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1891- 1900


The New Glasgow, Iron, Coal and Railway Company, issued $500,000 of preferred first preference shares, and in April 1891, it was announced that four-fifths of the issue had been taken up. The whole issue of ordinary shares of $500,000, were held by the founders of the Company. The directors were: John F. Stairs, M.P. , President; Graham Fraser, Vice-President; the former from Halifax, the latter from New Glasgow; William Jacks, Glasgow, Scotland; J. Walter Allison, Halifax; and Harvey Graham, New Glasgow.

Custom facilities applied for in connection with the plant of the Katahdens Iron Works of Maine, were purchased on behalf of the Company, by Graham Fraser, of New Glasgow; R. J. Leckie, of Londonderry; and Sjodett, a Swedish Iron Master, and which were to be transferred for erection and work at the East River.

Resolutions with stipulations were granted for Right of Way and operation to and for the Railway on the East River at or near Sunny Brae, by the Municipal Council. In May, 1891, Tenders were called for the construction of the Railway, from the site of the Blast Furnaces to the terminal on the East River, estimated at 10 miles.

name streetsA competition was also announced for ten names for the Streets laid out at the Town Site. The amount of the prize was $10.00.

Early in June, 1891, the Contract for building the railway from the Furnace Site up the East River, was awarded to John McIntosh of Stellarton and David McGregor, of McLennan’s Brook. Messrs. McDearmitt, of Pittsburg, Pa., and Bernard Schwartz arrived and were putting up at the Norfolk. They were sent by Stein and Schwartz, of Philadelphia, who had the job of erecting the Blast Furnaces. Thomas McDearmitt was to be Superintendent of the work, and Bernard Schwartz would act as bookkeeper. In July, 1891, the rails were laid from the I.C.R. Junction to the site of the Bridge. Men were pouring in every day. Real estate was selling at fancy prices.

At the last of August, 1891, the Annual Meeting was held in the Company Office. The shareholders were served with lunch at the Company boarding house (this, I presume, was the building later known as the Pictou House, situated across the road from the present homes of Clarence MacDonald and Murray Holley, it was a three storey building, erected earlier in the year, and was being conducted by a Mr. Potts, it could accommodate 40 boarders. The construction of the Furnace Site was well under way, the foundations being nearly all in, the greater part of the materials on the ground. Seven miles of the railroad were all ready for the rails. The Meeting unanimously agreed to give the name of “Ferrona” to their town, suggested by Dr. Patterson, and taken from the Latin “Ferra”, meaning iron.

In November, 1891, a tour of the site showed the Stack House, practically completed, and used as a work shop, was turning out boiler plate for construction purposes. Three of the Blast Stoves were almost complete. The water, was to be erected, with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. The Smoke Stack, 125 ft. high by 7 ft. in diameter was completed. The Boiler House was covered with a roofing tile, imported from Germany, claimed to be fire-proof, very light and economical in cost. It was the first of its kind ever to be put on a building in the Dominion. I. Matheson & Company, of New Glasgow had the contract for making the boilers. The Cast House was being erected by McDonald & Falconer, of Hopewell, it was to be a three storey building, 93 ft. by 35 ft. Part of the machinery, imported from Germany, for the coal washing and crushing, had already arrived and was being unloaded at the works. Coal Storage Towers were to be erected near the coal washing buildings. Work on the Coke Ovens was being pushed rapidly. There were to be 36 Coke Ovens, straight ovens of the Belgium type, rather than the old fashioned bee-hive shape. Still to be erected were: A blacksmith shop, 18x40 ft.; A carpenter shop, 18x40 ft.; A tool house, 16x18 ft.; and an oil storage house, 18x24 ft.

The railroad at this time, Nov. 1891, was all graded and the rails laid for two miles up the river, to where the iron bridge was being built, crossing from the Island to the East Side of the river. I. Matheson & Co., had the job of constructing the bridge, which was under the superintendence of Capt. J. George Graham.

