Chapter 7

Generation of Seagoers

In the second half of the 1800s the shipping trade expanded in Nova Scotia. A Reciprocity Treaty signed in 1854 with the United States enhanced trade opportunities, but their civil war began in 1861. Trade with West Indies grew until around 1875, when it …

According to the 1871 Census, Brier Island had one hundred and seven dwelling houses. There were two barrel making establishments and one weaving business. Ethel Davis II and his son Ethel III were both coopers. Living next to Hubbard Davis was his son, Benjamin Davis, aged 34, mariner, on a one half acre lot. Ben lived with his wife Victoria, aged 27, and their two daughters. Victoria was of West Indian birth and a member of the Wesleyan religion.




Home of Dan Bailey, Jr., in North Westport, Brier Island. Samuel Bancroft Davis and Alice Bailey Davis lived in this house, and their son Ralph Harold Davis was born there.

Living next to Ben Davis was Jacob Davis, mariner, living on a one quarter acre lot with his three-year-old daughter and his new son. His wife had died not long before of consumption.

Samuel Bancroft Davis, aged 29, a ship master, was living with his wife, Alice, aged 23, a Baptist, and their one child, Mary B., aged 4 years. They lived in the north end of Westport in the home of Dan Bailey, aged 49, an Anglican, who worked as a House Joiner, and his wife Mary, aged 50, a Baptist.


Census 1871, Brier Island
Greenwood, History of Freeport, Nova Scotia, 1784- 1934.


Samuel Bancroft Davis

Samuel B. Davis married Alice Jane Huchins Bailey on July 31, 1866. Alice had been born ca. 1849, on Brier island to Daniel Bailey Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Payson. Mary Payson’s grandfather, Johnathan, had come to Nova Scotia from Massachusetts in 1758 and later moved to Brier Island. Between 1790 to 1792, Ethel Davis had owned land bordering on Payson’s.



Captain Sam and Alice in Bristol, England.
(R.T. Cartwright, photographic artist, 4&5, Clare St. & 34 Broad Quay, Bristol )


Daniel Bailey Jr. was a ship carpenter; he made some furniture around 1850s that still existed in 1990: a dining table now (2006) with W. R. Davis, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; a small square table with Sandy Davis, Geneva, NY; a map table with Kristin David, Scarsdale, NY; a stool and chest of drawers with Kristin David, Scarsdale, NY; a stool, twin of above stool with Mary Davis Clulee, Yarmouth.

Children born to Sam and Alice were: Mary Beatrice (“May”) in 1868; Ralph H. on February 4, 1876 at Westport; Oscar Lawrence in 1879 at Liverpool, U.K.; and Malcolm Bancroft in 1890 at Yarmouth. A silver mug given to baby Ralph is kept by his namesake.

On May 19, 1876, when May was eight and baby Ralph was only three months old, Alice Bailey Davis loaned $500. to the estate of her late father, Daniel Bailey Jr., mortgaging the “dwelling house, work shop, and land enclosed” (Deed 43- 309). The Samuel Bancroft Davises lived in this house.


Hugos, Possible descendants of William Bayly of Westport, N.S.
Payson Genealogy


Livelihood




barque Arlington registration certificate, built in Port Gilbert, Digby County, N.S. Oct.12, 1868. Changes recorded on back.


Samuel B. Davis was a master mariner holding Certificate # 90,377. The Arlington was not a lucky ship, the death of 32 men, but Samuel was lucky and never once had to wait for a fair wind. A watercolor picture of the Arlington, with square sails on three masts, is owned by Frank Davis.



barrels over deck of Arlington


Alice traveled with her husband aboard ship. The photo of Alice sitting with Samuel standing was taken in Bristol, England. They took their red headed daughter, May, with them. Captain Sam may have had a piano on his ship for May to practice her lessons.


The Arlington, that played the role of rescuer in this strange tale of the sea (Maclean’s, May 15, 1928 )


In December 1872, when Captain Samuel was 29 years old, he had a prophetic dream (see full text by MacMecan within this Chapter). He saw his men taking crew off a ship in distress at Latitude 52“North, Longitude 21“West. Returning in ballast from delivering thick boards to Cardiff, he sailed off course for a day and rescued 11 seamen at those coordinates. Sam used his forty pair of woolen socks after the successful rescue. Twenty years later, in 1892, the British Government awarded him a gold-plated hunting watch at the consulate in Baltimore. The watch was loaned to the Yarmouth County Historical Society by his grandson, Banny Davis in 1961 (Halifax Chronicle Herald).


barque Arlington built 1868, built in Port Gilbert, Digby, NS. registered in Yarmouth. “HPCK”, 850.tons. Owners: Jones-48, Newcomb-8, Ladd-8 of 64 total shares. (photo of painting owned by Frank Davis)



Later Captain Samuel became the captain of the barque Peerless loading coal at Glace Bay. Sam was known as “a hard bitten driver,” once beating a steamer from Quebec to Havre in the Peerless. He maintained discipline and usually paced the weather side while on watch. His crew recognized “the old man’s” vagary.


Halifax Chronicle Herald
MacMechan, A. “A Vision of the Night” p.199 in There Go the Ships (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto, 1928)
and p.31-38, in Tales of The Sea (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto, 1947)
Shipping Register, Port 21, Digby County
Outhouse, D.E., Chapter XIII, p.133-137, Glimpses of the Past from Long and Brier Islands, Yarmouth, NS. 1998.


Yarmouth

Capt. Sam. B. Davis & wife Alice moved “... to Yarmouth and hired a house on Main Street” with their three children before buying the house on James Street. “... we lived in that house about three years” (Letter VII). Ralph’s older sister, May, remembered watching from their kitchen window, a ship being built and launched, from north of the cotton mill. From his highchair, Oscar could see the train, out of the back kitchen window.

Already living in Yarmouth were B. P. Ladd and his wife, Mary ne. Davis, as well as Samuel’s aunt Hannah (Davis) Durkee.

On Boxing Day of 1882, Samuel Bancroft Davis paid $2,250. to John and James Lovitt, shipowners, for a lot at the corner of Whipple and Jenkins Streets in Yarmouth.

[ _James Jenkins was the grandfather of the Lovitt brothers. He had come from Weymouth in 1797. Between Milton and Yarmouth was an area named “Jenkinstown”. Yarmouth had another street named Jenkins so the street name was changed to James Street, for the first name of the owner of the land, probably after Yarmouth town area increased to include Milton.
“Whipple Street was named for James Jenkins daughter. James had the house built for his daughter._ ]

[ Their daughter, Mary Ellen “Nellie” Lovitt may have lived on Parade Street. ( Guest-Lovitt Bed&Breakfast ) Nellie died aged 65 in 1915. ]

Capt. John Walker Lovitt (1809-1874) ship owner, Justice of the Peace, merchant, Baptist; married, 1830, Ann Jenkins (b.1811, d.1901). She was the daughter of James Jenkins I, (1775-1855) and Sarah Brown, (1781-1851).

Sam’s house was probably on the lot when he purchased it. There was also a well and a large barn. House and barn built ~ 1830.


Captain Samuel Bancroft Davis’s house at 24 James Street, Yarmouth in 1996.



In 1883 Benjamin Davis purchased land from Pettit, on Whipple Street (Deed 3-379). Ben transferred the schooner Ulrica to Yarmouth.
Hubbard Davis had purchased a home for his sister Hannah’s new husband, Rust, in Milton.

A list of shipping owned in the county of Yarmouth on January 1, 1886 include:

  • the Morning Light, a 1,310 ton ship built in 1878, owned by: Samuel Killam, S. B. Davis, with Captains Geo. H. Perry and Fred A. Ladd;
  • the Herbert C. Hall, a 622 ton bark built in 1873 and owned by Samuel Killam, Benjamin Davis, captained first by Captains Samuel B. Davis et al, and by Fred Arthur Ladd in 1879;
  • the Acadia, a 241 ton brigantine built in 1875 and owned by Benjamin and Samuel B. Davis;
  • the Nellie Crosby, a 440 ton brigantine built in 1874 and owned by Benjamin Davis, Samuel B. Davis and Fred A. Ladd, captained by W. Wallace Crosby.

