain would be simply joined and the ends closed.?

Yarmouth Herald 19 February 1863 by Paul Pry Junior
This very long article is called ?Oak Island ? The reason for supposing treasure is buried there. History of Operations on the Island?
This is a very long story worth reading and clearly speaks to what McCully was telling the folks of Yarmouth, which included McCully being present for all boring operations in 1849.
?They also drew up in the mud adhering to the auger, three links of a chain, of a copper color, which however on being tested proved to be gold, being wholly free from tarnish and having apparently been torn open or wrenched asunder by the auger in turning.?

Yarmouth Herald 12 March 1863 by Paul Pry Junior
Mr Pry is a former investor and obviously now dubious of Oak Island. In this article he says ?First, Mr McCully commenced the work in 1849? he then (as he says) took from the pit gold wire.

Mr. McNutt's History of Oak Island, Private Collection, after 7 January 1867
Mr McNutt has a long time association with the diggings dating back to 1849. He has been credited as attempting to narrate the treasure hunt and discover the island's history.
He writes in relation to boring efforts in 1849
?Out of the most eastern or last hole three pieces of wire which was copper were brought up by the auger?

Oak Island Treasure Company Prospectus 1894 Second Edition
Mr. J.B. McCully of Truro, who is still living and tells these facts, was manager. A platform was rigged in the "money pit", 30 feet below the surface and just above the water. The boring started and we submit a verbatim statement of the manager:

The platform was struck at 98 feet, just as the old diggers found it when sounding with the iron bar. After going through this platform, which was five inches thick, and proved to be spruce, the augur dropped twelve inches and then went through four inches of oak; then it went through 22 inches of metal in pieces, but the augur failed to take any of it in, except three links resembling an ancient watch chain. It then went through eight inches of oak, which was thought to be the bottom of the first box and top of the next; then 22 inches of metal, the same as before; then four inches of oak and six inches of spruce; then into clay seven feet without striking anything else...

Not satisfied with the result of this boring just above described, another crew, of which the late Jas. Pitbaldo was foreman, was sent to make further investigations with practically (as far as the wood at the bottom of the shaft was concerned) the same result as before. The late John Gammel, of Upper Stewiacke, N.S., and whose veracity would not be questioned, stated that he saw Mr. Pitbaldo take something out of the augur, wash and examine it closely, then put it in his pocket. When asked by Mr. Gammel to show what it was, he declined, and said he would show it at the next meeting of directors on their return, but Mr. Pitbaldo failed to appear at said meeting.

Letter by T. MacCleod to Blair dated 27 July 1897 Privately held
Mr. MacCelod writes to Blair seeking shares for himself and Daniel Barry. He says Daniel Barry worked on the site in 1849 and invested $1200.00, further he was present in the pit when they struck flood tunnels and
?he was there also when they made the boring in the money pit when the three links were taken up and Pitblado put them in his pocket and that was the last he saw of them.?

Notes by Fredrick Blair ? Gold River NS, 6 August 1922 Privately held
Fredrick Blair writes a note after interviewing George Vaughan, age 72, and captures ?Mr Vaughan also stated his father David Vaughan worked at the pit when the original boring was done. He was told by his father that he was present when a man (supposed to have been Pitblado) took something from the boring, rubbed it on his pant leg and after examination put in his pocket and left the island that night.
This is second hand information from father to son, but there was no mention or description of what was taken from the boring.

Conclusion
Out of all the sources of information, there really are only two first hand accounts, one by Mr. McNutt and all others based upon the account of JB McCully.
McCully suggests two different boring attempts made in 1849 with McCully knowing of both efforts and McNutt only knowing of the first effort. Mr. McCully participated in the first group and recovered what appeared to be copper coloured metal wire. During 1862 he described this as coming from an epaulette, by 1894 he said it resembled a watch chain. One must wonder the varying descriptions which imply a gauge (diameter) of the metal.
Mr. Pitblado was clearly present and involved with part of the borings of 1849. He clearly found something with only Mr MacCleod's testimony claiming that he saw three links.
It is clearly possible for both efforts to have resulted with both men finding metal links or wire. It is also possible for McCully to have found copper wire as described by McNutt, then subsequently obtain the metal links found by Pitblado and claiming them to be of his own discovery.
One must naturally wonder if Mr Brown was furnished with a written description of the evidence or if he was furnished the physical item. Brown letter makes mention of a post script contained in a prior letter by McCully, thus is seems reasonable to think Brown received a description. He certainly did provide a very accurate historical description and even suggested a means for testing. This clearly implies the physical item was other observed or thought to exist for testing to be possible. There was enough time between Mr Brown's letter of December 1862 and Mr Pry's article of February 1863 for this testing to have happened; thereby allowing Mr Pry the ability to write the item was tested and proven to be gold. Mt Brown clearly has not been told of any previous testing to determine gold content and this seems very strange since McCully was promoting the object to the Yarmouth investors. It only seems like a reasonable question for anyone to ask of Mr McCully ?how do you know it is gold?? The need for Mr Brown to suggest a testing method clearly indicates he was not told of any previous attempt to test for gold. Since Brown was the Yarmouth representative he would have been in the know.
Considering the subtle in nature letter by Mr Brown, how could J.B. McCully write on 2 July 1862 for the metal to be gold? Simply put, McCully did not have the item tested by this date and claiming the item to be gold was speculative at best but portraits this as fact.
Just as a final note, no records have been found detailing if indeed this item was tested and what those test results were. I find this most unusual as it surely would have been touted for investment.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:41 PM  
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Lapis Lazuli & Discovery I

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In 1747, the first report for a natural out-cropping of Lapis Lazuli in Nova Scotia was made 1. Certainly a report like this would cause authorities to think this stone was present in this area.

The inclusion of lapis lazuli, along with unopened mines of gold and silver was first issued in 1754 by Governor Charles Lawrence for a grant of land that would become known as Lawrencetown. This was a 5 full years before the Shoreham grant and would become the standard language for all land grants which eventually expanded to include coal.

This inclusion was actually crafted by the local Halifax executive for the purpose of keeping the grantees focused on clearing the land for farming; thereby providing food to the town of Halifax. Starting in 1749 to 1753, much of the land around Halifax was granted for farming; however, those folks prospected for mineral wealth with the land not used as intended, with much of it quickly abandoned. Obviously this did not sit well with the executive as the land was granted for farming.

