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The historical geography of agriculture in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 MacKinnon, Robert Alexander 1991

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The Historical Geography of Agriculture in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 By Robert Alexander MacKinnon B.A. Mount Allison University, 1978 M.A. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1981 A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfilment of The Requirements For The Degree Of Doctor of Philosophy in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard The University of British Columbia March, 1991 . © Robert Alexander MacKinnon In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department of Date 3(j DE-6 (2/88) i i Abstract This thesis examines the changing geography of agriculture in Nova Scotia between 1851 and 1951. Its aims are to establish and explain the patterns of farm settlement and agricultural production in Nova Scotia during a century of enormous change. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the economy and society of Nova Scotia became closely integrated with those of the rest of continental North America. Improvements in ocean and inland transportation reduced the time and costs of movement over vast distances, and changing aspirations and opportunities accompanied the shift from a predominantly rural to a predominantly urban society. Particular attention is devoted to the influences on agriculture of these changes. Three setdement zones are identified — fishing, lumbering and farming — and patterns of farm production and trade are examined in three time eras: the 1850s, the 1890s and the- 1940s. Representative farming districts and sample farms are examined to illustrate how regional patterns manifested themselves at the community and farmstead scales. Although mixed farming emphasizing livestock production prevailed in most districts of Nova Scotia during the century under investigation, agricultural holdings varied enormously in size, market orientation and crop and livestock mix in all three settlement zones. In the mid-nineteenth century few districts in the fishing and lumbering zones produced agricultural surpluses; indeed most failed to produce enough food to feed their populations. Agricultural production was concentrated in a farming zone that stretched across Nova Scotia's northern tier of counties, and small zones of specialty production were already visible in the landscape (potatoes in the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, wheat and grains in Pictou and Sydney/Antigonish Counties). Farm surpluses entered the small domestic markets of the colony, or they were exported to New England and to nearby colonies which were more dependent on fish and timber than was Nova Scotia (Newfoundland, Saint Pierre and New Brunswick). Agriculture contributed to provincial exports at a level similar to that of forestry and three times that of mining. i i i Between 1851 and 1891 the number of farms in Nova Scotia doubled to 60,122, and the amount of improved land increased by 240 per cent (to almost 2,000,000 acres). By the 1890s Nova Scotia's fishing and lumbering zones were far more self-sufficient in agricultural products than four decades earlier, and some hardscrabble commercial farms were regularly supplying the mines and woodworking establishments that had been established in these zones. In the farming zone new specialty products appeared (apples in the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, milk and cream in the districts of Hants and Colchester Counties close to railway lines), farmers continued to contribute to provincial exports at a level similar to that in the mid-nineteenth century (even though total trade had expanded considerably between 1851 and 1891), and due to the growth of the province's urban system during the last quarter of the nineteenth century the domestic market was a more important outlet for provincial farm surpluses than had been the case in the mid-nineteenth century. However, as a consequence of growing interregional connectivity Nova Scotian farmers were experiencing stiff competition from distant, well-endowed agricultural regions in local and external markets and farm families adjusted their operations to the changed circumstances. Dairying, fruit and poultry farming expanded while the production of beef cattle, sheep, potatoes and most grains declined. Marginal operations were abandoned. Between 1891 and 1941 the number of farms in Nova Scotia fell by almost half and a larger proportion of the 24,000 farms remaining in the province in 1951 (25 per cent fewer than in 1851) were "subsistence", "part-time" or "idle" operations than in the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, the gross value of agricultural production remained remarkably stable during this period despite declines in farms and farmland. Remaining commercial farms were more capital-intensive and specialized than in the nineteenth century and they were more concentrated in the central and western portions of the farming zone where the best soils and climatic conditions for agriculture were found. Peri-urban dairying zones encircled Nova Scotia's several urban/industrial regions. Although iv provincial farmers continued to contribute to exports in the twentieth century, by 1950 the relative position of agriculture in provincial exports had declined considerably, and the domestic markets were the most important outlets for surplus agricultural products. Yet Nova Scotian farmers supplied only about one-third of the food consumed in the province and the population remained dependent upon distant agricultural regions. This is essentially a case study of one important segment of Maritime Canada. However, it demonstrates a process of rural change that was repeated in nearby New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and in parts of New England, Quebec and Ontario. Changes in the efficiency of ocean and inland transportation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries transformed the costs of transporting food from distant regions and the resulting interregional competition in domestic and external markets forced adjustments on farms in all of these areas. In general, as interregional competition increased, there was a gradual shift from the production of high bulk, non-perishable commodities for export to perishable, low bulk, high value commodities for sale in local markets. Distant specialty production regions — in Western Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Central and South America - became the principal sources of supply of many agricultural staples for consumers all along the eastern fringe of the North American continent, and rural outmigration and farmland abandonment accompanied rising farm productivity and agricultural specialization in nearby agricultural regions. As the twentieth century wore on, farms in Nova Scotia increasingly concentrated on products that retained a competitive advantage in domestic markets because of their perishability (fluid milk, cream, poultry eggs, market garden vegetables, apples and berries). This cycle of agricultural expansion in the nineteenth century, followed by a rapid loss of farms and farmland in the twentieth century, and the increasing concentration of capital-intensive, specialized farming in a few nodes with physiographic or market advantages over distant producing regions, was common to many long-settled agricultural regions in eastern North America. V Table of Contents Page Abstract ii Table of Contents v List of Tables viii List of Figures x Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Chapter 2: Setting the Scene: Mid-Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia 15 Demographic Patterns 15 Physiography, Climate and Soils 18 The Forest Cover 20 The Economic Geography of Nova Scotia 24 The Commercial Network 30 The Transportation System 36 Chapter 3 : Parameters of Change in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 40 Demographic Trends 40 Agricultural Trends 49 Agricultural Trade 52 The Market Hinterland 55 Agricultural Specialization 56 vi Page Chapter 4 : Nova Scotian Agriculture in the Mid-Nineteenth Century 69 Nova Scotia's Settlement Zones 71 The Fishing Zone 72 The Lumbering Zone 74 The Farming Zone 75 The Potato Belt 78 Central Nova Scotia 81 The Grain Belt 82 Eastern Cape Breton 87 Hardwood Hill (Pictou County) Case Study 89 The New Rhynie and Wood worth Farms 102 The Seasonal Round 109 The Domestic Market 121 Export Markets 125 Summary 128 Chapter 5 : Nova Scotian Agriculture in the Late Nineteenth Century: The Critical Years 131 The Fishing Zone 132 The Lumbering Zone 139 The Farming Zone 152 The Fruit Belt 153 The Emerging Central Dairy Belt 157 The Mixed Farming Belt 162 Eastern Cape Breton 171 Summary 175 v i i Page Chapter 6 : The 1940s: Change and Persistence in Rural Nova Scotia 177 The Fishing Zone 179 The Lumbering Zone 186 The Farming Zone 192 The Fruit Belt 195 The Central Dairy Belt 203 The Eastern Dairy Belt 209 The Mixed Farming Belt 215 The Domestic Market 224 Export Markets 233 Summary 235 Chapter 7 : Conclusions and Wider Implications 239 Bibliography 263 Appendix 289 viii List of Tables Page Table 2-1 Farm Production Per Capita, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada West and Canada East, 1851 29a Table 2-2, Principal Stage Coach Routes in Nova Scotia, Circa 1850 38a Table 3-1, Percentage Change in Nova Scotia's Population, By County, 1851-1901 44a Table 3-2, Percentage Change in Nova Scotia's Population, By County, 1901-1951 44b Table 3-3, Demographic Change in Pictou County, 1871-1901 44c Table 3-4, Nova Scotia's Male Labour Force, By Sector, 1851-1951 50a Table 3-5, Nova Scotia's Exports By Sector, 1851-1937 52a Table 3-6, Nova Scotia's Agricultural Balance of Trade 1854-1900 54a Table 3-7, Nova Scotia's Agricultural Exports By Destination, 1885 56a Table 4-1, Average Production Per family in Nova Scotia's Farming Zone, Principal Crops and Livestock, 1851 81a Table 4-2, Movement of People and Commodities at Ten Mile House, Onslow Bridge and Fort Lawrence, 1848 122a, b Table 5 -1, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Fruit Belt, 1851-1891 155a Table 5-2, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Central Dairy Belt, 1851-1891 157b Table 5-3, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Mixed Farming Belt, 1851-1891 163a Table 5-4, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, Eastern Cape Breton, 1851-1891 171a Table 6-1, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Fruit Belt 195b Table 6-2, Summary of Apple Orchard Census, The Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, 1939-1940 195c Table 6-3, Geographical Branch Survey of Nova Scotia's Fruit Belt, 1953 201a ix Table 6-4, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Central Dairy Belt Table 6-5, Average Farm Earnings in the Farming Zone, BySubregion, 1941 Table 6-6, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Eastern dairy Belt, 1891-1941 Table 6-7, Land Use and Livestock Per family in the Eastern Dairy Belt, By Region, 1939 Table 6-8, Average Family Income in the Eastern Dairy Belt, By Region, 1939 Table 6-9, Average Production Per Family, Principal Crops and Livestock, The Mixed Farming Belt Table 6-10, Value of Farm Products Marketed in Sydney and Vicinity, 1937 Table 6-11, Vegetables and Fruits Marketed in the New Glasgow Region, 1949-1950 Table 6-12, Meats Marketed in Halifax, By Volume, Value and Type, 1947-1948 List of Figures Pag Figure 2-1 Population Distribution in Nova Scotia, 1851 17a Figure 2-2, Soil Capability for Agriculture in Nova Scotia 20a Figure 2-3, Forest Zones in Nova Scotia 21a Figure 2-4, Nova Scotia Exports By Port, 1854 25a Figure 2-5, Coal Mining Settlement at Lingan, Cape Breton, circa 1870 25b Figure 2-6, Fishing Premises on Nova Scotia's South Shore in the Mid-Nineteenth Century 25c Figure 2-7, Improved Land in Nova Scotia, By County, 1851 27a Figure 2-8, Improved Land in Nova Scotia in Pasture, Crops, and Marsh, 1851 28a Figure 2-9, 'Great Roads' and 'Bye Roads' in Nova Scotia, Circa 1850 37a Figure 3-1 Population Distribution in Nova Scotia, 1891 41a Figure 3-2, Population Distribution in Nova Scotia, 1941 47a Figure 3-3, Demographic Change in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 47b Figure 3-4, Farms and Farmland in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 49a Figure 3-5, Grain Crops in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 51a Figure 3-6, Other Field Crops in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 51b Figure 3-7, Livestock and Animal Products in Nova Scotia 5 lc Figure 3-8, Livestock in Cape Breton Island, 1851-1951 64a Figure 3-9, Livestock in Halifax andPictou Counties, 1851-1951 64b Figure 3-10, Livestock in Kings, Annapolis and Digby Counties, 1851-1951 64c Figure 3-11, Livestock in Hants, Cumberland and Colchester Counties, 1851-1951 65a Figure 3-12, Livestock in Queens, Shelburne, Lunenburg and Guysborough Counties, 1851-1951 65b Figure 3-13, Principal Crops in Kings and Annapolis Counties, 1851-1951 67a xi Page Figure 3-14, Principal Crops in Pictou, Colchester and Cumberland Counties, 1851-1951 67b Figure 3-15, Principal Crops in Antigonish and Inverness Counties, 1851-1951 67c Figure 4-1, View From Retreat Farm, Windsor, Nova Scotia, Circa 1840 69a Figure 4-2, Lochaber Lake, Sydney County, Nova Scotia, Circa 1830 69b Figure 4-3, Settlement Zones in Nova Scotia, 1851 71a Figure 4-4, Improved Land Per Family in Nova Scotia, 1851 76a Figure 4-5, Potato Production in the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, 1851 79a Figure 4-6, Butter Production in Nova Scotia's Grain Belt 84a Figure 4-7, Cattle Per Family in Nova Scotia's Grain Belt 84b Figure 4-8, Improved Land in Hardwood Hill, Pictou County, 1851 90a Figure 4-9, Demographic Profile of Hardwood Hill, Pictou County, 1851 92a Figure 4-10, Farm Size and Average Farm Value in Hardwood Hill, 1851 97a Figure 4-11, Average Cropland and Livestock in Hardwood Hill, By Farm Size, 1851 100a Figure 4-12, John Murray's New Rhynie Farm Sales, 1853 104a Figure 4-13, Nathan Woodworth's Farm Sales, 1850 105a Figure 4-14, Seasonal Farming Activity, An Upland Farm in the Mid-Nineteenth Century 109a Figure 5-1, Farming Zones in Nova Scotia, 1891 133a Figure 5-2, Maurice Harlow's Annual Activities, 1880 146a Figure 5-3, Timber Shanty in Nova Scotia's Lumbering Zone, Circa 1910 148a Figure 5-4, The Harlow Farm, North Brookfield, Queens County, Circa 1910 150a Figure 5-5, Improved Land Use on the Harlow Farm, 1880 151a Figure 5-6, Improved Land Per Family in Nova Scotia, 1891 152a Figure 5-7, Nova Scotia Apple Sales, 1880-1910 . 154a Figure 5-8, R. J. Whitten and Company Accounts (Halifax), 1899-1900 157a xii Page Figure 5-9, Samuel Spares' Farm Sales, 1885-1890 166a Figure 5-10, Spares Family Purchases, 1885-1890 167a Figure 5-11, Total Transactions, Donald MacLean's Store, North River Bridge, Victoria County, 1886-1890 173a Figure 6-1, Farming Zones in Nova Scotia, 1941 181a Figure 6-2, Improved Land Per Farm Family in Nova Scotia, 1941 195a Figure 6-3, Nova Scotia Apple Sales, 1915-1950 200a Figure 6-4, Gaspereaux Valley, Circa 1925 202a Figure 6-5, Former Orchard at Norwegian Bend, Circa 1955 202b Figure 6-6, Abandoned Apple Warehouse at Port Williams, Kings County, 1985 203a Figure 6-7, Milk and Cream Purchases, and Butter, Cream and Ice Cream Sales by Brookfield Creamery, 1895-1930 208a Figure 6-8, Demographic Change in Cape Breton County, 1891-1941 210a Figure 6-9, Farming Districts in Cape Breton County, As Defined By the Dominion Department of Agriculture, 1939 211b Figure 6-10, Vacant Farms in Cape Breton County, By Polling District, 1939 213a Figure 6-11 Vacant farms in Antigonish County, By Polling District, 1935 220a Figure 6-12, Total Value of Farm Products Marketed in Sydney and Vicinity, 1937, By Source of Supply 225a Figure 6-13, Marketing Trips to Sydney By 140 Farmers, 1937 232a Acknowledgements I am indebted to several people who assisted me in the completion of this study. The knowledgeable staff of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia were invaluable in guiding me through the rich archival sources upon which this dissertation is based. They also provided a social milieu that made my research time in Halifax extremely enjoyable. The staffs of the Dalhousie University Library and the Nova Scotia Legislative Library must also be thanked for alerting me to several theses and published works not readily accessible to a student based in British Columbia. Dr. James Morrison, of Saint Mary's University, who brought to my attention the utility of diaries and personal family papers for gaining an understanding of the rich complexity of local regions, must be thanked for the memorable field trip he led to New England during the summer of 1986, which sharpened my understanding of the similarities between New England and the Maritimes. At U.B.C., Carol Mills, Mike Bradshaw, Gary Barrett and Ross Nelson were part of a large group of graduate students who contributed to the friendly and stimulating learning environment of the Department of Geography. My supervisor, Dr. Graeme Wynn was a model supervisor. He provided assistance and support at each stage of the dissertation process, and remained interested and excited about my work to the end. Our friendship remains. Finally, the person to whom I owe the greatest debt is my wife Karen who put up with the transiency of a doctoral student whose study region was 3,000 miles away. Karen remained supportive during the entire process and sacrificed her own teaching career while I "finished my thesis". Only those who have been through the process can fully understand my sincere appreciation. 1 Chapter 1. Introduction In the mid-nineteenth century Maritime British North America -- the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island — was a relatively insignificant, thinly peopled fragment of the British Empire. Together the population of these northeastern colonies barely exceeded 500,000. Maritimers - if residents of these separate jurisdictions can be so called — were outnumbered more than 3 to 1 by settlers of the Canadas. Their economic well-being was closely tied to a staples trading network established earlier in the century. Fish, timber, masts, spars, deals and ships, and, to a lesser extent, minerals, agricultural produce and local manufactures were sold in markets around the Atlantic: the West Indies, New England, Great Britain and Southern Europe. Salt, sugar, flour, molasses, rum, brandy, tobacco and a wide variety of other manufactures (including furniture, hardware, iron-mongery and machinery) were imported. And a large fleet of vessels -- built and financed in the 3 colonies -- participated in a carrying trade that circled the globe. 1 Measured by the nature of their exports the colonies differed considerably. New Brunswick depended heavily upon wood exports; its social and economic development was closely tied to fluctuations in world markets for timber and forest products, which frequently accounted for more than three quarters of its exports.2 Prince Edward Island exported agricultural products to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, St. Pierre, Newfoundland and the West lndies.3 Only the export base of Nova Scotia can be considered relatively diversified. Fish for West Indian and Mediterranean markets was clearly Nova Scotia's 1 Together, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island ranked fourth in registered tonnage of world shipping. Donald D. Smiley, ed., The Rowell Sirois Report. Book 1 (Toronto : Mc Clelland and Stewart Ltd., 1963), p. 16. 2 Graeme Wynn, Timber Colony: A Historical Geography of Early Nineteenth Centuury  New Brunswick (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981), p. 43. 3 Andrew H . Clark, Three Centuries and the Island: A Historical Geography of Settlement  and Agriculture in Prince Edward Island (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1959), p. 116. 2 leading staple, accounting for about forty per cent of its annual exports at mid-century, but in this more diversified economy, agricultural products, forestry, mining and manufacturing all contributed significantly to export.'* Yet almost everywhere in these colonies, and despite the distant reach of their external trade, lives were lived in extremely local circumstances. Four-fifths of the area's 530,000 residents lived in relatively isolated rural setdements scattered around the coast or along the river valleys stretching inland. The majority of them operated small farms typically with fewer than thirty cleared acres. Hay, potatoes, turnips, a variety of grains (oats, wheat, barley, rye) and especially cattle and sheep were raised in different combinations from county to county; butter, cheese, cloth, flannel, soap and candles were also produced, mainly for use in the household. The primary purpose of most farms was to raise a family. Much of the surplus of foodstuffs and goods that these families produced entered local trade to supply the region's small urban or non-farm population; some of it — generally but a fraction of the whole — entered official records when it was shipped along established trading routes to Newfoundland, the West Indies, New England or Great Britain. Thus, two overlapping economic systems coexisted in mid-nineteenth century Maritime British North America — one external and dependent upon international markets for fish, timber, and to a lesser extent agricultural products and minerals, the other domestic and based on local markets for foodstuffs and manufactured goods. Sawmilling and shipbuilding — industries closely linked to the international economy — dominated colonial manufacturing. In Nova Scotia they accounted for more than 60 per cent of the colony's manufacturing output, estimated at $2,694,432.5 Industries dependent upon the 4 See annual export figures for Nova Scotia recorded in Colonial Office Blue Books of Statistics, Series 221 [hereafter CO. 221], Vols. 64-71, 1850-60, Public Archives of Nova Scotia [hereafter PANS]. 5 L.D. McCann, "The Mercantile-Industrial Transition in the Metal Towns of Pictou County, 1857-1931", Acadiensis 10, 2 (1981), p. 30. 3 domestic market were less important in overall economic terms. The output of grist mills, tanneries, shoemaker's shops, carding mills, blacksmith's smithys, carriage works, breweries and distilleries, which for the most part produced for the domestic market, totalled less than 25 per cent of Nova Scotia's total manufacturing output. 6 While agriculture's contribution to the international staple economy of the region was modest, relative to fish, timber, and shipbuilding, farming was the backbone of the domestic economy. Although stung by the repeal of colonial preferences for timber in the 1840's, the region's staples trading economy continued to grow during the 1850s and early 60s.7 The Crimean War inflated demands for lumber in Britain, gold rushes in California and Australia boosted shipbuilding and the carrying trades and the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States in 1854 opened new markets for lumber, fish, coal and such agricultural surpluses as were produced. 8 At the same time colonial governments launched rather ambitious debt-financed railway construction schemes aimed at diversifying colonial economies.^ All of these developments, in combination with the price inflation and 6 L.D. McCann, '"In Accordance With the Law of City Growth', The Metals Industry and Urban Growth in Pictou County, 1858-1929", Paper Presented at Atlantic Canada Studies Conference, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 25, 1980, p. 2. 7 S. A. Saunders, "The Maritime Provinces and the Reciprocity Treaty", Dalhousie Review 14, 2 (1934), pp. 355-71, and "The Maritime Provinces and the National Policy: Comments Upon Economic Regionalism in Canada", Dalhousie Review 16 (1936), pp. 87-97. 8 W. L. Marr and D. G. Paterson, Canada: An Economic History (Toronto: Gage Publishing Ltd., 1980), pp. 140-45; Between 1850 and 1861 exports of Nova Scotian coal to the United States grew from 180,084 to 472,788 long tons while the United States' share of the colony's total agricultural exports grew from 10 per cent to 27 per cent. Stanley Saunders, The Economic History of the Maritime Provinces, ed. T.W. Acheson (Fredericton, N.B.: Acadiensis Press, 1984), p. 126; Marr and Paterson, Canada: An  Economic History, p. 143. 9 Rosemarie Langhout, "Developing Nova Scotia: Railways and Public Accounts, 1847-67", Acadiensis 14, 2 (1985), pp. 3-28; G.P. deT. Glazebrook, A History of  Transportation in Canada, vol. 1 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1964), p. 152. 4 increased demands on fish, timber, mineral and agricultural products generated by the the disruption of production in the United States as a result of the Civil War meant that economic expansion continued through to the mid 1860s, producing what has long been described as a "golden age" of prosperity throughout the region. But, with the cessation of the war and the abrogation of Reciprocity, both in 1866, the expansion and prosperity of the previous decade and a half were undermined. Confederation appeared, at least in part, as a solution to problems created by the colonies' strong dependence on uncertain foreign markets. Confederation was however a divisive issue that cut across traditional party lines. 10 Pro-Confederates argued that the future of the Maritimes lay in the development of the continental interior. As the population of Canada West grew at a rate far in excess of that in the Maritime colonies they suggested that direct rail connections with Central Canada would stimulate economic diversification, especially around the coalfields of the region, and open a wider trading hinterland to all colonies involved. Furthermore, the traditional entrepot function of both Halifax and Saint John would be preserved and indeed expanded; because Central Canada's ports remained ice bound during several winter months Pro-Confederates argued that a railroad would inevitably stimulate commerce between the two regions. Not surprisingly, union support was most heavily concentrated in those districts which stood to gain the most from industrial development.! 1 Anti-Confederates, on the other hand, greatly feared the loss of local control over resources, tariffs, and trade policy that such an arrrangement would bring and predicted disastrous implications for the Atlantic-focused trading economy. They gained popular 10 P.B. Waite, The Life and Times of Confederation, 1864-67. Politics. Newspapers and  the Union of British North America (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962), pp. 193-228. 11 Delphin A. Muise, "The Federal Election of 1867 in Nova Scotia: An Economic Interpretation", Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections 36 (1968), pp. 327-51. 5 support in those areas most tied into the traditional "wood, wind and sail" staples economy and gained the backing of local merchants and bankers.!2 Yet, in spite of the region's general suspicion of this political and economic arrangement, Nova Scotia entered Confederation in 1867 without an election and New Brunswick voted for the union, albeit, by a narrow margin. Only Prince Edward Island opted out, anticipating a renewed trading arrangement with the United States, but, when this did not appear, and railroad debts began to mount, Prince Edward Island entered Confederation in 1873. This period has long been perceived as critical in the development of the Maritimes. As Innis and Fay had it in their treatment of the region's development in The Cambridge  History of the British Empire "the economic history of the three provinces ... is one of prosperity so long as their face was toward the sea, and of struggle against adversity when the pull of the land increased as happened very shortly after Confederation".13 A trade recession followed close upon the heels of the loss of wartime stimuli in 1866, and a major international depression ensued in the 1870s which further constricted international markets for the region's staple products. 14 At the same time technological changes that revolutionized both land and sea transportation began to influence internal patterns of trade within the Maritimes. In Nova Scotia, for example, a rail line linking Halifax and Windsor (Hants County) was completed in 1854, a line connecting Halifax and Truro (Colchester County) was finished four years later, and an extension was pushed through to Pictou 1 2 Waite, The Life and Times, p. 208. 1 3 H. A. Innis and C. R. Fay, "The Economic Development of Canada, 1867-1921: The Maritime Provinces", in The Cambridge History of the British Empire, vol. 6, ed., J. Rose (Cambridge: The University Press, 1930), p. 670. 