In keeping up with the times, I have an Internet website in which this column is posted. You can find most of the history columns I’ve written over the past four years on my web page, along with my hunting and fishing articles.

At times I wonder why I bother with a website since it seems to be an exercise in ego stroking. However, e-mail letters from people outside the circulation area of this newspaper – people who see this column only because it’s on my website – tells me it’s more than that.

Often the letters I receive are inquiries, readers looking for information, searching out their ancestors and so on. On occasion, I’ve mentioned inquiries here in the hope that a reader can be helpful. Following are a few of these inquiries. If you have information about any of the topics mentioned, please contact me and I’ll pass your information along or put you in contact with the people making the inquiries.

Pius Rottler

Linda Chase is looking for information about a “group of 300 passengers who arrived in Nova Scotia from Germany about 1857.” One of the passengers, Chases says was Pius Rottler (1871-1937) who lived in Kings County. Chase mentions that Pius’ grandson may have been Roy Rottler who was Kentville’s Mayor from 1950 to 1954. Chase believes there may have been an article on Pius in this paper at the time of his death in 1937.

Hillfoot Farm

Gordon Bainbridge, California, is seeking information about Hillfoot Farm which he writes was a “receiving home for homeless children that was established in or near Aylesford in the 1880s and which burned to the ground in 1895.” Bainbridge adds that Hillfoot Farm was established by Miss Emma Stirling, from Edinburgh, Scotland. “She never rebuilt the farm and the children who were living there at the time (of the fire) were given to other orphanages around Canada.”

Bayer Settlement

Marion Bayer is seeking information on the Bayer Settlement and one George Bayer who arrived in Nova Scotia from Germany in 1751. Bayer’s original holdings may have been in the Musquodoboit area. An article on the Bayer Settlement appeared in a provincial newspaper in 1965.

Capt. Clare Baker

Barbara Niro is looking for information on Captain Clare Baker of Margaretsville. She writes that Baker built a home in Margaretsville, which was destroyed by fire over 70 years ago, and that there is a monument to him near the village lighthouse. I referred Ms. Niro to the history of Margaretsville but any information a reader might have would be appreciated.

Finian’s Raid

David MacKinnon of Raymond, Maine, writes to inquire about his great-grandfather, Allan, who was born in Cape Breton in 1845. “Apparently there was some local trouble that required turning out the militia when Allan was a young man in Nova Scotia,” MacKinnon writes. “My uncle was unsure of nearly everything about the incident (he thought it might have been referred to as Finian’s Raid) except the fact that (Allan) earned 100 dollars from the government for his part in it.” MacKinnon believes the incident took place between 1860 and 1871; he wonders if anyone can tell him more about what is obviously the Fenian threat of 1866 when Nova Scotia’s volunteer militia was mobilized.

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