Fifty Years Ago.
DEAR SIR:—On the spot where Mr. George Ford's store now stands stood a primitive little edifice, Mr. William Cranes dry goods and grocery store, the centre of business in Sackville. If I am not, mistaken, it was the only store between Westcock and Four Corners, except a small one kept by Mr. Richard Wilson on the place where he now lives. Mr. Wilson is now ninety-seven years old. It might be noticed here, that about that time, on the banks of the stream running between Mr. John Bowser’s and the Brunswick house, stood an orchard producing many apples and cherries. It is not certain whether the trees had been planted by the French or at a later period; but at the same time there stood an old French orchard on the John Chapman farm in Dorchester. This orchard produced many bushels in a good season. Mr. Chapman, whom the writer recollects well, told him that when he took up the lead the orchard was there, the trees comparatively young and fruitful. This was about the year 1754, after the old colonies had gained their independence and became the U. States. The writer recollects the faces of most of the pioneers of Dorchester, our adjoining pariah, and he recollects talking with most of them. This serves to impress upon the mind the newness of the country and the wonderful progress that has been made in a very short time; the greater part of which has been within the last twenty years of Her Majesty's reign. The writer recollects well [part of the paragraph is cut off] His age and extreme nervousness served to impress his presence on so young a mind.
Sackville was settled somewhat earlier than Dorchester, and was a little troubled with marauders from the American army, then fighting their way to independence. It is said a band of them landed at Grand Annee, swamped their way to Sackville with warlike parade; but they met a poor reception and a final re-buff. Their clumsy attempts at war gave the troubles attending them the name of the Edy war.
Perhaps no part of Sackville has made greater headway since the commencement of Her Majesty's reign than Bridge Street. From Crane's Corner along Bridge Street there were but six unpretending farm houses, barren of trees or ornamental fences. Mr. Crane occupied the first (at least a short time before), a small brick or stone building, which stood about where Mr. Rainnie's house now stands, Mr. Charles Dixon, the son of the original Mr. Justice Dixon, lived where the deceased Harmon Humphrey’s house now is. About all the land on the street belonged to Mr. C Dixon and his two brothers. The street at that time was but a private way leading to the farms and marshes. The bridge across the river, the Au Lac aboideau and the road to Westmorland Point were not yet built.
Most of the dwellings on Bridge Street are comparatively new, but Mr. Henry Allison's house and garden. Mr. Powell's brick budding, Music Hall, Mr. Wood's stone warehouse and several other nice houses deserve special notice. Mr. Christopher Milner's homestead dates back to an earlier period, as the old trees and surroundings amply testify. Mr. Cogswell's two-story mansion also bears evidence of a much earlier date. Mr. Knapp now supplies the necessary groceries, &c. Before the capital of the county was moved to Dorchester, Westmorland Point was headquarters, and Westcock was the centre of business in Sackville; communication between was by ferry or fording in summer, and on the frozen rivers in winter. Mr. Nelson Bulmer tells me the rivers are much larger and muddier now than when he was young. When roads came to be opened up and people began to travel with horses in place of canoes, Westmorland and Westcock were found geo graphically inconvenient, and they dwindled into mere farming places. Mr. Crane stepped in at the right time, and Crane’s Corner has continued the centre of business since.