Ralph Davis has a large picture of the Herbert C. Hall.



Armstrong, Mary (May) Beatrice Davis, When I Was A Little Girl, 1937, Bridgetown, eight letters. (Steven Archibald, Halifax, 1994).

Brown, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia: A Sequel to Campbell’s History p.219.


Death

Sam died at age 74 in 1917 and was buried in Yarmouth. After his death, Ralph moved into his father’s house at 24 James Street with his wife and four children. Ralph’s mother visited her daughter May’s and son-in-law Dr. Morris Armstrong’s home in Bridgetown. She died there in 1922 at about age 87.

Ralph’s younger brother, Malcolm, visited them, and was helped to attend Truro Agricultural College. Malcolm’s son, Sandy, visited them at age 10.

“When I Was a Little Girl”

In April, 1937, Mary Davis Armstrong wrote eight letters to her grand-daughter, Sheila Armstrong, from her home-town Bridgetown. In the first set of letters she describes her life from age five to eleven, between 1873 -1878, as the first child of a sea captain, on sailing vessels and in port on the north Atlantic Ocean. She then tells of events over the next ten years ashore in south-western Nova Scotia.

Letter IBridgetown, April, 1937

My dear Sheila

Your father wants me to tell you about when I was a little girl. I am not sure there is much that will interest you, but I will try to give you an idea of those early days.

As my father and mother made their home on the sea – it wasn’t a good place for a baby – my mother came home to her father’s house for a time and then left me with her mother until I was five years old. My mother often came to see me during that time and brught me pretty clothes which she made for me. She did lovely embroidery and sewed beautifully. Once she brought me a doll sitting in a sort of carriage I used to enjoy playing with, and at another time a doll from France. I have two French dolls yet, but of course the white-kid body is yellow, but it has no breaks or rips. Luella is her name and I will show her to you some time [see photo]. Her head is marble and can turn. She has real hair in curls and when I just had her, was dressed like a lady, but her grand clothes wore out and she has nothing to fit her shape now. She once had black button boots and white stockings, a blue skirt and black silk over the skirt and a waist that was a perfect fit. I played with her when I wanted to and when I was tired of her put her on the parlor table by the family Bible. When her clothes were sewed on, she was not as much fun as others I had.

I had a number of china dolls that I could take down to a rock with me to play. My cousin Charlie Bowers and I had our house on that big flat rock on the shore in front of Grandma’s. There were many holes full of water like little bath tubs to put the dolls in. Also places we called ovens. We gathered stones we knew were soft enough to pound into what we called flour, and made cakes which we put in large Mussel shells for pans and placed in our ovens. Of course the tide washed them away so we could always do it again. In winter we had sheds and I remember hearing the folks talk about a big earthquake. I told Charlie “let’s have an earthquake,” so we banged up all the shell ice in the ditch and called it an earthquake and loaded the big pieces on our sleds.

I remember one day I ran away and thought I would visit the school. Mother’s youngest sister, Dora, went to school, so I almost got in; but her teacher saw me and when I called Aunt Dodie, he said, “Eudora, take this child home.” How Aunt Dodie gave me to understand that I was not to do that again. I had two of those young aunts who were very kind to me.

Grandma used to take me with her when she visited her friends and some places I loved to go. Her sister Aunt Ann Rise, had a dear little white marble church with coloured glass windows. I always think of it when I pass a church near the road on a hill at Smiths Cove for Aunt Ann’s little church had those same kind of pinnacles at the top. If I was very good, which was most always, Aunt Ann would light a candle and put it inside so the windows looked very pretty. Some sailor relation had brought it to her from foreign parts. On another visit to Mrs. Mary Coggins I met my first sewing machine. When no one was looking I tried it and ran the needle through my finger nail and all, so I learned not to meddle.

I used to go to my Aunt Mary Ladd’s – some times Uncle Byron had a store on the island. Aunt Mary was a sister to my father and had four children: Fred, Fanny, Minnie, and Frank. Of course the older sons wanted to play house and Frank and I had to be the babies. It wasn’t much fun for us to have to go to bed and make believe sleep.

When we went to Grandpa Davis’s house we had to be quiet for our Grandmother was sick. My little cousin, Carrie Davis, and I were the same age and played quietly. When I was alone Aunt Sarah used to trust me with a little glass soup turine given her by some young man who was drowned. I would feel quite honored to be allowed to have it. So many years after, when Aunt Hannah was sorting over Aunt Sarah’s belongings (for Aunt Sarah had gone to the better country) Aunt Hannah sent me the little glass dish and I still have it.

At Christmas time we didn’t have a tree – Aunt hung our stockings up and from then until New Years put a plate out each night and always found something – an orange, or apple, and candy. I usually got some more dolls, but one time Grandpa Bailey made me a dear little Walnut bureau, I have it yet, and Aunt Hannah gave me a little mirror in a swinging frame to set on top of the bureau and I still have that.

At last my mother came for me and we started for New York. I remember going across the passage and the double seated train that took us through Long Island. Going across to East Ferry and the awful Hill. Mother and I stayed in, but the men all walked. Among them was the old singing teacher at Westport. Now both Mothers sisters, Aunt Ann, and Dora had gone to his class and had taught me all the pieces; so I sang with him as we journeyed on. At Sandy Cove we put up for the night. We stayed with Mother’s cousin Carolyn Johnson (daughter of Aunt Ann Rice.) She had three little girls: Melda, Carrie, and Edith. Next day we went on to Digby and took a steamer for Boston. I remember being put in a berth to sleep, but the rest of my trip do not remember until I got to the “Sarah L. Hall.” There, Father had a crib for me that stood by their built in bed, but days the legs would fold under and it could slip under their berth. He also had a set of dolls dishes for me and I still have a few pieces of it.

Letter II

I liked going on the “Sarah Hall” very much and we soon sailed for the West Indies. One of the towns we visited was called Matansus (very likely spelt wrong). It was on the island of Cuba and had a wonderful cave of concealed water. We entered a small room with looking glass-doored cases around the wall filled with pieces of this wonderful stuff for sale. You paid to go down into the cave and a guide took you down a lot of steps and into what looked like a place full of ice hanging from the top and up from the bottom. As there were lights shining on it, it looked like you see big iceycles hanging from roofs in the winter and the sun making them glisten. You felt you could break a little one, but Mother tried, and cut her finger. Father bought us some to remember our trip and I have mine yet. Another place we were invited to was a sugar plantation, and had to go out there on horseback since there were no carriages or roads for them. I rode in front of the servant who brought the horses.

While we were out there our host had a party and as it was very warm the ladies had pretty fans. Now I wanted one very much and Father got me a paper one. I didn’t want it and of course the gentleman we were visiting must have heard my grumbling for he gave me a lovely fan of white wood carved very fine and flowers painted on it. I was very pleased with it, and kept it for many years. I think Margaret finished it.

At another Island I played in the sand and got infected with an insect called a Jigger. I had to have a coloured doctor to get them out of my feet.

