“At the junction of these two roads (Church Street and Middle Dyke Road) the old township government had laid out a piece of land for militia purposes, which was called the Parade Ground” wrote Robie Lewis Reid (1866-1945) in a memoir about his early life in and around Steam Mill. The area around junction became known as “Chipman’s Corner,” named SAYS Reid after one of the families who were early settlers here.
“At Chipman’s Corner,” writes Reid, “lived the patriarch of the Chipman family, Hon. Samuel Chipman. He was born October 18, 1790, and died November 10, 1891.” Reid was acquainted with the Hon. Samuel Chipman, in his memoir mentioning a talk he had with him when the latter was 100 years old. In his memoir he offers a not unflattering description of Samuel, listing his accomplishments, all of which I’ll quote later.
If we look at history books we’ll find that the Hon. Samuel Chipman was a third generation Planter. His grandfather, Handley Chipman, was a Cornwallis township grantee. Eaton in his history of Kings County writes about the Chipman family in detail. Another excellent source of material on the Chipman family is James Fry’s Sketch of “Chipman Corner,” published by the Kings Historical Society and available at the Kings County Museum.
The late James Doyle Davison wrote several books that offer glimpses of the Chipman family; one of these books – Handley Chipman, Kings County Planter – is an excellent source for anyone interested in the Chipmans and early Planter life in Kings County. Fergusson’s Place-Names and Places of Nova Scotia also contains a description of “Chipmans Corner,” mentioning Handley Chipman as a grantee in the area.
Getting back to Robie Reid, he writes that the Hon. Samuel Chipman was a distinguished public servant (as were many of his immediate relatives). “He represented the County of Kings in the Provincial Legislature from 1830 to 1844 and from 1851 to 1860. From 1855 to 1857 he was a member of the Provincial Government. He was Registrar of Deeds from 1870 to 1887.”
Eaton, in his county history, adds additional information on Samuel’s career, noting that he represented several areas of Kings County from 1830 to 1863. Samuel also held at least two prominent positions with the provincial government. He apparently was interested in local history as well Robie Reid noting that he obtained from Samuel “many bits of (local) history only he remembered.”