The Public Archives of Nova Scotia contains all of these government records in microfiche form.
When was 'discovery'?
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Background

The story of Oak Island as told today commences with the tale of three young or teenage boys rowing out to an uninhabited island during the summer of 1795; or one boy making discovery then returning to the mainland to fetch two other boys.

One must naturally wonder how ?three boys? became the descriptive language of choice for the 20th Century when all early written accounts have always indicated men. Dissecting the stories of discovery and wading through the various accounts must be made for the purpose of understanding the following:

The year 1795 was introduced by Frederick Blair in his Prospectus of 1894, and
At no time were boys ever mentioned in any account prior to the 20th Century.
Essentially there are two varying accounts which narrate a discovery of the pit. These two versions are the following:

1. One version of discovery has Donald McGinnis as a participant, with varying co participants depending on the narrator. All of these accounts are known as the ?three friend version? which can be further examined to contain two sub variations.

a. Judge DesBrisay in his History of Lunenburg County, First Edition, says McGinnis, Ball and (a) Vaughn of unknown first name were involved,

b. Anthony Vaughan Junior?s version as relayed to Robert Creelman during 1849 has McGinnis, John Smith and Anthony Vaughan Jr. Anthony Vaughan?s story is the version which authors have adopted and which eventually was transformed into ?in 1795, three boys rowed out to an uninhabited island?.

2. The second main version comes from James DeMille through his Treasure of the Sea. Essentially, DeMille tells of a father who discovered the pit forty years before the ?three friends version? and who engaged with his son to work the pit. DeMille?s version then continues on with the ?three friends?. His addition was for the pit to be previously worked before the three friends; thereby implying the Loyalist discovery is actually a rediscovery!

Below are snippets of published articles which narrate the accounts of discovery. The information below was extracted for the purpose of indicating when the pit was discovered. The three friend?s version comes in five articles of which all others are based, with the eighth article from the Blair Prospectus of 1894. Blair?s Prospectus is the first document which attempts to conjure the history for the purpose of selling shares; thus it has legal implications.

Article 1. 16 Oct 1862 Liverpool Transcript

by J.B McCully ? Truro, June 2, 1862

? Sometime after the arrival of these persons a Mr. McGinnis went to Oak Island to make a farm, when he discovered the spot in question from its being sunken, and from the position of three oak trees, which stood in a triangular form round the pit."



Comments: There is no mention of 1795 or his age. McGinnis arrived in the area between 1785 and 1787 and purchased his first Oak Island property 3 March 1788. The article implies discovery when McGinnis first went to the island, thus 1788.

Article 2. The Colonist of 1864

(author now known to be Mr Cooke of the Association)

Thus Captain Kidd and his treasure remained for several years following the death of the old sailor, when three men named Smith, McGinnis, and Vaund, emigrated from New England to Chester, Nova Scotia. Smith and McGinnis took up land on Oak Island, and Vaund settled on the adjacent main-land.

Comment: A mention of men but no 1795. Smith arrived in the area during 1784 at the age of 14. His father Duncan Smith was granted lot 24 in 1784 and his biological uncle Hector McLean being granted lot 23. Smith moved to Oak Island in Oct 1789 with his mother and new step father Neal McMullen.

The Vaughn family was already established in the area dating to the 1760s and the family owned several Oak Island lots prior to the arrival of McGinnis and Smith; therefore, it cannot be implied for the Vaughn family to have arrived at the same time as Smith and McGinnis. The article indicates the Vaud (Vaughan) involved had emigrated from New England; thus this Vaud (Vaughan) could not have been Anthony Jr. because he was born in Chester during 1782.

McGinnis did not come from New England; the closest he ever got to New England was New York. The time period implied by this article would be 1789.

Article 3. Toilers of the Isle 22 Aug 1866 New York Times and reproduced in the British Colonist

?Among the spots I have visited is a small island in Mahone Bay, on the south coast of Nova Scotia, known as Oak Island, where for over a century has been centred quite an interest. I give you the story as ?twas told to me:-?

Comment: The author indicates interest for over 100 years and therefore would be consistent with the DeMille version of '40 years prior to the three friends'.

Article 4. The Scotsman - 22 Sept 1866

Nearly a quarter century later, three men, named Smith, Vaud (Vaughan), and McGinnis, emigrated from New England and settled in Chester NS. Smith and McGinnis taking up land upon Oak Island. As soon as these men had erected their huts, they commenced their work of felling the forest that covered the island.

Comments: This article is based upon article 2. It mentions men, no 1795.


Article 5. History of Lunenburg County ? FIRST EDITION 1870 by Judge DesBrisay

?a man named McGinnis, living on the mainland when visiting the island?? and ?rowed back to the mainland and got two men Ball and Vaughan?.

Comment: A ?man?, and the judge actually provides the date of 1799. The year 1789 is a more reasonable date and I suggest 1799 may have been either a typing error, or the Judge?s personal recollection from recalling the story he learned as a boy via the daughter of John Smith. This version indicates a period prior to McGinnis owning property (1788) as he was visiting, perhaps even working. In stating Ball was on the mainland, one must wonder if Ball yet owned his first lot? A date of 1787/1788 means Anthony Jr. is 6 years of age and is not a likely person for McGinnis to have fetched, especially since the Judge mentions men. The Judge learned of discovery from Mary Smith, the daughter of John Smith, and who was a family servant. It was she who never included her father in discovery. Why the Judge's 1870 first edition is so different from the previous articles can only mean his source was different.



Article 6 Treasure of the Sea 1873 by James DeMille

?Well, after this nothing was done for a long time. These two, father and son, went home, and for a while they kept the whole business a secret; but after some years the old man died, and the son married, and so the whole the whole story leaked out, till everybody knew all about it?.

Comments: While published in 1873, DeMille's knowledge was gained from living on the island during 1868, and from many years of having a summer home in Chester Basin. DeMille does not provide a date, but he says a father and son were the primary discoverers and implies with the Loyalists either re-discovered the pit, or discovered a pit hidden by the Planters. De Mille further states ?these diggings to be about 40 years before the friends". Demille further states that after the father dies, the son get married, then talks openly about the pit.

