ANYONE HELP WITH THESE HISTORICAL TIDBITS? (November 26/99)

It’s a file marked “Ideas for Columns” and in it, I’ve stuffed bits and pieces of information that I hope to use in future articles. Often the items are little more than teasers; a line or two, a phrase, a reminder to look into a topic, and so on.

An example is a note in the file referring to the so-called Six Rod Road. This is a mystery road, possibly of military origin, that may have run across the North Mountain and connected with a port on the Minas Basin. There’s little doubt that the Six Rod Road once existed since property deeds refer to it when describing property boundaries.

Leon Barron told me about a reference he saw to the Six Rod Road some time ago and this started my search. However, I have little information and research has come to a standstill. I appealed to readers in a previous column without results and I’m hoping that by mentioning the road again, someone with information about it will read this. In other words, help, help.

Readers who have tidbits of information on the old Pickett’s Wharf, which was located below Canning on the river channel, are asked to call or write. I have a short article on the wharf which appeared in the Kings Historical Society Vignettes, but additional information would be appreciated. There may have been a controversy in the early days of old wharf’s existence, perhaps involving the shipping of farm produce and a farmer’s strike.

I’d be delighted to hear from readers who may have information on other topics I’m building a file on. Some of these topics follow.

Just as many local place names have, as Watson Kirkconnell says, “come and gone like the wind,” so have Irish settlements in this area. Before, during and after the great potato blight in Ireland, groups of Irish people settled in Kings and Hants County. The old maps simply marked them as “Irish Settlements,” and there was one north of Kentville near Hillaton and possibly one along the New Ross Road also near Kentville.

An Irish settlement may have existed briefly on the boundary between Hants and Kings as well. These settlements disappeared almost as fast as they sprung up; in most cases, they consisted of no more than several families and there are few records of them other than the maps I mentioned.

If you have any references to these old Irish settlements, I’d like to hear from you. Early bridges on the Cornwallis River is another subject I’d like help with. One of the first bridges on the Cornwallis was placed at or near the present bridge in Kentville; however, there may have been earlier bridges upstream in Coldbrook or Cambridge or just below Kentville.

Anyone hear of a Captain Joe Faulkner? For a time Captain Faulkner was a pilot on the Cornwallis River, guiding ships docking at Port Williams. The information I have is that Faulkner returned to the sea at the start of World War Two and was lost when the CP freighter he was commanding went down.

“Freedom School,” built in 1855 near Kentville in the Pine Woods. What was the school, how did it get its name, and where are the Pine Woods?

These Nova Scotia coins were issued mid-way through the 19th century and were called the Thistle Series. The coins featured a sprig of mayflowers, our provincial flower, on the so-called reverse. Anyone have information on the coins?

Anyone out there an expert on old maps of Nova Scotia? Perhaps a reader has information on the Fletcher map, the Harris map, the 1834 McKay map or the McKinley map of 1829.

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