14 The dumping of American and European sugar on the world market during the 1870s reduced the ability of the West Indies' merchants to purchase fish caught in the waters off Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and thus contributed to the economic problems of the region in the post-Confederation era. T. W. Acheson, "The National Policy and the Industrialization of the Maritimes, 1880-1910", Acadiensis 1, 2 (1971), p. 6. 6 (from Truro) in 1866.15 Railroad expansion continued during the 1860s and 70s until in 1876, when the Intercolonial Railway reached Halifax from Quebec City, Maritimers could boast of almost 2,000 miles of railway in the region, five times that which was in place at Confederation, l ^ in addition, steamships were crossing the Atlantic far more quickly and consistently than sailing vessels by this date, and the screw propellor had replaced sidewheel housings on many vessels, thus raising their cargo capacity. 17 The overall effect of these technological developments was to reduce international freight rates. 18 This brought distant regions into competition with domestic products in local and international markets. Traditional exports of fish, timber and related products declined (masts, spars, deals, ships), new industries, protected by the National Policy of 1879 sprang up, and trade with Central Canada increased rapidly. 19 By the end of the nineteenth century more than 60,000 persons were employed in Nova Scotia's industrial sector; a decade later the urban population stood at 35 per cent.2^ A new industrial nation had been "forged" from 15 G. P. deT. Glazebrook, A History of Transportation in Canada. Vol. 1. Continental  Strategy to 1867. (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1938; reprinted Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964), pp. 151-2. 16 Gordon MacKay Haliburton, "A History of Railways in Nova Scotia", M.A. Thesis, Dalhousie University, 1955, p. 383. 1^  C.FJ. Whebell, "The Effect of Transport Innovation oh the Countryside", in Second  Annual Agricultural History of Ontario Seminar Proceedings, ed., T.A. Crowley (Guelph: Office of Continuing Education, University of Guelph, 1977), p. 39. 18 Douglas North, "Ocean Freight Rates and Economic Development, 1750-1913", Journal of Economic History. 18 (1958), p. 569. 19 T.W. Acheson,"The National Policy and the Industrialization of the Maritimes", pp. 3-28. 2 0 Census of Canada. 1901, 1911. 7 the formerly isolated and diverse colonies of mid-nineteenth century British North America.21 Despite impressive urban and industrial growth in Nova Scotia in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, industriahzation was not sustained long after the turn of the century. Fierce competition among consumer goods industries located in eastern and Central Canada resulted in the transfer of ownership and capital of many industries out of the region beginning as early as the 1890s, and when industrial infrastructures were later rationalized it was often done at the expense of Maritime plants.22 These developments were parallelled by changes in the structure of the region's banking and financial community. Ownership and control of several local banks passed into the hands of Central Canadian shareholders and head offices were moved to Montreal and Toronto.23 By the end of the first decade of the new century much of the industrial activity which remained was centred on the coal and steel producing regions of Nova Scotia, stimulated by railroad expansion and protected by tariffs and preferential freight rates.24 Yet, like the dwindling consumer goods industries, organization and control over these industries was by now 21 Graeme Wynn, "Forging a Canadian Nation", in North America: The Historical  Geography of a Changing Continent eds., R.D. Mitchell and P.A. Groves (Totowa: Rowman and Littlefield, 1987), pp. 373-409. 22 T.W. Acheson," The Maritimes and Empire Canada", in Canada and the Burden of  Unity, ed. David J. Bercuson (Toronto: MacMillan of Canada, 1977), pp. 95-6; McCann, The Mercantile-Industrial Transition", pp. 62-3. 23 James D. Frost, "The 'Nationalization' of the Bank of Canada, 1880-1910", Acadiensis 12,1 (1982), pp. 3-38. This undoubtedly had a profound impact on the ability of local entrepreneurs to finance new industrial concerns. 24 Coal produced on the coal fields of Cape Breton, Pictou and Cumberland Counties tripled again between 1900 and 1920. By this latter date over 12,000 men were employed directly in the Province's mines, and a further several thousand in related iron and steel manufacturing. Saunders, The Economic History of the Maritime Provinces, p. 125; Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces Since Confederation: A Statistical  Study of their Social and Economic Conditions During the Past Sixty Years (Ottawa: F. Acland, 1927), pp. 64, 75. 8 being wielded from outside of the region, and decisions made from afar frequently had inimical consequences for local industrial workers 25 The 1920s profoundly influenced the twentieth century development of the Maritimes. The international recession which began in the Spring of 1920 provoked a protectionist response by the United States which severely constricted export markets for many Maritime products.26 At the same time, with the revival of fisheries in Britain, France and Portugal at the end of the war, and growing competition from Norway and Iceland in international fish markets, Nova Scotia's fishery faced an uncertain economic future.27 The price of fish dropped steadily during the early 1920s and at the end of the decade there were 25 per cent fewer fishermen in the region than in 1920.28 Coal as a source of industrial energy was facing competition from oil and hydro electric power and, as national railroad expansion declined, the region's steel mills (whose main products were rails and ingot steel) were worked well below their capacity. Nova Scotia coal was also facing competition in Central Canadian markets from cleaner burning coal mined in 25 David Frank, "Class Conflict in the Coal Industry, Cape Breton, 1922", in Essays in  Working Class History, eds. Gregory S. Kealey and Peter Warrian (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1976), pp. 161-84; Idem, "The Cape Breton Coal Industry and the Rise and Fall of the British Empire Steel Corporation", Acadiensis 7 (1977), pp. 3-34; Don MacGillivray, "Cape Breton in the "1920s: A Community Besieged", in Essays in Cape  Breton History, ed. Brian D. Tennyson (Windsor, Nova Scotia: Lancelot Press, 1973), pp. 49-63; and Idem, "Henry Melville Whitney Comes to Cape Breton: The Saga of a Gilded Age Entrepreneur", Acadiensis 9 (1979), pp. 44-70. 26 The Emergency Tariff of 1921 was followed by the avowedly protectionist Fordney-McCumber Act of 1922 which placed new duties on fish, lumber, coal and agricultural products, the principle products of the three Maritime Provinces. Thomas A. Bailey and David M. Kennedy, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic (Lexington, Massachusetts: D.C. Heath and Co., 1987), p. 725. 27 For further comments on the recession of the 1920s and its consequences for the Maritimes see Ernest Forbes, The Maritime Rights Movement. 1919-1927: A Study in  Canadian Regionalism (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979, pp.54-72. 28 Forbes, Maritime Rights, p. 55; Graeme Wynn, "The Maritimes: The Geography of Fragmentation and Underdevelopment", in Heartland and Hinterland: A Geography of  Canada, ed., L.D. Mc Cann (Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1987), p. 195. Pennsylvania and Virginia.29 These developments, along with freight rate adjustments in 1918 - which effectively raised rates on Maritime goods carried on the Intercolonial between 140 and 216 percent — threw the industrial economy of the Maritimes into chaos.^ O Between 1918 and 1921 employment in manufacturing fell by about 40 per cent and by the mid 1920s the net value of regional manufacturing output was less than one-half its 1919 level.31 In many communities these job losses were permanent.32 Following a brief resurgence in the economy of the Maritimes during the late 1920s based on pulp and paper, hydroelectricity, tourism and related construction developments, the economy languished during the 1930s. While employment levels across the region declined, the population of Prince Edward Island showed an increase for the first time in five decades during the 1930s and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick recorded the largest percentage increases in their populations since the mid-nineteenth century.33 These trends reflect the lack of economic opportunities at home and abroad during the "Great Depression" which severely curtailed outmigration and led to the return of many "Maritimers" who were living in the United States to the communities in which they were 29 Average coal production per worker in Pennnsylvania and Virginia was almost double that of Nova Scotia's mines, providing United States' operations with a significant cost advantage over Nova Scotia'<mines. In 1926 Nova Scotia's mines averaged 2.26 tons per worker per day while those in Pennsylvania and Virginia respectively averaged 4.37 and 4.9 tons. Forbes, Maritime Rights, p. 58. 30 Ernest Forbes, "Misguided Symmetry: The Destruction of Regional Transportation Policy for the Maritimes", in Canada and the Burden of Unity, ed., David J. Bercuson (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1977), pp. 66, 71. 31 Wynn, "The Maritimes: The Geography of Fragmentation and Underdevelopment", p.195. 32 Forbes, "Misguided Symmetry", p.71. 33 Census of Canada. 1931, 1941. 1 0 born.34 Incomes dropped by as much as 75 per cent in some areas and subsistence activities replaced wage labour.3^ Towards the end of the decade economic conditions began to improve. Lumber production revived with the introduction of imperial preferences and renewed trade agreements with the United States. The coal industry was stimulated by the introduction of bounties and bonuses for the use of Canadian coal in the production of coke (for the manufacture of iron and steel).3^ And the expansion of the pulp and paper industry and associated hydroelectric developments provided some respite from the "hard times" of the 1920s and 30s for some industrial workers. In general, the war years (1939-45) provided an unprecedented domestic market for Maritime primary and manufactured products. But this disappeared as rapidly as it had emerged. Chronic economic problems reappeared after 1945. By the 1950s, the Maritimes were quickly becoming a "client economy", incapable of producing goods for sale in Central Canada but forced by national policies that had earlier promised economic security to purchase most consumer requirements from Central Canadian industry. Even the region's wholesaling industry, which by this decade distributed mainly manufactured goods produced outside of the region to local customers, was gradually being undermined by the national merchandising firms which experienced enormous growth in the post-war era.37 3 4 Between 1931 and 1941 32,574 Canadians who had been living in the United States returned to the Maritime Provinces. Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime  Provinces in Their Relation to the Maritime Provinces of Canada (Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1948), p. 6. 35 W.A. MacKintosh, The Economic Background of Dominion-Provincial Relations. Appendix 3 of the Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, ed. J.H. Dales (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1964), p. 134. 3 6 Saunders, The Economic History of the Maritime Provinces, pp. 45> 50. 37 Acheson, "The Maritimes and Empire Canada", pp. 99-100. 11 This outline of the region's economic history is now well known. But all accounts of it focus, in the end, on the effects of industrial, financial and transport adjustments. We, know little about the adjustments made in rural areas of the Maritimes to the sweeping economic changes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Demographic and migration studies have shown that overall outmigration from the area, which began as early as the 1850s and 60s, reached "epidemic proportions" during the last two decades of the nineteenth century and that 100,000 Maritimers left the region in each of the first three decades of the twentieth century, but few have ever considered how rural communities responded to this loss of population and to the new circumstances of rural life.38 it has long been perceived that industrialization, "destroyed a mangificant achievement, an integration of capital and labour, of lumbering, fishing and agriculture, on which rested a progressive community life".39 Yet, to date there are few studies of the Maritime's rural economy which will allow an accurate appraisal of this statement. This thesis, therefore, examines the historical geography of agriculture in Nova Scotia between 1851 and 1951. It begins by describing the physical base upon which agricultural settlement took place, by outlining in broad terms the patterns of settlement and economic activities in the mid-nineteenth century, and by delimiting the commercial and transportation networks that linked rural Nova Scotia to the wider Atlantic world of trade and commerce. This is followed by a chapter which establishes the parameters of geographical change in Nova Scotia between 1851 and 1951 by focussing on demographic trends, farm production trends, changing patterns of agricultural trade, and the rise of specialty farming in different parts of Nova Scotia. The explicit "vertical themes" approach 38 Alan A. Brookes, "Outmigration from the Maritime Provinces, 1860-1890: Some Preliminary Considerations", Acadiensis 5, 2 (1976), pp. 26-55; Patricia A. Thornton, "The Problem of Outmigration from Atlantic Canada, 1871-1921: A New Look", Acadiensis 15, 1 (1985), pp. 3-34. 39 innis and Fay, "The Economic Development of Canada, 1867-1921: The Maritime Provinces", p. 663. 1 2 of this chapter presents a broad overview of the changing form and character of rural Nova Scotia between 1851 and 1951, and provides a context for the closer investigation of patterns of settlement, work and trade in Nova Scotia's farming districts in subsequent chapters.40 Chapters 4, 5 and 6 are organized as cross-sectional views of rural Nova Scotia in three time eras: the 1850s, 1890s and 1940s. They illuminate the geography of crop and livestock production in three settlement zones (fishing, lumbering and farming), patterns of farm work, and domestic and external market conditions for Nova Scotian farm products. An explanatory narrative deals with developments and changes that occurred in the intervening time periods and assesses the contribution of farming to Nova Scotia's economy. Representative farming districts and sample farms are examined to illustrate how changes in political, technological and economic conditions manifested themselves at the district and farmstead scales. Chapter 7 outlines the conclusions and wider implications of this study in the context of the historical and geographical literature that deals with agriculture in eastern North America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This is essentially a case study of agricultural development in one important segment of the Maritimes. However, it outlines a process of rural change that is central to our understanding of the evolution of eastern North America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The growth of large urban and industrial "core regions" in western Europe, in the eastern United States, and in Central Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries created ever-increasing demands for a wide array of foodstuffs, which stimulated the "protracted expansion" of agricultural production in nearby and distant geographical areas.41 These "core regions" supplied manufactured goods to outlying 40 For a succinct summary of the development of North American Historical Geography, which outlines several of the methodological approaches developed by early practioners of the discipline, including "vertical themes", see Graeme Wynn's "Introduction" to People.  Places. Patterns. Processes: Geographical Perspectives on the Canadian Past, ed. Graeme Wynn (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd., 1990), pp. 1-37. 41 J. Richard Peet, "The Spatial Expansion of Commercial Agriculture in the Nineteenth Century: A Von Thunen Interpretation", Economic Geography 45, 4 (1969), pp. 283-301. 1 3 regions and became important markets for food and raw materials from the hinterland regions. Thus, agricultural imports to these growing metropolitan regions rose quickly during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, as new areas of supply came into production and as changes in the efficiency of ocean and inland transport facilitated the movement of agricultural and other goods across vast distances.42 At the same time technological developments in agricultural production and processing favoured the concentration of production in areas which were best suited for the production of specific crops, and large specialty zones of production appeared.43 Extensive livestock grazing and grain producing regions in the interior plains of North America, in New Zealand, and in Australia gradually became principal sources of meat, wheat and wool for these markets, and urban consumers became dependent upon a range of other products from California, Mexico and South America. Farmers in the vicinities of these "core regions", who had once been the primary suppliers of these markets, were forced to adjust their operations to the changed circumstances of increased interregional competition. Marginal farms were abandoned, and those who continued to work the land concentrated on commodities which retained a competetive position in domestic markets either because of their perishability (milk, cream, eggs, poultry, berries) or their low value or bulky nature (cabbage, market garden vegetables, fuel, pit props, pulp wood). 42 As Michael Chisholm points out, "it was not just a matter of steamships replacing sail, and the expansion of railway networks across the major land masses". The completion of the Suez and Panama canals (in 1869 and 1914 respectively) "reduced the distance of many ocean routes dramatically", the development of the telegraph promoted international commerce by making possible "the world-wide transmission of information about commodity needs, supplies, prices and shipments", and international freight rates "fell dramatically" during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Modern World  Development: A Geographical Perspective (London: Hutchinson and Co., 1982, 1984), p. 82. 43 Michael Chisholm, Rural Settlement and Land Use: An Essay in Location (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1962, 1967), pp. 189-91. 1 4 As the twentieth century progressed, families in many agricultural communities across eastern North America and western Europe adapted to the interdependency relationships which developed between distant regions.44 The agricultural hinterlands of numerous, fragmented urban markets, like Nova Scotia's fledgling urban system in the nineteenth century, were reshaped as economic forces from distant markets and sources of supply influenced production and marketing decisions made by many individuals. With continuing improvements in long-distance ocean and inland transport — refrigeration, diesel engines, trucks, paved roads — the advantages conferred to farm families by proximity to local markets diminished until by the 1950s only fluid milk, fresh cream, and a limited range of other products (eggs, poultry, and some fresh fruit) remained competitive in domestic markets. Agricultural and other products from distant, specialty farming regions supplied most of the foodstuff and consumer requirements of "core" and peripheral regions. And, as the urban population grew, the local agricultural base shrank. These were characteristics of a modern, industrial society in which "world-wide interconnected systems" of exchange, communication and control promoted "much higher levels of adaptation" among farmers and more concentrated patterns of resource use than had prevailed during much of the nineteenth century.45 The aim of this study is to explicate how these continental (indeed global) processes influenced people, landscapes, and local markets in a farming region on the periphery of the North American continent, distant from the developing urban, industrial "cores" of Western Europe, the United States and Central Canada. 44 John Fogarty's "The Comparative Method and Nineteenth Century Regions of Recent Settlement", Historical Studies 19 (1981), pp.412-29; and William Norton's "The Relevance of Von Thunen Theory to Historical and Evolutionary Analysis of Agricultural Land Use", Journal of Agricultural Economics 30, 1 (1979), pp. 39-47 summarize some of the large literature on this topic. 45 Harold Brookfield. Interdependent Development (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1975), p. 207 1 5 Chapter 2 Setting the Scene: Mid-Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia In 1851, almost 250 years after the first European settlement of Nova Scotia, scarcely one quarter of the colony's 13,000,000 acres of land was occupied farmland. Barely six per cent (840,000 acres) of this was improved. * Then as now, trees dominated the landscape. Observers remarked upon "the widespreading and still unfelled forest"^ and the "ragged appearance of forest and field borders".3 Yet a clear majority of Nova Scotia's 45,000 families depended upon agriculture. More than 70 per cent of them operated small farms, albeit often in association with other activities, and agriculture and its linked industries played a substantial role in the provincial economy. By mid-century, the jack of all trades Nova Scotian — with "one hand ready to lay on the tiller of a fishing skiff and the other on a woodsman's axe" — had become something of regional stereotype.4 Still, the farm was the base around which these other activities revolved. Forays into the woods or to well-known, nearby fishing grounds were supplementary to the successful operation of the family farm. For the majority of mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotians agriculture was clearly a "way of life." Demographic Patterns By 1850 immigration to Nova Scotia had slowed to a trickle and most Nova Scotians were native-born. Yet differences in origin, ethnicity and religion remained 1 Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, Public Archives of Nova Scotia [hereafter PANS]. Only Pictou, Sydney, Cumberland, Hants and Kings counties recorded more than 12 percent of the total land area as cleared and fit for cultivation at the 1851 census. 2 Joseph Howe, Western and Eastern Rambles: Travel Sketches of Nova Scotia, ed. M.G. Parks (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973), p. 143. 3 Abraham Gesner, The Industrial Resources of Nova Scotia (Halifax: A. and W MacKinlay, 1849), p. 3. 4 Andrew H. Clark, Acadia: The Geography of Early Nova Scotia to 1760 (Madison: University of Wiscinsin Press, 1968), p. 54. 1 6 strongly felt.5 Southwest Nova Scotia bore the clear mark of New England. Settled from that area in the 1760s, it continued to have strong ties with Boston.6 Ancestors of pioneer Yorkshire settlers who replaced dispossessed Acadians around the head of Chignecto Bay in the eighteenth century were settled on comfortable marshland farms7 Intermingled with them were the grandchildren of several thousand United Empire Loyalists who occupied peninsular Nova Scotia in the 1780s following the American War of Independence. 8 Most of Antigonish County in eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island were occupied by Catholic Highland Scots; Presbyterian Scots predominated in Victoria and Pictou Counties. Several other minorities were settled in discrete blocks. Nova Scotians of German and Dutch origin formed an enclave in Lunenburg County; Acadians resided principally in the post-expulsion settlements of the French Shore, Havre Boucher, Arichat and Cheticamp; and smaller groups of Irish, African and Micmac ancestry were scattered in and around Halifax, along Cobequid Bay, and throughout the colony's interior. Persons of Scottish descent comprised roughly one-third of Nova Scotia's population, those of English origin (or more accurately Anglo-American), just less than one-third, Irish, about one-sixth and German-Dutch and French about one-tenth each.9 5 Andrew H. Clark, "Old World Origins and Religious Adherence in Nova Scotia", Geographical Review 50, 3 (1960), pp. 317-44. 6 Graeme Wynn and Debra McNabb, "Pre-Loyalist Nova Scotia", Historical Atlas of  Canada, vol. 1. From the Beginning to 1800. ed. R. Cole Harris (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987), plate 31; Graeme Wynn, "A Province Too Much Dependent on New England", Canadian Geographer 31, 2 (1987), pp. 98-113. 7 Graeme Wynn, "Late Eighteenth-Century Agriculture on the Bay of Fundy Marshlands", Acadiensis 8, 2 (1979), pp. 80-9. 8 Graeme Wynn and L.D. Mc Cann, "Maritime Canada, Late Eighteenth Century", Historical Atlas of Canada, plate 32; Graeme Wynn, "A Region of Scattered Settlements and Bounded Possibilities: Northeastern America 1775-1800", Canadian Geographer 31,4 (1987), pp. 319-38. 9 Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 1 7 The Micmac and Black populations collectively comprised slightly more than two per cent of Nova Scotia's 280,000 residents.10 Population was either scattered around the coastal edge of the colony or confined to the main river valleys stretching inland (Figure 2-1). Most notably, the valleys of Annapolis and Cornwallis in Annapolis and Kings Counties, Avon and Salmon Rivers in Hants and Colchester, West and Middle Rivers in Pictou County and South and West rivers in Sydney (Antigonish) county were among the heaviest settled inland areas, although all major valleys contained sizeable populations. Of the 5,000 families enumerated in Kings and Annapolis Counties at the 1851 census all but 1,200 or so lived in the Annapolis-Cornwallis valley. This was the highest concentration of rural families in an inland location in the colony. In Pictou and Sydney Counties on the Northumberland Shore about half of the area's 6,000 families lived along the river valleys stretching inland. In general, the main concentrations of population in the interior of mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia were in the northern half of peninsular Nova Scotia where the best agricultural soils were found. The distribution of population in southern and western Nova Scotia was markedly peripheral (ie. the counties of Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queen's, Lunenburg, Halifax, Guysborough and Richmond). Here the fishery predominated; local agriculture supplied only a fraction of the food demands of the people. Those residing in the interior districts of these counties devoted more time to farming, but local and international markets for timber, lumber and other wood products largely determined the economic welfare of these communities. The interior of Cape Breton Island was as well settled as its coastline, owing to the ease of access afforded by the Bras D'or lake and the island's major river systems (Northeast and Southwest Margaree rivers, Mabou River, 10 The total Micmac population of Nova Scotia was estimated to be less than 1,500 according to a census taken in 1847, Journals of the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia [hereafter J.H.A.N.S.1. 1848, Appendix 24, pp. 114-20 while 4,908 "colored persons" were recorded in the 1851 census; Statistical summary of the 1851 census, in J.H.A.N.S.. 1851-52, Appendix 92, p. 419. 1 8 Middle River, Sydney River and Mira River). Here family farming prevailed, though families often supplemented their incomes through off-farm employment. Physiography, Climate and Soils These broad patterns correspond closely to the physiographic features of the colony. The physiography of Nova Scotia was not particularly favourable for agriculture, with more than one-half of the colony comprised of heavily glaciated uplands underlain by hard crystalline and metamorphic rock. The extensive belt of granites, slates and quartzites stretching along the Atlantic coast from Cape Canso to Cape Sable and extending inland for up to twenty miles limited settlement on these "southern" and "eastern" shores, so called, to the bays and inlets that provided small pockets of alluvial soils, protection from Atlantic storms and access to the relatively rich inshore fishery and beyond it the banks. Similarly, the several upland zones formed by the northern extension of the Appalachian mountain range—North and South mountains, Cobequid mountain, the Pictou-Antigonish uplands and the Cape Breton Highlands and surrounding hill country — were relatively inaccessible and uninviting to early settlers who found the Fundy marshlands and fertile alluvial flood plains in the major river valleys far more attractive. Marshlands and river valleys provided both easily cultivable land and access routes into the forested interior. The only significant exceptions to this pattern are the pockets of settlement in interior Queens and Lunenburg Counties developed on a drumlin field that was far more fertile than the surrounding hard bedrock belt.1 1 Here farming developed in close association with lumbering as the colony's largest commercial stands of white pine in 1850 were found in this area.12 Prevailing wind and storm patterns give Nova Scotia's climate a continental character in spite of its Maritime location. Annual temperature ranges are greater than those 1 1 J. Lynton Martin, "The Land", The Occasional 7, 3 (1983), pp. 12-3. 