In dissecting the Demille's version against the folks of the area, the father can only be Robert Melvin, and the son can only be Nathaniel Melvin. From 1766 onwards, Robert showed great interest in the island. After his death in 1787 the Loyalists would coincidentally start arriving on the island. His son Nathaniel would take control of his father?s Oak Island lots and further acquire several others including lot 17 during 1790, which he purchased from Anthony Vaughan Sr. With this purchase, the Melvin family would own the lots on either side of lot 18. Further to the DeMille?s version, Nathaniel married in 1795. While DeMille says for the son to have only talked about the pit, I don?t think this means Nathaniel widely publicized the pit; but rather disclosed to the Loyalists what the pit may have been used for during the Revolution. The silence of community or public record regarding this pit speaks for itself; surely the news of a virgin pit thought to contain Capt Kidd?s treasure would have made it to some record.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:58 PM  
mohel
 
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Lapis Lazuli & Discovery II

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Article 7 1885/86 Life of James Pattillo ? Recorded by Rev Rakey

James Pattillo?s testimony says ?the pit was discovered when his father still owned property on Oak Island?.

Comments: Alexander Pattillo possessed lot number one from 19 Feb 1785 to 9 Sep 1794 and lot number 27 from 17 Nov 1786 to May 1791. In both cases he sold both lots to Donald McGinnis.

Article 8 Blair Prospectus 1894

?In 1795, three men ?Smith, McGinnis and Vaughn, - visiting the island, and while rambling over the eastern part of it, came to a spot??

Comment: This is the first mention of 1795, but the participants are still referred to as men. By 1795 Smith was already a resident of the island and living with his mother and step father on lots 9, 10, and 11. McGinnis possesses lots 1, 23, 27, and 28, he resides on

Article 9 The Oak Island Treasure by Charles B Driscoll 1929

John McGinnis? is the great grandson of Daniel McGinnis. John was born on Oak Island and maintained an unbroken chain of McGinnis? on the island. John and his father were present during the time of Blair?s activities and historical investigation of the 1890?s, yet John?s testimony is not recorded by Blair.

His testimony ? ?He was one of the original discoverers of the treasure. After he got interested in the work here, he settled down and built a house right on this spot?.

Comment: McGinnis was already a resident by 1791 as shown on the Poll Tax and owned his first lot in 1788. The testimony indicates he was already aware of the pit and was interested prior to coming to Oak Island. The testimony also suggests work may have already been going on.


Analysis of the nine articles

The various accounts of the 19th Century never mention three boys, with only Blair?s Prospectus mentioning 1795 as a date to discovery.

Other than 1795 being the year in which Smith bought the property, there is nothing else to suggest 1795 as the year to discovery. DeMille indicates ?the son? got married and then communicated information about the pit. If this son was Nathaniel Melvin, he married in 1795.

All of the texts, except for Blair?s, suggests the pit was discovered, or at minimum became known to the Loyalist group before 1789.

All of the three friend versions, except for Judge DesBrisay?s, are all based upon the Anthony Vaughan Jr. to Creelman exchange of information.



Conclusions

Implications of an earlier than 1795 discovery date are far reaching; but most significant is for Anthony Vaughan Jr?.s age becoming a factor. Born in 1782, a discovery date of 1787 would see Anthony Jr. only five years old; therefore he would not have reasonably been the Vaughan who McGinnis fetched on the mainland. Additionally Jr. would not have been of sufficient age to have participated and not as a reasonable eyewitness to discovery. One must wonder why Junior?s version of events, as told to Creelman in 1849, is so disjoined from the documented history of the island.

By 1849, McGinnis, Ball, and the various Vaughan men who could have been the one McGinnis fetched were all dead. A discovery date before October 1789 would now exclude even Smith as a participant and would be consistent for Judge DesBrisay?s version he learned as a boy.

Simply put, Anthony Vaughan Jr. must certainly have told Robert Creelman more than 30 seconds of worthy text to detail discovery. We do not hear from Smith or relatives, and we do not hear from any of the McGinnis relatives. We do not hear the version of discovery from any of the Loyalists; but rather from the son of a Planter who did not live on Oak Island and never owned property on Oak Island.

Including the information provided by DeMille now means the Loyalist either 're-discovered' a pit, or merely became aware of the pit. This awareness idea is substantiated through the testimony of McGinnis' great gandson who said Donald first became interested in the work prior to buying on Oak Island. Could this mean the operation was already on the go before McGinnis (1788)?

One can only conclude the Anthony Vaughan Jr. version was conjured, with the only outstanding question being ?Why??

So when was 'discovery'? Regardless of any possible activity as told by DeMille, this researcher thinks the Loyalist became aware of the pit at some point between the death of Robert Melvin in Aug 1787 and before Smith moves to the island in Oct 1789. Based upon property deeds and specific language used in the above texts, I think this can be narrowed down to between Aug 1787 and Mar 1788.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:19 PM  
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Treasure Trove act
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Black Loyalists
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Between 1783 and 1785, more than 3000 Black persons came to Nova Scotia as a direct result of the American Revolution. They came from slavery and war to take control of their lives, making choices within the limits they faced.

More than two centuries later, descendants of the Black Loyalists are calling to the spirits of their ancestors and discovering the stories of their struggles and triumphs. Meet some of the courageous men and women who founded two Nova Scotian Black Loyalist communities, Birchtown and Tracadie in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
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The Registry of Regulations is the central government office responsible for Nova Scotia's regulations. The Registry files, indexes, consolidates and publishes the Province's regulations. The duties of the office are set out in the Regulations Act.

What is on our site?
On this site you will find the full text of most of the regulations that we have on file. Some regulations are not available in electronic format. The regulations on this site are consolidations prepared by the Registry of Regulations and are unofficial (see disclaimer). Regulations can also be ordered from the Registry in hard copy or in electronic format, if available.

This site also contains the full text of the Royal Gazette Part I (2006 to present) and the Royal Gazette Part II, Regulations (2002 to present; tables of contents only, 1996-2001), and annual indexes to the Royal Gazette Part I (2000 to present) and Royal Gazette II, Regulations (1996 to present).