At some of the posts you did not go into a wharf, but were loaded by lighters, big flat boats which brought out the molasses and it was hoisted aboard. I expect the water was too shallow near the shore. Well, Father was taken ashore most days and I often went along. Sometimes Mother also, but one day when she didn’t go I was playing with a little girl and I fell. I got my nice clean clothes all muddy, so the little girl’s mother dressed me in her little girl’s clothes to go out to the ship. Mother was much surprised to see me coming in a lovely pink outfit. I never had pink before and I felt grand. Such nice boots with a silk tassel on them. I was sorry they all had to be returned. I remember that day I had seen a lot of little coloured children with no clothes on and their mothers had dresses trailing on the ground. About a year and a half went by in these voyages and at last we came to Yarmouth. I forgot to tell how naughty I was in New York. Mother and another lady were in the stores and I wanted a sunshade, a pretty blue one, but Mother liked a pink silk one best so she bought it. Now if I couldn’t have the blue, I didn’t want any, so soon after we got o the street I let it go. After a bit Mother said, “Where is your sunshade?” I said that I didn’t want a sunshade, so I threw it away. She said you won’t get another. It was very naughty of me and I fear I have gone without many things I could have had the same way. If I couldn’t have just what I wanted nothing else was just as good. Well back in Yarmouth, I wanted to go see my Grandma so Mother and I went up on the old “Linda” (Who went to St. John each week, calling at the Islands.) Uncle Jake got married to Aunt Mary and Carrie and I were at the wedding. I remember the bride wore white and had flowers in her hair. Of course this was a gay time. But a sad one soon came. We heard Grandpa Bailey was very ill in Boston where he had been working. Mother started right off to go to him but before she got there he died and was sent home. It was an awful shock when the “_Linda_” came in the Harbour and that big box was brought ashore. Poor Grandpa, they brought his casket into the big double parlors. It was rose wood with silver branches and Grandpa looked so peaceful I couldn’t keep away from him. I guess I went in with every one who came and there were many for he was highly thought of. Caskets in those days were covered with plain black cloth. His was the first polished wood they had seen. Now the worry was could Mother get back in time for the funeral. He came via Yarmouth, she might get the Digby boat, arriving on a Saturday. Funerals were always on Sunday if possible for there were no horses and the Hearse was pulled by men who were home Sundays, but away fishing a good many of them during the week. Well do I remember that Sunday morning. Grandma and I got up at five and I stood on the chair in the North window of the kitchen and watched the road down the hill at Long Island. At least something was moving down there. A boat put out and it was to make that forty miles from Digby, for mother had had to travel all night. She was about tired out for to go to Boston, and return inside of a week was hard work in those days. So when the procession lined up to follow Grandpa to his last resting place, she was not able to go, but I held Grandma’s hand all the way, with Aunt Anna and Dora right behind us. Soon after this we had to go to Yarmouth. The Herbert C. Hall was about ready to sail. She had been launched and her rigging finished while we were in Westport. In Yarmouth we stayed with the Ladds, as they had moved there from the Islands. Fannie was singing “Silver Threads Among the Gold” and “When You and I were young, Maggie”. They had a nice piano and I enjoyed visiting them very much. Also, my Uncle Ben Davis lived near and my cousin, Sophie, who was only a year older than me.




~ Herbert C. Hall + Saml. B. Davis ~


At last we sailed in our new ship. She was much larger than the old one and I had a stateroom all my own. We went to Charleston, South Carolina, to load cotton in bales for Breman Haven, Germany. I remember the bales swinging on board, but very little of the town. I remember being taken to see a Magnolia grove in bloom. It was quite gorgeous.

Well, we sailed from there and about ten days out, Father came down one morning to say the cook was sick and he felt quite sure he had small-pox. So, we would have to eat what we could cook on a little, one-hole stove. The carpenter, whose room was next to the cook’s, had been through small-pox and would wait on him. There were others who had it before, but several who hadn’t. We had gales of wind with not enough well men to take in sails and the mates and Father had to tend the wheel most of the time. Mother did the best she could for Father, the two mates, and ourselves. The storeroom was off the forward cabin, so there was plenty of food, but no way to bake anything. We got so hungry for bread that at last she made biscuit and baked in two fry pans on top of the stove. She turned them up-side-down to do their tops, and bottom-side-down to do their bottoms. My they were good! I wasn’t allowed on deck, only to the pilot house window. I stood on a stair, my elbows hooked over the window sill. Father outside made me get down and closed the window. If anyone came out from the other house.

Thus we blew on – at last the cook died, was sewed in a sail with rocks put on the rail and Father read a service over him as he went into the deep. Soon after this we reached the Isle of Wight on the South of England. A doctor came on board and five men were taken to a hospital. All the rest on board had to be vaccinated – me among them, but I had been well done by Aunt Hannah, so this one didn’t take. Then he fummigated the foreward house or forecastle and galley and allowed us to go on our way.

I have a very hazy memory of Breman. I remember going to tea where a lady gave me a dear little frosted cake. After we got clear of our cotton, we crossed to Liverpool and Mother and I were in lodgings there while the ship loaded coal for Montreal.

Letter III

We left Mary Beatrice in Mrs. Lovetts lodging house on Upper Stanup St., Liverpool while the “Herbert C. Hall” loaded coal. Well, she got out to play with the cousin, Ina Durkie, a few times. They used to go to the park where the grass had dear little daisies like ours in the garden, small pink and white, growing as common as our dandelions do. We used to pick a lot and make daisy chains. Sometimes we went across the road from her home to St. James Terrace, where we could run with a hoop or skip rope. She lived on St. James Road. But the sad thing was, after a few days, I came on with scarlet fever, a little girl at Mrs. Lovetts had just had it before we came and passed it along to me. However, I wasn’t very sick and was glad I had it when it was little trouble to anyone. The little girl could play with me while I had to stay in. That voyage across from Liverpoool we saw lots of icebergs. One day, I counted thirty-six. Many looked like houses. I used to wonder if they were turned or covered with ice. Father used to say only one-third was above water – no telling how big they were below. We had to keep away from them, but we got into a bay of ice and sailed all around trying to get out – at last found the hole we came in and got safely out. We found a vessel that had struck an iceberg and they called for help as their vessel was sinking. We took them and their valuables on board. After a few days we met a steamer and got rid of them as they didn’t want to go our way. At the mouth of the St. Lawrence, we took a “Pilot”, but he made a mistake and ran us on Green Island. Father came down and told us she was filling with water and we must pack to leave her. We got dressed and I filled my pockets with little dolls and gathered all the stuff I could for our trunks, then we tried to land in our big boat, but the waves would lift the boat way high and she would not land. At last a rope was caught by the men on the shore who hauled her and they came into the water and carried Mother and I to the shore. We first went into a French man’s little house to get warm and dry. There were a lot of children, of course I showed them my dolls. They hadn’t any, so I gave most of them away. Then the light house keeper came for us. He was English, his wife French, there were a number of children of all ages, two big girls had been to school on the mainland, and could play the piano very nicely. They had a music room and the piano sounded fine. We were there three weeks, while a platform was built inside our ship to float her when the high tides came. Her coal had all washed out along the shore.

I never ate porridge like they had there. It was so fine like cream and they had maple sugar stored up, and used it every day with cream on their porridge. The bread was mixed in a big thing like a small dorey on legs. A big boy worked the dough with a paddle and it was baked in a brick oven.

After they found their platform was tight, a tug came and towed the ship up to Quebec. Our trunks went on the tug and Father went on her, but Mother and I were to go across to the mainland to take the train. Captain Crosley had been sent by the Insurance Co. to over see the job of repairing our ship so he sailed the boat the nine miles across.

Letter IV

Captain Crosley sailed the boat across the nine miles of the St. Lawrence to Cockanau. They pronounced it likely as I spelled it – wrong! He could not get the boat very close to the shore but near a big rock. So he jumped on to it with me and stood me down, but put a board from the boat to the rock to help Mother to land. Just as she got on it, over it went and she into the water. Wasn’t she cross! All our clothes had gone on the tug boat and so we had to stay all night in this little French place to get her clothes dry. Only one train a day and so there we were. However, next day we got away and reached Quebec, where Father had a nice boarding place for us, with a Mrs. Cochran. They were a number of boarders and we were there three months, while a new bottom was built in the “Herbert C. Hall.” I took music lessons from Mrs. Cochran, and enjoyed it very much. She was very nice to me and used to let me fill the salt cellars. They had wee ones that must be fixed just so neat every meal. There were lots of pigeons on that street and some of the men used to tell me if I could get near enough to put salt on a pigeons tail I could pick it up and of course I tried but I couldn’t get one.

Mrs. Cochran once took me to a wedding in a big Catholic Church where there were twelve brides maids. It was great sight. They all had lovely dresses and flowers.

She used to take me to hear the Band Play on Dufferin Terrace and I used to drop things through the iron fence to hear them rattle way down to the Lower city; for Quebec is a queer city, an upper city – in those days we went down a lot of stone steps to the lower city. Now there is an Elevator. Of course I was taken on drives to the plains of Abram, Wolfs Monument, the Citidol where Wolfe climbed up the Heights. I had two playmates, Eddie and Dolly Duval, and used to be at their home quite often. I think I can get their photos. If so I will send them later.