12 J. Lynton Martin, "The Settlement of Queens and Lunenburg Counties", unpublished paper, presented at Seminars 85, A Training Programme of the Federation of Nova Scotian Heritage,17 April, 1985, pp. 7-12, Nova Scotia Museum Library. 1 9 found in other coastal locations.13 Coupled with relatively abundant precipitation levels (40-55 inches or 1,000-1,400 millimetres) these conditions favoured the cultivation of hay, grasses and roots over grains. The relatively short frost-free period which ranged from just under 100 days in upland zones to 160 days along the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley made it difficult for such important crops as wheat and corn to ripen properly and only hardier grains such as buckwheat, rye, oats and legumes could be raised without difficulty. Where rotation was practised in the mid-nineteenth century, barley was sown as it was generally considered to be, "a good nurse to young grasses."!4 The warmer summer climate of the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, protected by North and South Mountains from the winds and fogs of the Atlantic and the Bay of Fundy, was especially favourable for agricultural production in general and especially for fruit (apples, pears, cherries and berries); orchards had been planted here since the seventeenth century. 15 These climatic conditions also produced highly leached, podzolic soils, low in fertility and requiring generous applications of natural and artificial fertilizers to be productive. According to a recent survey of soil capability for agriculture only 22 percent of Nova Scotia's land area (2.8 million acres) is considered suitable for multi-crop or limited crop production. 16 With few exceptions these areas are in the northern half of the province where the principal concentrations of rural population were found in 1851 (Figure !3 D. F. Putnam, "The Climate of the Maritime Provinces", Canadian Geographical  Journal 21, 1 (1940), p. 146. The average July temperature ranges from 11 degrees celcius to 20 degrees celcius while that of January varies from -2 degrees celcius to -7 degrees celcius; Robert J. McCalla, The Maritime Provinces Atlas (Halifax: Maritext Limited, 1988), plate 6. 1 4 Annual Report of the Nova Scotia Central Board of Agriculture for 1851, RG8, Vol. 9, #227, PANS. 15 F.G.J. Comeau, "The Origin and History of the Apple Industry in Nova Scotia", Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society 23 (1936), pp. 15-40. 16" Nova Scotia Department of Development, Nova Scotia Resource Atlas (Halifax: Department of Development, 1986), p. 21. 20 2-2). In general, the multi-crop areas consist of well-drained soils which are capable of supporting the cultivation of grasses, grains, fruits and vegetables while the limited-crop areas are suitable mainly for the production of hay and pasture. 17 The Northumberland Shore counties of Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou and Antigonish, parts of Hants and Colchester Counties and the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley are the three most suitable areas for agriculture in Nova Scotia. Here, soils formed from the sandstones, shales and glacial deposits, when well fertilized, produced yields comparable to those in other agricultural areas of mid-nineteenth century British North America. 18 The Forest Cover Forests were perhaps the most formidable obstacle to agricultural development in Nova Scotia. Mixed stands of red and white spruce, hemlock, balsam fir, white pine and hardwood species such as beech, maple and birch occurred in varying proportions across the colony according to differences in soil type, drainage, elevation and climate. In many areas fires had extensively altered the composition of the original forest and settlers' axes had trimmed it back, especially along the edge of the main river valleys and estuaries. 19 1 7 Ibid., p. 20. 18 Although estimates of average yields obtained per acre in the mid-nineteenth century vary widely, the following are considered typical for Nova Scotia: wheat, 15 bushels; barley, 20 bushels; rye, 10 bushels; oats, 15 bushels; buckwheat, 20 bushels; corn, 20 bushels; peas and beans, 13 bushels; potatoes, 100 bushels; turnips, 150 bushels; other vegetables, 150 bushels; hay, 1.5 tons. See, for example, Dartmouth Agricultural Society Report for 1850, RG8, Vol. 9, #219, PANS; Musquodoboit Agricultural Society Report for 1844, RG8, Vol. 9, #2, PANS; Account of Crops and Livestock in Newport, Hants County, RG8, Vol. 19, #34, PANS; Horton Agricultural Society Report for 1850, RG8, Vol. 9, #219, PANS; Maxwellton Agricultural Society Report for 1849, RG8, Vol. 18, #151, PANS. 19 Titus Smith, who completed a series of traverses throughout western and eastern Nova Scotia in 1801 repeatedly refers to "fire barrens" and extensively burned forest, Andrew H. Clark, "Titus Smith Junior and the Geography of Nova Scotia in 1801 and 1802", Annals.  Association of American Geographers 44, 4 (1954), pp. 291-314; Edward Davison, mill owner of Mill Village, Queens county, for example, had to move his family and business to Bridgewater, Lunenburg county as a consequence of a series of destructive forest fires in the Medway drainage area between 1850 and 1865 which destroyed between 10,000 and 20,000 acres of Davison's timber land, Ralph S. Johnson, Forests of Nova Scotia: A  History (Halifax: Department of Lands and Forests, 1986), pp. 105-106. 21 Consequently, a diverse mixture of original and second growth species was evident in most areas. There were nonetheless, clear regional differences in the colony's dominant vegetation. Travelling between Halifax and Pictou in 1854 the English visitor Isabella Lucy Bird noted, during the first "stage" of her journey, "the barren, rocky, undulating country covered with var and spruce trees..." which gradually gave way to "forests of gloomy pine";20 later, as she approached the more elevated borderlands of Colchester and Pictou Counties, she noticed the transition to "elm, beech and maples" and to "huge hemlocks" and "silver birch."21 Bird's observations point to some of the principal forest zones of Nova Scotia. Of the six forest zones which can be distinguished (Figure 2-3) the most extensive was clearly the red spruce-hemlock-pine zone which occupied much of the interior of peninsular Nova Scotia and the lower lying lands bordering on the Cobequid and Northumberland shores.22 The shallow soils of the rocky "southern upland" (that comprises the largest portion of this zone), generally low temperatures and high precipitation levels resulted in a forest that was almost entirely coniferous, as Bird aptly observed. On the lower lying lands closer to the Bay of Fundy and Gulf Shores, generally lower precipitation levels and better soils allowed a more variable forest cover. Sugar Z { J Isabella Lucy Bird, The Englishwoman in America (London: John Murray, 1856; reprinted, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966), p. 24. "Var" trees probably refers to fir trees. 2 1 Ibid., p. 31. 22 The following three paragraphs are based largely on the works of B.W. Sleigh, Pine  Forests and Hackmatak Clearings or Travel Life and Adventure in the British North  American Provinces (London: R. Bentley, 1853); Joseph Outram, Nova Scotia. Its  Condition and Resources in a Series of Six Letters (Tidinburgh and London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1850) and The Counties of Nova Scotia: Their Condition and  Capabilities (Halifax: Queen's Printer, 1867); B.E. Fernow, C D . Howe and J. N. White, Forest Conditions of Nova Scotia (Ottawa: Commission of Conservation, 1912) and O.L. Loucks, "Forest Classification of the Maritimes", Proceedings of the Nova Scotia Institute  of Science 25 (1962), pp. 85-167. Figure 2-3, Forest Zones in Nova Scotia Source: O. L. Loucks, "Forest Classification of the Maritime Provinces", Proceedings of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science 25 (1962), pp. 85-167. / • • / / . S \ \ \ N • / / / . WW Red spruce-Hemlock-Pine zone Sugar maple-Hemlock-Pine zone Spruce-Fir coast zone Sugar maple-Yellow Birch-Fir zone Fir-Pine-Birch zone Spruce Taiga zone 22 maple, beech, and yellow birch were found at higher elevations with red spruce, hemlock, white pine, and balsam fir on the lower slopes. There were also smaller stands of elms and white ash along some of the rivers. In swampy areas black spruce predominated along with some remaining stands of tamarack (larch, hackmatack, juniper) and cedar, and on burned over flats scattered stands of red maple, white pine, jack pine, oak, and spruce could be found.23 This variety of species, principally softwood, close to many of Nova Scotia's earliest settlements had long been exploited by lumbermen. Sugar maple, hemlock and pine were the species of a second zone that extended from the valleys and lowlands of Pictou and Antigonish Counties to the central lowlands of Cape Breton Island, with an enclave in southwestern Nova Scotia between La Have River (Lunenburg County) and Kejimkujik Lake (Annapolis and Queens Counties). Warmer and drier than the coast, this zone included a mix of hardwood and softwood species. In 1850 sugar maple and beech probably predominated in the mainland portion of this zone because much of the pine had been seriously depleted by the timber industry; hemlock, white spruce, and balsam fir were also widely distributed, especially on the lower slopes and valley floors. Less protected from Atlantic storms and certainly less affected by the timber industry at this date, the Cape Breton part of this zone had more white and black spruce and balsam fir, less depleted stands of white pine, and less widely distributed stands of hemlock and tolerant hardwoods (principally maple and birch) than the Sugar maple-hemlock-pine areas of the peninsula where pine remained in large quantities only in northern Queen's and southern Annapolis Counties.24 Rarely exported before 1820, l i Tamarack and cedar had been seriously depleted by 1850 because of their use in the construction of ship knees for export, C. Bruce Fergusson, Lumbering in Nova Scotia.  1623-1953 (Halifax: Department of Lands and Forests, Extension Division, Bulletin #26, 1967), p. 23. 2 4 Ibid 23 spruce had probably replaced pine as the most important commercial species in Nova Scotia by the mid-nineteenth century.25 The bulk of Nova Scotia's farmland was cleared from these two forest zones. The remaining zones were either thinly peopled or occupied by settlers principally engaged in fishing, lumbering and related industries (coasting, shipbuilding, sawmilling). Three-quarters of the sugar maple-yellow birch-fir zone remained uninhabited. Only in Inverness County on the west coast of Cape Breton where large areas of the foothills between Creignish and Cheticamp were farmed had much of this forest been cleared. In most of the spruce-fir-coast zone agriculture was a part-time activity providing a fraction of the residents' needs. Generally clearings were small, and clung to the coast, although the fertile marshland and farm clearings of Chignecto and the Minas Basin, which backed into red and white spruce and balsam fir on slopes exposed to the Bay of Fundy, were significant exceptions. Because of their remoteness virtually all of the Fir-pine-birch and spruce-taiga zones in the Cape Breton highlands remained uninhabited. In mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia there was a close relationship between agriculture and forestry. Timber felled during land clearing or cut from farm woodlots supplied settlers with fuel and construction materials, and provided supplementary income if sold as square timber or saw logs. In addition, the 1,150 or so sawmills which employed more than 1,800 people seasonally, and the numerous timber camps scattered throughout the colony, provided both a market for surplus agricultural produce and a means to supplement farm incomes with part-time employment.26 in the River Philip district of Cumberland county, for example, where more than 200 farms dotted the ridges surrounding the valley, the Secretary of the local Agricultural Society noted in 1844, 25 C. G. Hawkins, "The Origins of the Nova Scotia Lumber Trade", Public Affairs 9 (1945), p. 111. 26 Statistical Summary, Census of Nova Scotia,1851, J.H.A.N.S.. 1851-52, Appendix 94, p. 429. "surplus produce is mainly sold to lumberers although a considerable quantity of beef, pork and butter are sent to Halifax."27 Similarly, in coastal locations such as Weymouth, Digby County, where farming was supplementary to a commercial fishery, most of those who had woodland were said to "employ themselves in preparing fir wood for the American market".28 So close was the relationship between forestry and agriculture that provincial censuses would record wood as a "farm product". 29 The Economic Geography of Nova Scotia Like New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island the economy of Nova Scotia was highly dependent upon staple exports. Yet Nova Scotia's economy was more heavily "dominated by the sea" than those of other Maritime British North American colonies.30 Fish exports accounted for 40 per cent of Nova Scotia's exports in 1854.31 Forest and agricultural products were next in significance with 17 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. Coal and gypsum together made up 5 per cent of the total. Manufactured goods and other miscellaneous items, many of which were reshipments of goods from other regions (e.g. coffee, tea, sugar and molasses), totalled 20 per cent of Nova Scotia's exports, reflecting the importance of the carrying trade to the colonial economy. The 27 River Phillip Agricultural Society Report for 1844, RG8, Vol. 9, #2, PANS. 28 Weymouth Agricultural Society Report for 1844, RG8, Vol. 17, #277, PANS. 29 Census of Canada. 1931. 30 Donald V. Smiley ed., The Rowell/Sirois Report. Book 1 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1963), p. 18. 31 Colonial Office Blue Books of Statistics [hereafter CO 221], Vol. 67, 1854, pp. 309-20, PANS. By contrast fish accounted for only 5 per cent of New Brunswick's exports and 10 per cent per cent of those from Prince Edward Island; see S.A. Saunders, The  Economic History of the Maritime Provinces, ed. T.W. Acheson (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1984), p. 103. principal markets for these products were the British West Indies, the United States, nearby British North American colonies and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. The economic geography of Nova Scotia in the mid nineteenth century is clearly illustrated by the nature of the colony's exports (Figure 2-4).32 Coal mining had become an important component of local economies near Sydney, Pictou and Joggins. The General Mining Association which had invested more than $250,000 in mines near Sydney and Pictou now employed more than 1,200 men and boys and several hundred horses in and around the mines.33 The pit heads, coal dumps, loading facilities, coke ovens, iron foundaries and miner's huts associated with these operations distinguished these nodes of industrial activity from the farming and fishing landscapes that predominated in Nova Scotia (See Figure 2-5).34 While not as significant as the production of coal in overall economic terms, the extraction of gypsum was important near Windsor, Hantsport and Walton on the Minas Basin. Figure 2-4 also clearly illustrates that the fishery predominated all along the southern coast and throughout parts of Digby and Annapolis Counties in western Nova Scotia (see, for example, Arichat, Canso, Halifax, Barrington and Yarmouth). Here flakes, stages, dories, schooners and outbuildings for storing nets and gear created a landscape that was distinctively marine based (Figure 2-6).35 Timber and lumber exports were concentrated in the ports of Lunenburg, Queens, Annapolis and Cumberland Counties, through which the production of the interior districts flowed. Still, 32 Figure 2-4 is based on data contained in CO 221, Vol. 67, 1854, pp. 309-31, 338-39. 33 Calculated from the description of coal mines near Sydney (Cape Breton) and Pictou (Pictou) for 1839-40 contained in Julian Gwyn, "A Little Province Like This: The Economy of Nova Scotia Under Stress, 1812-1853", Canadian Papers in Rural History. Vol. 6 (1988), p. 220. 34 See description of Albion Mines, Pictou county in The Yarmouth Herald. 21 June, 1839, p. 3. Figure 2-5 is from Charles P. De Volpi, Nova Scotia. A Pictorial Record:  Historical Prints and Illustrations of the Province of Nova Scotia. Canada. 1605-1878 (Longmans Canada Limited, 1974). 35 Figure 2-6 is from Ibid. Manufactures Minerals Figure 2-4, Exports From Nova Scotia, By Sector, 1854 I ' l l g W U S l I I'ictuu Halifax (not drawn lo scale) Export! = $ 3 , 6 0 0 , 4 1 5 0 10 20 30 40 50 Liverpool 62 _1_ WO.000 $80,000 • H M I . I K H I Figure 2-6, F i s h i n g Premises on Nova Sc o t i a ' s South Shore i n the Mid-Nineteenth Century O 26 that only five of the 44 ports for which data exists did not export some forestry products in 1854 is testimony to the importance of "woods work" in most areas of the colony. The larger and much wider range of exports from Halifax reflects its entrepot function, as merchants there organized cargoes from a wider trading hinterland than any other port. Agricultural exports were recorded in 30 of the 44 ports enumerated in the 1854 survey, though the value of agricultural goods shipped from most ports was low relative to the value of products of the sea and forests. Agricultural commodities comprised more than 70 per cent of total exports in only 9 ports. Five were in Kings and Annapolis Counties (Annapolis, Canada Creek, Comwallis, Horton and Wilmot), one near the tidal marshes of the Minas Basin (Truro) and the remainder in eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton (Antigonish, Big Bras D'or and Baddeck). Agricultural exports comprised between 15 and 40 per cent of all shipments from 9 of the remaining 35 ports. They are concentrated around the Bay of Fundy where agricultural goods were regularly shipped across the bay to the city of Saint John, and along the Northumberland Shore where local farm surpluses supplied timber and fishing operations in northern New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Two-thirds of all of Nova Scotia's agricultural exports were destined for New Brunswick or Newfoundland; about twenty per cent went to the United States and the remainder was distributed among Great Britain (8 per cent), Britain's West Indian islands (11 per cent), the foreign West Indies, St. Pierre, Miquelon and Labrador (3 per cent).36 There was considerable variability across Nova Scotia in both the potential for external trade in agricultural products (as Figure 2-4 illustrates) and in the products exported. Farmers in the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley regularly marketed livestock, beef and butter through dealers in Saint John and Halifax; a few had begun to export apples to nearby colonies; but potatoes were still the most important export despite the ravages of the 36 CO 221, Vol. 67, 1854, p. 335. 27 potato blight in the late 1840's.37 i n Sydney, Inverness and Victoria Counties there was greater emphasis placed on livestock and animal products such as butter, beef, mutton and wool for shipment principally to Newfoundland and Saint Pierre. While Margaree, Inverness county, was not recorded in the official list of custom's ports in 1854, it was probably typical of the several small ports through which the surpluses of these counties were shipped abroad. In 1850 430 cattle and 370 sheep were exported to St. John's, Newfoundland and 390 firkins of butter and a "large quantity of pork and lumber" were sent to Halifax from the few hundred farms in its vicinity.38 In the central Nova Scotia counties of Cumberland, Colchester, Hants and Pictou a wider range of products entered external markets. Agricultural exports from Truro, Amherst, Pugwash, Tatamagouche and Pictou consisted of cattle, butter, cheese, hogs, pork, sheep, wool, mutton, oats, hay, poultry and eggs.39 in southwestern Nova Scotia where fish and/or timber dominated exports, cattle, potatoes, butter and eggs regularly "topped up" cargoes en route to New England and the West Indies.40 The amount of land improved for agriculture across Nova Scotia, however, remained small. Only seven of the colony's 17 counties recorded improved acreage levels at the 1851 census above the colonial average of 6 per cent (Cumberland, Colchester, Hants, Kings, Pictou, Sydney and Inverness; see Figure 2-7). These counties contained ' This is clearly reflected in production figures. Average potato production per farm in Kings county (230 bushels), for example, was more than three and one-half times the Nova Scotian average. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS, 5 (" 3 8 Margaree Agricultural Society Report for 1850, RG8, Vol. 9, #219, PANS. 39 See, for example, Truro Agricultural Society Report for 1845, RG8, Vol. 9, #29, PANS; Amherst Agricultural Society Report for 1844, RG8, Vol. 9, #2, PANS; and Pictou Agricultural Society Reports for 1843, 1849 and 1851, RG8, Vol. 18, #s 20, 46 and 50, PANS 4 0 Yarmouth Agricultural Society Report for 1856, RG8, Vol. 14, #109, PANS. Yarmouth Figure 2-7, Improved Land in Nova Scotia, By County, 1851 Richmond Guysborough Total Acreage Improved Queens Forest i % Shelburne Source: Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 28 the most important agricultural districts in mid nineteenth century Nova Scotia.41 Of these only Sydney, the smallest county in Nova Scotia, recorded an improved acreage level that approached levels prevailing in parts of Canada West and Prince Edward Island (20 per cent).4^ Along the southern and eastern shores, where administrative districts ran back from the coast to thinly settled uplands, counties generally recorded less than 2 per cent of their total land area as improved, owing to the rocky soils and the dominance of the commercial fishery. Regardless of the amount of land cleared and improved for agriculture across the colony, mixed farming generally prevailed. Families raised hay, potatoes, a variety of vegetables and grains, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry in different combinations from county to county. Everywhere land use reflected the importance of livestock in the farm economy. Pasture accounted for the bulk of improved land in most counties, and hay and fodder grains comprised most of the land devoted to field crops (Figure 2-8). Pre-industrial technology prevailed. Iron plated ploughs were used for breaking the soil, a wooden or spiked harrow for preparing it and a variety of hand held tools (sickle, scythe, fork, shovel) for cultivating and harvesting. Transportation equipment typically included a cart, a sled, a boat or larger vessel (in fishing districts), and sometimes a wagon or sleigh. Although average figures disguise the considerable diversity that characterized each district of the colony in the mid-nineteenth century, they provide a useful benchmark against which interregional differences in land use and production can be measured. Of the 20 acres improved by the average rural family in Nova Scotia, five acres were cultivated in 41 The two most productive counties in mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia — Pictou and Kings - had only 13 and 14 per cent of their total land area, respectively, enumerated as "improved" at the 1851 census. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 42 Census of Canada West, 1851, in Census of Canada. 1871; Census of Prince Edward Island, 1848, in Journals of the House of Assembly for Prince Edward Island. Appendix 5 (1849), cited in Andrew H. Clark, Three Centuries and the Island: A Historical Geography  of Settlement and Agriculture in Prince Edward Island (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1959), fn. 2, p. 241. Figure 2-8 Improved Land in Nova Scotia in Pasture, Crops, and Marsh, 1851 Inverness Cape Breton Cumberland' Richmond Guysborough Improved Land Pasture Yarmouth Field Crops Dyke Marsh Shelburne Source: Census of Nova Scotia, 1851. 10,000 50,000 100,000 (Acres) oo 10) hay, two and one-quarter acres in oats, three-quarters of an acre in potatoes, turnips and other vegetables, and another acre in a combination of wheat, barley, rye and buckwheat. Generally a small kitchen garden and sometimes an orchard were located close to the farmhouse and the remaining cleared land was used for pasture. The 60 acres or so of unimproved woodland on this "average farm" supplied fuel, construction material and grazing land. Livestock included, on average, either a horse or a pair of oxen, 6 cattle, 7 sheep, 1 pig and some poultry.43 Despite the small size of the average holding, and the (by modern standards) primitive technology used, production was considerable. An average holding produced 7 tons of hay, 60 bushels of potatoes, 34 bushels of oats, 19 bushels of wheat and other grains (buckwheat, barley, rye, indian com), 90 lbs. of butter and cheese and an unknown quantity of fruit, milk, eggs, and several household products (soap, candles). Viewed on a per capita basis, these figures are similar to those recorded in New Brunswick in 1851 (Table 2-1). And, apart from the larger returns of wheat and oats obtained by farmers in Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec), the scale of farm production per capita in Nova Scotia in the mid-nineteenth century was not significantly different from that in Central Canada.44 Indeed, per capita production of hay and potatoes — crops well suited to Nova Scotia's climate and growing season — was greater in Nova Scotia than in Canada West and Canada East. 4 3 Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 4 4 The economic importance of the commercial emphasis on wheat and other grains in Canada West is clearly outlined in John McCallum's Unequal Beginnings: Agriculture and  Economic Development in Quebec and Ontario Until 1870 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980). It is recognized that the urban proportion of the population of Canada West in 1851 (16 per cent) was slightly larger than that in Nova Scotia (10 per cent), which biases per capita production comparisons slightly in favour of the Maritime colony. On Canada West's urban system in the mid-nineteenth century see Jacob Spelt, Urban  Development in South-Central Ontario (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972), pp. 88-100. 29a Table 2-1, Farm Production Per Capita, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada West and Canada East, 1851 Nova Scotia New Brunswick Canada West Canada East Wheat (bu.) 1.1 1.1 13.3 3.4 Barley (bu.) 0.7 0.4 0.7 0.5 Oats (bu.) 5.1 7.3 12 10.1 Rye (bu.) 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.4 Buckwheat (bu.) 0.6 3.5 0.7 0.6 Corn (bu.) 0.1 0.3 1.8 0.4 Potatoes (bu.) 7.2 14.4 5.2 5 Turnips (bu.) 1.7 2.8 3.2 0.4 Other Root Crops (bu.) 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 Hay (tons) 1 1.2 0.7 0.8 Butter (lbs.) 13.1 15.7 16.8 10.7 Cheese (lbs.) 2.3 0 2.3 0.9 Source: Census of Nova Scotia, 1851; Census of New Brunswick, 1851; Census of Canada West 1851; Census of Canada East, 1851; cited in Census of Canada, 1871. 