(The Registry of Regulations is a repository for Nova Scotia regulations only; we cannot interpret regulations or provide legal advice. For more information, contact the applicable government department or consult a lawyer.)

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Friends of Oak Island Society

New Children's Book about Oak Island

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2011 16:47
Thursday, 12 May 2011 16:34
Oak Island- A Tale of Two Treasures is the latest book to be written about the mystery that is Oak Island.



"For more than 250 years, treasure hunters have come to Oak Island to try to recover the treasure believed to be hidden by Captain Kidd or Blackbeard. Well, the wait is over. The treasure has been cleverly uncovered by first time children?s author Mary Anne Donovan and her husband/illustrator Travis Hiltz."

MacIntyre Purcell Publishing



For more information about the author and illustrator and to learn how you can get your copy today please click on the link below

Friends Of Oak Island Society • View topic - Oak Island- A Tale of Two Treasures

The Friends of Oak Island Society is proud to support such accomplished authors and illustrators as Anne Donovan and Travis Hiltz.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:50 PM  
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Oak Island Books

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The Far Reaches Of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760 (Campaigns and Commanders) [Hardcover]

After the Hector: The Scottish Pioneers of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, 1773-1852 [Paperback]
Lucille H. Campey


Oak Island Obsession: The Restall Story [Paperback]
Lee Lamb (Author)


A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland [Hardcover]
John Mack Faragher (Author)


Oak Island Gold [Paperback]
William S. Crooker (Author)


The Mystery of the Oak Island Treasure: Two Hundred Years of Hope and Despair (Amazing Stories) [Paperback]
Mark Reynolds (Author)


The Oak Island Mystery: The Secret of the World's Greatest Treasure Hunt [Paperback]
Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe (Author)


Oak Island Secrets [Paperback]
Mark Finnan (Author)


The Money Pit: The Story of Oak Island and the World's Greatest Treasure Hunt [Hardcover]
D'Arcy O'Connor (Author)


Oak Island and Its Lost Treasure [Paperback]
Graham Harris (Author), Les MacPhie (Author), Les MacPhie (Author)


Treasure, Vol.2. No.6. April 1972 Oak Island Remains Unsolved-For How Long? A Civil War Fortune Disappears [Paperback]
Arthur Bernhard (Editor)


The Secret Treasure of Oak Island: The Amazing True Story of a Centuries-Old Treasure Hunt [Paperback]
D'Arcy O'Connor (Author)


Mystery of the Oak Island Treasure [Paperback]
Jim Betts (Author)


A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland [Hardcover]
John Mack Faragher (Author)


Revisiting Anne Marie: How an Amerindian Woman of Seventeenth-Century Nova Scotia and a DNA Match Redefine "American" Heritage [Paperback]
Marie Rundquist (Author)


GHOSTS IN NOVA SCOTIA - Tales of the Supernatural: Oak Island; A New Ross Foreru [Paperback]
George Young (Author)


OAK ISLAND GOLD - Startling New Discovereis in the World's Most Famous Treasure [Paperback]
William S. Crooker (Author)


The Big Dig: The $10 Million Search for Oak Island's Legendary Treasure [Mass Market Paperback]
D'Arcy O'Connor (Author)


REVEALED: THE SECRET OF OAK ISLAND - The Untold Story of the Mystery of the Oak Island Treasure [Paperback]
Laverne Johnson (Author)


Nova Scotia's Oak Island: The Unsolved Mystery [Paperback]
Millie Evans (Author)


ANCIENT PEOPLES AND MODERN GHOSTS: The Saga of Oak Island; Modern Ghosts: The Brooklyn Rocker; All Saints Cathedral; Forerunner at Five Houses; A Ghost Near Grand Pre; Ghost with a Sweet Tooth; Nocturnal Visitor; Bristow's Barn; Ghost in Mahone Bay [Paperback]
George Young (Author), Ian D. Young; (Illustrator)


Money Pit: The Mystery of Oak Island [Paperback]
Rupert Furneaux (Author)


The Oak Island Quest [Paperback]
William S. Crooker (Author)


True tales of buried treasure [Unknown Binding]
Edward Rowe Snow (Author)


The Loyalists of America and Their Times: From 1620 to 1816, Vol. 2 of 2 [Kindle Edition]
Egerton Ryerson (Author)


Glimpses into Nova Scotia history [Unknown Binding]
Charles Bruce Fergusson (Author)


Frommer's(r) Halifax [Paperback]
Carol Matthews (Author), Allan Lynch (Author)


Excessive Expectations: Maritime Commerce and the Economic Development of Nova Scotia, 1740-1870 [Hardcover]
Julian Gwyn (Author)


An Unsettled Conquest: The British Campaign Against the Peoples of Acadia (Early American Studies) [Paperback]
Geoffrey Plank (Author)


Over the Border: Acadia, the Home of "Evangeline" [Kindle Edition]
Eliza B. (Eliza Brown) Chase (Author)
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The Acadian Exiles : a Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline [Kindle Edition]
Sir Arthur G. (Arthur George) Doughty (Author)


A History of Nova-Scotia, Or Acadie, Volume I [Paperback]
Beamish Murdoch (Author)


Blacks on the Border: The Black Refugees in British North America, 1815-1860 [Paperback]
Harvey Amani Whitfield (Author)


Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia [Paperback]
Terrence M. Punch (Author)


The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, 1783-1870 (RICH: Reprints in Canadian History) [Paperback]
James W. St.G. Walker (Author)


Loyalists and Layabouts: The Rapid Rise and Faster Fall of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 1783-1792 [Import] [Hardcover]

Discoveries of America: Personal Accounts of British Emigrants to North America during the Revolutionary Era [Paperback]
Barbara DeWolfe (Editor), Bernard Bailyn (Foreword)


No Place Like Home: Diaries and Letters of Nova Scotia Women 1771-1938 [Paperback]
Margaret Conrad (Author), Toni Laidlaw (Author), Donna Smyth (Author)


The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, 1783-1870 (RICH: Reprints in Canadian History) [Paperback]
James W. St.G. Walker (Author)


Control and Order in French Colonial Louisbourg, 1713-1758 [Hardcover]
A. J. B. Johnston (Author)


