One hundred years ago, the Clarke family ruled Bear River. Many of them left in the 20’s and 30’s for a variety of reasons. Atlee Clark , son of W.W. Clarke and Mary Etta Chute, was one of those and he suffered from severe homesickness. To relieve the pain and relive the memories, he wrote the following memories, based on geographic landmarks. Some of the notations are hard to decipher, but are included for accuracy.
Bear River, Annapolis County, beginning with Seth Wade hill and continuing into town
Jim Trimper and family, a real bunch
Gus Copeland and Family
Asa Walsh and family, elderly couple
Kniffen Rd (old post rd) At top of Kniffen hollow Rd. a family of Myron Chute and son apparently living alone.
Steve Kniffen and family. Daughter Mary went to school with me, had a son Roy.
Dan Marvin, place bought by Peter McGregor (Elsie Henshaw farm)
Rice chap moved from head of the tide (possible Elmer Rice)
Other side of Kniffen Hollow was Joe Warren and family and Cliff Copeland
Wm. (Billie) McCormack and son, Earl, married to Edna Coombs
Continuing from Asa Walsh on Main Rd.
Earl and Edna McCormack and family. Moved down with father from old Milbury home. I think Ira McCormick moved out and Earl moved in.
WW Clarke orchard sold to Geo. Oickle.
Truman Hamilton; later Cecil Miller, married to Hazel Oikle.
Mrs. Scott and colored chap, Otis Myers. Later bought by Major and Amanda Symonds Below road: Rogers family, later Howard and Viola Cress.
WG Clarke and Nancy Marshall lived three houses below with family. Eldest Ethel was drowned. Edith Nancy and Josephine.
Between barn and their home, Fowler Robinson, who worked for W.G. Clarke as handyman. Then Walter Brown bought it.
W.E. Read and family. Kate, Fred, Ruth, Willard, Stuart, Bruce. Now Bruce and wife.
error: Between Read and Robinson lived Harvey Marshall, a carpenter, who I think is closely related to Nancy Marshall, wife of WG Clarke, possibly a brother.
Harding and Elizabeth (Rice) Chute, parents of Herbert Chute who was apparently lost at sea, daughter Maryetta Chute, wife of WW Clarke. Home passed to AB Clarke (son) on his marriage to Grace Edna Moore. They rented to Joe Steadman, Joe Mc Kenna (bank manager) and sold to Commander Hood from the Cornwallis base on his retirement.
Eddie Troop and Sam Stevens and family.
Harry Mason and family, then Charles Crabbe and family. Then a barn. House removed by BC Clarke.
Barn, now gone and Riverview annex built by BC Clarke. Later closed and rented to Morine family, present use unknown.
Just beyond barn next to Mason house occupied by John Morine, engineer of SS Bear River. When boat was sold, it was replaced by a converted corvette of steel. So cold, crew was miserable. Disposal unknown. Morine moved to Greenland. Prior to that, he accused Ira Clarke who was rabbit hunting of shooting one of his cows. Dad investigated and found it was another person.
RIGHT HAND SIDE TO BRIDGE (Clementsvale Rd. off to left)
Field with small building roadside, used by Alpheus Chute as storage for building moving equipment. Later used by undertaker for coffin storage, also a polling booth. (photo 1)
Alpheus Chute and family (Lizzie) . Winnie younger daughter who married Fred Woodworth. Lizzie worked for Clarke Bros as steno for many years. Annie married Laurie Nicholson, went to USA, returning every year after his death until the 70’s. Harry went west to Edmonton. House still vacant. (photo 2)
Capt.L. Brinton and family. Harold (Annie) Brinton who died a short time ago.
Church of England, burned and rebuilt. Rector Rev. A.W.L. Smith of Clements Parish (photo 3)
Old School, burned and rebuilt. Contractor, Howard Snell. Could not finish job and finished by ES Langinne of Wolfville. I was checker of materials. Lumber bought from J. Cunningham, and had to reject large quantities die to poor quality. Les Fairn was architect and material for building was far in excess of what was needed and much was returned or not used, so original plans were altered and some needed stuff was omitted. Original plans specified lighting to light a big town and would have cost a fortune so was left out. Stage had a large number of colored lights specified enough for a New York show. (photo 4)
John Yorke, kept stables. Drove mail to Deep Brook Stn each day. Wife ran millinery shop in basement. He was a farrier, wheelwright. Family, Dimock, John and Fanny. Dimock later barbered on addition to Schmidt’s store. (photo 5)
Methodist Church (photo 6)
Dr. Ellison: daughter married W.M. Romans bank manager. After May’s death, Roman married a Milligan (Jessica) and after his death, she lived there many years. (photo 7)
John Moore and family. Mary (Hubbard) Elizabeth (spinster) Horace. They moved away to USA House rented to Tom Wright and family….Dr. WM Wright (geologist) Clyde and Viola who were half kin to Wm. Later, Horace, Lizzie and Mary Hubbard moved back where they passed away. House became property of Mel Parker who married Geraldine Purdy. Now they are both deceased. (photo 8)
W.W.Clarke and Mary Etta Chute and family of Harry (died of scarlet fever) Atlee, Carrel, Ira. Atlee married Grace Edna Moore, Ira married Minnie Baldwin of Gravesend, England and Carrel married Anna Schneider of Oswego, NY whom he met at Acadia. She passed away in May 1967 and he is now married to the widow of Bill Ryan and living in Dartmouth. His family of Ruth and Wallace are living in Ottawa with their children. Wallace has three girls and Ruth has three boys, two of whom are married. Wallace is thinking of retirement from Northern Electric.
