Old St. Andrews



Disease and Health



Disease and Health in St. Andrews, New Brunswick


May 22/1834
Scarlet fever raging in South Carolina.


July 31/1834
Reports of smallpox in St. Andrews.


Aug 21/1834
From Montreal Gazette:
It appears by the cholera returns that from the 12th to 14th of July inclusive, a period of 20 days, 410 deaths are attributed to cholera alone. This is certainly a fearful amount, but nothing when compared to them mortality of 1832, during a similar period, after the first appearance of the malady among us. In that year, the first cause occurred on the 10th June, and on the 29th of that month, an equal period of 20 days, the burials were 1037 by cholera alone.


Aug 28/1834
Asiatic cholera hits Halifax. From Nova Scotian, Aug 20. . . . Boston and the cities along the American seaboard were but slightly affected by it, and as Nova Scotia is almost encircled by the sea,, and Halifax in particular has so fine an exposure to the clear sea-breezes from the ocean, we have trusted much to those advantages of which experience has oft-times tested the value." (as though sea-air were a preventative) First appearance in Quebec struck down hundreds as by a whirlwind. No deaths as of yet. Smallpox scare in St. Andrews overblown.


Sept 11/1834
17 deaths by cholera in Halifax. 126 cases to Sept. 3. Nova Scotian.


Sept 18/1834
Haley's comet visible.
Musselburgh district (England?) Fumigating cholera with chlorine raised from sea-salt. Various articles on cholera in Nova Scotia, cures, etc. From Saint John Courier: preventative measures must be taken to prevent spread among provinces next to Nova Scotia.
            Various warnings against using alcohol as preventative of cholera. Weakens system.
Halifax cholera report: 563 deaths, 324 recoveries, 691 cases. Saint John Courier.


Sept 25/1834
Remedies for and stages of cholera. From Charlotte County Board of Health.


Oct. 2/1834
Cholera subsiding in Nova Scotia.
Article on inspecting incoming ships by team of health experts.


Oct. 9/1834
SJ cholera: 5 deaths, 11 cases, 3 recovered, 3 remaining. From Saint John Courier.


No restrictions in St. Andrews on commerce or communication with interior as a result of cholera scare. Little fear of contagion. Official position that communication a better preventative than restriction, which seems a bit odd.


Feb 4/1836
Smallpox in Nfld. 500 deaths in 2,000 cases. People going about their business covered with pustules.


Jan 31/1844
Sporadic reports of yellow fever--not in St. Andrews though. West Indies, etc.


Dec 3/1845
Smallpox raging in Baltimore. Many deaths. Railroad debate concerning proposed St. Lawrence--Atlantic Route. Extracts from Montreal Gazette of Nov 12 and Neilson's Quebec Gazette of the 14th. Relative merits of using Halifax as terminus; St. Andrews relative to Saint John and Boston.


June 10/1846
Yellow fever raging in Mexico. Broom factory--"As a domestic manufacturer Mr. Sime deserves liberal patronage." Charlotte Gazette appears.


June 17/1846
We are informed that the brig Pero from Cork, with passengers, which arrived here last week, had two cases of small pox among the emigrants. The vessel was ordered to Hardwood Island, the Quarantine station, the sick removed to hospital and the brig is being ventilated. The Board of health will, no doubt, observe every vigilance, lest communication be had with the main land. If this dreadful disease should once gain a footing in our County, its spread could hardly be prevented at this time of the year, and its effects we have every reason to believe, would be fearfully disastrous. We learn by private advices from Boston, that this scourge is prevalent in that city at the present time.


June 16/1847
Vessel arrives in Miramichi with many sick, dead of typhus fever. 467 passengers en route from Dublin, 117 dead.


Dec 8/1847
Cape Breton Spectator says prepare for a new round of Asiatic cholera, already making its way towards Europe. Following same track as 1838; already outside Moscow. If it reaches England, we're in for it. Should prepare by rigid sanitation in streets, yards and houses.


May 31,, 1848
Arrival of Emigrants
The ship “Star” Capt. Baldwin, fro New Ross, arrived on the Ballast ground on Sunday last, with 383 passengers emigrants from Earl Fitzwilliam’s estate. We regret to learn that ten of the passengers died previous to the arrival of the vessel, and that there are twenty six now lying sick from Ship fever, the invalids are to be landed at Hospital Island, where they will continue to receive medical attendance. We understand that James Boyd Esq. has been directed by His Excellency to take charge of these passengers, as Emigration Officer. We learn since the above was written that one more of the passengers has died, and ten more are added to the sick list.


June 7/1848f
A large number of immigrants who came out in the Star, have been discharged from Quarantine Island, and are now in town, where they have been provided with lodgings. We understand that houses are in course of erection for them, near the line of the Railroad, which are to be completed by Monday next, when, we are informed, the labourers will commence working on the road.


Oct 18/1848
Asiatic cholera may have made an appearance in St. Louis.


Nov 15/1848
45 cholera fatalities in London and deaths in isolated parts of country. No great amount, it is felt.