The 'Conquest' of Acadia, 1710: Imperial, Colonial, and Aboriginal Constructions [Paperback]
John G. Reid (Author), Maurice Basque (Author), Elizabeth Mancke (Author), Barry Moody (Author), Geoffrey Plank (Author), William C. Wicken (Author)


Haunted Harbours: Ghost Stories from Old Nova Scotia [Paperback]
Steve Vernon (Author)


Myth, Migration and the Making of Memory: Scotia and Nova Scotia C.1700-1990 [Paperback]
Marjory Harper (Editor), Michael E. Vance (Editor)


Memoir of Fr. Vincent De Paul; religious of La Trappe [Kindle Edition]
Father Vincent de Paul (Author)
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Diary and Related Writings of Joseph Dimock (1768-1846) [Baptist Heritage in Atlantic Canada Documents and Studies, vol. 1] [Paperback]

BENJIE'S PORTION: The story of a boy born in slavery, and his journey from Nova Scotia to a new colony for freed slaves founded in Sierra Leone in 1787 [Hardcover]
Martin Ballard (Author), Douglas Phillips (Illustrator)


From American Slaves to Nova Scotian Subjects: v.2: The Case of the Black Refugees, 1813-1840 (Canadian Ethnography) (Vol 2) [Paperback]
Bryan Cummins (Author), John Steckley (Author)


A State of Mind: The Scots in Nova Scotia [Import] [Paperback]
R. A. MacLean (Author)


The book of Ultima Thule: [by] Archibald MacMechan [Unknown Binding]

Archibald McKellar MacMechan (Author)


The Fault Lines of Empire: Political Differentiation in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, 1760-1830 (New World in the Atlantic World) [Paperback]

Elizabeth Mancke (Author)


A Passion for Survival: The True Story of Marie Anne And Louis Payzant in 18th Century Nova Scotia [Paperback]

Linda G. Layton (Author)


Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor: A History of Medicine and Social Conditions in Nova Scotia, 1749-1799 (Paperback)
by Allan Everett Marble
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:22 PM  
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Halifax Explosion

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the disaster. For other uses, see Halifax Explosion (disambiguation).
Halifax Explosion

A view of the Halifax Explosion pyrocumulus cloud, most likely from Bedford Basin looking toward the Narrows 15-20 seconds after the explosion.[1]
Photographer unknown.
Location Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date December 6, 1917
9:04:35 (AST)
Death(s) 2,000 (approximate) {1,950 known}
Injured 9,000 (approximate)
The Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in "The Narrows" section of the Halifax Harbour. About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, or collapsed buildings and it is estimated that over 9,000 people were injured.[2] The Halifax Explosion remains the world's largest man-made accidental explosion.[3]
At 8:40 in the morning, the SS Mont-Blanc, chartered by the French government to carry munitions to Europe, collided with the unloaded Norwegian ship Imo, chartered by the Commission for Relief in Belgium to carry relief supplies. Mont-Blanc caught fire ten minutes after the collision and exploded about twenty-five minutes later (at 9:04:35 AM).[4] All buildings and structures covering nearly 2 square kilometres (500 acres) along the adjacent shore were obliterated, including those in the neighbouring communities of Richmond and Dartmouth.[2] The explosion caused a tsunami in the harbour and a pressure wave of air that snapped trees, bent iron rails, demolished buildings, grounded vessels, and carried fragments of the Mont-Blanc for kilometres.
A view of the Halifax Explosion pyrocumulus cloud, most likely from Bedford Basin looking toward the Narrows 15-20 seconds after the explosion.[1]
Photographer unknown.
Location Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date December 6, 1917
9:04:35 (AST)
Death(s) 2,000 (approximate) {1,950 known}
Injured 9,000 (approximate)


Quote:
Halifax in wartime

Main article: History of Halifax, Nova Scotia


View of Halifax before the 1917 explosion, looking toward the industrial north end from downtown, from grain elevator towards Acadia Sugar Refinery 1900.
During World War I, Halifax became a huge international port and naval facility. Halifax has one of the world's largest ice-free natural harbours and was well connected through direct railway connections to other North American cities. The harbour became a major shipment point for war supplies, troop ships to Europe from Canada and the United States, and hospital ships returning the wounded. All neutral ships bound for North America had to report to Halifax for inspection. After German submarine attacks began in 1916, Halifax's harbour assumed an even larger role as an assembly point for merchant ships awaiting naval escort in convoys. A large army garrison protected the city with forts, gun batteries, and anti-submarine nets. These factors drove a major military, industrial and residential expansion of the city.[5]
Quote:
Collision and fire

Two-way passage by vessels through the narrow, curved harbour passage (called "The Narrows" - connecting the Atlantic Ocean and outer harbour with the Bedford Basin) was not restricted as to direction of travel, provided that vessels followed established collision avoidance regulations. Shortly after the submarine nets were opened around 7:30 AM on December 6, Imo attempted to depart through the starboard channel. It met an oncoming ship, an American tramp steamer. According to nautical regulations, vessels pass on their port sides with both ships steering to starboard. The two vessels agreed to pass on their 'incorrect' (starboard) sides, with Imo steering to port (left). This was a convenience for the incoming ship, which was docking on the Halifax side of the harbour.
The two steamers passed harmlessly. By roughly 8:15 AM, Imo was in the port channel as Stella Maris, a tugboat towing two barges, evaded Imo by remaining on the Halifax side of the harbour, passing the Imo on her starboard side and keeping her in the port channel.
But as Imo departed through the port channel, a second incoming vessel, the French steamer Mont-Blanc was entering via the starboard channel. A series of whistle blows communicated from both vessels indicated their intent to remain on course?a collision course. Captain Le Medec eventually ordered Mont-Blanc hard to port, sending the ship into the center channel. At the same time, Imo reversed its engines to stop, but the backward action of the propellers altered her course, bringing her to the center channel as well. The last minute evasive maneuvers by both vessels had sent them back onto a collision course.
At roughly 8:45 AM, Imo's bow struck Mont-Blanc and became lodged in its starboard bow, sparking the benzene[6] and picric acid.[7] Imo attempted to pull back and dislodge, which likely generated further sparks. By now the barrels of benzol stored on the Mont-Blanc's deck were aflame.
As the fire spread out of control, Mont-Blanc's crew were unable to reach fire-fighting equipment and, aware of their volatile cargo, they quickly abandoned ship upon the captain's orders. Within 10 minutes, their two rowboats containing the 40-man crew reached safety on the Dartmouth side of the harbour as the burning ship continued to drift towards the Halifax shore. Any warnings shouted by the French speaking crew were not understood as they fled further inland away from the burning ship, as Halifax is located in a primarily English speaking part of Canada.[8][9][10] Other ships came to aid the burning Mont-Blanc. Efforts to scuttle the ship also failed as the seacocks were seized shut. HMCS Niobe and HMS Highflyer sent crews, in steam launches, to assist.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered on the shores of the harbour, watching as the flaming Mont-Blanc eventually drifted along Pier 6 on the Richmond side of the waterfront, spreading the fire onto land by igniting some munitions cargo stored on the pier. Fire Box 83 was quickly pulled and local shop owner Constant Upham began calling several other fire houses directly, while watching the scene from his store window. West Street (Station 2) housed the first motorized fire engine in Canada, a 1913 American LaFrance combination pumping engine. Members of the Halifax Fire Department aboard the Patricia, and horse-drawn apparatus from Brunswick, G?ttingen, and Quinpool Road stations rushed to the pier.
[edit]Explosion and aftermath