We got away from Quebec at last and came down for a load of lumber at Richebucktu. There Father’s cousin, Sophie Caie, lived. Mr. Caie was a lawyer and their house had a flat roof – she always was so pleased to see Father. Then we went back to England, to play with Ina. Mother bought me my Bible that time as I could read now. I had my seventh birthday in Quebec, and had my picture taken in a white dress and blue sash. I have it but it is the nicest picture I ever had and I want to keep it myself for a while yet. I am sending my first photo taken the trip before in Liverpool as cousin Bess sent me another like it only larger after Attie Parsens died. Now this one I had on a blue dress with rows of black velvet ribbon: you can see the style. That one with Luella I had a red and black plaid dress. Next we sailed for Galveston, Texas for cotton. There we boarded with a Mrs. Baldwin. She had a green shuttered house with a very wide veranda with shutters all around to keep it cool. There were two other captains with little girls so we had a fine time together: Allie Weston and Bert Prout. Now before I forget it – Bert Prout is now in the Old Ladies Home in Yarmouth and we sometimes talk of one of our young days. Well, we used to roam about Galveston. There was a wonderful beach of white sand, flat enough to drive horse and carriage for miles. There were lots of dear little shells like I could show you. I have some yet, that reminds me – I forgot to tell you about the shell heart Miss Cochran gave me to remember her by when I left Quebec. It has “Forget me not” in the middle and a lot of shells around it. The other side is lovely with a big pearl shell in the middle and little ones around it, and a man boarder gave me a marble boy playing a violin. I kept him on top of my clock for years but he got a fall at last and broke. Well, to go back to Galveston – Allie and I got so we knew just how to cross ourselves and enter the Catholic church near Mrs. Baldwin’s and we often went in.

After we got our load of cotton, we went back to England. I used to help the second mate when he sewed his sails, by waxing his twine and he paid me a shilling for the trip.

Letter V

Did I tell you how I waxed old McCarties twine? He measured the lengths he wanted done and I put them on the pump handle one at a time. I ran the lump of wax up and down so it would slip through the canvas easily. He had three cornered needles and used a palm to push it through. This was a leather piece that went around his hand with a piece of metal in the palm to press on the eye of the needle like we use a thimble. And so I earned my quarter or shilling and with it I bought my father a very large cup and saucer with a clover leaf in the bottom.

At last we reached Cork, where we had to call for orders. As we sailed before the cotton was sold. We had to go to Dublin that time. Now how do you think those orders came? While I was living with my Grandmother at Westport the Atlantic Cable was laid. I remember Aunt Anne went on a trip with Father and Mother on the “Sarah L. Hall,” and when they came home they told us about being in St. Johns, Newfoundland and this wonderful thing that would carry messages across the ocean. They brought a piece of the cable home to show us. Well, that is how our orders came. We went to Dublin and soon as we docked, women began to come aboard with baskets of lace, linens, and dishes to sell. But Mother wanted to see the lace made, so she bought a little. Some of the other captains wives went with us to the lace works and we saw a lot of women and girls with net stretched in frames on which they worked pretty patterns. Mother got a lovely square, very fine. She used it in many ways, and I think some bits of it are among the things here which belong to her. She got me a handkerchief. The border was about five inches deep of lace and had harps in the corner. We had yards of lace, for in those days it was worn in sleeves and necks of dresses. Another place we got to was the Zoo, and I had seen pictures of the zoo, of course. The other important thing I remember about Dublin was when I was taken to hear “Moody and Sankey.” My Aunt Emily had taught me a few of their hymns, but now I got some more and enjoyed them very much. We were only in Dublin long enough to get the cotton out, as we were ordered back to Galveston for another load for Liverpool. Going back, when I could, I liked to sit in the doorway of the Pilot house; my back against one side, my feet braced against the other. That door step was about a foot high so water would not go down into the cabin. It was quite wide and covered with brass. I sat there as the vessel rolled and I sang and sang “Hold the Fort” “Jesus Keep me Near the Cross,” “What a Friend we Have in Jesus,” and a number of others. I learned every verse and know them yet. I enjoyed that much more than my tables and sums. I had to do them for Father. I liked my reading and got on well with it and my spelling and writing with Mother. The days passed very happily and soon we were back at Mrs. Baldwin’s in Galveston. And again Allie Weston and I had our good times on the sands and going around the town.

This next time we put right for Liverpool with our cotton but were to have a return cargo. We were in lodgings a short time and I saw my cousins Ina, Grace, and Ralph and Attie, but she was most grown up. Soon as the cotton was out we went on board as the ship was going to be towed to Garston up the River Mersey from Liverpool. I never shall forget that. It was a lovely day: the water very smooth and along the river banks were lovely places: big houses, with the greenest lawns, like velvet and many had gay boat houses at the water’s edge, nice gardens – it was lovely as we just slid through the water. At Garston we loaded railroad iron ore for Campbellton, New Brunswick. When we got there I found it was for the bridge across the Matapedia. They got those rails lain while we were there and began crossing working trains. While we were in Campbellton I had a present of a dear little dog named Nell, she was very small, light brown with a white ring around her neck, and white tip on her tail. Mother was not well, so after the ship got a load of lumber to take across, we left and came to Westport for a time. I was now eight and one-half years old. We came down to St. John by train, Nell in the little basket. She was very good, and for a while the conductor didn’t know I had her, when he did he said dogs had to go in the baggage car but when he saw how tiny she was, he let me keep her. At St. John we stayed with Aunt Emily on Duke St. until the old “Linda” sailed for Yarmouth, landing us at Westport on her way.

Now I was back to my dear Grandmother’s and all my old friends. If Mother had only been well, but she was quite sick – hardly down stairs at all. She had a fire in her upstairs sitting room, she had a bedroom which opened off of it. She suffered so with pains in her head the Doctor put a fly blister on back of her ear. Nothing seemed to do her much good. Christmas came and at Christmas Eadie Bowers was married. My aunts went to the wedding and while they were gone Hubert Rice arrived from Digby to see Aunt Dora. He brought me a lovely wax doll with flaxen hair that could open and shut her eyes. It was really about all I got for Christmas, but is very nice and it made me very happy. Hubert stayed over Christmas; I went down to Grandpa Davis’s to dinner. Uncle Jake’s family were there and we always had lots of nice things to eat. I had made Aunt Hannah and Sarah each a box to stick their hair pins in. I got the round collar boxes and crochet a cover of shaded wool one green, one red. It covered the whole box and you stuck the pins through the work at the top.




Quilt pattern made by Mrs.Mary Payson Bailey.


About a month after Christmas, I had been spending the afternoon and tea at Uncle Holland Paysons with his little granddaughter, Belle Rockwell. On my return home I rushed upstairs to give Mother a big apple and found Aunt Hannah and Sarah there. They said they had a quilt in the frames and wanted me for a visit to help them. I was very pleased to go, and they took me that night. I was very proud to be allowed to quilt. I heard them say years after they could always pick out the squares I quilted, but they did not rip them out. Well, I had a nice time and Carrie came over during the day to play, but at last one day she took me in a corner and told me I had a baby brother up at Grandma’s, and I felt pretty cross. I didn’t want him, but Aunt Hannah talked to me and at last she took me to see him. My! Such a red, fat little fellow in a white blanket with a little hood at the corner up over his head with a blue bow on top. I didn’t like his looks one bit, but the nurse said just sit down in your little rocking chair and see how nice he is to hold. So I tried it, and he did seem nice and soft. After that I got to like him and used to hold him a lot.

Before Mother got around to be downstairs, I came from Sunday School one day and saw out in the harbour the “Herbert C. Hall.” I rushed home and saw her boat tied down in front of the house and upstairs was Father! Of course we couldn’t go with him but he called to see his son. Of course he had to go right along. As Spring came, Mother got better and sent to St. John for a baby carriage. Now as soon as I got wheeling that baby all my friends wanted their Mothers to get a carriage like ours. Charlie Bowers had a little brother the same age as mine named Hubert; I called mine Ralph Maud. Lyda had one Reginald, Mary Gates (the minister’s child) had a new brother, Lawrence. Now all these got carriages and you would laugh to see us parade down the street. Each feeling quite sure we had the best looking baby and carriage.