Nov 22/1848
Cholera making inroads in England.


Dec 9/1848
Cholera cases in England have reached 1039, 532 fatalities.


Oct 7/1848
Teetotalism and cholera: piece from the Teetotal Times and Essayist: "Far be it from us to say that teetotalism will preserve a man from the attacks of cholera. But this we may boldly affirm that of three classes of persons, the drunkard, the moderate drinker and the teetotaller, the chances of escape or recovery are vastly in favor of the latter."


June 13/1849
Cholera making way from southern to northern US. Cases in NY and Boston.


July 4/1849
Cholera spreading rapidly in England. Worse ravages in Paris then in 1832. Egypt also. "Its simultaneous appearance at these distant spots favours the theory that it is mainly owing to some electric causes in the atmosphere." Various items in news on experiments in electricity.


Aug 29/1849
926 deaths from cholera in London last week.


Oct 10/1849
Cholera subsiding in England. 12,837 dead in London alone.


June 18/1851
Quarantine regulations. Esp. concerned about small-pox, yellow fever and Asiatic cholera.


July 9/1851
Small-pox on a vessel at Ledge. Patients placed in hospital on Quarantine Island.


Sept 22/1852
Cholera still raging on continental Europe proceeding westward.


Aug 31/1853
5,000 dead in New Orleans last ten weeks of yellow fever.


April 26/1854
35 deaths on Blanche from Liverpool of diarrhoea and cholera. Passengers landed at Partridge Island.


July 26/1854
Cholera declining in Saint John. Editors advises removal of offal heaps in St. Andrews. Diminishing in NY but still strong in Canada.


Aug 2/1854
Re cholera and typhus: "It has been suggested, that a Board of Health should at once be established for this port, and that every precaution be taken to prevent vessels with passengers landing them, unless they show a clean bill of health. It is currently reported that many persons are about visiting SA, to enjoy its salubrious air and sea bathing. Of this they may rest assured, the Town is exceedingly healthy and no place better adapted for invalids in the Province, as they can enjoy either a salt or fresh water bath, within a few minutes' walk of the Town, and pleasant drives among some of the most beautiful and romantic scenery in the Province."


Aug 9/1854
Cholera in Boston State Prison.
Visitors--Every steamer from Saint John, for the last three weeks, has brought a number of persons to St. Andrews. A more salubrious retreat the Province does not afford, and we are happy to add, that they express themselves delighted with the pure and bracing air, and the beautiful scenery of the place. Many of these ladies and gentlemen, although living within so short a distance (67 miles) had no idea of our healthy and pleasant Town and County, and we understood that notwithstanding their present visit, has in many cases resulted from the fear of the scourge which has visited the commercial emporium of the Province; they will for the future give St. Andrews the preference as a place of resort during the summer months. From the proverbial hospitality of its inhabitants, we feel warranted in saying, that no pains will be spared to make their stay as agreeable as could be desired. We embrace this opportunity of suggesting the propriety of a company being formed at once for the purpose of erecting a large hotel on an economical plan, furnish it in neat, plain manner, consulting comfort rather than style, for those who desire a healthy summer residence. Such an establishment, we believe, would prove a profitable speculation. Our present hotel accommodation is not sufficient for any great influx of visitors. Although it may be argued with much truth, that the hotels for many months of the year are not patronized, yet this is no reason why a spacious establishment should not be erected. When such a House is built our Town will offer attractions to the invalid and pleasure seeker seldom to be met with. The rural aspect given to our streets by the numerous trees in the gardens and sidewalks--the pure sea air and refreshing breezes that purify our atmosphere--the healthy appearance of our inhabitants--the beautiful drives in the neighborhood or splendid bay and river with its islands all contribute to render the place as desirable a summer residence as could be wished.


Aug 16/1854
Cholera ravaging Saint John; St. Andrews spared. Apparently on the wane.


Houses belonging to 3 black persons dead of cholera in Loch Lomond burned by neighbors, with their clothing.


Aug 23/1854
Cholera among British troops in Baltic; at Constantinople. Decreasing in Saint John. St. Andrews in good health. "Temperate habits, cleanliness, and the pure bracing air of the place, have contributed in a great measure to this pleasing fact, and we safely urge the propriety of appointing a Day of Humiliation and Prayer, to the Divine Being, for having spared our community, from the awful scourge, which has visited other parts of the Province."


Case of cholera in St. Stephen. First and only one to date. Death the outcome.


Aug 30/1854
Cholera has disappeared in Saint John.


Dec 23/1857
In editorial on Christmas, Smith notes the "vacant chair," of the deceased or the departed, that will occupy a presence in the room. (As he himself will experience, some years later, in the death of his 13-year-old daughter.)


Oct 26, 1859
Scarlatina and Fever
This disease has been very prevalent among the children here for some time, and we regret to say has proved fatal in many cases,, as may be seen by reference to our obituary list for the last few weeks; it is of a very bad type, accompanied by sore throat. There is scarcely a family of children in the town, which has not been attacked, and the cold weather seems to have had no effect upon the epidemic.