30 The Commercial Network While the primary purpose of most farms in Nova Scotia was to raise a family and to provide for household needs, such surpluses as there were entered local, regional and external markets through a commercial network that included country stores, shire-town merchants and wholesale and commission merchants based in the region's largest urban centre. Incorporated as a city in 1848, Halifax — with 20,000 inhabitants — dominated Nova Scotia's limited urban hierarchy. It was the seat of the colonial government, an important garrison town and the largest entrepot in Maritime British North America.45 it's merchants controlled all three of the colony's banks and 13 of its 18 newspapers. Despite the economic downturn of the 1840's, excacerbated by the repeal of Britain's Corn Laws and the growing liberalization of British trade, Halifax's entrepreneurs had established a sizeable manufacturing infrastructure in their city by 1850. Workers in numerous small establishments scattered throughout the downtown, sandwiched between Citadel Hill and the waterfront, manufactured a wide array of products, including tobacco, confectionaries, baked goods, soap, candles, paper, beer, spirits and a variety of wood products (from basic products such as laths and mouldings to higher value goods like cabinets and pianos).46 Near the edge of the city a flour mill had been established specifically to manufacture foreign grain for domestic consumption, and a brick factory was producing construction materials for entrepreneurs and homeowners. 45 For further details on Halifax during this period see David Sutherland, "Halifax, 1815-1914: Colony to Colony", Urban History Review 1 (1975), pp. 7-11; and "Halifax Merchants and the Pursuit of Development, 1783-1850", Canadian Historical Review 59, 1 (1978), pp. 1 -17. 46 Based on descriptions of Halifax contained in Sir John Harvey, "Report on Nova Scotia", in Secretary of State Report for 1847: The Past and Present State of Her Majesty's  Colonial Possessions (London: W Clowes and Sons, 1848), pp. 7, 10, 12; Gesner, The  Industrial Resources of Nova Scotia, p. 210, 213; Sleigh, Pine Forests and Hackmatak  Clearings, pp. 19-20; Frederic S Cozzens, Acadia: or a Month With the Bluenoses (New York: Derby and Jackson, 1859), p. 26 and Andrew L. Spedon, Rambles Among the  Bluenoses. or Reminiscences of a Tour through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia During  the Summer of 1862 (Montreal: John Lovell, 1863), pp. 131-133. 3 1 With its crowded "mouse-coloured wooden houses", "dingy weather-beaten streets",47 numerous public buildings ~ including Government House, the civic hospital, the "Lunatic Asyulum" and Dalhousie College — and a fort, "crowning the hill on which it stands", this "respectable looking city" was characterized by considerable social and economic diversity.48 When Andrew Spedon visited Halifax in 1863 he was struck by "the range of buildings" along the waterfront "of the most filthy and inferior description, nearly all of which are petty shops, groceries and groggeries of the lowest sort".49 These premises, he explained, were "frequented by innumerable hordes of soldiers, seamen and others belonging to the most degraded order".50 Yet, at a short distance up the hill, Spedon found that this "disagreeable impression" was considerably "relieved". Granville Street, he exclaimed, "is one of the finest [streets] in British North America"; "the structures are costly and belong to the most fashionable and magnificant order of architecture".51 Thus, Spedon concluded, "few places, if any, in the British North American colonies" are characterized by as much "variety of class" as one finds in Halifax: "seamen of varied clime and craft, soldiers of different ranks, and citizens of every class are here".52 Although supplied in large part from farms elsewhere in Nova Scotia and by water from beyond the colony, the substantial demand for provisions in Halifax — with its large mercantile community and army and navy presence — stimulated pockets of intensive 4 7 Cozzens, Acadia: or a Month With the Bluenoses, p. 20. 4 8 D.C. Harvey, "A Friendly Scot Looks at Nova Scotia in 1853", Collections of the Nova  Scotia Historical Society 27 (1947), p. 83. 4 9 Spedon, Rambles Among the Bluenoses. p. 131. 50 Ibid. 51 Ibid. 52 Ibid., p . 133. agriculture on this rocky Atlantic littoral. Thus, there were a few commercial farms north and west of Halifax, along the Sackville River and between Dartmouth and Porter's Lake.53 Agricultural trade between local farmers and Haligonians was extensive enough to permit the establishment of a permanent market house.54 Trade conducted at the city market, however, represented only a fraction of Halifax's food trade. Commission merchants, wholesalers and grocers, operating out of their own premises, controlled much of Halifax's trade in agricultural products. More than one-quarter of all of the merchants and traders enumerated in Nova Scotia at the 1851 census (2,415), operated commercial premises in Halifax.55 i n addition, ambulatory pedlars and farmers selling directly to city consumers controlled a significant, but difficult-to-measure, portion of the retail market for food in Halifax. Despite municipal regulations barring the sale of agricultural produce outside of the city market building, the streets leading to the market house (Hollis Street and Bedford Row) became an unregulated street market on Wednesdays and Saturdays when "country people" arrived in the city with their "rude wagons laden with farm produce, poultry, flowers and domestic wares".56 Halifax was clearly a very important 53 Perhaps the most well known of the farms in the vicinity of Halifax was John (Agricola) Young's "Willow Park" situated in the northern suburbs of the city. At Young's death in 1837 this farm contained 70 improved acres. The farm was operated for another three decades before it was purchased and subdivided by a real estate developer. Paul A. Erickson, Halifax's North End: An Anthropologist Looks at the City (Hantsport: Lancelot Press, 1986), p. 36. 54 Tenders were called for the construction of a new brick and stone market building to replace the shanty which had served this purpose for many years in 1853; construction was completed in the spring of 1854 at a cost of £100,000. D. E. Robinson, "The Halifax City Market, 1750-1977", A Special Report for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing, February 10, 1977, unpublished ms., located at the Nova Scotia Legislative Library, p. 4. 55 Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 56 Robinson, "The Halifax City Market", pp. 5-6; for a more detailed contemporary description of this street market see Cozzens, Acadia: or a Month With the Bluenoses. p. 25. domestic market for such agricultural surpluses as were produced by Nova Scotian farmers. Pictou and Yarmouth, the second and third largest urban places in the colony — with 3,000 and 2,500 people respectively — were neither as diversified economically nor as socially heterogeneous as Halifax. Exports from these ports in 1854 colectively totalled $270,558; this represented only 8 per cent of the value of goods shipped from Halifax in the same year.57 Pictou, situated on the north side of Pictou Basin into which the East, Middle and West Rivers emptied, was highly dependent upon the commerce generated by the mines located six miles away along the East River.58 Coal accounted for 60 per cent of all exports from the port of Pictou in 1854; agriculture and forestry accounted for 18 per cent each. Few manufactured goods were exported for, as Abraham Gesner noted, Pictou's primary exports "return large quantities of manufactured products", including "implements of husbandry, stoves, culinary utensils, tools and even axes...", mainly from the United States.59 The town's inhabitants were chiefly descendants of Scottish Highlanders and they were predominantly Presbyeterian. While socio-economic stratification was as much a reality in Pictou as it was in most other mid-nineteenth century communities in Nova Scotia, both urban and rural, the range between rich and poor was much narrower in Pictou than in Halifax owing to its smaller mercantile community and its fewer administrative functions.60 57 British £ sterling have been converted to Halifax currency using the ratio of $4.87 = £ 1.0.0. See Alan B. Mc Cullough, Money and Exchange in Canada to 1900 (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1984), p. 292. 58 The General Mining Association's Albion Mines, were located two miles from New Glasgow along the East River. The first railroad in the colony was laid down in 1839 specifically to move the coal from Albion Mines to Pictou Harbour; Gesner, The Industrial  Resources of Nova Scotia, p. 271. 59 Ibid., p . 257 60 Estimates of real and personal property contained in the 1851 census substantiate this. While Pictou's estimated property value in 1851 averaged £175. per family, the average for Halifax was £427. per family. Indeed, in certain wards of the city total property value 34 Yarmouth's principal export, by contrast, was fish. The cod and other species caught in the Gulf of Maine off Yarmouth accounted for nearly two-thirds of the port's exports in 1854. Agricultural and wood exports were slightly less important than in Pictou (at 16 and 13 per cent respectively) while manufactured goods were more signicant (at 11 per cent). Several small woodworking factories producing doors, sashes, blinds, mouldings and other building supplies were based in the town and shipbuilding was an important industry.61 Unlike Pictonians, the people of Yarmouth were predominantly Anglo-American in background and adherents of the Baptist faith.62 Acadian and Scottish Catholics comprised distinct minorities in the town. The community of merchants, seamen, fishermen, woodworkers, shipbuilders and other artisans associated with the fish, timber and shipbuilding trades created a significant local demand for fresh food in Yarmouth.63 Apart from Halifax, Pictou and Yarmouth there were few urban centres in Nova Scotia large enough to markedly affect agriculture in their immediate hinterlands. In all less than 10 per cent of Nova Scotia's 300,000 people lived in places with more than 1,000 inhabitants (the contemporary definition of 'urban'). There was a significant non-farm averaged more than £700. per family (or approximately $3,400 Halifax currency per family). Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. For details on socio-economic stratification in two rural communities in Nova Scotia see Rusty Bittermann, Robert MacKinnon and Graeme Wynn, "Of Inequality and Interdependence in the Nova Scotian Countryside, 1850-1870", Paper Presented at the Atlantic Canada Studies Conference, University of Maine at Orono, May 17, 1990. 61 See descriptions of Yarmouth in Captain W. Moorsom, Letters From Nova Scotia:  Comprising Sketches of a Young Country (London: H. Colburn and R. Bentley, 1830), p. 264, and Joseph Outram, The Counties of Nova Scotia: Their Condition and Capabilities (Halifax: Queen's Printer, 1867), pp. 13-14. 62 Andrew H. Clark, "Old World Origins and Religious Adherence in Nova Scotia", Geographical Review 50, 3 (1960), pp. 327-30. 63 The Secretary of The Yarmouth Agricultural Society reported in 1856 that pedlars were travelling through the agricultural hinterland of Yarmouth purchasing provisions for the outfitting of vessels. Yarmouth Agricultural Society Report for 1856, RG8, Vol. 14, #109. component to the colony's predominantly rural population, however. Each county had its "shire town" usually with several merchants, artisans and professionals (blacksmith, carriagemaker, tanner, cooper, shipwright, druggist, physician, lawyer), the county court house, a church or two, one or more inns or hotels and perhaps a printing shop that produced the local newspaper.64 As Map 2-1 indicates, most of these were coastal towns, their location reflecting the importance of the traditional staples of fish and timber (Liverpool, Shelburne, Digby, Annapolis, Truro, Antigonish and Port Hood. Such small towns whose populations ranged from 700 or so to 1,500 created a demand for agricultural produce but it was generally insufficient to set local farms apart from their surrounding counterparts at least when considering agricultural patterns at the county scale. Each county also had scores of villages and hamlets, each with a dozen or so houses clustered about a country store, a church and perhaps a grist-, carding-, or saw-mill. Yet even contemporary observers sometimes found it difficult to distinguish these places from the surrounding rural countryside. Captain W. Moorsom cautioned the readers of his well-known Letters From Nova Scoria that: you must not here ask simply the distance to Horton, or to any other place you may have heard designated as a town or village; the said town being scattered along the road for five, ten, or fifteen miles.65 In these villages and towns the general store, blacksmith's smithy, and saw-, grist- or carding-mill were crucial institutions for the surrounding rural population. They supplied provisions or services that could not be provided directly from the farm and provided a market link that allowed fortuitous and intentional farm surpluses to enter the wider 64 There were 5 newspapers being published outside of Halifax in the late 1840's. Sir John Harvey, "Report on Nova Scotia for 1847", p. 12. 65 Moorsom, Letters From Nova Scotia, p. 222. 36 commercial system of the colony.66 As Captain Moorsom aptly observed in 1830 "the store of the petty merchant... the everlasting din of the blacksmith's anvil" and "the noisy operation of the saw and plane" in these villages attest to "the many wants of neighbouring agriculturalists67 The Transportation System Commerce and agricultural trade were dependent upon a regular network of local roads and schooner and steamer connections between Nova Scotia and nearby Maritime ports. Schooners plied the Bay of Fundy, sailed from Northumberland Shore ports to New Brunswick and Newfoundland and left south coast ports (especially Halifax) for the West Indies (via Boston and nearby centers). Since the 1830's regular steamship connections had been developed between Pictou and the Miramichi, between Halifax and Boston (via Lunenburg and Yarmouth), between Halifax and Liverpool (England) and between Windsor and Annapolis and Saint John.68 But steamships only had an advantage over sailing vessels when time was an important factor. Although they quickly secured much of the intercolonial passenger trade and mail contract business, in 1850 the bulk of Nova Scotia's exports were carried by sailing vessels.69 66 For a discussion of the varied functions of a village store in Nova Scotia see Marie Nightingale, "The General Store", Nova Scotia Historical Quarterly 2 (March, 1972), pp. 17-29. 67 Moorsom, Letters From Nova Scotia, p. 328. 68 Reginald D Evans, "Transportation and Communication in Nova Scotia, 1815-1850", M.A. diesis, Dalhousie University, 1936, pp. 76-95; George MacLaren, "Communications in the Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1775-1951", Nova Scotia  Historical Quarterly 1, 2 (1971), pp. 101-25; Baden Powell, "Yarmouth Steam Packets, 1839-1889", Nova Scotia Historical Quarterly 5, 1 (1975), pp. 31-46. 69 Schooners and other sailing vessels had the advantage of being more seaworthy in rough weather, which explains why they regularly replaced steamers on Bay of Fundy routes during the stormy winter months; perhaps more importantly, the transport costs for bulky cargoes were lower on sailing vessels, especially for long distance voyages. As a result, sailing vessels remained a competitive means of transport in the mid-nineteenth century in spite of the expansion of steamship travel. This persisted until improvements in the cost and design of steamers (and in iron hulled vessels) in combination with the competition imposed by railroad transport a few decades later, ultimately led to the decline Overland transportation in mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia was difficult and time-consuming. As late as the 1870's it took more than 30 hours to complete a 40 mile trip from certain interior districts to the coast.7^ Yet there had been enormous progress in road building since the beginning of the century. The House of Assembly expenditures on road construction and improvements grew significantly during the 1830's and 40's and overland traffic increased as stage coach connections with schooners and steamers departing coastal ports became more regular and dependable.71 One estimate suggests that the mileage of Nova Scotia's "Great Roads" (main roads excluding "bye roads" or secondary routes) grew from 160 miles to more than 1,000 miles between 1815 and 1850.72 Figure 2-9 illustrates the principal overland routes of 1850 and the numerous "bye roads" that connected outlying communities to the main roads.73 The Great Western Road which Jinked Halifax to the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley in the eighteenth century had been extended to Yarmouth. From that town it was possible to travel to Halifax via Liverpool by crossing the Mersey River on a toll bridge and by taking ferries across the Medway and La Have rivers. 7 4 The Truro-Amherst route, little more than a foot path in 1800, of the "age of sail." See J.S. Martell, "Intercolonial Communications, 1840-1867", Canadian Historical Association Report (1939), pp.41-61. 7 0 Maurice Harlow of North Brookfield, Queen's county documents a 36 hour trip, carting lumber and farm products from his home to the "shire town" Liverpool, in his diary; Maurice Harlow Diary, 22-25 September, 1879, MG 100, Vol. 1300, PANS. 7 * Evans, "Transportation and Communication in Nova Scotia", p. 22 and "Stage Coaches in Nova Scotia, 1815-1867", Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society 24 (1938), pp. 107-34; W.R. Bird, "History of the Highways of Nova Scotia", unpublished ms., dated 1945, Nova Scotia Legislative Library, Halifax, p. 52. 7 2 Evans, "Transportation and Communication in Nova Scotia", p. 19. 7 3 Figure 2-7 is based on A. Gesner's map of 1849; PANS map collection. 7 4 Evans, "Transportation and Communication in Nova Scotia", pp. 7-11. Few travelers returning to Halifax, however, opted for this route because the stage still ran along the Halifax-Windsor-Annapolis portion of the Great Western Road and marine transport was Source: Abraham Gesner Map, 1849, 3 8 accommodated wagon and stage coach travel in summer and sled and sleigh travel in winter. This "Great Northern Road" followed Cobequid Bay as far as Great Village and turned inland through Westchester and River Philip before running through Amherst to the New Brunswick border. The Great Northern Road remained the principal stage coach route between Nova Scotia and Quebec until the Intercolonial Railroad opened in 187675 A "bye road" connected Amherst to the "Shore Road" along the Northumberland Shore and the main road east of Pictou, which ran to the Strait of Canso by way of Arisaig, Antigonish and Manchester (Guysborough County), had been shortened and improved. A regular stage service linked Pictou and Sydney, and Halifax was well-connected to most towns and villages by stage coach service (Table 2-2). Thus, by 1850 "Great Roads" encircled southwestern Nova Scotia, and linked Halifax and Sydney (Cape Breton) to the east and Truro and Amherst to the north west.76 Secondary or "bye roads" had also been improved and extended in the first half of the nineteenth century. A bumpy road followed the Eastern Shore from Dartmouth to Sheet Harbour (Harvey Road).77 A bridle path connected it to to the Guysborough Road which linked Halifax and Truro to Guysborough via the Musquodoboit and West Branch St. probably more efficient for "south shore" residents travelling to Halifax. Nonetheless, road and bridge improvements undoubtedly enhanced local traffic between nearby communities. 75 Some Cumberland county travelers, however, still used the Parrsboro-Windsor ferry and the Windsor-Halifax overland route but this could be far more time-consuming owing to the nature of mid-nineteenth century ferry schedules. 76 The main route through Cape Breton lay to the south of the Bras D'Or Lake via St. Peter's (the Old Sydney Road). 77 Temperance Missionary John S. Thompson who traveled this road in the 1850's commented that "the post road to Musquodoboit Harbour" was "good enough to travel by sled or wagon", but "further east the difficulties of cow paths have to be encountered"; cited in John N. Grant, "Travel and Travelers on the Eastern Shore", Nova Scotia  Historical Quarterly 6, 1 (1976), pp. 27-28. 38a Table 2-2, Principal Stage Coach Routes in Nova Scotia, Circa 1850 ROUTE MILEAGE Halifax-Digby 151 Halifax-Shelburne (via Annapolis and Yarmouth) 285 Halifax-Shelburne (via St. Margaret's Bay) 148 Halifax-Cumberland (via Windsor) 118 Halifax-Pictou 106 Pictou-Sydney (Cape Breton) 150 Halifax-Middle Musquodoboit 50 Halifax-Guysborough (via Pictou and Antigonish) 190 Halifax-Shubenacadie (via Kennetcook, Douglas and Rawdon) 80 Sources: W.R. Bird, "History of the Highways of Nova Scotia", p. 22; R.D. Evans, "Stage Coaches in Nova Scotia", pp. 107-34. 39 Mary's valleys.78 To the north, "bye roads" connected Pugwash, Tatamagouche and Pictou to the Great Northern and Guysborough Roads; to the west several overland routes cut across the spine of the "southern upland": the Windsor-Chester route, the New Ross Road (between Kentville and Chester) and the Lunenburg-Annapolis Road with branches at North Brookfield (Queen's County) for Lawrencetown and Liverpool.79 On Cape Breton, except for the older Sydney-Louisbourg Road and a few shorter stretches linking Sydney to some of the early mining districts (Lingan, Cow Bay) the only secondary roads on the island ran along the west coast (between Creignish and Cheticamp) and through the river valleys and passes leading to Bras D'Or Lake (Skye Glen between Port Hood and Wycocomaugh, and the Margaree-Lake O Law-Middle River route).80 Along the north shore of the island between Englishtown and Cape North overland travel was solely by "shanks mare" as the track which subsequently became the well-known "Cabot Trail" over Cape Smoky was little more than a foot path.8! Although sometimes difficult to traverse, especially during spring and fall, such secondary roads provided necessary overland links between farms, rural villages and coastal ports. 7 8 The Guysborough road, described in 1830 as "alternating between a rough horse path and a new cut", was passable by wagon and sleigh in 1850; a regular stage coach service was added a decade later. Howe, Western and Eastern Rambles, p. 17 and Evans, "Stage Coaches in Nova Scotia, 1815-1867", pp. 130-131. 7 9 Bird, "History of the Highways of Nova Scotia", pp. 26-31, 33-42. 8 0 Mary Black, "Cape Breton's Early Roads", Nova Scotia Historical Quarterly 5, 3 (1975), pp. 277-95 and B.D. Tennyson, "Cape Breton in 1867", Nova Scotia Historical  Quarterly 6, 2 (1976), pp. 201- 05. 81 Fred Williams, "Shank's Mare and Other Things: An Historical Glimpse of Travel in Northern Cape Breton", Nova Scotia Historical Quarterly 10, 4 (1980), pp. 213-20 and R. H. MacDonald, "Transportation in Northern Cape Breton", Parks Canada Manuscript Report 363, 1979, pp. 2-12. 4 0 Chapter Three. Parameters of Change in Nova Scotia. 1851-1951 In the late nineteenth century political, economic, and technological changes reoriented Nova Scotia's "wood, wind and sail" economy from Adantic to Central Canada and many communities felt the impact of industrialization. Traditional exports of fish, timber, masts and spars declined, iron steamships replaced wooden sailing vessels in the carrying trade and new industries sprang up.l By 1911 nearly one-third of the province's labour force was employed in the industrial sector and a decade later the urban population reached 43 percent. The diffusion of a wide range of technological innovations - horse drawn machinery, refrigeration, the telegraph, the telephone and later, the radio and the automobile ~ rapidly transformed traditional patterns of work and life in Nova Scotia. Once relatively isolated communities, the local settings of most everyday lives, felt the impact of wider horizons. The consequences for Nova Scotia were profound and this chapter provides a context for their closer investigation in chapters four, five and six by examining the broad temporal trends and spatial patterns of population, land use, agricultural production and trade between 1851 and 1951. Demographic Trends By comparison with the rest of Canada Nova Scotia's population grew very slowly in the century after 1851. With political integration and territorial expansion as well as 1 Between 1885 and 1910 Nova Scotia fish production dropped by nearly one-half (from 800,000 to 450,000 quintals) and, although the expanding market for deals, firewood and pulp wood allowed continued growth in the forestry industry, by the end of this period annual production had stabilized at a level of about 300 million F. B. M. (foot board measure). The cut increasingly consisted of spruce and hemlock which were used for pit props, laths, shingles or pulp. David Erskine, "The Atlantic Region", in Canada: A  Geographical Interpretation ed., John Warkentin (Toronto: Methuen, 1968), p. 265; B.E. Fernow, C D . Howe and J.N. White, Forest Conditions of Nova Scotia (Ottawa: Commission of Conservation, 1912), p. 25; L.S. Hawboldt and R.M. Bulmer, The Forest  Resources of Nova Scotia (Halifax: Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests, 1958), p. 38. On industrialization in Nova Scotia during this period see T.W. Acheson, "The National Policy and the Industrialization of the Maritimes, 1880-1910", Acadiensis 1,2 (1971), pp. 1-28. 41 immigration and natural increase, the Canadian population of 1951 (14 million) was six times greater than that of British North America a century before. Yet Nova Scotia's population barely doubled from 277,000 in 1851 to 643,000 in 1951. Growth rates of more than 20 per cent per decade in the 1840's and 50's declined steadily through the 1860's and 70's. Between 1881 and 1891 Nova Scotia's population grew at a rate of 2 per cent, 10 per cent below the rate of natural increase.2 At the close of the following decade it was clear to many contemporaries that the end of the age of "wood, wind and sail", the emergence of the industrial economy and the lure of large towns and cities outside the province had begun to drain the "bone and sinew" from many of Nova Scotia's rural communities.3 Estimates of the exodus vary but by recent accounts nearly 100,000 persons left the province between 1881 and 1901.4 Many of these migrants found employment in the Gloucester Fishery, in the mill towns of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and in a variety of services and trades in Boston, New York and other United States' cities. A sizeable number also relocated elsewhere in Canada.^  Still, in spite of this high rate of outmigration, most of Nova Scotia's rural districts experienced an overall increase in population between 1851 and 1891 (Figure 3-1). Only Pictou town and several 2 Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces Since Confederation: A Statistical  Study of their Social and Economic Conditions During the Past Sixty Years (Ottawa: F. Acland, 1927), p. 20. 3 Fred Pedley et.al., "Nova Scotia's Problems, With Special Reference to Exodus: Letters From Prominent Nova Scotians", The Canadian Magazine 13, 5 (September, 1899), p. 469. 4 Patricia A. Thornton, "The Problem of Outmigration from Atlantic Canada, 1871-1921: A New Look", Acadiensis. 15, 1 (1985), p. 17; and Alan A. Brookes, "Outmigration From the Maritime Provinces, 1860-1900: Some Preliminary Considerations", Acadiensis 5 (1976), p. 29. This represented almost 20 per cent of those who remained in Nova Scotia in 1901; Census of Canada. 1901. 5 Of the 1,832 census subdistricts in Canada outside of Nova Scotia in 1881, 892 contained residents who were born in Nova Scotia. Only in Quebec and the northern Territories did Nova Scotian born appear in less than 30 percent of all census subdistricts. M.C. Mac Lean, "The Ubiquity of the Nova Scotian", unpublished manuscript, not dated, in MG1, Vol. 1522, file 1, pp. 1-7, PANS. 42 rural districts, mainly in the province's eastern counties remained relatively stable in demographic terms since the mid nineteenth century or recorded an absolute loss in population over the period.^  The most significant change in population distribution between 1851 and 1901 was the emergence of a sizeable urban system. Linked by the Intercolonial Railroad, its growth stimulated by the industrialization that occurred in the wake of the National Policy, this scattered network of manufacturing centres reflected the integration of the region's economy and the urbanization of its people. Halifax, by far the most important centre in the province, had "the largest drydock on the Atlantic Seaboard", a grain elevator associated with its deep water docking facilities, a "large and imposing" railway station and several large factories producing consumer goods (Henderson and Pott's paint factory, Starr's skate and hardware factory, the Dartmouth Rope Works, Moirs' Candy, Schwartz's Coffee and Spices, Mott's Soap, Halifax Sugar Refinery Ltd., and Nova Scotia Cotton Mill).7 While observers remarked that it was still a "dirty" and "dingy" town with "hundreds of hovels, in courts, lanes and backyards, scarcely fit to house cattle", some of its 45,000 people enjoyed the advantages of the electric street car service, the electric street lights and the telephone service recently established in the city.8 There were also sizeable urban clusters in the coalfields of Pictou, Cape Breton and, to a lesser extent, Cumberland Counties. New Glasgow and its satellite centres (Trenton, Stellarton, Westville, Ferrona 6 Nineteen of Nova Scotia's 375 census subdistricts in 1891 recorded population levels below those enumerated in 1851; fourteen of these districts were in the eastern counties of Pictou, Cape Breton and Richmond. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS: Census of Canada. 1891. 7 Phyllis Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax. 1867-1900 (Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1949), pp. 206-07; T.W. Acheson, "The National Policy and the Industrialization of the Maritimes", pp. 17-18. 8 The quotes are from, "An American Visitor", Acadian Recorder 4 October, 1882; cited in Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax, p. 212; and Annual Report of Mayor J. C. MacKintosh, October, 1885; cited in Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax, p. 210. For a fuller description of Halifax in the late nineteenth century see Ibid., pp. 204-213. 43 and Hopewell) housed more than 10,000 people, most of whom depended directly or indirectly on the coal mines, iron and steel works and related industries concentrated in these towns.9 More than 13,000 people lived in eastern Cape Breton's mining districts. 10 Amherst, with its machine shops, wood manufacturing plants, car works and boot and shoe factory, and Springhill, with its mines and service industries, boasted a combined population of 9,000. Yarmouth, long a fishing and trading centre, and now the terminus of the Dominion-Atlantic Railway, had replaced Pictou as the second largest town in the province with 5,000 residents, many of whom worked in the textile factories, foundaries, furniture plants and cotton mill that had developed there since 1867.11 In the province's "agricultural core" several service centres had also grown considerably during the previous four decades (especially Kentville, Bridgetown, Middleton, Truro, Antigonish and Port Hood). While the urban system of Nova Scotia expanded, outmigration from rural districts increased; eight of the province's 18 counties recorded an absolute loss in population y Nut and bolt manufacturing, boiler making, machine shops and a rifle site factory. Other industries dependent on the workforce associated with the mines and steel works of New Glasgow's industrial region included: Lynche's Colonial Cake Factory, the Francis Drake Carbonated Beverage Plant, Garret's Rug factory, Porter's sawmill and wood working factory and Humphrey's Glassworks. James M. Cameron, The Industrial History of the  New Glasgow District (New Glasgow: Hector Publishing Company, 1958), p. 20; and Anon., Nova Scotia's Industrial Centre (New Glasgow: Town Councils of New Glasgow, Trenton, Stellarton and Westville, 1916), pp. 55, 56, 61 and 63. Many of these industries differed considerably from the small one or two person operations characteristic of the mid nineteenth century. In the town of Trenton more than 1,000 people were employed in 62 factories in 1891 (an average of 18 workers per establishment). By 1911 several factories in the town (including the Canada Rifle Site Company, the Albion Machine Works and the Fraser Motor Company) employed more than 100 workers each. Census of Canada. 1891, 1911. 1 0 Census of Canada. 1901. 1 1 Herbert Crosskill, Nova Scotia: Its Climate. Resources and Advantages. Being a  General Description of the Province for the Information of Intending Immigrants (Halifax: Charles Annand, 1872), p. 69; Canadian Illustrated News. 28 September, 1878; Acheson, "The National Policy and the Industrialization of the Maritimes", p. 18. between 1881 and 1891 and this trend continued during subsequent decades (Tables 3-1, 3-2). Only Cape Breton and Halifax Counties, where much of the province's urban growth was concentrated, and Guysborough County, where the discovery of gold created several "boom towns", recorded substantial population increases from 1891 to 1901.12 Many rural districts were losing population from at least 1871 on, as table 3-3 illustrates. Ten rural districts in Pictou County lost population steadily between 1871 and 1901 (Bailey's Brook, Barney's River, Big Island, Dalhousie, Hardwood Hill, New Lairg, Merigomish, Mill Brook, Sunny Brae and Wentworth); during the same period Pictou's industrial towns recorded substantial population growth. This points to the complex intra-and inter-county migrations which took place alongside regional outmigration.13 In Pictou County rural districts lost almost 2,700 people between 1891 and 1901 while incorporated towns gained 2,120 people over the decade.14 Between 1901 and 1921 urban and industrial growth slowed down outmigration and Nova Scotia's population grew by 64,000. Growth rates at the provincial scale were triple those of 1881-1901, but demographic and economic growth were not sustained. During the troubled 1920s the province recorded an absolute loss in population for the first time during the century under investigation (of nearly 11,000 individuals) and net migration 12 G. R. Evans, "Early Gold Mining in Nova Scotia", Collections of the Nova Scotia  Historical Society 25 (1942), pp. 17-47. The large population increase in Cumberland County in the 1880's (26 per cent) resulted from the opening of mines at Springhill, Joggins and River Hebert. 13 T.W. Acheson describes a similar process in Charlotte County, New Brunswick: "While many rural emigrants left the county, the more common method was a two-generation pattern of emigration. In the first generation the son of the farm moved to one of the county towns; in the second his children made the final transfer from the county itself. "A Study in the Historical Demography of a Loyalist County", Social History 1 (April, 1968), pp. 63-64; cited in Brookes, "Outmigration From the Maritime Provinces", p. 33. 1 4 Census of Canada. 1891, 1901. Table 3-1, Percentage Change in Nova Scotia's Population, By County, 1851-1901 1851-61 1861-71 1871-81 1881-91 1891-01 Annapolis 17.27 8.17 13.67 -6.06 -2.62 Antigonish (Sydney) 10.43 11.03 9.38 -10.78 -15.5 Cape Breton 10.86 26.78 17.11 9.55 43.58 Colchester 29.58 16.39 14.53 1.65 -8.32 Cumberland 36.22 20.4 16.37 26.17 4.75 Digby 20.4 15.5 16.69 0.08 2.14 Guysborough 17.28 30.22 7.57 -3.44 6.54 Halifax 22.82 16.2 19.23 5.07 4.63 Hants 21.84 22 9.66 -5.6 -9.05 Inverness 18.03 17.27 9.55 0.5 -5.53 Kings 32.49 14.84 9.11 -4.18 -2.45 Lunenburg 19.74 21.4 19.93 8.72 4.23 Pictou 12.5 11.56 10.65 -2.8 -3.13 Queens 29.06 12.7 0.22 0.31 -3.62 Richmond 21.45 13.18 5.98 -4.77 -6.14 Shelburne 0.43 16.39 20.1 0.29 -5.04 Victoria 10.86 17.66 9.91 -0.31 -14.97 Yarmouth 17.53 20.1 14.74 4.38 2.94 T O T A L 19.51 17.21 13.6 2.23 2.04 Source: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces in Their Relation to the National Economy of Canada, pp. 12-13. Table 3-2, Percentage Change in Nova Scotia's Population, By County, 1901-1951 1901-11 1911-21 1921-31 1931-41 1941-51 Annapolis -1.39 -2.3 -10.22 8.56 22.9 Antigonish(Sydney) -12.15 -3.19 -13.01 4.69 13.5 Cape Breton 49.15 17.71 7.16 19.69 8.7 Colchester -4.96 6.47 -0.57 20.2 4.7 Cumberland 12.1 1.6 -11.71 8.59 0.45 Digby -0.76 -2.75 -6.41 6.1 2.7 Guysborough -6.94 -8.97 -0.48 0.12 -1.4 Halifax 7.49 21.15 3.06 22.41 32.3 Hants -9.05 0.18 -1.75 13.62 6 Inverness -5.53 -6.89 -11.56 -2.29 -10.6 Kings -2.45 8.92 2.67 18.73 14.7 Lunenburg . 4.23 1.45 -6.13 4 0.95 Pictou -3.13 13.92 -4.49 4.54 7.9 Queens -3.62 -1.6 6.72 13.34 4.3 Richmond -6.14 -6.1 -10.96 -2.21 -0.64 Shelburne -5.04 -4.35 -7.46 6.14 8.6 Victoria -14.97 -10.15 -10.98 1.29 2.3 Yarmouth 2.94 -3.64 -6.41 7.05 1.7 TOTAL 7.35 6.4 -2.1 12.73 11.2 Sources: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces in Their Relation to the National Economy of Canada, pp. 12-13; Census of Canada, 1951. Table 3-3, Demographic Change in Pictou County, 1871-1901 1871 1881 1891 1901 Rural Districts Abercrombie 309 282 429 435 Bailey's Brook 974 885 754 625 Barney's Point 1228 1194 1026 802 Big Island 172 156 133 110 Bridgeville 838 846 718 767 Cape John 1015 1079 916 918 Cariboo 1263 1332 1095 923 Churchville 325 406 625 394 Dalhousie 1145 1146 979 793 East River St. Mary's 440 447 391 323 Ferrona 667 843 580 580 Fishers' Grant 469 599 417 382 Frasers' Mountain 100 113 175 276 Garden of Eden 496 504 440 364 Green Hill 888 858 757 635 Hardwood Hill 1167 1163 960 915 Hopewell 686 867 597 598 Lairg 590 535 474 437 Little Harbour 852 900 762 618 Lome 552 698 481 498 McLennan's Mountain 400 628 601 480 Merigomish 974 898 772 693 Middle River 753 989 801 672 Mill Brook 894 834 587 511 Mount Thom 1267 1278 953 854 Pictou Island 110 144 160 159 River John 1347 1569 1275 1130 River John, West Branch 1073 950 839 711 Sunny Brae 491 485 431 527 Thorburn 111 1219 1168 933 Toney River 705 749 636 643 Wentworth Grant 766 716 632 480 Towns New Glasgow/Trenton 2073 3019 4417 5445 Stellarton 1750 1599 2410 2335 Westville 1675 2202 3152 3471 Pictou 2883 3403 2998 3235 Source: Census of Canada, 1871-1901. 4 5 estimates suggest that at least 70,000 persons left the province. 15 In contrast to the late nineteenth century outmigration from the region, a large proportion of these migrants were from urban areas where industrial jobs had disappeared. 16 This is reflected in the extremely low percentage increases in population in Cape Breton and Halifax Counties, the most urban of Nova Scotia's counties (7 and 3 per cent respectively); a decade earlier the population of these counties grew at rates of 17 and 21 per cent respectively (Table 3-2). Industrial decline reverberated through the regional economy. Direct employment in the iron and steel industry, which lay at the base of much of Nova Scotia's industrial development, dropped from 8,000 or so in 1921 to less than 1,200 in 1925, and, with national railway expansion coming to a close, iron and steel production remained well below provincial capacity. 17 The province's shipping industry also suffered. At the end of the war Halifax was Canada's leading port, handling more than 20 per cent of Canada's total shipping tonnage. Yet during the early 1920's Halifax fell behind Montreal, Vancouver and even Victoria; by 1926 just 8.7 per cent of Canada's shipping was being handled at Nova Scotia's principal deep water port. 18 Following the. stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing international depression, which severely restricted opportunities elsewhere, emigration slowed once again and some of those who had left the province earlier began to trickle back. During the 15 Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces in Their Relation to the National  Economy of Canada: A Statistical Study of Their Social and Economic Condition Since  Confederation (Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1948), p. 8. 16 The Dominion Bureau of Statistics reported in 1927 that "the movement away from Maritime farms" would account for less than "a third of the emigration which has taken place since 1891", The Maritime Provinces Since Confederation, p. 28. 17 George Rawlyk and Doug Brown, "The Historical Framework of the Maritimes and Confederation", in The Atlantic Provinces and The Problems of Confederation, ed., G. Rawlyk (St. John's: Breakwater Books, 1979), pp. 24-25. 18 Ernest R. Forbes, The Maritime Rights Movement. 1919-27: A Study in Canadian  Regionalism (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979), p. 63. 1930's Nova Scotia's population grew by 65,000, a figure greater than that for any other decade of the period 1851-1951. Yet poverty was widespread, especially in urban areas. 19 Mines operated on a part-time basis and factories which had somehow managed to weather the economic storms of the 1920's closed. Between 1929 and 1933 coal production dropped by 40 per cent and prices for the traditional staples of the region fell. In 1933 the price of dried cod was about one-third that of 1920. In the same year the amount of lumber produced was 75 per cent below the output obtained in 1920.20 Despite the enormous efforts of a "co-operative movement" which emerged to try to deal with the economic and social problems facing many communities, new markets, better prices and more credit remained difficult-to-obtain during the "Great Depression".21 Family farms at least promised a subsistence. At the end of the decade Nova Scotia's 124,000 families were, on average, smaller than those of three or four generations earlier, nearly one-half of them lived in urban areas, and a much larger percentage of their members were in the older age brackets. These were demographic characteristics of a mature society. i y In 1931 the unemployment rate among male wage earners 20 years of age and over at Dominion, Sydney Mines and New Waterford, towns almost wholly dependent on coal mining, was 78, 71 and 68 per cent respectively. R. James Sacouman, "Underdevelopment and the Structural Origins of Antigonish Movement Co-operatives in Eastern Nova Scotia", in The Acadiensis Reader. Vol. 2, eds., P.A. Buckner and D. Frank (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1985), p. 339. 20 Graeme Wynn, "The Maritimes: The Geography of Fragmentation and Underdevelopment", in Heartland and Hinterland: A Geography of Canada, ed., L.D. Mc Cann (Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1987), p. 197. 21 One of the best discussions of the goals and principals of Nova Scotia's "Cooperative Movement" is Moses Coady's Masters of Their Own Destiny: The Story of the Antigonish  Movement of Adult Education Through Economic Cooperation (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1939), see especially pp. 50-68. For more recent assessments of this movement see R. J. Mac Sween, A History of Nova Scotia Co-operatives (Halifax: Department of Agriculture and Marketing, 1985); Sacouman, "Underdevelopment and the Structural Origins of Antigonish Movement Co-operatives"; and Ian MacPherson, "Appropriate Forms of Enterprise: The Prairie and Maritime Co-operative Movements, 1900-1955", Acadiensis 8, 1 (1978), pp. 77-96. Between 1891 and 1941 the population of many of Nova Scotia's interior and coastal districts declined precipitously while several urban regions experienced dramatic demographic growth (Figures 3-1 and 3-2). Rural depopulation was especially severe in the counties of Pictou, Antigonish and Inverness in eastern Nova Scotia, in several interior lumbering districts of Queens and Lunenburg Counties, and along the Atlantic littoral of Digby, Queens, Lunenburg and Guysborough Counties, the heart of the inshore and offshore fisheries. In general, Figures 3-1 and 3-2 illustrate the gradual concentration of rural population in the fertile valley districts of central and western Nova Scotia, and in the fringes of the province's large urban centres after 1900, while backland districts in most counties experienced population losses. The concentration of commercial agriculture in the areas best suited for farming, the availability of employment in the growing service sectors of nearby towns and villages, and direct access by road and rail to the amenities and markets of Halifax, Sydney and New Glasgow (which collectively contained more than a third of Nova Scotia's 578,000 people in 1941) allowed either continued population growth between 1891 and 1941 or demographic stability in these areas. The transformation of Nova Scotia from a predominantly rural society in the nineteenth century to an urban society in the mid-twentieth century is clearly illustrated by Figures 3-1 and 3-2. Figure 3-3 which describes the structural changes in Nova Scotia's population between 1851 and 1951 clearly demonstrates the massive real and relative decline of the province's agricultural population after 1891. The number of farm families grew steadily until 1881, remained relatively stable until 1891 and then fell. The much smaller non-farm population displayed a remarkably similar pattern, at least until the end of the first decade of the new century. The rural non-farm population of Nova Scotia — comprising the families of blacksmiths, shoemakers, harness makers, coopers, carriage makers, tanners, tailors, millers and other artisans and professionals — grew from 63,000 in 1851 to 92,000 in 47b Figure 3-3, Demographic Change In Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 Population Rural Farm Rural Non-Farm Urban 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 Year 48 1871.22 This growth reflects the maturation of rural Nova Scotia during the so called "golden age" when the expansion of agriculture, commerce and external trade necessitated a substantial network of rural craftsmen. Following the arrival of the Intercolonial Railroad in 1876 and the implementation of the National Policy in 1879, competition from manufacturing plants in Ontario, Quebec and New England began to undermine the domestic market for local craftsmen and mass-produced goods gradually began to replace local manufactures in rural communities. New industries directly stimulated by the National Policy and traditional industries which sucessfully adjusted to the changed circumstances of the 1880's and 90's increasingly became concentrated in a smaller number of urban centres and local opportunities for rural craftsmen shrank.23 Only with the road and highway improvements that took place during the 1920's and 1930's, which were as much make-work projects as they were concerted efforts to re-orient the provincial economy towards tourism, did the rural non-farm population of Nova Scotia rebound. Urban workers began to reside in rural areas. In 1941 there were 23,000 more non-farm families in rural Nova Scotia than there were families working the land.24 Some members of these families were employed in the rural service sector which was greatly stimulated by 1 1 The total farm population for these census years is estimated by multiplying the number of farms enumerated at each census by the family size average for each census year. 23 Trades such as carpentering and shoemaking experienced a dramatic slump in all three Maritime provinces between 1861 and 1881; blacksmiths dwindled from 4,000 to 1,590 between 1881 and 1941; and sailors, seamen and deckhands declined from 10,000 to less than 2,000 during the same period. Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime  Provinces in Their Relation to the National Economy of Canada, p. 27. 2 4 Nova Scotia's "rural population" totalled 310,422 in 1941; the Province's "farm population" numbered 143,709. In 1951 Nova Scotia's rural non-farm population (232,000) was double the Province's agricultural population (115,414). Census of  Canada. 1941, 1951. Some of this increase in the non-farm population can be attributed to a change in the definition of what constituted a census farm. At the 1951 census only those holdings three acres or more, or with sales greater than $250.00, were classified as farms; previously all holdings greater than 1 acre and with $50.00 or more in sales were classified as farms. 49 tourism-related developments;^ more worked in provincial towns while their families ran subsistence holdings; still others worked away from the province, returning periodically to spend holidays with their families.26 The districts showing the largest increases in the non-farm rural population between 1921 and 1941 were those situated near urban areas.27 Agricultural Trends The impact of these developments on Nova Scotian agriculture can be sketched broadly. As geographical isolation broke down and domestic markets strengthened in the second half of the nineteenth century farm expansion occurred (Figure 3-4). On average, 840 new farms were established each year between 1861 and 1871, 956 between 1871 and 1881 and 425 between 1881 and 91. Thus, the rate of farm expansion exceeded that of population growth during this period. By 1891 the area of improved land in Nova Scotia was 240 per cent over the 1851 figure (just under 2,000,000 acres were "improved" on 60,122 farms) and some areas had already moved toward specialty production of livestock, seed potatoes, fluid milk, butter or fruit. Several riparian districts in Cumberland, Colchester, Hants, Kings, Annapolis and Pictou Counties averaged more than 50 acres improved per family in 1891 and enclaves on Cape Breton island had between 55 and 60 25 Although provincial entrepreneurs had sponsored the formation of the Nova Scotia Tourist Association in 1897, the Nova Scotia government did not get directly involved in the promotion of tourism until the troubled 1920's when a Tourist Investigation Committee was formed to seek ways to develop and expand provincial tourism and to create employment. Based on the recommendations of this committee provincial highways were improved and four new hotels were constructed along the provinces' railway lines before the end of the decade — Lakeside Inn (Dartmouth), The Pines (Digby), Cornwallis Inn (Kentville) and Lord Nelson Hotel (Halifax). James H. Morrison, "American Tourism in Nova Scotia, 1871-1940", Nova Scotia Historical Review 2, 2 (1982), p. 43. 26 L. D. Mc Cann, '"Living a Double Life': Town and Country in the Industrialization of the Maritimes", in Geographical Perspectives on the Maritime Provinces, ed., Douglas Day (Halifax: Saint Mary's University, 1988), pp. 93-113. 27 See discussion in Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces in Their  Relation to the National Economy of Canada, p. 28; and Figure 3-2. 49a Figure 3-4, Farms and Farmland in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 Number of Farms, 1851-1951 80000-70000-60000-« 50000-g 3 40000 i z 30000 20000 100001 0 «m i l l 51 P; y \ 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 Year Farmland in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 2 u 8000000 7000000" 6000000-5000000-4000000-3000000 2000000 1000000 Total Acres Occupied Y2 Acres Improved Acres Woodland 1881 1891 1901 1911 Year 1941 1951 5 0 acres "improved".28 The districts with the largest farms in the province were Lakeville, Kings County, and Upper and Middle Stewiacke, Colchester county, with 74, 75 and 85 acres improved per family respectively. These districts were part of the developing agricultural core of the province. Between 1891 and 1921, however, the area of improved land declined and farm numbers dropped by a quarter. This trend continued through the next twenty years. In 1941 there were fewer than 33,000 farm families in Nova Scotia. They had litde more than 800,000 acres of improved land. These figures approximated those of 1851. Only a few districts (in Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou and Antigonish Counties) recorded more than 50 acres cleared per family. In addition, perhaps as many as a third of those remaining on the land earned more than one-third of their total incomes from non-farm sources.29 Surviving farms concentrated on those commodities least susceptible to outside competition or provided a minimal living for their occupiers. The extent of occupied and improved farmland, and employment in agriculture, declined dramatically after 1891. Yet, farming remained the most important occupation of Nova Scotians until well into the twentieth century. Labour force statistics indicate that workers in the agricultural sector comprised 53 percent of Nova Scotia's male work force in 1891 (up slightly over 1851), 39 percent in 1921 and just under one-quarter in 1941 (Table 3-4).30 Those who listed their occupation as "farmer" consistently outnumbered those employed in fishing and forestry, even as late as 1951 when farmers comprised only 2 8 See, for example, Amherst and Wallace (Cumberland County), Douglas (Hants County), Somerset and Lakeville (Kings County), Bridgetown and Wilmot (Annapolis County), Middle River and the Gulf Shore (Pictou County), and Middle River and Little Narrows (Victoria County). 2 9 Andrew Stewart, Part-time Farming in Nova Scotia (Halifax: Dalhousie University, Institute of Public Affairs, 1944), p. 4. 30 For the sake of comparability only "gainfully employed males" over the age of ten, up to 1921, and fourteen and over between 1931 and 1951 are included for analysis. 50a Table 3-4, Nova Scotia's Male Labour Force By Sector Total Agriculture Fishery Forestry Mining- Trade Transport Other Male Mfg. Services Workers % % % % % % % 1851 63,605 49 16 2 5 5 9 14 1871 104,318 48 10 1 11 8 8 14 1891 112,604 53 13 1 18 7 8 N/A 1911 126,122 37 12 2 31 9 9 N/A 1931 127,722 33 9 2 28 8 10 10 1951 158,792 14 6 4 30 13 11 22 Sources: Edward Cheshire, "Statistics Relative to Nova Scotia in 1851", Journal of the Royal Statistical Society of London 17,1 (1854), pp. 73-80; Census of Canada, 1871; Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces Since Confederation, pp. 27-33; Census of Canada, 1931; Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces in Their Relation to the National Economy of Canada, p. 122; Census of Canada, 1951. 5 1 14 per cent of the province's male workforce. Even more significantly, it was only in 1941, with war-time production stimulating mining and manufacturing that workers in these sectors outnumbered those labouring on the province's 33,000 farms.31 Although all of these occuputional categories are extremely difficult to measure accurately, given the considerable amount of inter-sector employment (occupational pluralism) which characterized the Nova Scotian economy during the century under investigation, it is clear from Table 3-4 that the most significant employment gains in the twentieth century were made in the tertiary sector; those employed in transportation, trade and other services comprised 45 percent of Nova Scotia's working males in 1951, a level double that of four decades earlier. As transportation improved during the 1880's and 90's — with the more widespread use of steamships and the rapid expansion of railroads across the province — competition from Central and Western Canada increased. It became cheaper for many families to purchase imported items (especially flour and manufactured goods) and the production of wheat, buckwheat, barley, rye, corn, wool, cloth and cheese fell (Figures 3-5, 3-6 and 3-7). But, despite the steady decline in improved acreage after 1891, hay, oats, turnips and other vegetable yields increased until 1911, and the output of animal products and fruit did so until 1931. Similarly the total number of livestock increased steadily until 1901; when numbers declined in the twentieth century they did so more slowly than the area of improved land. Nor was this decline uniform. Horses and "other cattle" (all cattle exclusive of those designated as "milk cows") only declined significantly during the 1920's, reflecting both the increasing use of horse-drawn machinery after the turn of the 31 Between 1931 and 1941 the male labour force employed in mining and manufacturing in Nova Scotia grew from 26,000 to 55,000 (largely due to war-time stimuli of industry), while those employed on the province's farms declined from 42,700 to 36,900. Census of  Canada. 1931; Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Maritime Provinces in Their Relation to  the National Economy of Canada, p. 122. 51a Figure 3-5, Grain Crops in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 900000 -i 1840 1 8 6 0 1 8 8 0 1900 1920 1940 1960 Year 3000000 - i 2000000 -1 oooooo H — i — i — i — i — i — i — i — T — i — i — i — i 1840 1860 1 8 8 0 1 9 0 0 1920 1940 1960 Year 51b Figure 3-6, Other Field Crops in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 8000000 n 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 Year 51c Figure 3-7, Livestock and Animal Products in Nova Scotia, 1851-1951 Cattle and Horses in Nova Scotia 1851-1951 1 8 0 0 0 0 -i 1 5 0 0 0 0 H 1 8 4 0 1 8 6 0 1 8 8 0 1 9 0 0 Year N o f i g u r e s for O x e n a r e a v a i l a b l e for 1931 to 1 9 5 1 . 1 9 2 0 H3- Milk Cows Other Cattle -o- Horses Oxen 1 9 4 0 1 9 6 0 Sheep,Swine, and Poultry in Nova Scotia 1851-1951 1 7 5 0 0 0 0 - i 1 8 4 0 1 8 6 0 1 8 8 0 1 9 0 0 1 9 2 0 1 9 4 0 1 9 6 0 Year N o f i g u r e s for Poultry are a v a i l a b l e before 1 8 9 1 . 51 d Figure 3-7 (continued) Butter and Eggs 1851-1951 12000000 -l 10000000 -8000000 -6000000 -4000000 -2000000 -—' 1 — 1840 1860 1 i— 1880 1900 Butter(lb.) Eggs(Doz.) T 1920 1940 1960 Year No figures for Eggs are available before 1901. Milk and Cheese 1851-1951 1200000 -i 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 Year No figures for Milk are available before 1871. 