After a while back came the “Herbert C. Hall” and we had to pack. Of course I took Nell, also my slate and school books. I had been a few weeks to school that Spring. Our ship went up the Bay of Fundy to Three Sisters near Parrsboro, for lumber. It was just a small place. A big ship called the “D.R. Eaton” was being built there, and there was a lumber mill. After a few days an old white horse arrived driven by Mrs. George Spicer, one of our friends we often met in the ports away, as her husband was a captain. She came to take us to her home at Spencers Island. We drove as far as Advocate that night and slept at her mother’s – next morning we went on to her home where I had a lovely time with Minnie, Gertie, and Percey.

Letter VI

The Spencer home was very nice, full of lots of things they had gathered while away to sea. But their book case was to me very attractive. It had glass doors, but was from the floor to a little taller than I was. I was allowed to open it and take out any book I wanted to. So I looked over a good many, but only remember reading one and it was so thick I had to leave before I finished it; however, I did finish it at Aunt Mary’s later on. It was “Tom Sawyer.” Out in their yard was a tree you could climb and sit up in. I thought that was great and used to say if we ever have a home I hope there will be a tree like that. Captain Spencer’s father lived quite near – there were fields of hay between us. One day Minnie and I went over there with Gertie between us. She was only about five and when we got to the Grandmother’s she had lost a shoe. Now Kate Spencer an Aunt of the girls was only about twelve years old and she came back with us and we all hunted for the shoe, but didn’t find it. We put in a very nice week with the Spencers, playing in the hay, riding on the loads, climbing the trees and going visiting the many relations they had, who wanted to have us to tea. Then Mrs. Spencer drove us back to Three Sisters and we said goodbye to her and her old white horse.

We found that while we were gone Father had a letter from Aunt Mary Ladd, asking if we could take Fred on the ship with us. He was at Sackville, but Uncle Byron had failed and Fred would have to give up college and go to work. And so one day the coach with the mail landed Fred. My, I was pleased to see him! He soon got off his good clothes and dressed to go rowing with me. We had great times together. I had an old Concertinia (probably spelled wrong) on which I could play some dance tunes I had heard somewhere, and he would dance. It was great fun. Then we played “Dominoes” and “Jack Straws” and “Old Maid.” We had a nice passage over to Liverpool and this time having a baby and a dog we stayed on the ship. The wharf there they call a quay or dock for the ship, and is built of blocks of stone. At the head of the dock is a little house for the watchman or policeman, he is dressed like. He sees all who come and go.

Fred often looked after us when Father and Mother wanted to go on shore. Sometimes he got the cabin boy to look after Ralph and took me ashore for a little while; we would buy candy and ice-cream.

One evening he asked to take me to see some wonderful pictures being shown. They let me go and I never forgot them. One was a very large picture as big as the side of some of our rooms. It was Jesus being Baptized by John the Baptist. They were standing in the River Jordan, light was streaming down from Heaven on them and such a crowd of people were on the banks of the river seeing it all. The people were so large it all looked very real. The other picture was “The Shadow of the Cross,” Jesus by h is carpenter bench with work lying around. He was tired and stretched to rest himself, his arms out his shadow fell on a door making a cross.

Fred was always good to me. Of course we were up to Durkie’s several times and Father had another cousin over there, a sister of Gar. Dunkie, her name was Amelin Varyun. She was very stylish and different from George and his family, but she had us to a dinner at nine that made me sick.

Having unloaded our lumber we sailed for Galveston. On the passage Ralph was taken sick and we were afraid he was not going to get better, while he was sick I was not looking after Nell as I usually did. We did not allow her to go to the Forecastle or Galley for fear she might bring fleas or worse to the cabin or that she might get washed overboard like two little dogs I had before had gone. Well, while we were so anxious about Ralph she got to the Galley and the cook kicked her, some of the men saw him, and didn’t dare tell us; for he was the cook and might not feed them as well. She ran to the cabin yelling and panting very frightened. She was so sick we thought she had a fit and didn’t know what to do for her. The poor creature died and I felt dreadfully. Father was puzzled as the cause was not known to us then, and knowing how I felt he decided to save me her skin. I think he wanted to see how she looked under her skin. He found her badly bruised and knew she had her death blow from some one on board. Later he found out how and who. Ralph got better, and as we went on South it got very hot so we had to have an awning up over the deck. At last it was Christmas, a hot still day, the water smooth, the vessel hardly moving. Someone said they saw fish and sure enough they managed to catch one for dinner.



“Father” = Captain Sam Davis

They called it a Dolphin. It was quite large and made a nice fresh dinner. Father had bought some candy before leaving Liverpool and put away for Christmas and I had a Christmas card that unfolded like a fan. I kept it for many years. It was all I had for Christmas. In Galveston we again stayed with Mrs. Baldwin. Mother must have told her it was my last trip down for she took me in the room and got me to look through a big box of jewlry to see if I liked it! Now, funny to say, I never wanted anything in that line without it was useful. She offered me a small diamond ring to remember her by and when I didn’t want it she said wasn’t there anything there I would like. I said her gold thimble was a nice useful thing. At that she called a young lady who did her shopping for her and told her to take me to a certain store and tell them to fit me to the best gold thimble they had. To get it large enough so I could always wear it. So we went and I got a lovely thimble with little churches all around the lower part, but one spot that had my “M.B.D. from M. Baldwin” – I still have it. She gave Ralph a gold stud with R-H-D on it to keep until he was a man. Otherwise Galveston was the same as always. We got our cotton and sailed back. I think Mother and Father felt it was time I went to school. I read everything in sight and didn’t want to have lessons. I would take a pan of nuts – pecans we usually got a keg in Galveston – and Fred and I would crack nuts and used to eat them until all at once he would be called on deck and likely jump on the nut shells in his sock feet and say some bad words.

We always had lots of oranges coming up from Galveston. We cut a small hole in one end and sucked them dry. In Liverpool we went to the waxworks. It was all so life-like. You expected they might speak. There were all kinds of queer dresses and men’s suits also on those wax people. I didn’t know enough to understand who they were. Mary, Queen of Scots, was the only one I had heard of and she stood by a block with a man who was going to cut her head off. I have often thought it was too bad I didn’t know who they all were, they looked so alive. We stayed on board again, but Fred and I took trips to parks and gardens and I was up to Ina’s some, they had a baby sister, Edith, about as old as Ralph, who was about two years old at this time. One day I took him and got a cute tin type taken when Mother wasn’t with us. He had a ginger bread man in his hand – I found it the other day when I was down home.

After unloading this time we sailed for Richibuctu and again saw our cousin Mrs. Caie. I am forgetting to tell you that on the passage over I tried to break Fred of smoking. Father didn’t smoke and I thought Fred shouldn’t. I felt that if I smashed his pipe in midocean he couldn’t smoke and would get along without it. Now he had a very long one he was colouring and he kept it in a hole of the capstan, one of the holes they put a bar into when they are turning it to haul the vessel into the wharf. A rope goes around it as the men turn it. Well, I used to work off my extra energy by running it around some times it went clack-clack-clack and was great fun. So I took a bar and jambed it into the very hole where the pipe was, of course it went to smash. Fred was awfully mad, he went into the pilot house and got a canvas bag out of the locker and a dirty old pipe of Mr. McCarties and there he caught me, put the bag over my head and smoked under it. I kicked and yelled but no one came. He gave me an awful dose then he took off the bag and said I guess you want not to do that again! Of course it served me right and I couldn’t stop him smoking.

Well, when we got to Richabuctu, Mother told me I was to live with Aunt Mary Ladd in Yarmouth. The ship loaded lumber and when she was nearly ready to sail, she packed my trunk and Father drove me with it fastened on behind, twenty-four miles to a railroad station and we went to St. John. I think we changed at Moncton. In St. John we stayed with Aunt Emily; I bought Mother a cotton dress for her to make and some things she wanted. Father put me on the old “Linda” for Yarmouth and said goodbye.