McNaughton sells grainDuring the year, considerable activity in building, had taken place in the village. Mr. Evan R. Fraser completed his home. Muir’s Hall was also finished before the end of the year and a number of other buildings were in various stages of construction. Religious Services had been started in the dining room of Mr. Hugh Grant’s home, this continued for a short time and then arrangements were made with Mr. D. M. Grant to fix up a room over his store and equip it with benches, here services were held during the summer months. When Muir’s Hall was completed the services were moved there where they continued until the Church was built.



grand picnicConditions in the village continued to flourish, with people still flowing in. Buying and selling of land. Building houses and opening up business of many kinds. Mr. Isaac McNaughton was still busily engaged in the manufacture of plows and harrows and was also importing grain and agricultural seeds from Messrs. Wm. Ewing & Co., Seed Merchants of Montreal, and selling them on commission. A grocery store was opened up and operated by selling them on commission. A grocery store was opened up and operated by Mr. Daniel Fraser (Drummond). A tailoring establishment was started by a Truro firm about the middle of March, 1892. The need for a School House and a Church was being stressed. Muir’s Hall was proving to be too small for Church purposes. The Sabbath School was increasing and doing good work. A temperance lodge was rapidly growing in numbers and hopes were that it would be successful in keeping the great evil – intemperance – from Eureka and Ferrona.

railway picnicIn June, the Grand Opening of the East River Railroad was announced to take place on July 1, 1892. There was also to be a big Picnic in connection with it. Four round trips would be run from Ferrona Junction to Black Rock, leaving the Junction at 9 a.m.; 1:30 p.m.; 3:30 p.m.; and at 8:30 p.m. Return fares from Ferrona Junction of Ferrona to Springville, Bridgeville or Charcoal Junction would be 25 cents. The number of excursionists proved to be much larger than was anticipated. Joseph S. McKay, of Stellarton, was the Conductor on the train between Ferrona Junction and Black Rock. Four trips, daily, excluding Sundays, would continue to be run. The first part of the big day proved to be favorable, weatherwise, but a heavy shower in the evening dampened the ardors of the picnicers. The handsome sum of $500.00 was cleared at the Picnic.

In July, 1892, Mr. Thomas Fraser (Foreman), father of Graham Fraser, was hurt by a fall, while overseeing the construction of trestle work, for the New Glasgow, Iron, Coal & Railway Company.

On August 7, 1892, Eureka Presbyterian Congregation held its Communion. Twenty-six new members were received, eighteen by certificate and eight by profession of faith. The Communion Service used, was a gift from the ladies of the congregation, who contributed $30.00 towards its purchase. A congregational meeting was called for August 15, 1892, to take steps for the building of a Church. The Sunday School Picnic, postponed for a week was to be held on August 20, 1892.

fatal accidentOn August 24, 1892, the Blast Furnaces at Ferrona were started, and on the following day, the Annual Meeting of the Company was held, and the Stockholders shown through the works to see it in operation. On Sept. 12, 1892, the first fatal accident occurred at the Blast Furnaces. Peter Tobin, a workman was caught in the shafting and pulleys, resulting in his death.

In September, 1892, the Eureka Woolen Mills, apparently not living up to expectations, were advertised for sale, and Tenders of Purchase were called, to be received until noon of October 13, 1892. The advertisement was signed by Duncan McDonald as Secretary, and was dated Sept. 29, 1892. A Special Meeting of the Stockholders of the Eureka Woolen Mill Company was held on November 11, 1892, to consider the acceptance of an offer of purchase.


On March 16, 1893, tenders were called for the excavating, foundation walls, and the building of the Presbyterian Church, 72 ft. x 43 ft., with spire and vestry, Tenders to be open until March 28, 1893. The notice was signed by Isaac McNaughton, as Secretary; who was also the designer of the plans for the Church. In April 1893, the contract for the building of the Presbyterian Church was awarded to Brown Bros., Contractors and Builders of Westville. Messrs. Duncan and Hugh G. McDonald had the contract for the excavation and the foundation.

At the Blast Furnaces, work was being conducted day and night, making 4 casts every 24 hours, and with an output of between 70 and 80 tons of first class pig iron daily.