52 century and the persistence of a long-established export trade in Nova Scotian cattle in the face of increasing competition from other agricultural regions. Swine numbers remained relatively stable between 1851 and 1951. Numbers of sheep and oxen fell steeply during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. And poultry, recorded for the first time in the 1891 census, more than doubled between 1891 and 1951. Overall, then, farm productivity rose considerably as the cultivated acreage declined during the twentieth century.32 Agricultural Trade Although the domestic market was the most important outlet for such farm surpluses as were produced, such export data as are available establish the position of agriculture in Nova Scotia's export economy and illustrate the types of commercial agriculture that prevailed. Table 3-5 shows that agricultural commodities comprised between 15 and 17 percent of total exports during the 1850s and 60s, even though provincial trade expanded considerably during these decades.33 For two decades thereafter the relative significance of agricultural exports from the province declined slightly as did total exports.34 Yet at century's end agricultural exports still accounted for one-sixth of 32 This point is confirmed in A. B. Balcom's classic study, "Agriculture in Nova Scotia Since 1870", Dalhousie Review 8, 1 (1928), pp. 29-43, which estimates that the value of agricultural production increased by 230 per cent between 1881 and 1921 while the number employed in agriculture declined by 22 per cent. 33 The total value of exports from Nova Scotia more than doubled between 1850 and 1856 (to about $7,700,000) as a result of the signing of the Reciprocity treaty with the United States. As a consequence of the increased demands for foodstuffs caused by the American Civil War and the price inflation which accompanied the war Nova Scotia's exports grew by another $1,000,000 or so during the next decade. In 1865 Nova Scotia's exports were valued at $8,800,000. Colonial Office Blue Books of Statistics [hereafter CO 221], Vols. 64-76, 1850-65, PANS. 34 Canada Sessional Papers. Trade and Navigation volumes, 1867-1875, Killam Memorial Library, Dalhousie University, Halifax. In 1875, for example, agricultural commodities comprised 10 per cent of the Province's exports, valued at $6,500,000. Canada Sessional Papers. Vol. 2, 1876, pp. 431-41, 642-44. 52a Table 3-5, Nova Scotia's Exports By Sector, 1854-1937 Total Value Agriculture Fish Forest Minerals Manufactures/ Products Misc. Goods ($) % % % % % 1854 6,076,143 16 42 17 5 19 1860 6,660,302 15 44 12 10 19 1870 5,061,039 10 50 21 14 5 1880 7,027,104 12 62 14 7 5 1890 9,200,555 14 46 20 9 11 1900 10,433,634 15 50 20 7 7 1937 46,844,000 35 12 30 5 18 Sources: CO 221, Vol. 67, 1854, p. 309; Journals of the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1861, Appendix 1, pp. 45-67; Canada Sessional Papers, 1871-1901; John F. Earl, A Study of Nova Scotia Exports, 1937-1963 (Halifax: Department of Finance and Economics, Nova Scotia Voluntary Planning Board, 1966), pp. 27- 30. 53 Nova Scotia's total foreign trade which stood at a level almost double that of 1860.35 Forest products which were slightly more important than those of agriculture in 1854 (17 per cent) and slightiy less important (12 per cent) in 1860 accounted for 20 per cent of the province's export trade by 1900, as lumber and pulpwood sales expanded (Table 3-5). Mining and manufacturing exports accounted for a smaller fraction of provincial exports than did products of forestry and farming until the early twentieth century. But fish, which was clearly the province's leading staple, comprised between 42 and 62 per cent of Nova Scotia's export trade between 1851 and 1900. Overall, however, agricultural exports kept pace with the other exporting sectors. Much the same pattern is evident through the first half of the twentieth century. Despite farmland abandonment, agriculture retained its share of foreign trade after 1900 and increased its percentage of total exports to 30 per cent during the Depression years of the 1930's, when international markets for fish and coal were shrinking. In 1937, for example, Nova Scotia's export trade (by ocean transport) totalled $47,000,000; agricultural commodities comprised 35 per cent, forest products another 30 per cent, manufactures and miscellaneous goods 18 per cent, fish 12 per cent and coal and gypsum 5 per cent.36 That the value of agricultural imports to Nova Scotia often exceeded provincial exports of farm produce has sometimes been seen as evidence of agriculture's 3 5 Canada Sessional Papers. Vol. 5, Part 2, 1900, pp. 662-85. 3 6 John F. Earl, A Study of Nova Scotia Exports. 1937-38. 1947-63 (Halifax: Nova Scotia Voluntary Planning Board, 1966), pp. 3, 27-30. It is recognized that these figures disguise the considerable amount of trade between Nova Scotia and Central Canada via the Saint Lawrence, which was especially significant for the mining and manufacturing sectors. Still, that agriculture retained its share of foreign exports during the "Great Depression" suggests that the commercial component of Nova Scotia's farm sector was more resilient to the economic shocks of the 1930's than might have been expected, given the general trend of farmland abandonment during this period. A study of the Nova Scotia's Farmers Association concludes that, "the air of cautious optimism" expressed in the minutes of the N.S.F.A. meetings in the 1930's "contrasts surprisingly with the gloomy atmosphere that accompanied the economic downswing of the early twenties". Ian MacLeod, In Union Strength: A History of Nova Scotia Farm Organization. 1895-1975 (Truro: Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, 1976), p.42. 54 inefficiency.37 But, in a temperate colony some imports were all but essential. Nova Scotia imported large and valuable quantities of molasses, sugar, tea and tobacco, none of which were in direct competition with locally produced foodstuffs. Indeed, the province's balance of trade in such locally raised agricultural products as livestock, animal products, fruit, potatoes and vegetables was generally favourable between 1850 and 1900 (ie. exports exceeded imports; see Table 3-6). Deficits were principally in grains and grain products (especially flour). Nova Scotia was simply not an extensive grain growing area. So in 1860 the colony's agricultural exports were valued at just under $1,000,000; imports were double this amount. Yet, flour accounted for more than three-quarters of all imports and Nova Scotia actually recorded a combined trade surplus in excess of $500,000 on potatoes, butter, cheese, eggs, cattle, horses, sheep, swine, hides and skins and even in such traditional provisions imports as salt beef. Fifteen years later, just before completion of the Intercolonial Railway, the surplus was very much the same, although it came from a slightly different mix of agricultural commodities. Potatoes comprised a much smaller segment of the overall trade surplus (largely as a result of the American tariff placed on Canadian potatoes in 1874). Livestock and animal products were relatively more important. Still, overall trade returns displayed a deficit due to the enormous volume of flour imported annually. The paucity of data on imports after 1900 precludes analysis of the provinces's balance of trade in the twentieth century but it seems that trade surpluses probably continued in livestock, animal products and fruit.38 37 Julian Gwyn, '"A Little Province Like This': The Economy of Nova Scotia Under Stress, 1812-53", in Canadian Papers in Rural History. Vol. 6 (1988), pp. 208-09; Anthony Winson, "The Uneven Development of Rural Economy in Canada: The Maritimes and Ontario", Working Paper No. 6-85, Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary's University, 1985, p.7; and John Warkentin, "The Atlantic Region", in Canada Before  Confederation: A Study in Historical Geography, eds., R. Cole Harris and John Warkentin (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1974), p. 193. 3 8 Norman H. Morse, "Agriculture in the Maritime Provinces", Dalhousie Review 39 (1959), pp. 473-75; Balcom, "Agriculture in Nova Scotia Since 1870", pp. 33-34,38; Norman H. Morse, "An Economic History of the Apple Industry of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia", Ph.D. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1952, pp. 65-68. 54a Table 3-6, Nova Scotia's Agricultural Balance of Trade, 1854-1900 1854 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 ($) ($) ($) ($) ($) ($) Animals Cattle 126,698 95,328 -342 195,413 128,667 54,930 Horses 15,199 5,896 0 13,690 1,337 231,584 Poultry 0 0 1,512 4,265 2,062 1,979 Sheep 23,113 23,236 13,417 21,881 12,213 12,213 Swine 0 396 -49 4,265 262 262 Other Animals 0 0 0 -333 -171 -36 Animal Products Butter 85,785 102,540 104,633 111,662 73,259 124,106 Cheese 11,985 2,076 215 -1,757 6,173 75,548 Eggs 5,708 17,897 19,062 20,646 58,466 11,042 Wool 0 0 45 -824 -11,312 -230 Beef -9,253 14,102 -89,266 -33,509 -116,492 -46,681 Pork 21,662 -9,219 0 -55,539 -51,960 -29,369 Preserved Meats 0 0 0 8,171 10,290 13,462 Furs 42,841 0 0 40,266 0 22,233 Hides -6,973 20,651 83,317 -151,718 -106,504 156,666 Grains/ Grain Products Flour -1,422,074 -1,518,492 -659,919 -128,886 -58,819 106,153 Wheat 0 -67,356 -23,898 -586 26,215 0 Bread -30,257 -11,836 0 -3,430 -7,034 -6,667 Oats -30,486 -11,595 9,631 10,375 61,337 26,172 Other Grains 0 0 -117,579 -79,052 85,212 31,558 Meal 0 -100,141 -125,739 -261,463 -275,601 -48,652 Other Field Crops Potatoes 234,023 252,199 -173,236 239,363 207,051 298,647 Other Vegetables 0 0 0 -11,660 -12,962 -11,329 Hay 0 14,007 632 9,300 20,019 76,687 Fruit Apples 33,983 14,007 -4,216 69,822 354,118 680,102 Other Fruit -33,954 -30,956 -50,801 22,160 -28,301 -85,493 Total Agricultural Trade Balance -932,000 -1198295 -2155330 -84735 -23610 1255102 Sources: CO 221, Vol 67, 1854, pp. 309-31, 338-39; Journals of the House of Assembly, 1861, Appendix 1, pp. 41, 66; Canada Sessional Papers, 1871, Vol 2, pp. 228-37,345-47; 1881, Vol. 2, pp. 2-540, 550-84; 1891, Vol. 3, pp. 2-581,681-713; 1901, Vol. 5, pp. 2-515, 655-76. T h e M a r k e t H i n t e r l a n d Newfoundland and New Brunswick were the principal destinations of Nova Scotia's agricultural exports in the mid-nineteenth century; together they received more than 60 per cent of the colony's agricultural exports. Approximately one-fifth of the colony's farm exports went to the United States and about a tenth each went to Britain and its West Indian islands.39 Agricultural exports to the United States remained relatively stable after the Reciprocity agreement of 1854 until the Civil War generated new demands for foodstuffs. In the early 1860's about one-third of all Nova Scotia's agricultural exports were shipped to the United States. At the end of the war, however, markets returned roughly to their former position, though West Indian markets had become relatively more important. Approximately 40 per cent of the colony's exports went to the adjacent British North American colonies, 22 per cent went to the United States and nearly 30 per cent to the British West Indies. On the eve of Confederation only 3 per cent of Nova Scotia's agricultural exports went to Central Canada.40 Export data do not identify Canadian destinations of agricultural produce after Confederation. They do provide evidence of foreign market connections during a period of enormous change. In the wake of the National Policy implemented at the end of a period of falling prices and shrinking world markets, Nova Scotia's foreign agricultural export trade shifted away from New England and West Indian markets towards Great Britain while Ontario and Quebec farm produce replaced United States' imports in local markets.41 In 3 9 Export data for this period are contained in Journals of the House of Assembly of Nova  Scotia rhereafter J.H.A.N.S.l. 1852, Appendix 30, pp. 268-71; CO 221, Vols. 67-71, 1854-60; J.H.A.N.S.. 1861, Appendix 1, p. 66. 40 CO 221, Vol. 76, 1865-66, pp. 333-344. 41 Agricultural imports into Nova Scotia from the upper provinces increased from an estimated $250,000 in 1864 to $2,115,625 in 1886 while farm imports from the United States decreased from about $2,152,000 to $565,798 during the same period. J. R. Elliot, The Trade Relations of the Farmers of Nova Scotia (Saint John, New Brunswick: George A. Knodell, 1887), p. 13. 1885 approximately 60 percent of Nova Scotia's total foreign exports of agricultural commodities, worth an estimated $1,409,428, went to Great Britain, just over 11 per cent went to the United States and 3 per cent to the West Indies; only Newfoundland's share of just under 20 percent approximated pre-Confederation levels (See Table 3-7). This trend mirrored the changing external trading relations of Canada as a whole during this period.42 And, from the evidence available for subsequent years, it appears that this concentration on British and Newfoundland markets continued.43 During the Great Depression of the 1930s Great Britain and Newfoundland purchased 85 percent of Nova Scotia's annual agricultural exports; 7 percent went to the British West Indies, 2 percent to United States and the remainder was distributed among a variety of European and Latin American countries.44 Agricultural Specialization Political and technological developments during the last quarter of the nineteenth century had an enormous influence on Nova Scotian agriculture. The industrial expansion which accompanied the tariff protection afforded by the National Policy stimulated the domestic market for food, and the development of the province's railroads opened this market to areas formerly isolated from the few large urban centres of the province. The replacement of wooden sailing vessels by propeller-driven steamships enabled some Nova Scotian farmers to sell local fruit in external markets; apples and soft fruit simply could not make it to the London and Liverpool markets in sailing vessels without spoiling. But 0 , 1 Ben Forster, A Conjunction of Interests, Business, Politics, and Tariffs. 1825-1879 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986), p. 205 and Ian Drummond, Progress  Without Planning: The Economic History of Ontario from Confederation to the Second  World War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987), p. 34. 4 3 Nearly two-thirds of Nova Scotia's agricultural exports in 1890 went to Newfoundland and Great Britain. Canada Sessional Papers. Vol. 3, 1891, pp. 681-713. 4 4 John F. Earl, A Study of Nova Scotia Exports, p. 37. 56a Table 3-7, Nova Scotia's Agricultural Exports By Destination, 1885 Great Nfld. United States British Destination Total Britain West Indies N/A Animals ($) ($) (S) ($) ($) Cattle 417,328 104,754 100 1,766 14,282 538,230 Horses 11,710 8,089 1,271 21,070 Poultry 0 74 822 12 686 1,594 Sheep 410 5,646 415 0 13,718 20,189 Animal Products Butter 200 76,839 295 2,607 24,522 104,463 Cheese 0 167 0 1,107 275 1,549 Eggs 0 1,861 71,557 29 646 74,093 Pork 0 6,147 0 0 623 6,770 Grain/Potatoes Oats 48,821 946 0 1,697 5,913 51,377 Potatoes 0 5,144 16,191 27,767 48,604 97,706 Fruit Apples 211,116 4,068 12,428 568 1,348 229,528 Other Fruit 0 1,052 6,610 0 333 7,995 Other Exports 172,901 46,355 43,159 2,631 265,046 Total 844,776 264,763 159,666 38,184 112,221 1,419,610 Destination % 59.5 18.7 11.2 2.7 7.9 Source: J. R. Elliot, The Trade Relations of the Farmers of Nova Scotia, (Saint John, New Brunswick: George A. Knodell, 1887), p. 12. gradually, as railroads integrated all counties of the province more fully with Central Canada, and steamship and telegraph communication brought Nova Scotia closer to distant centres, domestic markets were thrown open to a wide range of products from more fertile agricultural regions, and rural attitudes and values were transformed. Competition kept prices and incomes low, western meat replaced home-barrelled beef and pork in local markets, and imported implements and machinery displaced the products of rural craftsmen in Nova Scotian barns. Sons and daughters sought alternatives to the isolation of rural life and increasingly, as the century wore on, the bright lights of urban areas attracted them .45 While outmigration took place families invested in labour-saving machinery and implements, which permitted growth in farm production. The 1871 census, our only record of farm implements and machinery in Nova Scotia until the Dominion Bureau of Statistics began gathering information on farm mechanization in 1926, shows that agricultural mechanization was already becoming concentrated in a few counties. Kings, Hants, Cumberland and Pictou Counties averaged 1 horse rake for every five farms and 1 reaper for every 16 farms in 1871 while the provincial ratios for these machines were 1:13 and 1:36.46 While it is impossible to measure the rate of adoption of horse-drawn machinery in the late nineteenth century, we know that horses gradually replaced oxen as draught animals from 1871 on and that local agricultural societies, which devoted a considerable share of their annual provincial grant to the purchase of improved implements, machinery, seeds and livestock, grew at an unprecedented rate between 1875 and 1901.47 45 The Dominion Bureau of Statistics suggested that these social factors are, in no small part, responsible for the "comparatively stationary position of the rural population through the whole northeastern part of the North American continent" since the late nineteenth century. The Maritime Provinces Since Confederation, p. 26 46 Census of Canada. 1871. 47 Agricultural Society membership in Nova Scotia increased by 250 per cent between 1871 and 1901 (from 3,245 to to 8,500). Annual Report of the Secretary for Agriculture  for Nova Scotia for 1892 (Halifax: Commissioner of Public Works and Mines, 1893), p. 8 and Annual Report of the Secretary for Agriculture for Nova Scotia for 1906 (Halifax: Commissioner of Public Works and Mines, 1907), p. 49. 5 8 In some of the most commercial agricultural districts of the province neither the "whack-whack" of the flail on the barn floor nor the "whiz" of the spinning wheel in the kitchen could be heard by 1890; as one observer exclaimed, "they, along with the scythe and sickle belong to the days of our grandfathers".48 At the same time, carding, woolen and grist mills which had been established earlier in direct response to the demand generated by the more isolated farming districts of the pre-industrial period, fell into disuse as imported flour and meal and factory-produced cloth entered local markets. In 1892 a traveler through Cape Breton could notice, "all over the island grist mills gone or are going into decay".49 In an effort to deal more effectively with the special needs and requirements of its predominantly agricultural population Nova Scotia established a Department of Agriculture in 1885 which immediately set up a Provincial Agricultural School and "model farm" to help train a new generation of farmers in scientific agriculture.^0 Three years later the Dominion government began agricultural research at its experimental station in Nappan, Cumberland County. Farmers also organized themselves into associations during this period in an effort to learn more about "scientific agriculture" and to promote the production and marketing of local farm surpluses. The American "Grange" society diffused to Nova Scotia from Vermont via Ontario in 1875 and by 1880 there were 41 subordinate "granges" 48 Kings County Agricultural Society Report for 1884; published in Nova Scotia Journal  of Agriculture Vol. 4 (1885), p. 521, PANS. 49 Jonathan D. MacKinnon, "Lectures on Cape Breton Agriculture", in Annual Report of  the Secretary for Agriculture for Nova Scotia for 1892. p. 211-12. 5° J. S. Martell and D. C. Harvey, "From Central Board to Secretary of Agriculture, 1826-85", Bulletin of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia 2, 3 (1940), pp. 20-22. Initially the Agricultural School was associated with the Normal College at Truro. It became a distinct institution in 1899 with an additional $20,000 grant from the provincial government for land and buildings. In 1904 the Nova Scotia School of Horticulture, established by the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association in 1893, united with the School of Agriculture to form the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and moved its campus to Truro. Donald MacLeod, "Practicality Ascendant: The Origins and Establishment of Technical Education in Nova Scotia" Acadiensis 15, 2 (1986), pp. 61-63. 59 operating in the province.51 While we no little about the operation of this society in Nova Scotia, we know that the Maritime Provincial Grange opened a branch of the National Grange Wholesale Supply Ltd. in Halifax in 1884, in an effort to introduce co-operative buying and marketing for farmers.52 But apparently this was an unsuccessful venture for the Grange co-operative had ceased operating by 1894. The most important farmers' organization which formed during the late nineteenth century was the Nova Scotia Farmers and Dairymen's Association, established in 1884 specifically to promote the production and marketing of milk and dairy products. Over the next decade this association evolved into the Nova Scotia Farmers Association which became essentially a "farmers parliament" representing a wide range of agricultural interests.^ 3 The 1890's were critical years for Nova Scotian agriculture. Agricultural employment peaked and the areas of occupied and improved farmland in the province reached their maxima during this decade. Outmigration from the province was well underway. Facing increasing competition from other better endowed agricultural regions, Nova Scotian farmers made significant efforts to adjust to changing circumstances. Farmers either concentrated on specialty products for domestic and external markets or combined off-farm work with small-scale subsistence agriculture. In general, as inter-regional competition increased, there was a gradual shift from high-bulk, low-value, non-51 MacLeod, In Union Strength: A History of Nova Scotia Farm Organization, pp. 5-6. 52 Ibid., p. 6; and S. Ellsworth Lewis, "An Economic History of Agriculture in Colchester County, Nova Scotia", B.A. Thesis, Ontario Agricultural College, 1924, p. 65. There are no records of this society at any of the major repositories of documents in Nova Scotia — PANS; Nova Scotia Legislative Library; Killam Memorial Library, Dalhousie University; the Beaton Institute, University College of Cape Breton. 53 MacLeod, In Union Strength, pp. 6-26. This association continues to function as the collective voice of the province's remaining farmers. Other smaller associations which represented more specialized groups of farmers were the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association established in 1863 to promote the development and improvement of Nova Scotia fruit and the Nova Scotia Poultrymen's Association formed in 1926 to represent commercial poultry farmers. Both groups sent representatives to Nova Scotia Farmers' Association meetings. 60 perishable commodities which could be easily transported by schooners to distant markets (ie. potatoes, livestock, grains) to perishable, often low-bulk, high-value commodities for shipment to domestic or external markets by road, rail or steamship (ie. apples, soft fruit, milk, butter, cream, poultry, eggs). Perhaps the best known agricultural specialization which emerged during this period was fruit production for the English market. Production of apples increased nearly fifteen-fold between 1871 and 1931.54 Largely confined to the fertile valley areas of Annapolis and Kings Counties and Hants County west of the Avon River, this commodity, more than any other, owed its commercial success to improvements in steamship and railroad transport which brought Nova Scotia closer to the British market during the late nineteenth century.55 Although apples had often "topped up" the cargoes of schooners bound for nearby New England ports earlier in the nineteenth century, and shipments to Britain were attempted as early as the 1840s, it was only following the completion of the Windsor-Annapolis Railroad in 1869, which provided "valley" farmers rapid access to steamships regularly departing Halifax for Great Britain, that orchard production expanded beyond negligible levels.56 Fields which had formerly produced potatoes for domestic, New England and West Indian markets were gradually transformed into orchards during 54 From 342,513 bushels (114,171 barrels) in 1871 to 4,917,466 bushels (1,639,155 barrels) in 1931. Census of Canada. 1871, 1931. 55 Between the mid-nineteenth century and 1914 trans-Adantic crossing times were reduced from two weeks (at best) to 8 days or less owing to the development of the screw propeller and more powerful steam engines (ie. more horsepower). J. S. Martell, "Intercolonial Communications, 1840-67", Canadian Historical Association Report (1939), p. 42; Testimony of Mr. George S. Campbell, Steamship Agent, 6 August, 1914, Dominions Royal Commission on the Natural Resources. Trade and Legislation of Certain  Portions of His Majesty's Dominions. Vol. 12. Minutes of Evidence Taken in the Maritime  Provinces of Canada in 1914 (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1915), pp. 29-30. 56 F. G. J. Comeau, "The Origin and History of the Apple Industry in Nova Scotia" Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society 23 (1936), p. 34. The Windsor-Annapolis Railway made connections with Halifax via the Halifax-Windsor Railway, completed in 1858. 6 1 the 1870s and by 1885 production was considerable enough to permit the establishment of an apple warehouse at Port Williams, Kings County, capable of handling approximately 10,000 barrels.57 Production rose steadily until 1933 when the 2,700,000 barrels of apples grown in the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley and vicinity, principally for United Kingdom markets, accounted for 48 percent of total Canadian production.58 By this date there were more than 150 "track warehouses" with a collective storage capacity of approximately 1,500,000 barrels stretching along the railway line between Digby and Windsor, as well as three dehydrating plants, two canning plants, four evaporators, two dust and spray plants and three cider/vinegar plants.59 Perhaps more than any other branch of Nova Scotian agriculture, apple production generated related industrial development and forged strong linkages with other sectors of the economy. As Innis and Fay wrote in in 1930 when the industry was near its peak: Labour for picking and packing is obtained from Halifax and Lunenburg at the close of the fishing session.... Fertilizer comes from Cape Breton mines, cooperage from the lumber industry, labour from the fisheries. And in its turn the beauty of the valley from blossom time to harvest has contributed to the profits of the tourist business.60 In 1939 the Second World War suddenly closed the British market. The Nova Scotian apple industry was thrown into chaos. Although the Nova Scotian Apple Marketing Board was established under the War Measures Act to distribute Federal 5 7 "Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association: One Hundred Years of Progress", Chronicle  Herald 24 May, 1963, p. 7. 5 8 Margaret Conrad, "Apple Blossom Time in the Annapolis Valley, 1880-1957", in Atlantic Canada After Confederation. The Acadiensis Reader, Vol. 2, eds., P.A. Buckner and D. Frank (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1985), p. 357. 5 9 Willard V. Longley, Some Economic Aspects of the Apple Industry in Nova Scotia (Halifax: Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Bulletin, # 113,1932), pp. 3-4. 60 Harold A. Innis and C. R. Fay, "The Economic Development of Canada, 1867-1921: The Maritime Provinces", in The Cambridge History of the British Empire Vol. 6, ed., J. H. Rose (Cambridge: The University Press, 1930), p. 669. 62 subsidies and dispose of the province's crop within Canada, it had little success.61 A few years later the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association promoted a tree removal campaign. Despite some market recovery after the war, production dropped sharply; the 1950 apple harvest of 750,000 barrels was one-quarter that of 1933. Most of it was was processed into cider, vinegar or apple sauce for sale within the region. Export markets had virtually disappeared. Remaining farmers either sold their land or shifted to poultry, hog or dairy farming. 62 Less well known is Nova Scotia's short-lived but large scale participation in a long distance livestock trade. Catde exports from both Ontario and the Maritimes increased substantially after Britain placed a trade embargo on American cattle in 1879.63 Britain replaced Newfoundland as the principal market for Nova Scotian livestock and the number of animals shipped from Nova Scotian ports tripled between 1875 and 1885.64 Between 1871 and 1891 catde numbers in the province (exclusive of milk cows and oxen) rose by more than 30 per cent (from 119,065 to 154,664) and by the mid 1880's more than 60 per cent of Nova Scotia's cattle exports went to Great Britain.65 61 Edith Blair, "The Marketing of Agricultural Products in Nova Scotia" Culture 2, 3 (1941), p. 316; Margaret Conrad, "Apple Blossom Time in the Annapolis Valley", pp. 363-65. 