Letter VII

Captain Ben Robbins was Captain of the “Linda” and he introduced me to a tall young lady named Lily Kerney, who was very nice to me. We were all night going, but when I got up it was almost time to land, and there on the wharf was Uncle Byron Ladd. As we drove up the Main St. I was taking a picture with my mind of how it all looked, and I remember it was very different from now. The “Old Zion” church and the Congregational church with its clock on its tower are both gone and the Grand Hotel and Soldiers Monument cover that ground. We drove along and up to Aunt Mary’s where breakfast was ready and my cousins Fan and Min. That day I got unpacked and settled in Fred’s room. After tea Aunt Mary and I took a walk to Uncle Ben’s. On our way we passed a place with high thorn hedge with over the gate. There I met Mrs. Johnson and her daughter, Mollie, and son Charlie. They had a hot house with grapes in it and a nice garden. We left with a piece of sweet Brier to smell and went on to Uncle Ben’s. Made arrangements to go with Sophia to Sunday School and day school. Sunday morning we went to Milton Baptist church but to a Methodist Sunday School in the afternoon with Sophia. Then Monday to school – how I dreaded it. Mr. Bishop examined me. He gave me a Fifth Royal Reader I had never seen before, turned to “Natural Bridge of Virginia.” I soon forgot him and read on so easily for I was interested. He said that was fine, and took the book and made me spell. I had the good luck to know all he asked me. Also my tables; he said I could go in the same class as the children my age, so I had for a teacher Miss Sophie Bent from Bridgetown. There were a lot of nice girls and boys but at first I found the work hard and used to cry over my geography and history.

Uncle Byron put a swing in the barn and I used to swing myself so I could kick the top of the doorway. They they had a nice lawn for croquet and I played many games alone. Sometimes Min played a game with me or we went next door to play a game with Maria and Steve Mack. They were nearer Min’s age than mine but I made a fourth. On the other side of Aunt Mary’s, a girl named Jane Brown lived. She was about two years older than me and right back of us Nell Crowell, a little younger. I had a board across the fence on which we used to see-saw. All went well for a time, but one day Jane jumped off when the end was down, Nell was up and came down with a crash which sent her off. Now she was not very strong and we knew we should be careful and it made me awful cross at Jane. Soon as I saw Nell was only crying, but not killed I ran after Jane. She ran until I had her in a corner where she surely couldn’t get away and I pounded her and pinched her until I was tired. She never hit back, but went home and told her Mother, who of course told Aunt Mary. However Aunt Mary didn’t punish me. I guess she thought Jane was big enough to take her own part. Later however, Aunt Mary had a serious time with an infected finger which had to be taken off. She had the goods to make me a school dress but now she couldn’t sew; so as Mrs. Brown was a dressmaker she asked her to do it. Mrs. Brown at first refused to do anything for me but at last being a Christian, and wanting to help poor sick neighbours, she undertook the job and I had the ugliest dress I ever wore. However we wore nice white aprons over our dresses and if ugly – it was warm.

That winter I used to coast a lot. I had a small green sled with spring runners, and a crowd of us would coast until we could hardly walk up the hill. But telling about my adventure with Jane, I forgot to finish my summer. Saturdays I spent at Uncle Ben’s. In berry time Sophia and I sometimes went into the woods, at that time right back of their fence, and picked wild strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. They kept a cow so we would dip cream from the top of a pan and have a delicious lunch. One time we got left by Uncle Ben finding our berries while we were after cream and other good things and when we came back he had eaten most of them up. One Saturday we had Mollie Johnson with us; we went where the station now stands. The “Western Counties Railroad” was being built from Yarmouth to Digby and we got a trolley and had grat fun making it – going up and down the rails which were laid at our end of the road. We got a lot of black grease on our stockings and dresses so of course were forbidden to do that again. When I first came to Aunt Mary’s, Min undertook to help me remember my notes on the piano and soon had me so I could play “Blue Bells of Scotland,” and some other little pieces. Then I began to take lessons from Professor Von Metzkie. I was very much afraid of him as some of the girls told me he cracked their fingers with a small pointer he carried. He never hit me, but I practiced my hour every day and of course knew my lesson. Min took from him and played so nicely I wanted to do well.

At Christmas Uncle Ben’s family all came for the day. The only present I remember was “The Wide World,” from Aunt Mary, a book I enjoyed very much. Then Mr. Dennis, one of the dry goods merchants who went to England every year came home and brought me a present from Mother who was too sick to stay on the ship and was living in Liverpool. She and Ralph had taken rooms there. She sent me “Under the Oaks”, a pretty necktie and a pair of nice stockings.

St. Valentines Day I got a cablegram saying I had a new brother. Of course we wondered what his name would be, when at last we got letters – it was Oscar Loran. So the winter passed. I had a heavy navy blue coat and fur cap so I went to school every day. There was only the Macks house between us and the schoolhouse.

Again it was spring and Aunt Mary found I had grown out of every thing and such a time letting down hems etc. At last we got word Mother would be coming on one of the big steamers from England to Boston in July, then on the Boston boat to Yarmouth. Sure enough she came. Oscar was five months old, a cute, fat little fellow. Mother thought she had lost me for now I wore as big shoes as she did and was most as tall.

We went to Westport for a short visit, before going to housekeeping and stayed at Grandma Baileys. I had been up once for two weeks at Aunt Hannah’s (she kept house for Grandfather Davis) and of course went to see Grandma but Aunt Ann was married to Captain Judson Eldridge while I was at sea and she had a baby girl that first summer, so I couldn’t stay up there. I had a good time down at Grandpa’s however, and saw all my old friends. Now with Mother we gathered up all the things we had been bringing there for safe keeping like our cabinet, Mother’s birds, and many other things. The baby carriage and then we went back to Yarmouth and hired a house on Main St. It was great fun furnishing and going to housekeeping. Of course the relations didn’t think Mother knew how, as she had been to sea thirteen years, but she had great luck as a cook and we had a nice home only there was no piano so each day after school I went to Aunt Mary’s to practice. After a while Father came home and very soon one day a man came to school and asked for me, said my father sent him for me. I went in the carriage with him to town. There we met Father and went to see a new piano the man wanted to sell. I had to sit down and play on it – it sounded great and Father bought it at once. Mother never knew untl it came. My! I was a happy girl. We lived in that house about three years. Then Father in one of his short visits home decided to buy the house on the hill and we moved where the Davis family still make their home.

Letter VIII

I was in such a hurry to get the Davis family settled in their own home on the hill overlooking the New Railway station that I left out a few things that might be of interest. That railroad on whose trolley I got myself so dirty was finished as far as Digby and daily trains passed the back of our house when we lived on Main St. Each morning Ralph dashed to the back kitchen window and Oscar’s highchair had to be where he could see the “chew-chew”. Well, at Thanksgiving they put on an excursion to Digby. Of course, I had to go. I was curious to see the places the train would pass through and I wanted to see Aunt Dora. I was much disappointed to find after leaving Hebron and Ohio two little towns just out of Yarmouth, they had built their road just through the woods, for fifty miles to Weymouth the road didn’t go nearer than six miles to the nice little villages along St. Mary’s Bay. They all had little stations along the line, but you had to drive out to these places, a team met the train for the mail. Weymouth was pretty and had a long Bridge. But from there to Digby, there was little but woods. Uncle Hubert met me in Digby and we were soon at their nice little home. Aunt Dora had a dear little baby girl named Alice for my mother. I never saw her after that visit for she died of croup. Then Aunt Dora came to live with us for several months as Uncle Hubert was working in Boston and she was very lonely.

While she was with us she did a fine piece of needle point. She took all the patterns from a magazine so it is all her work. She meant to have it for a sofa cushion, but never got the cushion made. The work came to me some years after and Mother had it put in the back of a chair for me and it is here in my home now. The red plush chair is old fashioned and shabby but very comfortable and the back is much admired as a piece of very fine work.

Another thing: while we were on Main St. a large ship was built just about where the Cosmos Cotton Mills are now or a little farther up the harbor for we could see her out of our kitchen window until she was launched.

One winter while we were there we had a snow storm that was so deep people had their pictures taken sitting on top of telegraph poles. I have never seen such banks of snow since.