This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2010)
At 9:04:35 AM, the cargo of Mont-Blanc exploded with more force than any man-made explosion before it, equivalent to roughly 3 kilotons of TNT (about 1.26 x 1013 joules). (Compare to atomic bomb Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima, which had an estimated power of 15 kilotons TNT equivalent.)[11] The ship was instantly destroyed in the giant fireball that rose over 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) into the air, forming a large mushroom cloud. Shards of hot metal rained down across Halifax and Dartmouth. The force of the blast triggered a tsunami, which rose up as high as 18 metres (60 ft) above the harbour's high-water mark on the Halifax side. It was caused by the rapid displacement of harbour water near the blast, followed by water rushing back in towards the shore. The effects were likely compounded by the narrow cross-section of the harbour. There was little information documented on this event as witnesses were generally stunned and injured as the wave washed ashore, though the wave contributed to the death toll, dragging many victims on the harbour front into the waters. Imo was lifted up onto the Dartmouth shore by the tsunami. Captain Haakon From and most of the crew that were on the bridge of the Imo and on its decks were killed by the tsunami. A black rain of unconsumed carbon from the Mont-Blanc fell over the city for about 10 minutes after the blast, coating survivors and structural debris with soot.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:34 PM  
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Halifax Explosion II

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Since the explosion occurred in the winter, the blast caused stoves, lamps and furnaces to tip or spill, spreading fires throughout the devastation, particularly in Halifax's North End, leaving entire streets on fire. Fuel reserves were high in preparation for the winter. Many people who had survived the blast were trapped in these fires. Problems were compounded as firemen from surrounding communities arrived and were unable to use their equipment, as hoses and hydrants were not standardized across communities or regions. However, the winds cooperated, and firemen, soldiers and other volunteers had most of the fires contained by evening.


A view across the devastation of Halifax two days after the explosion, looking toward the Dartmouth side of the harbour. The Imo can be seen aground on the far side of the harbour.
Some 1.32 square kilometres (326 acres) of Halifax was destroyed, essentially leaving a 1.6 kilometres (1 mi) radius around the blast site uninhabitable. Many people who had gathered around the ship either to help or watch were killed in the blast or were hit by the resulting tsunami. Others who had been watching from the windows of their homes and businesses were killed instantly, blinded or otherwise severely injured by flying glass as their windows shattered inwards.
Professor Howard Bronson of Dalhousie University later wrote that the disaster had damaged buildings and shattered windows as far away as Sackville and Windsor Junction, about 16 kilometres (10 mi) away. Buildings shook and items fell from shelves as far away as Truro (100 kilometres / 60 miles) and New Glasgow (126 kilometres / 80 miles). The explosion was felt and heard in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, roughly 215 kilometres (130 mi) north, and as far away as North Cape Breton, 360 kilometres (220 mi) east.
Fragments of Mont-Blanc rained down all over the city. A portion of Mont-Blanc's anchor shaft, weighing 517 kilograms (1,140 lb) was thrown 3,780 metres (2.3 mi) west of the blast on the far side of the Northwest Arm; it is now part of a monument at the corner of Spinnaker Dr. and Anchor Dr. A gun barrel landed in Dartmouth, over 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) east, near Albro Lake. Another piece of wreckage was driven into the wall of St. Paul's Church, where it remains today. A one ton boulder, apparently from the harbour bottom, landed with some force on the Picton.
The Royal Naval College of Canada building was destroyed, and several cadets and instructors maimed.[12]
[edit]Comparative power of explosion
The Halifax Explosion was one of a series of massive ammunition explosions which followed the large-scale manufacture, transport and use of high explosives in the 20th century and resulting in a number of large, artificial, non-nuclear explosions. An extensive comparison of 130 major explosions by a team of scientists and historians in 1994 concluded that, "Halifax Harbour remains unchallenged in overall magnitude as long as five criteria are considered together: number of casualties, force of blast, radius of devastation, quantity of explosive material, and total value of property destroyed."[3]
The RAF Fauld Explosion in 1944 exceeded Halifax in sheer force, but was contained underground, limiting its destructive effects.
The Heligoland demolition in 1947 produced more force but was a deliberate series of explosions on uninhabited islands, limiting range and human loss.[13] Likewise, the military tests Misty Picture and Minor Scale were larger explosions than Halifax, but, as deliberate tests, resulted in no loss of life or (unintended) damage.
However, both studies concluded that such large-scale explosions are difficult to measure and compare and even the largest non-nuclear explosions are less than one-quarter the power of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Event Approximate yield
PEPCON disaster 1.0 kt
Port Chicago disaster 1.6-2.2 kt
Texas City Disaster 2.7-3.2 kt
Halifax Explosion 2.9 kt
Heligoland explosion 3.2 kt
Minor Scale and Misty Picture 4 kt
Fat Man 21 kt
Tsar Bomba 50,000 kt (50 Mt)
These yields are approximated by the amount of the explosive material and its properties. They are rough estimates and are not authoritative.
[edit]Rumoured second explosion
A rumour of a second explosion had started roughly an hour after the first. Despite the high number of disciplined rescue workers, many of whom were military personnel, and although there are no records of an order to evacuate, soldiers reportedly had begun to clear the area with fear that smoke rising from the naval munitions magazine at Wellington Barracks was an impending second explosion. This site did store a large amount of explosive material and munitions, but the smoke/steam was a result of scattered coals being extinguished by personnel on site. Many rescue efforts were halted as masses of people fled to the high ground and open areas of Citadel Hill, Point Pleasant Park and the Halifax Commons, under the order of uniformed men. Rescuers and victims alike were delayed until almost noon when the situation was cleared, although some rescue parties ignored the evacuation and kept working. In the chaos and confusion, fear of German attacks had become rampant, leaving many to believe that the initial blast had been deliberate, further fueling the fear of a second explosion.[citation needed]
[edit]Blizzard
The next day brought a blizzard that dropped 40 centimetres (16 in) of snow on the community. Those who remained trapped in rubble, the injured, or those who had not been found or tended to, were often left in the bitter cold, adding to the loss of life. Rescuers were forced to work through the storm, and many people who were left homeless found shelter wherever they could. Houses left standing did not have windows after the blast, leaving survivors to use tar paper, carpets and other available materials to seal their homes from the elements. The snow, however, did aid firemen in ensuring any remaining fires were extinguished.
[edit]Fixing blame