62 Hugh A. Blackmer, "Agricultural Transformation in a Regional System: The Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia", Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University, 1976, pp. 83-108; and Adrian Lewis, "An Apple-Less Valley: Process and Change in the Apple Industry of Kings County, Nova Scotia 1940-74", B.A. thesis, Acadia University, 1974, pp. 118-19. 63 Morse, "Agriculture in the Maritime Provinces", p. 474; Allan Bogue, "The Progess of the Cattle Industry in Ontario During the 1880's", Agricultural History 21 (1947), pp. 163-68. 64 From 3,600 cattle in 1875 to 10,072 animals in 1885. At the former date Newfoundland was the destination of 90 per cent of all documented cattle exports from Nova Scotia. Even though the number of animals shipped to Newfoundland was greater in 1885 than in 1875, Newfoundland's percentage share of Nova Scotian cattle exports had dropped to 33 per cent by 1885. Canada Sessional Papers, 1875-1885. 65 Census of Canada. 1871, 1891; Canada Sessional Papers. Vol. 1, 1886, pp. 533, 634-65; Elliot, The Trade Relations of the Farmers of Nova Scotia, pp. 8,12. 63 Local farmers responded quickly to this new market because cattle raising had long been common on Nova Scotian farms. Large scale catde raising was just beginning on the Canadian Plains and farmers and dealers there had not yet forged the necessary international trading connections to participate in this trade. But, once large numbers of western cattle began entering domestic and international markets in the 1890s any advantages Nova Scotia enjoyed in this market were seriously undermined.66 in addition, British preferences for Canadian cattle were removed in the 1890s and shipping and quarantine regulations were tightened.67 As early as 1892 Kings county Agricultural Society members recognized these changed circumstances: on the question of cattle it was acknowledged that in the present state of the market beef could not be produced ... the chief hopes of the farmer being in dairy products.68 Farmers who had once supplied cattle for export to British markets either shipped their livestock to the closer markets of Newfoundland and St. Pierre or placed more emphasis on commercial dairying. The shift towards commercial dairy production was perhaps the most significant of the changes that marked Nova Scotian agriculture during these years. Early in the nineteenth century milk, butter and cheese were produced principally for household consumption. Surpluses of butter entered trade but overall quantities were small. In the second half of the century, however, dairy products assumed a new importance in the provincial farm economy. Butter production tripled to 9.4 million lbs. between 1851 and 66 David H. Breen, The Canadian Prairie West and the Ranching Frontier. 1874-1924 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983), pp. 15-26; 66. 67 D. A. Lawr, "The Development of Ontario Farming, 1870-1914: Patterns of Growth and Change", Ontario History 64 (1972), pp. 249-50. 68 Minutes of the Kentville Agricultural Society, 7 November, 1892, MG6 A, Vol. 3, #3, PANS. 64 1901 and continued to increase until 1931 (12 million lbs.) despite declining herds.69 Butter and cheese exports rose by 80 per cent (from $110,000 in 1854 to $201,000 in 1900).70 The factory system of production was introduced in the 1870's and by 1891 there were 18 butter and cheese factories in operation (9 in Antigonish, 3 in Annapolis, 3 in Kings and one in each of Hants, Colchester and Pictou Counties).71 During the following three decades another twenty factories were established in Cape Breton Island and Hants, Halifax, Lunenburg, Digby and Yarmouth Counties.72 Demand for fluid milk also rose as the province's urban population increased. Increasingly Nova Scotia farming emphasized fluid milk and butter production; by 1931 their combined sales comprised 27 per cent of the estimated total farm income of the province and by this date cheese was no longer being made in any of the province's 30 factories.73 There were, of course, considerable local variations in these patterns of change. In Cape Breton Island, Pictou and Halifax milk cows outnumbered "other cattle" even in the 1850's (Figures 3-8 and 3-9). In several western counties (Kings, Annapolis and Digby), "other cattle" were more important than dairy beasts at least until the 1930's (Figure 3-10). 6 9 Census of Canada. 1851-1901. See Figure 3-7. 7 0 CO 221, Vol. 67, 1854, pp. 309-31, 338-39, PANS; Canada Sessional Papers. 1901, Vol. 5, pp. 655-76. 71 Census of Canada. 1891; James W. Robertson, First Annual Report of the Dairy  Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada for 1890 (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1891), pp. 54-55. The factory at Truro, Colchester County, was Canada's first condensed milk factory. J.A. Ruddick et. al, "Milk", in The Dairy Industry in Canada, ed., H. A. Innis (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1937), p. 75. 7 2 Reports of Nova Scotia's Dairy Commissioner, 1891-1895, MG1, Vol 2367, PANS; Annual Reports of the Secretary for Agriculture for Nova Scotia, for 1910, 1915, 1920 (Halifax: Commissioner of Public Works). 7 3 Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Handbook of Agricultural Statistics. 1927-1957 (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1963), pp. 41-43. The last cheese factory in Nova Scotia ceased operating in 1929. Dairy Division Report for 1931, in Annual Report of the Secretary for  Agriculture for 1930 (Halifax: Commissioner of Public Works, 1931), p. 221. Figure 3-8, Livestock in Cape Breton Island, 1851-1951 LIVESTOCK IN INVERNESS COUNTY,185M951 50000-m LIVESTOCK IN CAPE BRETON COUNTY,1851-1951 50000 a 40000 i c | 30000 > J 20000 10000 I 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN RICHMOND COUNTY,1851-1951 50000• | 40000 P 1 30000 > 20000 100001 1 ^$Y///Y///A J u 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN VICTORIA COUNTY, 1851-1951 50000 •£ 400001 2 30000 <u > 3 20000 H 10000 0 o u c o o. a U TJ TJ (3 HI Milk Cows 0 Other Cattle H Horses E2 Sheep • Swine M Poultry 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 64b Figure 3-9, Livestock in Halifax and Pictou Counties, 1851-1951 LIVESTOCK IN PICTOU COUNTY,1851-1951 50000 'B 20000 " 10000 -1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN HALIFAX COUNTY,1851-1951 O 50000 40000 -30000 -> 20000 1 1 0 0 0 0 - 5g m H Milk Cows 0 Olher Cattle H Horses 0 Sheep f i Swine H Poultry ZZ222 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 64c Figure 3-10, Livestock in Kings, Annapolis and Digby Counties, 1851-1951 LIVESTOCK IN KING'S COUNTY,1851-1951 50000 a 40000 "S | 30000 tn > J 20000 10000 0 50000' a 40000' | 30000 3 20000 10000 -//SS/. sssss '/////. 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN ANNAPOLIS COUNTY,1851-1951 11 • 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN DIGBY COUNTY,1851-1951 50000 a 40000 "S | 30000 2 20000 -10000 EU Milk Cows Other Cattle HI Horses 0 Sheep • Swine H Poultry 85555!. rani ii ii i i i 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 Where there were significant urban markets dairy production was more important. In remote areas more emphasis was placed on beef cattle which could be driven or shipped to distant markets. In between were Hants, Cumberland and Colchester Counties which had roughly similar numbers of milk cows and "other cattle" in the nineteenth century. After the turn of the century, however, dairying grew considerably in central Nova Scotia; by 1941 almost 60 per cent of all livestock units recorded in Hants and Colchester Counties were "milk cows" (Figure 3-11).74 Along the south coast of the province only Lunenburg County recorded similar livestock returns as those in northern Nova Scotia because of its fertile arumlin fields and its proximity to the Halifax market by sea (Figure 3-12). Both sheep and swine were fairly evenly distributed across the province in the mid-nineteenth century, although sheep were proportionately more important in Digby, Victoria and Richmond Counties.75 in the face of declining herds after 1871 sheep raising grew relatively more important in eastern Nova Scotia while swine raising became concentrated in central and western Nova Scotia. By 1951 nearly three-quarters of the province's sheep were located in Cape Breton Island and the counties of Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough while two-thirds of the swine were in the central and western counties of Cumberland, Colchester, Hants, Kings, Annapolis and Lunenburg.7^ Sheep, which could be easily grazed on the rough pasture land (and abandoned fields) of eastern Nova Scotia, continued to provide wool and meat for a steadily declining number of farmers while 74 Livestock returns were converted to "livestock units" to compare the relative importance of different livestock classes. Livestock units were calculated as follows: 1 livestock unit equals any one of the following: 1 milch cow, 1 head "other cattle", 2 calves, 1 horse, 7 sheep, 5 swine, or 50 poultry. Based on ratios contained in Andrew H. Clark Papers, MG1, Vol. 1513, File H, PANS. For details on livestock trends in other counties see Appendix 1. 7 5 Andrew H. Clark, "The Sheep, Swine Ratio as a Guide to a Century's Change in the Livestock Geography of Nova Scotia", Economic Geography 38, 1 (1962), p. 44. 7 6 The seven eastern counties referred to recorded just under 70,000 of Nova Scotia's 95,000 sheep at the 1951 census. The six central and western counties contained 32,000 of Nova Scotia's 48,000 swine. Census of Canada. 1951. 65a f fe 1 " 6 !^ 1 ' L i v e s t o c k i n Hants, Cumberland and Colchester Counties, LIVESTOCK IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY,1851-1951 50000 40000 30000 H u © > 20000 10000 0 W» - r y////. HI HI sss mm 11 l l 1 •xWx-•%xx; • 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN HANTS COUNTY, 1851-1951 50000 40000 -3 30000" u o 10000 0 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 LIVESTOCK IN COLCHESTER COUNTY,1851-1951 'E 8 50000-40000-30000" 20000" 10000 0 i l l 8 8 m UJ Milk Cows Other CatUe H Horses 0 Sheep Q Swine H Poultry 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 Figure 3-12, Livestock in Queens, Shelburne, Lunenburg and Guysborough Counties, 1851-1951 LIVESTOCK IN QUEENS COUNTY,1851-1951 LIVESTOCK IN SHELBURNE COUNTY,1851-1951 50000 40000 a 5 30000-| u. u o t 20000-loooo i o CO .-a CO o Z « AL. 1,1 1,1 1,1 I, 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 cr LIVESTOCK IN LUNENBURG COUNTY,1851-1951 LIVESTOCK IN GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY,1851-1951 500001 1 50000 • '5 40000 30000 i 20000 10000 0 m 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 YSSSJ. w. \ii 1 1881 1891 1£M H Milk Cows 0 Other Cattle B Horses E3 Sheep CD Swine H Poultry 1851 1861 1871 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 66 swine, which largely subsisted on by-products of the dairy industry and other farm scraps, gradually became concentrated in the emerging dairy belt. Poultry, recorded for the first time at the 1891 census, increased considerably in every county between 1901 and 1941. Still, poultry levels remained relatively insignificant in most counties. Only in Cape Breton and Halifax Counties with their growing urban markets, in King's County in the heart of the fruit belt and in Lunenburg County, 40 miles or so south of Halifax, did poultry comprise more than 10 per cent of the total livestock units enumerated in 1941. Stimulated by the establishment of a co-operative marketing agency based in Halifax (the Maritime Egg and Poultry Exchange) commercial broiler and egg production expanded rapidly during the 1940's.77 Between 1941 and 1947 dressed poultry marketed through provincial cooperatives increased sixfold, from 224,000 lbs. to 1,233,000 lbs. and the number of cases of eggs graded and marketed in the same manner rose from 75,000 to 122,000 between 1945 and 1950.78 For the most part these products were intended for the domestic market, but a large group of Annapolis Valley farmers, who made the transition to commercial poultry raising when the British market for fruit disappered during the Second World War, made significant efforts to sell their eggs in the Montreal market and abroad. By 1951, when chickens and hens made up 30 per cent of all the livestock enumerated in Kings County, one-quarter of Nova Scotia's graded eggs were exported.79 All in all, Kings and Annapolis Counties in western Nova Scotia, Hants, Colchester and Cumberland in the central part of the province, and Pictou, Antigonish and Inverness in the east were the most important agricultural counties of Nova Scotia. Each 7 7 Poultry Division Report, Report of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture for 1933 (Halifax: Minister of Public Works and Mines, 1934), pp. 75-78. 7 8 Marketing Services Report, Report of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and  Marketing for 1951 (Halifax: Kings Printer, 1951), pp. 156-57. 7 9 Ibid. consistently had much larger acreages devoted to hay, oats, "other grains" and potatoes during the entire century under investigation than any of the remaining ten counties of the province (see Appendix 1). In general crop trends show that agriculture was far less significant along the southern and eastern shores (especially Shelburne, Queens, Digby and Yarmouth Counties) and that the overall decline in agricultural land after 1891 was far less pronounced in Annapolis, Kings, Hants, Colchester and Cumberland Counties. Although land use data clearly indicate that mixed farming prevailed, with hay and oats comprising the largest amount of "improved land" in every county, regional differences in land use can be discerned. While apple production was clearly concentrated in King's and Annapolis Counties between 1901 and 1941 there was relatively more land devoted to oats and "other grains" in Pictou, Colchester and Cumberland Counties (Figures 3-13 and 3-14). Further east, in Antigonish County and the counties of Cape Breton Island, where improved land was declining at a faster rate than in central and western Nova Scotia, land was increasingly devoted to hay as the twentieth century wore on (Figure 3-15).80 These trends and patterns suggest that as agricultural activity declined after 1891 more specialized types of farming (particularly dairying and fruit growing) became concentrated in a 'core area' of central and western Nova Scotia. The counties of Kings, Hants, Cumberland, Colchester, and Pictou, for example, contained 44 percent of the province's improved land in 1891; by 1941 this percentage had increased to nearly 60 percent.81 Changes in the efficiency of ocean and inland transport during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought products from distant agricultural regions into competition with Nova Scotian farm products in domestic and external markets and 8 0 Hay is almost always the last crop sown in a field before land abandonment takes place. The last stages of field abandonment involve cutting hay for several seasons, then turning the field into pasture for sheep or cattle before it falls into disuse. For more details see Clark, "The Sheep/Swine Ratio", p. 48. 81 These were the only five counties which recorded a decline in improved acreage less than the provincial average of 59 percent between 1891 and 1941. 67a Figure 3-13, Principal Crops in Kings and Annapolis Counties, 1851-1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN KINGS COUNTY,1851-1951 100000 -l 1 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN ANNAPOLIS COUNTY,1851-1951 80000 60000-< 40000 20000" 72Z W/A BBSS i ,i i. i r 111 i | B T 11111 r. i r 11 r •,• 11111  ly 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 U Hay E3 Oats H Other Grains 0 Potatoes • Other Roots M Apples/Fruit 67b Figure 3-14, Principal Crops in Pictou, Colchester and Cumberland Counties, 1851-1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN COLCHESTER COUNTY, 1851-1951 80000 60000 40000 20000' mm o -1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN PICTOU COUNTY, 1851-1951 100000 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY,1851-1951 100000 n r 80000 -60000-40000 -20000 wm 1 'i r 1 'r V r 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 H Hay 0 Oats H OtherGrains E Potatoes • Other-Vegetables H Apples/Fruit 67c Figure 3-15, Principal Crops in Antigonish and Inverness Counties, 1851-1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN ANTIGONISH COUNTY,1851-1951 80000-60000i < 40000• 20000 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 PRINCIPAL CROPS IN INVERNESS COUNTY,1851-1951 80000 -i 60000H ^ 40000' 20000 ///// H Hay @ Oats 11 OtherGrains Potatoes • OtherVegetables ^ Apples/Fruit 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 6 8 farms in marginal settings were either abandoned or operated on a part-time basis.82 Increasingly, as farmland abandonment took place, agriculture became concentrated in the best agricultural areas, farming grew more capital-intensive than labour-intensive, and crop yields (on a per acre basis) rose considerably. By 1951 commercial farming was concentrated in the Annapolis, Cornwallis, and Stewiacke River Valleys in Annapolis, Kings and Colchester Counties, in the River Phillip Valley and along the edges of the marshes of Cumberland and Hants Counties, and in the immediate proximity of Nova Scotia's urban centres. Farms were far more specialized and technologically advanced than a century earlier, far fewer people were directly employed in agriculture, and more rural residents earned their living in nearby towns and service centres. °^ By the 1920's butter from as far away as New Zealand and apples from British Columbia had appeared in both local and foreign markets. C. R. Fay, "Problems of the Maritime Provinces," Dalhousie Review 4, 4 (1925): 446. 69 Chapter 4. Nova Scotian Agriculture in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Contrasts — between the "rude attempts of the half lumberer - half farmer" and "the productive results of more scientific husbandry" — marked agriculture in every county of mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia. 1 In long-settled, well-established farming districts (such as the Minas and Annapolis areas) observers remarked upon, "the old and settled appearance of the countryside" and the "good sized farms with suites of handsome buildings" which dotted the countryside.2 William Eagar's "View from Retreat Cottage" (Figure 4-1) with its "patches of timber for ornament and use,"3 its smiling cottages that are surrounded by waving cornfields"^ and its "plains of fertility with most luxurient meadows, many of them reclaimed from the low marshlands",5 effectively captures the essence of these landscapes. More recently settled areas, however, such as some of the upland portions of Colchester, Cumberland, Pictou and Sydney Counties displayed a more rugged appearance with much evidence of land clearing (Figure 4-2). Here crops of oats and potatoes grew amid blackened stumps and difficult-to-remove boulders, log cabins could still be seen and board fences had only recently begun to replace the more rudimentary "snake fences". In such backland districts latecomers laboured on patches of loam that lay atop hard glacial till that, as the Agricultural Society Representative for St. 1 Andrew L. Spedon, Rambles Among the Bluenoses or Reminiscences of a Tour through  New Brunswick and Nova Scotia During the Summer of 1862 (Montreal: John Lovell, 1863), p. 139. 2 D. C. Harvey, "A Friendly Scot Looks at Nova Scotia in 1853", Collections of the Nova  Scotia Historical Society 27 (1947), p. 95. 3 Ibid. 4 Sir John Harvey, "Report on Nova Scotia", in Secretary of State Report for 1847: The  Past and Present State of Her Majesty's Colonial Possessions (London: W. Clowes and Sons, 1848), p. 3. 5 Sleigh, B. W. A. Pine Forests and Hackmatak Clearings or Travel. Life and Adventure  in the British North American Provinces (London: R. Bentley, 1853) p. 28. Figure 4-2, Lochaber Lake, Sydney County, Nova S c o t i a , C i r c a 1830 7 0 Marys' complained in 1852, "holds the water and causes a coldness in the soil", thereby yielding "scanty and poor crops of hay and roots".6" These nineteenth century sketches illustrate extreme cases. With 80 acres of marshland, "all in a high state of cultivation" and 330 acres of upland (nearly one-third of which was improved) Retreat Cottage was one of the largest farms in Atlantic Canada.7 Its commodious two-storey "homestead" complete with root cellars capable of storing up to six thousand bushels of potatoes and a well of water in the cellar, along with a large bam and several outbuildings (including an ice house, dairy, granary and "piggery") made it, "a most desirable residence for a gentleman fond of agriculture".8 By contrast, farms in more recently settled areas such as the rugged Cobequid Hills and the Pictou-Antigonish Uplands were much more modest. Shoemaker Abiel Brown who had moved from the town of Pictou to Mount Thom with his wife Nancy in 1840, for example, had just six acres cleared in 1851 which produced small amounts of hay, oats, turnips, potatoes, barley and buckwheat. His estimated net worth was only £45.0.0. The Brown family, which included seven young children, were among Mount Thorn's poor.9 Yet these examples define the diversity of mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotian agriculture. Agricultural landscapes differed considerably across the province, depending upon such factors as soil quality, strength of local markets and the timing of initial settlement. This chapter further explores this diversity and offers new insight into the type and scale of agriculture practised in the mid-nineteenth century by identifying the broad patterns of agricultural settlement in Nova Scotia, by briefly examining crop and livestock 6 St. Mary's Agricultural Society Report for 1852, RG8, Vol. 15, # 175, PANS. 7 The Nova Scotian (Halifax) 25 July, 1832. 8 Ibid. 9 Graeme Wynn, "This Dark Vale of Sorrow", Nova Scotia Historical Review 6, 2 (1986): 55-62. 7 1 patterns at the census subdistrict scale, and by formulating a classification of farm types within the main agricultural area of the colony. A case study of one representative agricultural community in Pictou County illustrates the considerable socio-economic differentiation that existed in virtually every census subdistrict in mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia. Sample farms from across the farming zone are then compared, using diaries and available commercial records, and the seasonal round of activities on a typical mid-nineteenth century farm is described. Finally, the domestic and external markets for Nova-Scotian farm products are assessed. Nova Scotia's Settlement Zones The broad patterns of agricultural settlement in 1850 are clear. Three settlement regions can be identified: 1. a farming zone occupied principally by farmers, 2. a fishing zone characterized by small scale subsistence agriculture and, 3. a lumbering zone where a more mixed agro-forestry economy prevailed (Figure 4-3). 1° In general mixed farming prevailed throughout all three rural zones. Hay, potatoes, oats and mixed grains were the principal crops grown, though turnips, "other vegetables", fruit (principally apples) and even flax were also produced. Livestock products included: butter, cheese, milk, beef, pork, mutton, eggs, leather, wool and tallow. Although there was considerable variation in both the scale and mix of farm output across these rural zones, land use generally reflected the importance of livestock in the mixed farm economy. 1° Several sources were useful in identifying the three schematic agricultural zones in Figure 1, including occupations reported in the 1851 census and later regionalizations of farming zones in Nova Scotia. See I. S. McArthur and T. Coke, Types of Farming in  Canada (Ottawa: Canada Department of Agriculture Publication 653, Farmer's Bulletin #77, 1939), pp. 24-25; S. C. Hudson, R. A. Stutt, and W. Von Vleit, Types of Farming  in Canada (Ottawa: Canada Department of Agricultue Publication 825, Farmer's Bulletin #157, 1949), pp. 40-59; 64-66. 71a 72 Between two-thirds and three-quarters of every clearing, regardless of size, was devoted to a combination of hay, oats, grasses (timothy, clover) and pasture. The mix of crops grown on the remaining acreage and the type and number of livestock raised were more variable. The Fishing Zone The fishing zone circumscribed almost the entire coast of the province, although it extended no more than two or three miles inland. Here difficult physical circumstances and the labour-intensive character of the fishery generally limited clearings to fewer than ten acres per family. Settlements along the "eastern shore" between Halifax and Canso, and on the south coast of Cape Breton Island (between Arichat and Louisbourg) averaged only three and one-half acres of improved land per family. Small garden patches and meadows, fertilized with offal and seaweed, were cultivated in an attempt to meet the subsistence requirements of residents. Most of the cultivated land was used to produce hay for the two or three cattle that supplied milk and meat. Gardens and small fields produced, on average, 11 bushels of potatoes, 3 bushels of oats and small amounts of wheat, barley, rye, "other vegetables" and fruit. Collectively these settlements, including Jeddore, Sheet Harbour, Ecum Secum and Fisherman's Harbour failed to produce enough food to feed their populations. Much the same was true along the southeastern edge of Cape Breton Island (between Arichat and Louisbourg) and along the "south shore" that ran southwest from Halifax, except in Lunenburg where larger acreages were cultivated and small surpluses were marketed in Halifax. 11 Along this rocky Atlantic littoral the "roughness of the soil" 11 The Secretary of the Richmond Agricultural Society reported in 1842 that, "the fishing and coasting populations, particularly the former, afford at all times a ready market for more than our farmers can afford so that a comparatively large amount of flour, pork etc. is annually imported by our merchants." Richmond Agricultural Society Report for 1842, RG8, Vol. 17, # 25, PANS. 7 3 and the "divided attention" which those within reach of the sea gave both fishing and farming were major obstacles to agricultural expansion. * 2 In the northern portion of this zone around the Bay of Fundy and along the Northumberland shore families devoted more time to agricultural pursuits than did their counterparts on the eastern and southern shores. Their clearings were significantly larger on average and, in general, farms were more productive. In Digby, Clare and Salmon River (Digby County), for example, the average family had 10 acres of improved land. This provided hay and fodder for 5 cattle and permitted larger potato and vegetable gardens. Thin, rocky soils were a challenge in this area too, but the Fundy climate was far more conducive to successful cultivation than that on the Atlantic face of the colony. With an annual average of 170 frost free days, this area had the longest growing season in the province.13 On the "Northumberland Shore", between Pugwash and Harve Boucher, part-time farmers were yet more productive than those around the Bay of Fundy. In Tatamagouche (Colchester), Little Harbour (Pictou) and Havre Boucher (Sydney), for example, where fishermen formed the largest component of the population, families averaged 12 improved acres. Little more hay was produced here than around the Bay of Fundy because farms in this region also averaged only 5 cattle per family. But far more land was devoted to oats, wheat and other grains. Tatamagouche, Little Harbour and Harve Boucher averaged 73, 76 and 45 bushels of oats, wheat and other grains (buckwheat, barley and com) combined respectively. Still, as elsewhere in the fishing zone, the population along this shore 1 2 Sable River Agricultural Society Report for 1845, RG8, Vol. 9, #29, PANS; for a smilar assessment see Guysborough Agricultural Society Report for 1859, RG8, Vol. 11, #203, PANS. 1 3 Province of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Resource Atlas (Halifax: Department of Development, 1986), p. 25. 74 regarded agriculture as a secondary pursuit, and it as not at all uncommon, "to see a field of grain, in process of reaping, deserted in half an hour on a shoal of mackerel appearing. 