The Eureka Woolen Mills were in operation with Mr. M. H. Fitzpatrick, of New Glasgow, as Proprietor. In May 1893, he was in Montreal on Business in connection with his Mills. Before he returned he looked into the Electric light system of that area, with the thought of establishing an Electric Light Company, in Hopewell.

Earlier in the year, an Orange Lodge was organized in the village with W. M. Fraser, as W. M. Work was proceeding on both the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. On September 8, 1893, the Corner Stone of the Presbyterian Church, was laid by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, of which M. W. Bro. D. C. Fraser, was the Grand Master, and who performed the ceremony. (When the building of the Church was proposed, offers of free sites for its location were made. One by Mr. Robert Muir, on the sloping hill west of the I.C.R. Railway Line. One by Dr. MacDonald, of Hopewell, not far from the river bank, and one from the New Glasgow Iron, Coal and Railway Company. Mr. Robert Muir favored the Eureka side, as did also Dr. MacDonald, of Hopewell, as a number of people would be coming from Hopewell and it would be handier for them. A great deal of heated debate took place on the selection of a site, but logic and sound reasoning finally prevailed for a decision on the Company site.)

In October, 1893, it was stated that twelve buildings had been erected during the summer, six on each side of the river, with the thirteenth, at that time going up on the Eureka side. The Eureka School which had also been erected during the summer, was opened in the second week of October, 1893. It comprised two departments, with Mr. W. Allister Ross, of Lorne, as the Principal. (Mr. Foss was an older brother of the late Rec. D. K. Ross and later studied for the ministry, becoming Rev. W. A. Ross in 1900)

In November, 1893, there were about 300 men employed at Ferrona Blast Furnaces and at the Iron Mines, with a pay roll averaging $10,000 monthly. The demand for pig iron was fair but did not exceed the supply.

The first week of November, 1893, saw the work on Zion Presbyterian Church nearly completed, and plans were made for its opening on Nov. 18, 1893. The dimensions of the Building were 72 ft. x 43 ft., with a vestry and tower, and a basement not to be completed for the present. Seating accommodations provided for 500 people. Total cost of erection $3,800. Furniture and carpets were secured from Messrs. Gordon & Keith, through the New Glasgow agent, at reasonable cost. Six “Pittsburgh Extension” lamps were supplied by Stewart & Co., of New Glasgow, to light up the Church. Heat was provided by two large, warm air furnaces, supplied by Thompson & Sutherland, of New Glasgow. The furnaces were of the “New Giant” pattern. Zion Church was opened on Schedule on the third Sunday of November, Nov. 19, 1893, with three services. The weather was most favorable, the congregations large, and the services appropriate. In the morning, Rev. A. Laird, as pastor of the Church, took possession of their new and beautiful building, under auspicious circumstances. The opening services were conducted by Rev. Robert Cumming, of Westville. The afternoon services were in charge of the Orange Lodge and were conducted by Rec. Dr. McLeod, of Thorburn, about eighty Orangemen were present in full regalia, most of them were visitors from Stellarton and Westville. Rev. J. F. Forbes, of Durham, had charge of the evening services. The Choir, led by Mrs. (Dr.) Macdonald, of Hopewell, who was an accomplished musician, used the Old Choir Book. The Dedication Anthem from that book was most fitting as it was sung from full hearts.

On Tuesday evening, November 28, 1893, the Methodist Church at Eureka, was dedicated for divine service. The Ceremony being conducted by Rev. W. H. Heartz, D.D., Truro; W. Purvis, New Glasgow; Rev. W. G. Lane, Pictou, and W. Nightingale, of Stellarton. This congregation was formed in 1891, by the Methodist Church of Stellarton and was included in the Stellarton circuit.


trains to FerronaIn February, 1894, it was reported that the Ferrona Iron Works were using coal from the mines of the Dominion Coal Co., at Glace Bay. The New Glasgow, Iron, Coal and Railway Co., increased their rolling stock by purchasing new railway cars from Rhodes, Curry & Co., of Amherst. Two large trains of ore were coming in every day to the furnaces.