Many people in Halifax at first believed the explosion to be a German attack. Even after, during rescue efforts, that fear still existed. Blackout laws were rigidly applied, hampering some efforts.[citation needed]
The newspaper Halifax Herald was noteworthy in continuing to propagate this belief for some time, for example reporting that Germans had mocked victims of the Explosion.[14] When the wounded Norwegian sailor, the helmsman of the Imo Johan Johansen, sought treatment at the American relief hospital, doctors confined him and reported to the police that he was German and behaving suspiciously. Johansen was arrested[15] and a search turned up a letter on his person, supposedly written in German, proving him a spy. Later it turned out that the letter was actually written in Norwegian.[14] Most of the German survivors in Halifax were rounded up and imprisoned.[16][17] Eventually the fear dissipated as the real cause of the Explosion became known, although the suspicion that Johansen had something to do with the explosion persisted for some time.[18]
A judicial inquiry into the collision began at the Halifax Court House within days of the explosion. The Inquiry's report in January 1918 blamed Mont-Blanc's captain, Aim? Le Medec; pilot Francis Mackey; and Frederick Wyatt, the Royal Canadian Navy officer in charge of harbour movements, for navigational errors that led to the explosion. Following the Inquiry, all three were charged with manslaughter. However the charges against Le Medec and Mackey were deemed excessive and dropped, leaving only Wyatt to face a trial where he was acquitted by the jury.[19] A subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in May 1919 determined that Mont-Blanc and Imo were equally to blame for errors that led to the collision.[20]
[edit]
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:43 PM  
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Halifax Explosion III

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Human loss and destruction

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While it is unknown exactly how many deaths resulted from the disaster, a common estimate is 2,000, with an official database totaling 1,950 names made available through Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management in the Book of Remembrance.[21] As many as 1,600 people died immediately in the blast, the tsunami, and collapse of buildings, with an additional 9,000 injured, 6,000 of them seriously. 1,630 homes were destroyed in the explosion and fires, with 12,000 more houses damaged. This disaster left roughly 6,000 people homeless and without shelter and 25,000 without adequate housing. The city's industrial sector was in large part gone, with many workers among the casualties and the dockyard was heavily damaged.
The explosion was responsible for the vast majority of Canada's World War I-related civilian deaths and injuries, and killed more Nova Scotian residents than were killed in combat. Detailed estimates showed that among those killed, 600 were under the age of 15, 166 were labourers, 134 were soldiers and sailors, 125 were craftsmen, and 39 were workers for the railway.


Explosion aftermath: the St. Joseph's Convent, located on the southeast corner of Gottingen and Kaye streets.
Many of the wounds inflicted by the blast were permanently debilitating, with many people partially blinded by flying glass or by the flash of the explosion. Thousands of people had stopped to watch the ship burning in the harbour, with many people watching from inside buildings, leaving them directly in the path of flying glass from shattered windows. Roughly 600 people suffered eye injuries, and 38 of those lost their sight permanently. The large number of eye injuries led to better understanding on the part of physicians, and with the recently formed Canadian National Institute for the Blind, they managed to greatly improve the treatment of damaged eyes. The significant advances in eye care as a result of this disaster are often compared to the huge increase in burn care knowledge after the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in Boston. Halifax became internationally known as a center for care for the blind, accounting for a large proportion of patients.
According to estimates, roughly $35 million Canadian dollars in damages resulted (in 1917 dollars; adjusted for inflation, this is about CAD$500 million in 2007 dollars).[22]
[edit]Communities affected

While the city of Halifax's North End neighborhood of Richmond suffered the most damage from the explosion, several neighbouring communities and settlements were also affected by the blast.
[edit]Dartmouth
The Dartmouth side of the harbour was not as densely populated as Halifax and was separated from the blast by the width of the harbour, but still suffered heavy damage. Estimates are that almost 100 people died on the Dartmouth side. Windows were shattered and many buildings were damaged or destroyed, including the Oland Brewery and parts of the Starr Manufacturing Company. Nova Scotia Hospital was the only hospital on the Dartmouth side of the harbour and many of the victims were treated there.
[edit]Mi'kmaq settlement
The small Mi'kmaq settlement directly opposite Halifax, in Tuft's Cove (also known as Turtle Grove), was completely obliterated. Unfortunately, little information was recorded on the effects of the disaster on the First Nations community. The settlement is known to have dated back to the 18th century, and on November 6 was slated to be relocated as reservations were established through Indian reserve status lobbying. Fewer than 20 families resided in this community, and had not begun their move before the collision and fire drew the attention of onlookers around the harbour. Records show that 9 bodies were recovered, and the settlement was abandoned in the wake of the disaster.
[edit]Africville
The black community of Africville, on the southern shores of the Bedford Basin, adjacent to the Halifax Peninsula, was spared the direct force of the blast by the shadow effect of the raised ground to the south. However Africville's small and frail homes were heavily damaged by the explosion which were described by a relief doctor as ruined but still standing.[23] Africville families recorded the deaths of five residents.[24] Africville received little of the relief funds and none of the progressive reconstruction invested into other parts of the city after the explosion.[25]
[edit]Heroism and rescue efforts
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:48 PM  
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Halifax Explosion IV