14 The Lumbering Zone The most extensive zone was devoted principally to lumbering. It spanned virtually the entire length of the province, interrupted only by patches of burnt land or barrens where the granites and schists of the rocky southern upland reached the surface. Yet, only a tiny fraction of this zone was settled and cleared for agriculture. For the most part, farm clearings here were small; they ranged from less then ten acres throughout interior Halifax and Guysborough Counties to thirty acres or more in parts of backland Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Queens and Lunenburg Counties. The smallest agricultural clearings were in the southeastern part of this zone. Holdings which averaged between 5 and 15 acres per family in interior Halifax (Upper Musquodoboit), Guysborough (Sherbrooke, Country Harbour, Manchester) and Richmond (Grand River, Hay Cove) Counties attempted to supply the fodder demands of 3 or 4 cattle (often including a team of oxen) and to supplement provisions purchases with potatoes and vegetables. In the Sherbrooke census subdistrict, for example, families averaged only 13 bushels of oats, 5 tons of hay and 21 bushels of potatoes. Lumbering was clearly far more important here than agriculture. To the north and west clearings were larger. Improved land per family ranged from 20 to 30 acres in Mount Thom, Blue Mountain and St. Mary's in Pictou County, in Earltown and New Annan in Colchester, and in Carleton in Yarmouth County. Generally more land was devoted to the production of potatoes and oats in these areas (as along the Northumberland Shore) and herds of cattle were larger, averaging between 6 and 9 head per family. Wheat cultivation varied more considerably; holdings in Mount Thom and New 14 J. Outram, Nova Scotia. Its Condition and Resources in a Series of Six Letters (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1850), p. 20. 7 5 Annan, for example, averaged 18 and 19 bushels of wheat (respectively) whereas in Blue Mountain, Earltown and Carleton the averages were 4, 5 and less than 1 bushel per family (respectively). Only in northern Queens and Lunenburg Counties, in southern Annapolis County, and in a few areas of Halifax, Cumberland and Pictou did settlements in this zone average more than 30 acres improved per family. Census subdistricts Parrsboro (Cumberland), Middle Musquodoboit (Halifax) and Brookfield (Queens) recorded between 31 and 33 improved acres per family which produced hay and oats for 6, 8 and 8 cattle respectively. New Lairg (Pictou) and Caledonia (Queens) had some of the largest farming operations within the lumbering zone with 41 and 43 acres improved per family. Potato and oat production together in each of these districts was, on average, more than double that of the most productive settlements in the fishing zone. Wheat yields were generally negligible except in Pictou County where families averaged between 10 and 20 bushels. Some of these farms closely resembled those in the farming zone, but lumbering dictated the economic well-being of these inland settlements. The Farming Zone The farming zone stretched across the northern half of the province through Kings, Hants and Colchester to Antigonish County, with branches extending into Cumberland County and parts of Cape Breton Island. Here extensive tracts of marshland, intervale and well drained upland soils had been turned into productive farms. 15 Canard and Kentville (Kings), Upper and Lower Stewiacke (Colchester), Middle River (Pictou), I 5 The term "intervale" refers to the narrow strips of alluvial soils which are found along the banks of rivers above tidewater. Overflowed periodically by freshets which carry down sediment from higher elevations, level intervale land is generally more fertile and easy-to-work than surrounding upland. Its principal disadvantage is that fields on intervale land are more susceptible to early frosts than upland fields. See Sir John Harvey, "Report on Nova Scotia", p. 3 and J. F. W. Johnston, Notes on North America: Agricultural.  Economical and Social Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1851), pp. 22-23. Dorchester/Antigonish (Sydney-later Antigonish) and Lake Ainslie West and Margaree (Inverness) formed the agricultural core of the province. Heavily populated and with between forty and sixty-five acres improved on a per family basis, they were some of Nova Scotia's most prosperous farming districts (Figure 4-4). 16 Elsewhere in the northern zone small local markets for agricultural produce had also promoted extensive agricultural clearing. So in River Phillip, Cumberland County, where the largest concentration of sawmills and timber camps in the province had stimulated farming, more than 200 farms had an average of seventy-five improved acres each. And near Uniacke and Rawdon, Hants County, a smaller number of farms developed on good soils, and only thirty-five miles or so from the Halifax market, averaged more than 60 acres each. The only notable exceptions to this general north-south division of full-time/part-time agriculture were the small commercial farming districts encircling Yarmouth and Halifax. Yarmouth, the third largest town in the province in 1851 with approximately 2,500 residents and a sizeable international fleet provided a significant local market for fresh food. 17 In addition, the community of merchants, schooner captains, and others associated with the fish, timber and shipbuilding trades provided extensive trading connections all along the eastern seaboard. We know that at least a few farmers took advantage of these. By the mid-1850s cattle, potatoes, butter, eggs and firewood "topped up" cargoes of fish and timber enroute to Boston and nearby ports and pedlars regularly 16 Figure 4-4 is based on the Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. Although the census does not provide a clear definition of the term "improved land", an examination of production figures reveals that this term refers not only to cropland and land under tame grasses but also to other land used for pasture. This is distinct from unimproved woodland which seems to be consistent with the census definitions used in 1871, 1881 and 1891. See M. C. Urquhart and K. A. H. Buckley, Historical Statistics of  Canada (Toronto: MacMillan Company of Canada, 1965), p. 343. 17 David Alexander and Gerry Panting, "The Mercantile Fleet and its Owners: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, 1840-1889", Acadiensis 7, 2 (1978), pp. 3-28. 77 travelled through Yarmouth's small farming hinterland organizing this trade. 18 Halifax -- a city of 20,000 people with a much larger mercantile community than Yarmouth as well as a large army and navy presence ~ stimulated pockets of intensive agriculture at the north end of the Halifax peninsula, along the Sackville River and between Dartmouth and Porter's lake. But stony soils, a cool, damp climate and the attraction of urban employment in the city limited the development of commercial agriculture in these areas. Most of the food consumed in Halifax came from the northern farming zone and beyond the colony's borders. Although mixed farming prevailed across the farming zone several agricultural subregions which emphasized different combinations of crops and livestock can be identified. In the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, where families of Anglo-American origins had cultivated former Acadian lands for almost a century, well-cultivated farms, like "Retreat Farm", emphasized an array of commercial products, the most important of which was potatoes. The "comfortable, white farmhouses" which stretched along the course of the river, 19 the potato fields and orchards, and "the fat herds of fine cattle that cover the lowlands, and dwindle in the perspective till they look like specs on the landscape", reminded visitors to this area of the south of England.2^ i n central Nova Scotia, in the counties of Hants and Colchester, families of Scotch-Irish and Anglo-American ancestry produced fewer potatoes and vegetables than those in the Annapolis valley, but placed a greater emphasis on the production of butter and salt meat. Here large surpluses of salt 1 8 Yarmouth Agricultural Society Report for 1856, RG8, Vol. 14, #109, PANS. The West Indies were also a significant market for some of the agricultural produce raised in the hinterland of Yarmouth. In 1844 the Yarmouth Agricultural Society reported that agricultural produce shipped to the British and Foreign West Indies, British North America and Gibraltor was estimated to be worth £1562.12.6 (or roughly $7,600 Halifax currency). RG8, Vol. 9, #21, PANS. 19 Gesner, The Industrial Resources of Nova Scotia, p, 34. 20 Moorsom, Letters From Nova Scotia, pp. 214, 220. 7 8 pork, beef and butter, and smaller amounts of vegetables and hay, were hauled to Truro and Halifax in wagons, where they were sold locally and organized for export. To the north, in a string of counties oriented toward the Northumberland Strait -- Cumberland, Pictou, north Colchester, Sydney and Inverness — mixed farms also emphasized livestock, and especially the production of butter, cheese and wool, but the distinguishing feature of a large proportion of the farms in this area was that they produced more wheat, oats and barley than farms anywhere else in the farming zone. More recently settled than the farming districts of central and western Nova Scotia, and populated (for the most part) by people of Highland Scottish backgrounds, a large portion of this mixed farming zone can be described as the colony's grain belt, as Andrew Spedon aptly observed when he visited New Glasgow, Pictou County, in 1862, The surrounding country is well cultivated, and presents an undulating and romantic appearance. On the whole it has a greater resemblance to Canada West than any other part of Nova Scotia I have seen.21 In intervale and upland farming districts of Richmond and Cape Breton Counties at the southeastern end of the farming zone, farms were generally smaller and less productive than elsewhere in the farming zone. Such surpluses as were produced were either marketed in the mining villages on the Sydney coalfield or they were exported from Sydney and Bras D'Or lake ports. The Potato Belt Protected from the winds and fogs of the Atlantic and the Bay of Fundy by North and South mountains, the Annapolis-Cornwallis valley was one of the most favourable areas for agriculture in Nova Scotia. The 1,500 families who operated farms in this region in 1851 kept roughly the same number of livestock as were kept on farms elewhere in the farming zone (9 cattle and 8 sheep), and produced a similar amount of hay (11 tons). What 21 Spedon, Rambles Among the Bluenoses or Reminiscences of a Tour through New  Brunswick and Nova Scotia During the Summer of 1862, p. 196. was distinctive about the majority of these farms was the proportion of land devoted to potato production. Although farms in this region averaged 185 bushels of potatoes (which would have necessitated about 1 and 3/4 acres to produce), districts at the western end of the valley devoted several acres to potatoes and recorded production levels that exceeded 300 bushels per family, four times the estimated consumption requirements of a family of four (Figure 4-5).2 2 In one district — Canard, Kings County — 155 families averaged almost 600 bushels of potatoes and 35 bushels of turnips and market garden vegetables, almost 20 times the potato production levels recorded in eastern Nova Scotia and 5 times the amount of other vegetables grown.23 While fruit production had been a feature of this region since the seventeenth century, few farms specialized in the production of apples and soft fruit. Many farms contained several apple trees, and perhaps a plum and cherry tree; but few orchards exceeded half an acre in size. Only the largest farms of the district — those with more than 75 acres of improved land ~ had orchards that ranged between 3 and 6 acres in size.24 Surpluses of potatoes and vegetables, along with smaller amounts of fruit, butter, livestock and other farm products, were shipped from county ports to New Brunswick and New England. The account books of Jonathan and Leander Rand, farmers of Canning, Kings County, illustrate the scale of the potato and vegetable trade from the valley in the 2 2 Mid-nineteenth century consumption estimates suggest that a family of four would consume approximately 75 bushels of potatoes annually. Rusty Bittermann, Robert MacKinnon and Graeme Wynn, "Of Inequality and Interdependence in the Nova Scotian Countryside, 1850-1870", Paper Presented at the Atlantic Canada Studies Conference, University of Maine, at Orono, May, 1990, Appendix 2. 2 3 The farming districts of Sydney, Inverness and Cape Breton counties, for example, averaged less than 30 bushels of potatoes per family and 7 bushels of turnips and other vegetables. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 2 4 Leander Rand, of Canning, Kings county, whose farm included 27 acres of improved marshland and 50 acres of "other improved land" had 5 acres devoted to apple trees. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, Manuscript Schedules, District 1, Abstract 1, line 16, PANS; Jonathan and Leander Rand Accounts, MG3, Vol. 115, PANS. 79a Figure 4-5, Potato Production in the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, 1851 80 mid-nineteenth century. Each fall, the Rand brothers purchased potatoes, other vegetables and smaller amounts of other farm products from neighbouring farmers, and organized them for shipment to New England on chartered schooners. This enabled them to dispose of the 1,200 bushels of potatoes that their farms collectively produced annually, and to earn additional income from the surpluses produced on neighbouring farms by acting as middlemen. In 1856 the Rands financed three voyages to Gloucester, Massachussets, where they sold several thousand bushels of potatoes, several hundred bushels of turnips and onions and a small amount of butter, obtained from 50 neighbouring farms. In addition to the £50 each ($243.50 Halifax currency) that they obtained for the produce of their farms, the Rands earned an additional £75 in profit after all accounts with Gloucester merchants were settled.25 Owing to the limited local markets in Nova Scotia for potatoes, the Rands purchased valley potatoes at a reasonable price immediately following the harvest in October. The price received for potatoes in Massachussetts (55 cents per bushel) was generally 10 cents per bushel higher than what the Rands paid for them in Nova Scotia.26 Evidence suggests that this type of informal marketing of farm products also prevailed in other Annapolis valley districts. Records of at least one other farm family in East Clarence, Annapolis County, describe a similar type and scale of agricultural trade with New England merchants.27 25 Jonathan and Leander Rand Accounts, MG3, Vol. 115, PANS. 26 The first cargo of 2,600 bushels of potatoes collected from nearby farmers during the third week of October, 1856, for example, cost the Rands debits totalling £247 ($1,202 Halifax currency, or an average of 46 £ per bushel). These potatoes were sold directly to a Gloucester merchant for £300 ( $1,461 Halifax currency, or 56 0 per bushel) which was received at the beginning of November. The Rands earned an additional £47.10.0 ($231 Halifax currency) from the 415 bushels of potatoes produced on their farms which they also sold to the same merchant. Jonathan and Leander Rand Accounts, 17 October; 22 October; 9 December, 1856; MG3, Vol. 115, PANS. 27 Elliott Family Papers, 1838-61, MG1, Vol. 1332, PANS. 8 1 Central Nova Scotia Farms in the central districts of Hants and Colchester Counties produced fewer potatoes, vegetables and fruit than those in the Annapolis-Cornwallis valley, and slightly more hay, oats and wheat (Table 4-1). Although herd sizes were similar to those in the valley, families produced more butter, on average, reflecting the larger number of milk cows in this portion of the farming zone than to the west.28 i n general, a slightly wider range of farm products entered local and external markets from this region than was the case in the Annapolis-Cornwallis valley. A handful of farmers in the vicinity of Truro delivered fresh milk on a daily basis to urban customers in the "shire town"; a larger number sold surpluses of meat, butter, grain and vegetables to Truro merchants who organized them for export. Farmers distant from the Truro market regularly drove livestock and hauled other products in wagons overland to Halifax. Thus, the Secretary of the Truro Agricultural Society reported in 1845 that farmers in the district had shipped 100 cattle, 400 swine and 200 carcasses of mutton from wharves on Cobequid Bay to New Brunswick and the United States in that year, along with 357 firkins of butter (20,000 lbs.), 2,000 lbs. of cheese, 500 bushels of oats and 300 yards of homespun.29 Three years later a travel census recorded the movement of 2,000 tons of hay between Onslow and Truro.30 And agricultural societies in districts accessible to Halifax regularly reported shipments of "beef, pork, mutton, veal, butter, oats and hay chiefly to the Halifax market".31 2 8 The 4,000 families in the farming districts of these counties averaged 140 lbs. of butter, 40 per cent more than was churned on Annapolis-Cornwallis valley farms, and about one-fifth more than the estimated consumption requirements of an average mid-nineteenth century family. Bittermann, MacKinnon and Wynn, "Of Inequality and Interdependence in the Nova Scotian Countryside, 1850-1870", Appendix 2. 2 9 Truro Agricultural Society Report for 1845, RG8, Vol. 13, # 114, PANS. 3 0 J.H.A.N.S. 1849, Appendix 30, p. 283. 3 1 Quote is from the East Hants Agricultural Society Report for 1845, RG8, Vol. 9, # 29, PANS. For other examples see Newport Agricultural Society Report for 1844, RG8, Vol. 81a Table 4-1, Average Production Per Family in Nova Scotia's Farming Zone, Principal Crops and Livestock, 1851 The Potato Central The Mixed South and Eastern Belt Nova Scotia Farming Belt Cape Breton Hay (tons) 11 13 10 7 Potatoes (bushels) 185 69 40 33 Turnips (bushels) 23 18 14 8 Oats (bushels) 35 41 68 60 Wheat/Buckwheat (bushels' 12 26 30 5 Barley (bushels) 5 3 9 6 Rye (bushels) 10 1 1 0 Other Grains* (bushels) 14 2 1 0 Apples (bushels) n/a n/a n/a n/a Cattle (number) 9 8 8 8 Sheep (number) 8 9 10 10 Swine (number) 2 2 2 1 Poultry (number) n/a n/a n/a n/a Corn, peas and beans Source: Census of Nova Scotia, 1851. 82 The Grain Belt To the north and east, in a large, variagated region of intervale and upland farms, from Cumberland County in the west to Inverness County in the east,' mixed farming also prevailed. Yet a large proportion of the several thousand farms in this zone placed a stronger emphasis on grain production than farms elsewhere in the farming zone. Farms in this subregion averaged almost twice as much grain as the average for the colony, and between 40 and 50 per cent more grain than the other subregions of the farming zone (Table 4-1). But perhaps the most distinctive feature of this zone was the emphasis farm families placed on wheat production. In general, Nova Scotia's cool, damp, climate was not very conducive to wheat cultivation; the ripening of wheat in Nova Scotia was difficult even during ideal summer conditions. Yet, warm autumn temperatures in a large portion of this area, owing to the modifying influences of the Northumberland Strait, in combination with the protection from Atlantic storms and fogs afforded by the rocky, "southern upland", provided families the opportunity to cultivate wheat. Several districts, including Amherst and Wallace in Cumberland County, and Roger's Hill and Hardwood Hill in Pictou County, averaged between 20 and 30 bushels of wheat per family, more than double the average for the colony (9 bushels). This was enough wheat to supply the annual flour requirements of a family of four or five persons. 32 The most productive wheat producing districts in the colony were Arisaig (Sydney — later Antigonish), Merigomish (Pictou) and the Gulf Shore (Pictou), each of which recorded between 40 and 65 bushels of wheat per family at the 1851 census. These production levels were several times greater than those 9, #2.1, PANS; Windsdor Agricultural Society Report for 1852, RG8, Vol. 18, # 266, PANS; and Stewiacke Agricultural Society Report for 1850, RG8, Vol. 9, # 219, PANS. 32 It took approximately six bushels of wheat to produce one barrel of flour, and most 4 or 5 person families consumed 3 or 4 barrels of flour per year. E. Sutherland to Titus Smith, Secretary of the Central Board of Agriculture, 21 January, 1845, RG8, Vol. 9, #4, PANS; J. D. B. Fraser (Pictou Druggist) Accounts, 1852, MG1, Vol. 3, # 321, PANS. 83 recorded elsewhere in the farming zone. Given typical yields, farms in these areas devoted between 3 and 5 acres to wheat.33 The cultivation of oats and barley was more widespread across the farming zone than wheat cultivation, but the production of these crops was also concentrated in the central portion of Nova Scotia's grain belt. Two hundred and fifty farm families in Merigomish, and another 135 along Pictou's Gulf Shore (census subdistricts 19 and 21), averaged more than 50 bushels of barley and 80 bushels of oats, 9 times the colonial average for barley, and almost double the average for oats.34 These levels of oat and barley production reflect both the importance of livestock in the mixed farming economy, and the location of several breweries at Pictou, which created a small local market for surplus barley.3^ In addition to being a nutritious fodder grain, oats could be rolled and ground into meal, and used for the making of cakes, breads, and, that nineteenth century staple, porridge. Families in these districts generally devoted between 8 and 10 acres to these crops. According to the Secretary of the Hopewell Agricultural Society a "typical" Pictou County farm in the mid-nineteenth century consisted of 7 acres in oats, 2 acres in 3 3 In the districts within 10 or 15 miles of the Northumberland Strait, wheat fields yielded an average of about 15 bushels per acre. Farms in districts less protected from the fogs and storms of the Fundy Bay and the Atlantic, such as those on the Parrsboro shore of Cumberland county, yielded between 10 and 12 bushels of wheat per acre. Compare the crop yields described in Pictou's Maxwellton (Merigomish) Agricultural Society Report for 1850, RG8, Vol. 9, # 219, PANS, with those described in south Cumberland's Parrsboro Agricultural Society Report for 1850, RG8, Vol. 9, #219, PANS. 3 4 The largest levels of oat production in Nova Scotia in the mid-nineteenth century were recorded in Pictou and Antigonish counties. Green Hill (Pictou), Roger's Hill (Pictou) and South River (Sydney) averaged 154,122 and 122 bushels of oats per family respectively. The colonial average was 33 bushels of oats per family and 43 bushels of oats per farm. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 3 ^ Pictou was the only town outside of Halifax where the factory production of beer and liquor took place in the mid-nineteenth century. The six small establishments in operation in Pictou during that year produced 8,000 gallons of beer and 1,300 gallons of liquor. Census of Nova Scotia, 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS. 84 wheat and 2 acres in barley and peas.36 Remaining farmland was estimated to include a dozen acres in hay, 1/2 an acre in potatoes, a dozen acres in cleared pasture and 65 or so acres of woodland. Livestock, meat, and butter were also important commercial products in this subregion. Although families in the grain belt averaged 8 catde, 10 sheep and 2 swine, and churned an average of 175 lbs of butter, several districts recorded herd sizes and butter production levels well above these averages. In Northeast Margaree, at the eastern end of this zone, for example, 255 families averaged a dozen cattle, the same number of sheep and 3 swine, and churned an average of 225 lbs. of butter, 90 per cent more than estimated consumption requirements. 37 in general, butter and cattle production levels were highest at the eastern and western ends of this zone in districts distant from the developing urban markets of Pictou, New Glasgow and Truro (Figures 4-6 and 4-7). Live cattle and salted butter were products that could easily withstand long distance transport to Nova Scotia's domestic markets and to distant centres. Surpluses of these products accompanied shipments of wool, salt pork and salt beef to New Glasgow, to Pictou and to Truro and especially to the nearby colonies of New Brunswick and Newfoundland.38 In Pictou County, where the towns of Pictou, Albion Mines and New Glasgow collectively contained nearly 5,000 inhabitants, there was a larger dome tic market for agricultural surpluses than at the eastern and western end of the grain belt. Consequently, farmers in the fringes of these towns regularly delivered milk, meat, butter, eggs and vegetables directly to urban customers or to merchants located in these towns. Although 36 Hugh MacLeod (Secretary, Hopewell Agricultural Society) to William Scott (Secretary, Central Board of Agriculture), 29 January, 1850, RG8, Vol. 18, #102, PANS. 37 Census of Nova ScouX 1851, RG1, Vol. 453, PANS; Bittermann, MacKinnon and Wynn, "Of Inequality and Interdependence in the Nova Scotian Countryside, 1850-1870", Appendix 2. 38 See discussion of domestic and export markets for Nova Scotian farm products below. 84a Figure 4-6, Butter Production in Nova Scotia's Grain Belt, 1851 Northumberland Strait Cumberland Co. Inverness Co Pictou Co. Sydney Co. rf£ ^ S~\ I'll Minas Basin Brasd'Or Lake Production Per Fainily \ \ \ \ • * * * f N X \ \ 1 ( f ( ( < 75 lbs. 76-150 lbs. 38 _1_ 76 miles - I 151-225 lbs. 226-300 lbs. > 300 lbs. 85 difficult to measure accurately, the local, domestic market for fresh foodstuffs, and especially perishables, in the central portion of the grain belt was considerable. Food purchased by Pictou druggist J.D.B. Fraser for his family in 1852 is representative of the type and scale of food consumed in many urban households in the mid-nineteenth century. Fraser's accounts, which include a separate ledger entitled "House and Family Expenses", indicate that his family spent £67 ($326.29 Halifax currency) on food in 1852 (which represented about half of the family's total expenditures).39 Less than a third of this amount (£20.4.11) was spent on imported provisions (salt, molasses, sugar, rice, imported flour etc.), fish and other unspecified groceries. Approximately the same amount was spent on fresh lamb, beef, and moose meat (£20.0.2). The most significant of the remaining food purchases included butter (£13), potatoes, cabbages, apples, strawberries, cranberries and eggs (£3.18.3), and locally produced bread, meal and flour (£9.8. lO). 4 0 Because milk was purchased in small amounts on a daily basis directly from a local farmer it was not recorded in Fraser's "House and Family Expenses" account. Firewood was also purchased direcdy from several local farmers. Clearly the bulk of the food consumed in the Fraser household was produced on Pictou County farms. This concentratation on fresh meat, vegetables and dairy products near small towns and villages is also documented elsewhere in the grain belt.41 39 All household expenditures listed in Fraser's "Home and Family Expenses" account totalled £141. J.D.B. Fraser (Pictou Druggist) Accounts, 1852, MG1, Vol. 3, #321, PANS. 40 Imported flour and meal was designated by source of origin (ie. "Canadian superfine", "American superfine"). 41 William Sutherland, whose farm was in Westchester, Cumberland county, about five miles from the iron ore mining village Acadia Mines (renamed Londonderry in 1903), records in his diary the regular sale of fresh meat, eggs, butter and vegetables directly to miners and their families and to merchants located in the village. See excerpts from the diary and other family records published in C. H. Sutherland, The Sutherlands of  Westchester. Nova Scotia (Agincourt, Ontario: Generation Press Inc., 1986), pp. 109-28, 139-46. 86 Although it was not recorded in the 1851 census, flax continued to be cultivated in a few districts of the grain belt. In each of the main valleys of Cumberland, Pictou and Sydney Counties, where fertile intervale land was "well adapted to the raising of flax",42 flax was grown by "a few farmers", who cultivate it "with comparatively little trouble".43 However, due to the widespread availability of imported cloth and linen in mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia (clearly evident from even a cursory glance at any merchant ledgers from this region), it seems likely that the comments of River Phillip's Agricultural Society Secretary were representative of other farming districts: that on the first settling of this district inhabitants raised sufficient quantities [of flax] to make linnen [sic] for their domestic use. But since cotton has come into general use farmers have considered it cheaper to purchase it than to manufacture linnen [sic], although som