1. Catie Miller still missing
The Dartmouth woman hasn’t been seen since July 15.
2. Human remains
Human remains have been found during the construction of the North Park Street roundabout. Reports the Chronicle Herald:
The bones are “believed to be those of a small child located adjacent to a lot that once housed the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home,” said April MacIntyre, vice-president at Davis MacIntyre & Associates Ltd.
“The home was opened on North Park Street in 1857 and remained in this location until it was moved to Barrington Street in 1883.”
But that’s not the complete story. As Nat Smith wrote in January, the site has a long storied history. In the 1830s Thomas Maynard, for whom Maynard Street is named, bought the property east of the North Common and started subdividing it, selling this particular lot to William Johns, owner of an iron foundry. In 1859 the lot was purchased by William Murdoch who donated it to the Protestant Orphanage Society. Smith thinks the orphanage building was the old Johns home.
“In the 1874 annual report for the orphanage it states that for that year the home housed 80 children,” wrote Smith. “Given the size of the structure pictured you have to wonder where those 80 children slept?”
The Protestant Orphanage was moved to Veith Street in 1883. The Explosion destroyed it, and 15 of the 21 people in the house died. It was rebuilt on Veith Street in 1924 and operated as an orphanage until 1969, when its wards were transferred into the new provincial foster care program. Five years later, the Veith Street property was repurposed as Veith House, with the mission of supporting at-risk youth. The house continues to operate.
Back on North Park Street, however, the old orphanage was torn down and in its place built the Park Street Presbyterian Church, which opened in 1884. Smith quotes a history of the church, as follows:
The architecture was of a Gothic order, and on the whole had quite the ecclesiastical appearance. The circular seating accommodated 750 people. In the rear of the main building and connected by two passages were the Sunday School rooms which accommodated 400. Not including the site, the entire cost was about $28,000 of which $12,000 was mortgaged. The architect was Mr. Dumaresque and the contractors Messrs Jordan and Fidler.
So, we’re talking a huge structure. The Presbyterians stayed on North Park Street 41 years, until 1925, when a new church was built on Windsor Street, what is now the St. John’s United Church property. The North Park Street church was sold to the labour council and became The Labour Temple, which speaks to the power and prestige of organized labour in the 1920s.
The Labour Temple caught fire on January 2, 1945, and was destroyed. Afterwards, the property was bought by DND. Smith doesn’t know if it was used for anything other than a parking lot for the adjacent Armoury.
The bones discovered this week were found on the south side of the property, behind Zibi’s Auto Repair. The question is: Where’d they come from?
It’s possible the remains pre-date the orphanage, and are either native or from a family burial of the Johns. It strikes me as odd, although plausible, that the orphanage was burying children on the site; are we talking a butterbox baby-like disregard for dead children? Or did the church operate a cemetery? Or, maybe the communists at the Labour Council have some skeletons in their closet, so to speak.
3. If only everyone were paid less, we’d all be richer
In the next battle in the war against working people, a bunch of people are about to get locked out:
4. Justin Bourque pleads guilty
The Moncton shooter doesn’t offer a mental illness defence, and the crown asks for three consecutive life sentences.
5. Wild Kingdom
Skunks have arrived on Cape Breton Island, possibly crossing over on the causeway or via the ice in the winter.
1. What’s a little putrefied air in the big picture?
Gail Lethbridge tells a parable that sounds a whole lot like the Northern Pulp Mill saga.
2. Harper’s attack on federalism
Ralph Surrette chronicles the undermining of the principle of equalization.
3. Hating on puppies
Valerie Bradshaw of Dartmouth brings a wonderfully cantankerous view to the dog park issue: “People do not have to own dogs,” she writes. “It is their choice to and therefore their responsibility—not ours, as a collective, to care for and control them. Public off-leash parks and trails are just a bad idea.”
4. Triple shooting in 1964
Bill Spurr writes about the terror that gripped the south end 50 years ago yesterday, as children were being shot at random. Two died: 11-year-old Gordon Hartling and 12-year-old James Squires. The 18-year-old shooter, Edward Boutilier, turned himself in and was committed to the Nova Scotia Hospital, where he killed himself 10 years later.
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Hard to believe, but Time Cube still exists. Created in 1997 by Gene Ray, the site was perhaps the first and truest evidence that the internet would go on to release the full batshittery of humankind. Here’s Ray explaining it:
Bedford resident Pascal Devillers has started Pay2Charge Charging Solutions which will hawk per-use cellphone charging stations, because we just need to make the world that much crappier.
A man named Barry Braun has started Women Reshaping the World, Inc. The business is hosting three “leadership conferences,” the first in Halifax at the Wold Trade and Convention Centre on October 7, for just $225, or $175 if you purchase your ticket before August 15, proving that there is no limit to the gullibility of the public. This reminds me of the classic video showing Halifax’s oh-so-credulous business class going crazy over motivational speaker Tony Robbins. (I’m trying, without luck, to embed that video here. If anyone can help with that, I’d appreciate it.)
I watch that video every time they tell me to get on page on the convention centre.