The Eureka Woolen Manufacturing Co., held their Annual Meeting at Eureka, on February 6, 1894. A large expenditure had been made in fitting up the Mill and supplying it with the newest and most improved machinery so that the Mill was one of the best equipped in the Maritime Provinces. After putting by a small amount for a sinking fund, a dividend of 8% on the paid up Capital Stock was declared. The Industry was again placed upon a sound and profitable basis. Mr. J. P. McLennan, of Moncton, accepted the position of manager of the Eureka Woolen Manufacturing Company.

In 1894, there were two public halls in Eureka, Muir’s Hall and McKenzie’s Hall, Mr. S. K. Muir was the proprietor of the former and Calvin McKenzie, of the latter. On April 26, 1894, the Oddfellows, of Hopewell, held a Special Service in Zion Church, and this was followed by a supper in McKenzie’s Hall afterwards.

On May 9, 1894, Mr. Zerkler, foreman at the coke ovens was severely injured by being caught with the coke car. His legs were badly cut and bruised, and it was expected that it would be some time before he would be up and around again.

Hopewell newsA baseball team was organized in Ferrona, and at the first Picnic of the Season, held at Ferrona on June 16, 1894, a baseball match was played between Hopewell and Ferrona. It was well attended and the game won by Ferrona, by the score, 16 – 11.

On July 2, 1894, a Picnic was held, under the auspices of the Ladies of Zion Church, to raise money to pay the balance of the debt on the Church. It was a great success. The Sum of $350.00 was netted. A baseball game between Hopewell and Eureka was won by Hopewell by 12 runs. Due to the extreme heat, the game was not the best.

Nathan Stiles was appointed trustee, at the Annual School Meeting, in place of Kenneth McMillan, who had resigned.

In July, 1894, a motor boat was put in operation, as a pleasure craft, on the Eureka dam, and provided quite an attraction. The dam was about a half a mile long. The motor boat was owned by Mr. Hingley.

A meeting of the Liberal Party of Polling District No. 17, was held in McKenzie’s Hall, on October 26, 1894. About this time some politicians being in the district. Mr. Robert Muir interviewed them in reference to a booking Station at Eureka Siding.

In December 1894, the people of New Glasgow and other locations down the river, became alarmed at the pollution of the water in the East River, caused by the Ferrona Iron Works, and complained to the Council that the water was totally unfit for domestic use. The Council made an investigation and found conditions even worse that had been reported. Great quantities of the wash from the iron ore and coal were deposited directly in the river, giving the water a disgusting appearance. The Company was given 15 days to cease polluting the river or immediate steps would be taken to prevent them. When the 15 days had expired, a delegation waited on the Town Council and stated that the Company had no wish to pollute the river in any manner, and were engaged in building dams and filters for the purpose of cleaning the water before it entered the river. This information was satisfactory to the Council. Some days afterwards, they instructed their engineer to see what was done in this respect. He found that a dam 450 ft. long had been constructed along the west bank of the East River, thence turning to higher ground and flooding about 2 ½ acres. This served as a settling basin for the Coal washer only, and the water filtered through a swamp and dam, entered the river comparatively clear. Other precautions were also being taken. (I mention this protest in detail because of its importance in a later development.)

water pollution

When Mr. H. K. Fitzpatrick was in Quebec in 1893, he had looked quite extensively into the electric power development there, and was inspired by the thought of a similar development on the East River. On his return he set about attracting the attention of some monied men to his scheme. The result was, the East River Electric Company, Ltd., of Pictou County, became organized with a Capital Stock of $30,000, in 1894. It was proposed to erect a dam, 30 ft. high, about 500 yards below the village of Hopewell, and if required, another farther down, to assure at least 300 H. P. With this Water Power, it was planned to supply the residents of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Westville and Ferrona with electric light. Cost of construction was estimated at $25,000., with running expenses at $3,500. An annual revenue was expected of $5,500. Subscribers were being solicited for $27,000 worth of Stock in shares of $50. each. Mr. H. K. Fitzpatrick, Barrister, and Mr. J. A. Pickett, Civil engineer, both of New Glasgow, apparently acquired the land and water rights, privileges and leases, and were holding them in Trust for the proposed Company. (As nothing further was made public on this scheme, it would appear that the project did not advance beyond the planning stage.)
Ferrona news


Early in January, 1895, it became necessary to close the school, on account of an outbreak of diphtheria. It was re-opened on January 28, 1895, after which two new cases appeared. In February, diphtheria broke out again and the board of health was busy. It was regretted that a stricter quarantine of the infected house was not made.

