By Devonna Edwards, Columnist
Fairview became a centre of industrial activity in 1903 when many industries sprang up on the shores of Fairview Cove next to the railway. The Halifax and South Western Railway (H & S.W. R.) was created in 1901 with the tracks leading eventually from Halifax along the South Shore to Yarmouth. Though the actual junction of the Halifax and South Western Railway (H. & S. W. R.) with the Intercolonial Railway (I.C.R.) was at the “Narrows” of Halifax Harbour, the lines first came in touch at Fairview, where the “South Western” got its first glimpse of the beautiful scenery of the Bedford Basin. At Fairview, the Halifax and South Western Railway (H. & S.W. R.) crossed the main highway Dutch Village Road (Joseph Howe Drive) by means of a bridge fifteen feet above it. The stone abutment formed the foundation of the bridge and was said to be the finest piece of masonry on the line. With the coming of the H & S. W.R. train to Fairview, it created a new era for west Halifax with the lumbering, fishing, and farming interests infused with a new life. At that time Fairview Cove was the ideal location for new industrial opportunity because the area was near the artery of the main highway leading in and out of the city of Halifax. It also stood next to the railway facilities and had the opportunity for transportation by the waters of the Bedford Basin and the Halifax Harbour. Many manufacturing firms grasped the opportunity that the situation offered and moved to this location.
The Carrite-Paterson Manufacturing Company Ltd. The Carrite-Paterson Company which had for seven years prior carried on the manufacture of tarred paper and roofing of various kinds at the Northwest Arm, moved to the Fairview Cove location in 1903 and set up a plant that was well advanced in construction, where their operation was carried on at a much greater advantage, and on a greater scale. The plant consisted of a wharf property with a pier three hundred feet in length extending out to deep water, three fire-proof brick buildings, tank, and vat for holding coal tar with a capacity of 300,000 gallons and a wooden office building. The plant manufactured twenty tons of pitch and tarred paper per day. The company also built a number of houses for its employees.
The Canadian Oil Company Ltd. In 1903 the Sun Oil Company was steadily enlarging its plant and operations and at that time a large oil tank was erected on the western side of the Bedford Highway, near the bottom of Evans Avenue on the Bedford Highway. Across the road on the eastern side, they constructed a large brick addition for storage purposes and built a wharf on the Bedford Basin for the companies use. The Sun Oil Company merged with other oil companies of Canada, including the Canadian Oil Company Ltd. which took over the property. The Canadian Oil Company Ltd. was the only competitor of the Standard Oil Company in Canada which operated here, under the name of the Imperial Oil Company. In 1903 the capacity of the Canadian Oil Company distributing depot at Fairview was increased by the building of a number of small tanks to hold from 8,000 to 10,000 gallons each, in addition to the large one already there which had the capacity of 100,000 gallons. The company also supplied houses for their workers.
Halifax Rolling Mill and Nail Factory. In 1884 there was a Rolling Mill and Nail factory on the shores of the Bedford Basin in Fairview Cove, just off Campbell Road. Campbell Road started at the end of Upper Water Street and ran to Three Mile House in Fairview, on the Bedford Highway. The area was chosen near the Bedford Basin due to the business needing waterpower, and there a turbine wheel was used to transmit power to the rolling mill. Large rolling mills co-existed with small, cut nail factories at that time. In a rolling mill they used machinery where hot metal is passed between rollers to give them a certain thickness and pressed into sheets or bars. The rolling mills converted scrap wrought iron into billets and then into nail plate and converted into nails by the rolling mills. In the late 1700s into the early 1800s, hand-wrought nails fastened the sheathing and roof boards on building frames. These nails were made one by one by a blacksmith from a square iron stock rod. During the early 18th century, machine-made cut nails challenged traditional hand-made wrought iron nails.
The Halifax Electric Light Company Building. The Company building was located at 506-508 Dutch Village Road (Joseph Howe Drive) at the bottom of the Duke of Kent Road (Main Ave.) in Fairview near the Fairview Underpass. The Halifax Electric Company was formed in 1881. The first Electric Light Plant was started in 1883 and operated at Black’s Wharf on the Halifax Waterfront. A couple of years later, they built a large plant at Three Mile House (Fairview area) and closed the Wharf Plant. The Electric Light Plant building in Fairview was for sale in 1903.
For further information www.fairviewhistoricalsociety.ca