It was while we lived there I got my first skates and used to try to skate on Milton Pond. Charlie Brown and Rass Lovitt used to take me between them and go all over the ice. We had great fun. Mother wouldn’t get me a rink ticket – most of them had them and the second winter, Charlie Johnson, a brother of my girlfriend, thought it would be nice to give me one for a Christmas present. He bought it, but didn’t like to give it so he came over one evening for his sister Molley. She had been to tea with me. And he looked over my books I had for Christmas and stuck the ticket in a book. Going away he said, “Look on page …” I forget the number. Of course soon as they were gone I looked and there was the ticket. My! I was pleased but Mother wasn’t and at first wouldn’t let me use it – but gradually I began going down to Mary Taylor’s and to the Rink with her and her sister Ida. They were my cousins. We would skate Saturday morning, come to Mary’s for dinner, and back in the afternoon. By supper time we were very hungry. I think Aunt Nora Taylor made the best Buckwheat pancakes I ever ate. She gave them to us hot out of the pan and we ate them as fast as she could fry them. As I learned to skate better I began going band nights. They had seats just a step above the ice and one rested there between bands and one usually was asked to skate by some one who knew how. There were a few I always felt sure would ask me. A Mr. Elakins, a fine skater, I can’t imagine why he always asked me. I was not a good skater, but he was a very stately kind gentleman. Then tall, lanky, Maurice Doane, I loved to skate with him. He was so tall and strong and skated backwards well. Then of course there was Charlie Brown, Charlie Cann, Irv Lovilt, Herman Spirnsey, Will Dodds, and a lot more. Those were happy times. And one night as I passed the Congregational Church with its clock (I think I told you of it before). It was a wonderful moon light night with snow on the ground, a Saturday night. I noticed it was nearly eleven so I hurried on. Before I got to sleep the fire bells were ringing and I saw a red glow out of my window. The church was in flames. It had a lovely pipe organ – it all burned. The Grand Hotel stands where that church and Old Zion were, side by side. Now they are back to back for Zion built on Parade St. and the Congregational built a stone church on the next street so they are back to back. This happened after we got on the hill and I was a big girl.

I still went to school and as Professor Von Metzkie died I had gone on with Miss Grace Baker who had been to Germany to study. She was some sort of a cousin of Father’s and she played beautifully. I took from her until I went to “Acadia.”

I once told you I went to Methodist Sunday School but to Baptist church. Well, this had continued until I went to Methodist church if I went at night. Mother went and took us all to Baptist in the morning but our friends were mostly Methodists, at last I wanted to join the Methodist church having gone to class meeting and prayer meetings etc., but Mother was not willing because Father was a Baptist. So she sent me to Wolfville. My chum Sadie Lovitt was going and we packed our things for our room together and roomed together.

Now I had to go beyond the Western Counties Railways, so when we got to Digby we took a little steamer across Annapolis Basin to Annapolis where we took the Windsor-Annapolis train. I thought this part of the country lovely and the big hay stacks out on the Marsh as we went along. The Mountains, everything was new as we went up the Annapolis Valley. And when we got to Wolfville, the view from the Seminary. I can still see it. We were on high ground and our room at the top of the building. The Cornwallis River looked like a silver thread in the moonlight – and Blomidon and Minas Basin. The trees have grown so in the last fifty years. You couldn’t see so much now. Until Christmas Sadie and I had a sitting room with two bedrooms opening into it, but we only used one. After Christmas Prue Wood, from Canning had the other bed room. We all studied hard and called it the one-hundred room. I was taking more music than the others so had to get up at six thirty to practice from seven to eight in the evening. Every minute was full and at first I was very homesick. Mother and Mrs. Lovilt journeyed up to see us, after that I felt better. Mother had a cousin, a Mrs. Rockwell, who had a book store in Wolfville and some of the boys boarded at her house. I had permission to go there Saturdays to dinner so had some fun. The teachers were very strict – though we walked every day we could not go in anywhere without a teacher or speak to any young man more than bow. Fred Anderson was one of Anne Rockwell’s boarders. I met him different times else where after leaving school and forgot him. Did not know he became a dentist until I looked out of the “Revere Hotel” windows my first morning in Bridgetown and saw his sign. I wouldn’t believe it was old Fred, but we met crossing the street and so he drilled and filled my teeth for many years. Funny old world isn’t it?

While in Wolfville I joined the Baptist church along with about twenty-four others. The rules at that time were very strict much more stress being put on what you must not do than what a Christian should do.

However, I look back on the old Seminary days as a happy period and many of the friends made then are very dear to me. The girls who lived near often went home for the weekend and brought back wonderful cream pies and cookies. Our Price was one of these so we fared pretty well. I used to visit at Prue’s home in Canning and Kate Dickie’s. And both these girls visited me in Yarmouth. Prue is now living in Hamilton, New York, her husband Dr. Willard Read has a position with Colgate University. Kate married Harry Crowe of Truro. I was at her wedding and at her home once in Truro. I see her son’s picture in the paper sometimes. He is an actor. Perhaps the friend I liked best was Emma Cook and twice in years after I journeyed way to Canso to visit her. Carrie Potter was another dear one. She used to visit me and I used to go to her home between Canning and Kingsport. As my cousin Min Ladd was studying music in Boston I felt she was getting something more than I was so to give me the chance of a year in Boston, Father decided to take Mother and the boys to sea and leave me in Boston. It was a great thing for me. I had a nice boarding place, good piano, on which I practiced six hours a day, took two lessons a week and played at a Recital Saturday mornings given at lovely homes among the friends of my teacher. Mrs. Pratt, Min’s mother-in-law to be, had season tickets for the Symphony Orchestra concerts and each week she took me. They were wonderful. Joseph Hoffman, then a little boy, came to Boston and gave a concert. I went to hear him, he played “Moonlight Sonata,” most beautifully for one of his numbers. I always kept the program with his picture on the outside. I gave it to Margaret for her scrap book last year. I was often invited to the Pratts. They had a lovely big home at Jamacia Plains. Sometimes I went to Charlestown to visit Aunt Alice and Uncle Loran Hutchins. She was Grandpa Bailey’s sister. They lived across the square from Bunker Hill Monument. Sometimes I spent Sunday with Mother’s cousin, Mary Diamond, an aunt of Edward and Stella Paysen. And I was out to Summerville to visit the Halls. Father sailed for John G. Hall and Company for thirty-five years, and my money each month came from Irving Hall. An old Mrs. ? Ommage ? was another old friends of Father’s where I used to go. Then Ada Fraser, one of my Acadia Seminary friends was at the New England Conservatory and from her I got free tickets to their Recitals. Some of these were fine and I got many an eye opener as I heard some piece played that I thought I knew. I would go home and look it up and see where I had been wrong.

At last my time was up. The ship had gone from Portland to Buenos Aires then up to Port of Spain and then to La Brae where the Pitch lakes are and there she had loaded for New York. So I was to get home and have the house open for their arrival and to stay with Fan Ladd while Min and her Mother went to St. John to buy her wedding clothes. So I came home and cleaned house and didn’t I work for I meant to earn myself a bureau! I had one I hated and so before the family came home I had a new one, I have it yet.

After the family arrived I started a music class and got on very nicely teaching. Min was married to Charlie Pratt and went to Boston to live. I missed her very much for we had played duets a lot together and I hadn’t anyone to take her place. But now I tried to settle down and be a Baptist. I took a S.S. Class and tried to get acquainted in that church. This is more than enough this time – lucky you are on vacation.


(Stephen Archibald, Halifax, 1994)


Descendants of Samuel Bancroft Davis I

4* Samuel Bancroft DAVIS, b.Westport, Brier Island 1843, Apr. 9, d. Yarmouth, 1917, bd.Yarmouth Sea Captain; m. 1866, Jul. 31 Alice Jane Hutchins BAILEY, 1849- 1922.

1. Mary“May”Beatrice DAVIS, b. Westport 1868, Jun. 9 – [ Mary Davis II of three consecutive generations. ]
2. * Ralph Harold DAVIS, b. Westport 1876, Feb.4 – 1933, m. Margaret Doane BURRELL
3. Oscar Lawrence DAVIS, b. Liverpool U.K. 1879, Feb. 14
4. Malcolm Bancroft DAVIS, 1890, Jan. 19- 1979; b. Yarmouth, m. Florie Cochrane.