The Iron Works stopped operations in January, 1895, owing to a defect in the blast furnaces. It was variously reported that work would not be resumed for several months, but that was uncertain. It was said that a large mass of cold iron had lodged in one of the furnaces preventing the molten iron from running. With the closing down of the Iron Works, a gloomy picture was presented to Ferrona. Many men left the place with more going. Only those with property and families were staying. Merchants and business men were being hard pressed.

On February 1, 1895, Guiding Star Lodge, elected and installed the Officers for the year. G. S. Brown, Sec’y; Bella MacMillan, Chap.; Christie Reid, D.M.; Miss Bella MacMillan, S. of J. The Lodge was one of the best in the district. Over 50 members, with new members joining nearly every night.

In March, 1895, the Nova Scotia Steel and Forge Company and the New Glasgow, Iron, Coal and Railway Company were consolidated under the name of the Nova Scotia Steel Company. In May, 1895, Mr. W. C. Zerkler, analyst and manager of the Coal Washing and Coking Plant at the Ferrona Iron Works, resigned his position and left for Philadelphia. It was expected that operations at the Ferrona Iron Works would resume about the first of June.

About this time Mr. Robert Muir reported having found a rich lead of Copper on his property at Eureka.

In 1895, The Eureka and Ferrona Gold Mining Company was formed, and in June, reported pushing operations at Sutherland’s River. They had good prospects of opening up a mine. One of their leads, eighteen inches wide, was discovered by Isaac McNaughton. The shareholders of the Company were: Isaiah A. Morrison, David Nelson, Nathan Stiles, D. M. Grant, Kenneth McMillan, Angus J. McDonald and William Urquhart. In September, 1895, a meeting was called to enlarge and strengthen the Company.

anniversary Methodist churchGuiding Star Lodge, I.O.G.T., gave a musical and literary entertainment in Muir’s Hall, on Wednesday, September 11, 1895.

Mr. Isaac Prosser was appointed new furnace manager at the Iron Works.

The new freight shed at Eureka Siding, was nearly completed by the contractors, Hugh McDonald & Sons, on October 1, 1895. There was considerable speculation as to who would get the position of Caretaker. It was opened for business in November, with the understanding that the Caretaker would get a monthly salary of $15.00, his appointment was not expected until after the Municipal or Dominion Elections. The formal opening for business took place on December 2, 1895, with Mr. Kenneth McMillan in charge.

merchants arrange special trainDuring Christmas week, 1895, the Merchants of New Glasgow arranged for a Special Train to be run from Westville and Stellarton on the afternoon of the twenty-first. Also for one to return to Hopewell and Eureka on the evening of the twenty-fourth.



In March, 1896, it was deplored that Express Trains were not stopping at Eureka Siding.

Early in April, 1896, it was reported that the Nova Scotia Steel Co., had a large force of men engaged in putting new lining in their furnaces. This was completed about the third week in April and a fire was started to dry it. Casting was expected to resume about May 1, 1896. About the first of August, the furnaces had to be banked for several days, on account of scarcity of men to handle the ore brought from Newfoundland, but towards the end of the month, the furnaces were again in operation.

In August, 1896, Mr. Robert Muir planned on opening up his Copper Mine on an extensive scale.

New Elders appointed for Zion Church Congregation, in September, 1896, were: Newton G. Munro, Donald M. Grant and George H. McKay. At the Anniversary Service of Zion Church, held on Sunday, November 22, 1896, a Special Collection was taken for the building fund. The Committee asked for $100.00 and received $120.00. This left a debt of only $625.00, on their new Church.