Nov 2, 1859
To Our Readers
The Standard today is published as half a sheet; and we feel confident our subscribers and patrons will make allowance, when we state, that seven of our children have been prostrated by the fearful epidemic now so prevalent—scarlet ever and putrid sore throat—and that one of them, a beloved son, principal assistant in the office, has been taken from our midst, by an All-Wise god, to whose will be humbly bow. We feel unable mentally and physically to issue the Standard in its usual form; and in our bereavement and affliction, rely upon the sympathy of our readers, to excuse any omissions in the contents or size of the paper, until we can make arrangements for publishing it in the usual form, which we trust to accomplish as soon as possible. To our friends in St. Andrews, we tender our warmest thanks, for their numerous kind offices and expressions of sympathy.


Nov 30/1859
Poem selected by children "as being appropriate to the recent death of their brother."


Aug 23, 1865
The Cholera
The press of St. John in view of the rapid spread of the dreadful scourge the Cholera (which has made its way from the East to Gibraltar and it is reported a few cases have occurred in England) are urging upon the Board of Health and the common Council, to have the City properly cleaned, and all nuisances removed. The Shambles near the City are in such a filthy state, that Dr. Bayard says that fresh meat if exposed there for three or four hours would be unfit for human food!
            It would be admissible for the authorities in this Town to see to it that a thorough examination is made—that the yards and remises are kept clean, and that all public nuisances are removed. There are some one or two places which require their prompt attention.


Aug 15/1866
Temperance versus cholera:--At a meeting of the N. Y. Board of Health, last week,
Doctor Crane mentioned a striking fact in the following words: “In the Stygian and pest-ridden Twelfth Ward, of Brooklyn, not a solitary one of the five hundred members of the Father Matthew Society resident therein has been attacked by cholera.” Mr. Acton confirmed the remark by adding that not a cholera case had yet occurred among the 16,000 members of the Father Matthews Society in that city.


Aug 31/1870
Town Well
We have been requested to direct the attention of the authorities to the disgraceful condition of the street near what is commonly known as “Berry’s Well,” and the careless practice of throwing dirty buckets into the well, which is now the principal source of the water supply for a large portion of the town. It has been suggested that a large pump be placed in the well, which when covered over, would prevent filth from accumulating in the water, and to some extent be a saving in the waste which occurs daily. This is a subject which requires immediate attention, as water is becoming scarce daily, and the benefit to the people would, in a sanitary view, far overbalance the cost of erecting the pump.


Dec 25/1872
A. W. Smith’s third daughter dies of consumption after long illness.


Jan 1/1873
To many, ourselves among the number, the year that has passed, has its said memories. In how many households is the “vacant chair” reminding of loved ones, once the light and life of the family, but now forever removed. From their sight, to a happier, purer and holier sphere; teaching us that we too must soon follow to that “undiscovered country” and admonishing us “be ye also ready.” (ill four years)


Sept 14, 1882
Mr. T. R. Wren has removed his stock of drugs, patent medicines, etc., into the store in the Kennedy building, lately occupied by Capt. Balson, which as been fitted up to meet his requirements. The store presents a neat appearance, the goods are very tastefully arranged on the shelves and make a fine show, particularly when lighted up in the evening. Mr. Wren has a counter fitted up for the preparation of physicians prescriptions, in which the most scrupulous care is exercised.


Jan 3, 1884
The thanks of the Publisher of the Bay Pilot are tendered to Mr. T. Rudolph Wren, Druggist for a Coca plug, a combination of tobacco, white barley leaf and the extract of genuine Bolivian Cocoa, which it is claimed counteracts the injurious effect on the system of the nicotine found in tobacco. We recommend it to all who chew the weed.


July18, 1889
"SA has ever been remarkably free from contagious diseases and epidemics of every kind . . ."


June 19/1890
Delving in the Past
How We Did our Business a Century Ago
Interesting Extracts from the First Court of Sessions in Charlotte
. . .
            The Grand Jury being informed that the small pox is about to be introduced into Saint Andrews by inoculation, are much alarmed at the ill consequences that such a matter may be attended with to the public welfare in general at this time, therefore pray that the Worshipful Court will take such steps as may be necessary that the inoccupation may be stayed until the Fall of year. The court concurred in this recommendation.


St. Croix Courier
Jan 15, 1942
Shiretown Items
Hundred Thousand Mark
I was interested in looking over the first prescription file of the Wren Drug Store, established in 1881. It was located then in the Saunders building which was destroyed by fire about 1885. The Bank of Nova Scotia now occupies the same site. The business was established by r. R. Wren who continued as proprietor until his appointment as collector, when it was taken over by W. J. Rollins, the present owner. Most of the prescriptions of 1881 were signed either by S. T. Gove, Harry Gove or J. A. Wade, the practising physicians her at that time. Since that time close to one hundred thousand prescriptions have been filled at the counter and they are all there on file.