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Many of our problems prove to be old ones - Feb. 13, 1947

['Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe']
['Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe']

We have had for review this week a copy of “The Springhill Times” published by H.A. McKnight published on Thursday, Oct. 7, 1886. It is an eight-page paper with the page size of 9”x12”. The copy was loaned to us by Sumner Cooper and carries the address of his father “Carl Cooper” up in the right-hand corner still clearly visible after all those years.

In the editorial columns, Editor McKnight talks chiefly of ‘Incorporation’ and the advantages that might accrue to an incorporated town. He pointed out that the Warden and Councillors are elected for one year. The electors have the opportunity of passing judgement on them every year, which is said to have a better effect than the biannual municipal system. When anything comes up regarding the interest of the town it can be intelligently discussed by the men who know what is required, without the interference of honorable gentlemen from Nappan and Shulee. The Councillors have no travelling expenses except shoe leather, expect no remuneration and getting nothing but ‘honor.’”
Mr. McKnight went on to point out the progress made in Moncton, New Glasgow and Windsor under incorporation. Moncton, he said, had its sugar refinery, cotton factory, agriculture implement factory and other things all circulating money and helping to build it up. New Glasgow had its steel works, glass factory, furniture and broom factories and was rapidly coming to the front as a provincial town as was Windsor. These manufactories have been started by granting bonuses and exemption from taxation. What is the result? The value of real estate has been doubled and the increase of business and population is making men rich.
The same editorial said that Springhill was ahead of any of these towns because it had cheap fuel and the completion of the railway to Oxford would have excellent railway accommodations, in fact be a veritable railway centre, with water connections at Parrsboro, on the Bay of Fundy, and Pugwash, on the Northumberland Strait.
The town water supply seems to be giving a great deal of concern for the supply was limited. The death rate of children due to bad water was simply appalling and the citizens were being aroused to the situation.
Springhill was also having problems with liquor dealers in those days and the Scott Act prosecutions were said to be highly satisfactory. But read this note as Editor McKnight wrote it.

Closing up
The effect of the Scott Act prosecutions has been highly satisfactory. One liquor dealer has gone out of business and his Rogue’s Corner looks dismal. Another has agreed in writing to stop selling and so far, as can be learned is carrying out this agreement. Last week the “saloons” on Rogers’ Corner looked dismal for some days, in fact was closed down for three days, - a wonderful change. There has been a decrease in the number of intoxicated persons seen on the streets This is doubtlessly due to the very stringent rule in force at the collieries with reference to persons found under the influence of liquor being instantly dismissed and to the Archbishop’s Temperance work this week. It is very evident that the rum sellers have seen their best days and must speedily disappear before strong public sentiment.
Yes and they had trouble adjusting Doctor’s salaries in those days just as they have today.

This week’s five facts about Springhill
46. In the early years the Coal Company owned sixty or seventy horses. Some were used on the surface in the timber yards and in hauling employee’s coal. But it was the “Pit Horses” the men loved. The last of these horses came out of the mines in 1923. Stables and hay houses were in the east and west levels. Some early stablemen were: Charles Sweetland, Kempt Stonehouse and Joe McCarthy.
47. Lady McDonald, wife of Sir John A. McDonald, visited Springhill in 1894. While she was here she went down into the mines.
48. The first man killed in No. 2 mine was a Mr. Scully. He was killed driving a gin, hauling coal, out of the mine.
49. Springhill had the second highest contingent of men to enlist during World War 1. The first contingent of men to go overseas saw 9 Officers and 128 men from Springhill
50. Part of the 106th Regiment was mobilized in Springhill. The Anglican Parish Hall was used as Mess Quarters and the men were billeted upstairs.

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