During the month of February, 1897, a number of disconnected events took place: The Annual Congregational Meeting of Zion Church showed that $1,250.00 had been collected in the past year. A Concert, consisting of Songs, Readings and the James Church Quartette, was presented in Muir’s Hall, with 250 persons present. The Eureka Woolen Mills put in a new washer and fuller, which cost $300.00. James Dryden fell about 30 feet from the wash house at the Iron Works and was considerably hurt about the head.

The second fatal accident occurred at the Iron Works, on June 1, 1897, when Joseph McNeil, a brakeman on the Company railroad, lost his life. The cause of his death was not known, but it was supposed that he fell between the cars. He was 23 years of age and belonged to Beaver Cove, Cape Breton, he had been employed by the Company for about four years.

Mrs. Ann McDonald Grant, wife of Hugh Grant, and mother of D. M. Grant, died at Eureka, on May 30, 1897, in the 94th year of her age.

Ferrona newsIn July, 1897, quite a number of events took place: the Ladies of Zion Church held a Picnic on July 8, 1897, and $100.00 was cleared. D. M. Grant and Henry Barclay were elected trustees at the Annual School Meeting. A baseball match between Hopewell and Ferrona, on July 24, 1897, resulted in a win for Ferrona, by the score or 23 – 20. At the end of the seventh inning the score was Ferrona 18 and Hopewell 7, following an injury to catcher, G. E. Brown, the Hopewell score mounted. It was reported that a rich lead of Copper had been struck. Six feet was said to be the thickness, and the Copper reported to be of excellent quality.




Ferrona picnicThe Members of the Ferrona Iron Works Relief Fund, held a Picnic on August 10, 1897, with excursion tickets from New Glasgow, Stellarton, Westville and Hopewell.




Two interesting marriages took place in the latter part of the year, 1897. Miss Janetta J. Barclay became the bride of Mr. Sylvanus K. Muir, on October 13, 1897, the bride was given away by her brother, Gordon, her sister, Miss Della, acted as bridesmaid. The groom was supported by Mr. W. A. Ross of Lorne, student at Dalhousie College. On December 1, 1897, Ida M. Murray, of New Lairg , became the bride of John Wesley Gillespie, of Ferrona. Both couples were married by Rev. William McNichol, M.A.

Ferrona news


In January, 1898, considerable speculation took place about the future of the Nova Scotia Steel Company. Would the Blast Furnaces remain at Ferrona or would they go to Cape Breton?

The Relief Fund of the Ferrona Iron Works, with James H. Reid as Secretary-Treasurer, gave the following report in January 1898. Paid out to one member on account of sickness, $19.20. Eight members on account of sickness, $116.61. One death claim, $50.00. Total indemnities, $185.81. Receipts from members contributions, $335.10; from other sources, $313.77; total $648.87. Expenses, $209.50. Balance on deposit in Bank of Nova Scotia, $439.28.

In February, 1898, the Eureka Woolen Mills were running at their fullest capacity. About $800.00 was paid out monthly in wages and employment was given to about 35 hands. The goods manufactured were second to none and many orders had to be cancelled. Under the efficient management of Mr. Clarke, some of the best material manufactured in the Lower Provinces could be found in their store room. Mr. Clarke had been manager of the Mills for the past 15 years. The office work and shipping business was in charge of Mr. James P. McLennan. In March, 1898, the Eureka Woolen Company, sold their Custom roll cards, and discontinued any roll carding for the coming season.

May 1898, saw Hugh McDonald with a gang of men erecting a large building for C. S. Clarke, of Eureka, to be used for a knitting factory. In August 1898, the School Trustees had some difficulties in securing teachers. In October, 1898, Mr. Newton Munro, who had been Station Agent at Ferrona Junction, was appointed to a similar capacity at Hopewell, to take the place of Mr. James McDonald, deceased. In November, 1898, the Blast Furnaces at Ferrona were reported repaired and in blast again. C. S. Clarke & Sons, had their well appointed knitting factory in operation for the manufacture of hosiery, with their product finding a ready market. The Eureka Woolen Mills were running overtime to fill orders.

