On February 27, 1844, a petition was presented to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly by James Fullerton of Cumberland County, requesting in effect that funds be provided for the “running of a packet between Windsor, Horton and Parrsboro.”

Recorded also is the petition of one Arthur Weir, asking for assistance for the “running of a Packet of large size, between Horton, Parrsboro and Windsor.

Another petition, presented on behalf of “John Fisher and others of Horton,” was in a similar vein. The petition requested aid for the “erection of a wharf or pier at Blue Beach on the Windsor (Avon?) River for the accommodation of a Steam Boat plying between St. John, NB, and Windsor.”

These petitions, as recorded in the Journal and Proceedings of the House of Assembly, are historical nuggets, confirming that ferries ran to various ports on the Minas Basin. One wonders if Fuller or Weir were successful in obtaining government aid and if John Fisher eventually established a ferry between New Brunswick and Windsor. Historical records establish that the ferries they envisioned existed before the railway arrived, and they served most major ports around the Minas Basin. As previously mentioned here, in her book Historic Hants County, Gwendolyn Vaughan Shand documents that a number of these ferries served areas that Fuller, Weir and Fisher had in mind.

Reading the 1845 Journal and Proceedings I found that funds were allotted to “complete the bridge over the Cornwallis River near Kentville.” Various references to the bridge establish that this is the structure in downtown Kentville. Historical references to the bridge speculate that it might have existed before 1845, but the Journal entry firmly establishes that it was in place by that year.

Meeting on January 30, 1845, the House of Assembly also allotted “one thousand three hundred and seventy-five pounds for the service of roads and bridges in Kings County.” Much of the work was destined for bridges in the area comprising Grand Pre, Lower Horton and Long Island with some work running as far east as Falmouth.

Not all records in the Journal are of historic value. Apparently, if adultery is committed, one could petition the House of Assembly for a divorce. Leaving out names, here’s what I found in the 1845 records: “A petition of R….. C……., of Horton was presented… praying that an Act be passed to divorce him from his wife on account of adultery committed by her.” The Assembly, to their credit, refused to consider the petition and it was dropped. However, the petition was recorded in the Proceedings and was accessible to the public.

Then there are mystery records in the Assembly proceedings, references to places that apparently were accepted as communities in the 1800s, but don’t exist today. For example, 10 pounds was allotted for work on the “Huntington Point Road, and the road westerly to the Irish Settlement.” Now, where was this Irish Settlement? “Westerly” of Huntington Point is a heavily forested area today. And the only known Irish settlement that was close at the time to Huntington Point was in Atlanta, near Centreville.

Here’s another mystery entry in the Proceedings – a petition for permission to harvest ”sea manure.” Do any readers know what this is?

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