3. “May” Mary Beatrice Davis, b.Westport 1868, Jun. 9- ; red hair, m. 1895, Sep. 17 Yarmouth: Dr.Melbourne B.ARMSTRONG; lived in Middleton, NS. [ Mary Davis II of three consecutive generations. ]

1. Harry, 1898- 1909
2. Maurice W. ARMSTRONG, 1905-, m.Irene MacDonald
3. Margaret ARMSTRONG, 1911- 1984 , m.Will J. Archibald

3. * Ralph Harold DAVIS, b.Westport 1876, Feb. 4, d.Yarmouth 1933, Nov. 1 (See Chapter 8)

3. Oscar Lawrence Davis, 1879, Feb. 14- D. 1938,Business manager at R. H. Davis & Co, Sydney. m. Emily Beckwith,

1. Oscar Lawrence Davis II, b. 1909, Yarmouth, drowned 1933.
2. Alan Cameron Davis, b. 1911, Yarmouth, d. 1980, CA, bd. Yar. m.Loretta, 1 daughter

3. Malcolm Bancroft Davis, Yarmouth 1890, Jan. 19 – Carp, Ont. 1979, May; m. Florence Cochrane, Kentville, Ottawa Experimental Farm

1. Alexander Davis, 1920, Oct- m. Naomi
2. John Malcolm Bancroft Davis, 1922, Sep.-, m. Lola


2. Maurice W. Armstrong 1905-, m.Irene MacDonald

1. Sheila Armstrong, 1929-, m.Roger Hallowell, Philadelphia, divorced
2. adopted: John Francis Armstrong
3. Christina Margaret Armstrong., 1937-, m. James ?Bronsel, Philadelphia
4. Ainslie Irene Armstrong, 1947-, m. John MacAleese?

2. Margaret ARMSTRONG, b. 1911, Middletown; d. 1984, Halifax
m. 1936, Aug. 14: Dr. Will J. Archibald, Ottawa, Dal.U., Halifax

1. Ian D. ARCHIBALD, b. 1940-
2. Malcolm Alex. ARCHIBALD, b. 1943-
3. Stephen Bronson ARCHIBALD, b. 1947-, Halifax.

2. Alexander “Sandy” DAVIS, 1920, Oct.-; m. Naomi, N.Y.Agr., Geneva, N.Y.

1. Kristen DAVIS, m. (Dr.Sammi David)
2. Diana Leigh DAVIS

2. John M.B. DAVIS, 1922, Sep.- ; m. Lola,

1. Sandra Boyd DAVIS
2. Heather DAVIS
3. Brian Malcolm Bancroft DAVIS, b.1955,Dec.1, London,ON;
m1. Andria Lichtenberg, 1983,Jul., Yarmouth,NS, divorced.
children born in Ontario:
-Taylor Bancroft Davis (female), b.1986,Jul.9, Flesherton.
-Erin Armstrong Davis(female), b.1989,Oct.31,Toronto.
m2. Victoria Mummery, 1995,Jul.15, London. ch.:
-Robert Johnathon Mummery Davis, b.1996,Dec.30, Collingwood.
4. Nina DAVIS;


1. Kristen DAVIS, m. Dr.Sammi David (Sassoon), address: Scarsdale, N.Y., divorced-2006.

1. Zachary Bancroft DAVID
2. Trevor Justin David
3. Ariana DAVID, m.David O’Malley, 2005,Jun.11. USA.



Lineage of Alice Bailey


“Grandma Davis (Mrs.S.B.Davis)”
[Geo.F.Parker, The Yarmouth Photographer, Main St.]


7* BAYLEE, William, b. 1749, Jul. 6 Croton Falls, Westchester Co. New York; d. 1840, Oct. 18; buried Westport. Sr., Yeoman. Home located on Brier Island between John Payson, mariner, and Thos. Gower, mariner.
m1:1774, Mary, N.Y.
m2:Hannah Fowler, b.ca. 1755 Carmel, N.Y., d. ca. 1788/98 Children born at New York:

1. Levi BAYLEE
2. Hester BAYLEE William and Hannah Bailey accused of “harbouring + abetting”, fled N.Y. 1783, leaving two children with William’s older sister, Hester Bailey Stedwell.
Children baptised into church of England Grand Passage, on Long Island by Rev.Roger Viets, 1787, Jun. 11. in Digby Records
3. Marian/ne BAYLEE, bpt. 1787, Jun. 11. m. 1807, Oct. 21: John Young, Digby, 9 ch.
4. Stephen BAYLEE, bpt. 1787, Jun. 11. d. 1818 St.John, N.B. 2 ch.
5. Charles BAYLEE, bpt. 1787, Jun. 11. d. 1826/36; m.Haycock, 9 ch.
6. William BAYLEE, bpt. 1787, Jun. 11. d. 1818, m.Jane, 2 ch.

m3: Pheba, b.ca. 1763, d. 1837, Nov. 15, Westport
Children baptised church of England Grand Passage, on Brier Island, by Rev.Roger Viets, 1791, Sep. 24:
7. John H. BAYLEE, bpt. 1791, Sep. 2
8. William Morris BAYLEE, bpt. 1791, Sep. 2
children baptised church of England Grand Passage, Brier Island, by Rev.Roger Viets:
9. Phebe BAYLEE, bpt. 1795, Aug. 12., m. 1815 George N. Post, 4 ch.
10. Daniel BAYLEY, bpt. 1795, Aug. 12. d. 1891 Westport, m. 1819 Tabitha Perry, Yarmouth, 1801- 1865.
child baptised church of England, Grand Passage, Long Island, by Rev.Roger Viets:
11. Henry, bpt. 1798, Aug. 28. d.before 1838, 2 ch.? Ezra R.


6* BAYLEY, Daniel, sr., b.ca. 1794 Westport, bpt. 1795, Aug. 12 Brier Is., d. 1891 Westport. Fisherman on Brier Island. Lived between J.Slocomb and B. Morrell.
m. 1819, Apr. 7 Tabitha Perry, Yarmouth?, 1801- 1865, Apr. 7

1. Mary Ann BAYLEY 1820- 1891, m. Hadley G.Rice 1815- 1866
2. Daniel BAYLEY 1822- 1873, May 4, m.Mary Payson
3. Caroline BAYLEY 1834 ? – 1902
4. George BAYLEY b.ca. 1841, d. 1906, May 24, m. B.Collins, 12 ch
5. Loran BAYLEY 1843? – 1896, Nov. 13
6. Robert BAYLEY b.ca. 1843, drowned 1885. m. Angeline MCDORMAND, daughter of Cormack McDormand, 5 ch.


5* BAILEY, Daniel Jr., b. 1822, d. 1873, May 4. bd. Westport.
House Joiner, House#19, Church of England. Built 2 churches, mapdesk, dinetable, twin footstools.
m. Mary PAYSON, b. 1818, d. 1894, Aug. 18,

1. * Alice Jane Hutchins BAILEY., b. 1849 Westport, N.S. d. 1922, Bridgetown,
2. Georgina BAILEY, b.ca. 1852, m.Judson Eldridge
3. Eudora BAILEY, b.ca. 1854, m. Hubert Rice


4* Alice Jane Hutchins BAILEY, b. 1849, Westport, Briar Island, Digby. d. 1922, Bridgetown, N.S., buried: Yarmouth N.S.


“Grandma Davis (Mrs.S.B.Davis)”
[Liverpool,UK, first trip after marrisge]

m. 1866, Jul. 31 Samuel Bancroft DAVIS, Sea Captain.; b. 1843, Westport, N.S. (For children, see Samuel Bancroft DAVIS)

4. Georgina Bailey, b.ca. 1852, m. 1878 Judson Eldridge, 1851; 3ch

1. Walter Eldridge – 1925, Sandy Cove
2. Alice Eldridge, d. 1927, m. Jack Mitchell, c:Harry
3. Agnes Eldridge, m.Hayes

4. Eudora Bailey, b.ca. 1854, m.Hubert Rice

1. Everett Rice
2. Ralph Rice


3. Agnes Eldridge, m.Wesley Hayes, Vermont

1. Robert Hayes
2. Geraldein Hayes
3. Betty Hayes
4. Matil? Hayes


Census, Brier Island
“Digby County, 1864” Westport Business Directory
Hugos, “Possible descendents of William Bayly of Westport, N.S.”
Viets, “baptismal marriage records”
Greenwood, History of Freeport, Nova Scotia, 1784 – 1934.