Tenders for the construction of the Bridge leading from Ferrona to Churchville, were opened on March 25, 1898. The contract was awarded to John Stewart, of New Glasgow, for $2075.00. The bridge was to be a superstructure with 2 deck spans of 120 ft. and 80 ft., respectively between end pins. The Roadway, 15 ft. wide in the clear. In November, 1898, the abutments and approachments for the new bridge were about complete. The total and final cost of the bridge was $2675.00.

Christmas shoppers in 1898, were faced with such prices as advertised by B. D. Rogers & Company: 5 lbs. of mixed nuts and 5 lbs. of mixed candy for $1.00; 8 lbs of raisins, 8 lbs currents for $1.00; 11 lbs of choice cheese for $1.00; 26 lbs of bright sugar for $1.00; molasses, 38 cents a gallon; oil 23 cents a gallon; vinegar, 25 cents a gallon; 10 lbs beans, 5 lbs rice, 10 lbs onions, 10 lbs apples and 10 lbs split peas, all for $1.00


On February 3, 1899, a quadrille party was held in McKenzies Hall.

The Pie Social held in Muir’s Hall, on February 10,1899, in aid of Zion Church Sabbath School, was a grand success. Mr. Evan R. Fraser occupied the chair. Mr. George McKay, set the ball rolling by bidding out the first pie.

Mr. Joseph Dix Fraser, son of Graham Fraser, was the Superintendent of the Nova Scotia Steel Company’s operations at Ferrona.

On October 6, 1899, the breakwater at the Eureka Woolen Mills broke away, during a freshet, causing a serious loss to the Company. The Mills were running at full capacity, manufacturing first class tweeds, woolen goods and blankets, with a large number of orders in advance of what they had contracted for.

The members of Zion Church held an entertainment and pie social in Mr. Calvin McKenzie’s hall, on November 13, 1899. The entertainment consisted of readings, recitations, vocal and instrumental solos.

In November, 1899, there was exhibited a piece of chain, 3 ft. and 10 inches long, made out of one piece of birchwood, links about 1 inch each, carved by John r. Forbes, engineer at Ferrona. The chain had a spring clasp, all wood, a perfect swivel and a hook. The Forbes family lived in the home now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Leigh. (The writer seems to have a faint recollection of having seen this chain years ago.)

Mr. F. W. Harley, secretary-treasurer, of the Eureka Woolen Mills, went to Halifax, in November, 1899, to attend Supreme Court, in the interests of the Company.


In February, 1900, the Ferrona Iron Works were doing a rushing business. Quite a lot of pig iron went to the Londonderry Works to be made into pipe for Cape Breton.

In the Supreme Court case of Union Bank versus Eureka Woolen Mills, Mr. Justice Henry filed judgment for the defendant, on February 27, 1900.

An article in the Presbyterian Witness, of May, 1900, read: “Among the gifts for the Indian Famine, received sometime ago, we note $157.25 from Ferrona – a young congregation of 72 families, with not a wealthy man among them. A large number of the men are day laborers. They have built a neat Church and they pay the pastor $650.00, a year. Sacrement to the Lord’s Supper on April 29, 1900, in Zion Church. Presbyterian Church now free of debt.”

The Ferrona Cricket Club reorganized in May, 1900, with the intentions of doing some great playing during the coming summer.

In June, 1900, Muir and McEwan had dug about 15 feet into their copper mine, and were anticipating good results.

A railway accident occurred at Ferrona Junction in June, 1900. The night express struck a car loaded with limestone, which had run out of the Nova Scotia Steel Company’s siding, at Ferrona Junction, and across the I.C.R. track. The locomotive was thrown from the track and completely wrecked. A bad scare was had by all and the passengers on the train were shaken up, but no one was injured. The car was noticed in time to avoid more serious consequences.

Mr. Evan R. Fraser was presented with a handsome writing desk, on November 21, 1900, by the teachers of Zion Church and those interested in Sabbath School Work.

A Basket Social was held in Muir’s Hall, on December 18, 1900, by Zion Church Congregation.


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