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Many individuals, groups and organizations contributed to the rescue and relief in the days, months, and years following the disaster. Specific acts of heroism and bravery by individuals are detailed below.
[edit]Vince Coleman
See also: Vince Coleman (train dispatcher)
The death toll could have been worse if not for the self-sacrifice of an Intercolonial Railway dispatcher, P. Vincent (Vince) Coleman, operating at the Richmond Railway Yards. He and his co-worker learned of the danger from the burning Mont-Blanc from a sailor and began to flee. Coleman remembered, however, that an incoming passenger train from Saint John, New Brunswick was due to arrive at the rail yard within minutes, and he returned to his post to send out urgent telegraph messages to stop the train.
? Stop trains. Munitions ship on fire. Approaching Pier 6. Goodbye. ?
Coleman's message brought all incoming trains to a halt and was heard by other stations all along the Intercolonial Railway helping railway officials to respond immediately.[26] The Saint John train is believed to have heeded the warning and stopped a safe distance from the blast at Rockingham, saving the lives of about 300 railway passengers. The rescued train was later used to carry injured and homeless survivors to Truro, Nova Scotia. Coleman was killed at his post as the explosion ripped through the city. He is honoured as a hero and fixture in Canadian history, notably being featured in a "Heritage Minute" one-minute movie[27] and a display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
[edit]Tug Stella Maris
Towing a string of barges at the time of the collision, the tug Stella Maris responded immediately to the fire, anchoring its barges and steaming beside the flaming Mont Blanc. The tug's crew began spraying Mont Blanc with their fire hose and were preparing to tow the burning ship away from the city when Mont Blanc exploded. The blast killed 19 of the crew aboard Stella Maris although five miraculously survived when the smashed tug was washed up on the Richmond shore.[28]
[edit]Firemen
See also: Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency
Firemen were among the first to respond to the disaster, rushing to Mont-Blanc to attempt to extinguish the blaze before the explosion even occurred. They also played an instrumental role in regaining control of the devastated city after the blast, with members arriving to assist from across Halifax, and by the end of the day from as far away as Springhill (180 kilometres / 110 miles), Amherst, Nova Scotia (200 kilometres / 120 miles), and Moncton, New Brunswick (260 kilometres / 160 miles), via relief trains.
Halifax's Fire Department at the time comprised 8 fire stations, 122 members (36 of whom were fully employed), 13 apparatus (1 of which was motorized), and roughly 30 horses. West Street's Station 2 was the first to arrive at pier 6 with the crew of the American LaFrance-built Patricia, the first motorized fire engine in Canada.
They were responding to Box 83, the dockyard alarm at the corner of Roome Street and Campbell Road (now Barrington Street), as Mont-Blanc drifted toward its resting place at Pier 6. Although the dockyard alarms were routine for the department, today was different, as North End general storekeeper Constant Upham could see the serious nature of the fire from his home and called surrounding fire stations to advise them. Upham's store was on Campbell Road, directly in view of the burning ship, and as one of the few buildings at the time with a telephone, he placed his call sometime after 8:45 that morning. Despite this warning, none of the firemen knew that the ship carried munitions. It was believed however, that the vessel's crew was still onboard, as West Street's Station 2, Brunswick Street's Station 1, G?ttingen Street, and Quinpool Road's Station 5 responded to Upham's call.
Fire Chief Edward P. Condon and Deputy Chief William P. Brunt were next on the scene, arriving from Brunswick Street in the department's 1911 McLaughlin Roadster. The heat was so overwhelming, no one could look at the inferno. Chief Condon pulled the Box 83 alarm again. In the final moments before the explosion, hoses were being unrolled as the fire spread to the docks. Retired Hoseman John Spruin Sr. was on his way from Brunswick Street in a horse-drawn pumper, and Hoseman John H. E. Duggan was traveling from Isleville Street's Station 7 with another horse-drawn firefighting wagon.
None of the firemen knew the danger that they faced as 9:04 arrived, bringing about the explosion that obliterated the dockyard fire site. Fire Chief Edward Condon and Deputy Chief William Brunt were killed immediately along with the Patricia's crew members: Captain William T. Broderick, Captain G. Michael Maltus, Hoseman Walter Hennessey, and Hoseman Frank Killeen. Teamsters John Spruin and John Duggan were both struck and killed by shrapnel en route to the fire. Their horses were also killed instantly in the blast. Patricia hoseman Frank D. Leahy died on December 31, 1917 from his injuries. Nine members of the Halifax Fire Department lost their lives performing their duty that day.
The only surviving member at the scene was Patricia driver Billy (William) Wells, who was opening a hydrant at the time of the blast. He recounts the event for the Mail Star, October 6, 1967,
? That's when it happened ... The first thing I remember after the explosion was standing quite a distance from the fire engine ... The force of the explosion had blown off all my clothes as well as the muscles from my right arm... ?
It is explained that Billy was standing again as the tsunami came over him. He managed to remain on land.
? ...After the wave had receded I didn't see anything of the other firemen so made my way to the old magazine on Campbell Road ... The sight was awful ... with people hanging out of windows dead. Some with their heads off, and some thrown onto the overhead telegraph wires ... I was taken to Camp Hill Hospital and lay on the floor for two days waiting for a bed. The doctors and nurses certainly gave me great service ?
Notably, firefighter Albert Brunt also survived the blast, by chance, as he slipped while attempting to jump onto the Patricia as it rounded a corner on its way to the docks.
A new pumper was purchased by the city and arrived just a few days after the explosion. The Patricia was later restored by the American LaFrance company for $6,000, who donated $1,500 to a fund for the families of the firemen. The families of firemen killed in the blast received $1,000 from the city (close to $15,000 in 2007 dollars), with the exception of one, who received $500.
On the 75th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, December 6, 1992, the Halifax Fire Department erected a monument at the current Station 4, at the corner of Lady Hammond Road and Robie Street, in honour of the fallen members who died fighting the fire on Mont-Blanc.
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