The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

Sept. 12, 2007

Sept. 12, 2007 – Civic Report 1912

In 1911 things were starting to look up for Springhill. The 22 month strike came to an end in April, the mines changed owners who decided to improve and increase operations and new seams of coal were discovered. The Mayor, Lieut. Col. E.A. Potter stated the rate of assessment, as compared to towns the size of Springhill, had not been raised. Outside Springhill people were wondering, how Springhill could afford the splendid educational privileges and the general public improvements that, were going on, with its limited revenue. The fact was the most was made of resources and the economical management of affairs. Therefore, all property and water taxes must be collected immediately if we are to make the most of our resources and future public improvements.

The Hopkins property adjoining the Town Hall was up for sale for $800. and it was bought by the town for future fire protection. A meeting with the ratepayers was held in the winter for their approval to purchases a pair of horses and equipment to use in the summer season of 1912. In the meantime the building on the purchased property was being rented out for $8.00 per month and was to be vacated when required.

A Civil Engineer, Mr. Doane, was engaged to come to Springhill, plan a proper system of sewerage for the town and estimate the cost, and when he was finished the matter was to be put before the ratepayers. The Town also had Mr. Doane take a look at the water level of a brook about a mile from town and he thought the town could increase its water supply with this brook at a reasonable rate.

A large number of citizens signed a petition asking the Town to reduce the rates for the water used in bathrooms. On December 22, 1911 the Town made the following amendments to the Water Works By-Laws: 1. Bathroom attachments $4.00 per year, reduced to $3.00. 2. Water closet attachment (approved by Superintendent) charged $6.00 per year, reduced to $5.00. 3. Wash basin in bathroom, no charge. 4. Summer drink factory and bottling steam power $50.00, reduced to $30.00. Post Office including heating apparatus $40.00, reduced to $30.00. 6. Hall, where weekly meetings are held by fraternal societies, $4.00 per year. These reductions were to take place on or after January 1, 1912 . It was further resolved that if the half yearly installments due on January 1 st and July 1 st in each year, not being paid on or before 31 st day of March or 30 th day of September following, that the service be discontinued except under circumstances approved by the Water Commission.

The Mayor strongly recommended that Springhill should secure or create manufacturing industries. There was to be a drinking fountain on Main Street in the near future and also the beautifying of the grounds surrounding the Monument on the Hill.

The school commissioner again reported the need for new furnaces and closet system which were really disgraceful and had been for the last few years. The town wanted to connect the new High School building with the existing sewerage system on Drummond Street , but was met with a lot of objections so it was not done.

The street work was carried out by day wages with laborers receiving $1.50 per day, horse team and driver was paid $2.00 per day. The Town had to hire a road machine which required 4 double teams to operate as well as one single team with the cost of $91.45.

D.C. Matheson, Chairman of the Poor Commission told Council that there was more money spent in 1911 than in any other year. Some of the reasons were: A Mrs. Mickelson and her six or seven children who were deserted by her husband, Alfred Canning who became too old and infirm to work, another family whose breadwinner was to ill to work, Mrs. Ferguson’s home was broken up and she was granted assistance, a Mrs. Robertson was given assistance but there was a chance the amount might be refunded by the Government as she never secured a settlement under the Poor Law in Springhill. The Poor Commission, in dealing with a couple of cases, found that there was no law dealing with cases of non-support or wife desertion.

In the first 5 months of 1911 the cost of police service in Springhill was up considerably and even after the strike was over the town realized it would need to have at least two policemen.

The school enrolment for 1911 was as follows: Gr. 1 – 378, Gr. 2 – 188, Gr. 3 – 231, Gr. 4 – 142, Gr. 5 – 134, Gr. 6 – 115, Gr. 7 – 89, Gr. 8 – 68 and High School – 82.

Upwards of 50 cases of typhoid fever were treated at the Hospital, a few mild cases of diphtheria, and also a few cases of scarlet fever of the mild type were reported.

There were seven fires in 1911 – on Feb. 9 th a house occupied by Warren Johnson had about $50 damage; Feb. 14 th the house of Walter Gould; Mar. 22 nd house occupied by E. Mckenzie on McFarlane Street ; Apr. 14 th house occupied by Warren Johnson, May 23 rd house in company rows, May 23 rd house occupied by Horatio Johns and the house of John McLennan on Magee Street estimated at $100.

On Labor Day, September 4, 1911 , there was a Citizens picnic in Parrsboro with proceeds in aid of fund to improve “monument grounds”. The Town raised $72.95 for the fund.