WW Clarke property sold to Dr Campbell after death of WW and Mary Etta Clarke. After death of WW Clarke in 1932, Charles Green and wife lived with Mary Etta Clarke until her death in 1940. The sons of WW Clarke have all passed away except Carrel. House was sold to Dr. Campbell after being rented for a very short time to a shyster doctor who did not pay board and was booted out. Rented to Lincoln pulp employee O’Keefe who moved to Annapolis. Then sold and Dr. Campbell brought in Dr. Rowton who was a good MD. but his wife was an oddball. He moved to Bridgewater and house went to Chester Kaulback , married to Mary Oickle. He moved barbershop to small building built down from house at street. Sold it to some woman who ran an apt. set up for elderly, older and infirm people and carved it to several apartments.. Do not know its present use or disposal.( photo 9)
Chester built a small house next to Clarke property while in Clarke house and another on the Kelly property Charlie Murphy Dunn lived in back. Do not know much about them. Later, GWVA rented to McLean family. No knowledge about present use
219th Regiment (I think) looked after by Alphy Banks and often kegs of rum kept under uniforms and supplied by Genps Sanford(sic). When used by GWVA it was a place for card playing by cronies every day. Back of bldg. large barn for oxen used by Clarke Bros. drivers George Tupper, JP and collector of customs. Upstairs C. Phinney harness maker. At back, Charlie Wilson bicycle repairs. Then Murphy Dunn, cobbler. Later John Freeman took over Phinney harness maker and leather work. (photo 10)
Down Wharf Rd to river. Clarke Bros. stables for draft horses, warehouses for all kinds of building materials, wharves full of lumber and piling, storage for all kinds of ships needs such as ropes, tar, pitch, rosin, lime, cement etc. Private stables for driving horses, family cow etc. Hostler, Charlie Garnam who considered himself an authority on horse flesh. Later stable became used for storing flour and feed, and upstairs all kinds of building materials such as sheathing, flooring, rope, barrels etc. this was at the back of WW Clarke home. Both his home and that of John Moore extended all the way back to the river. (photo 11)
W.E. Liller, foreman at Lake Jolly and family. Roy, Annie, Clara. He lived at large house at Lake Jolly until after mill closed or in winter time. Then occupied by Ralph Purdy and then Waldo Chute. Now occupant unknown. Below was union bank of Halifax, later Royal Bank. When bank moved, Howard Cunningham office. All buildings to the Masonic Lodge were owned by Clarke Bros. and used for house furnishings etc. Later for pulp company offices. When pulp company folded, upstairs badminton.(photo 12)
WW Wade, General store and penny goods. Daughter Hattie, milliner. Later O.A. Eisner store. Then Mrs. Hubley Tea Room
Fred Schmidt Store. Run by widow for some years after his death. For a short time run by a Mrs. Rice from Head of the Tide. In same area, Ira and Gladys McCormick ran a store.Howard Cress lived upstairs and I think McCormacks lived there a few years. Tacked on to store was a small converted storeroom where Dimock Yorke did barbering. (photo 13)
Clarke Bros. wharf for SS Bear River and warehouses for storage of clothes,pins, sheathing, shingles, etc. Also part used by O.A. Eisner, a cooper. He later opened a store below Masonic Hall. Moved to Lawrencetown with family and store taken over by Mrs. Hubley as tea room. Facing street across from LV Harris, a small separate building. Upstairs Frank Burrage, a tailor with seamstress, Mrs Letteney, helped by Helen Ford who Burrage later married. Later, Vernon Peck barbered in the lower part.
This about completes South side as far as I can remember. There may be a few errors due to some names not being remembered as to first names.
now gone buildings on waterfront
editor’s note: On the left hand side of this photo you can see some of the buildings that are mentioned in Atlee Clarke’s remembrances. The large white one in the middle is the wharf and warehouse for SS Bear River. Further to the left are the other buildings mentioned in the paragraph beginning with “W.E. Liller ..”
main st. in the 1920’s
The right hand side of the photo is what the village looked like when Atlee Clarke remembers. Note the extra building where the entrance to wharf rd. is now…next the 2 buildings where the Legion now stands and then the Mason’s Hall. After the gap is what was W.W. Wade General store, later O.A. Eisnor’s and Mrs. Hubley’s Tea Room. The last building is the Fred Schmidt store. Note the Bandstand right before the bridge.
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