Old St. Andrews



The Poor House



The St. Andrews Poor House (1819 – 1919)


July 1, 1842
[Editorial] We are informed that since the arrival of the late passenger vessels, our Poor House is nearly filled with poor emigrants, many of whom we are told, have had their passage paid by some charitable individual at home; and many of them on their landing here, had not as much money as would purchase a meal of victuals. What is to be done in such circumstance? We are told that the Parish is in debt to the full amount of the advances made of the support of the Emigrant last year. The Banks, we are told, will not make advances on the Government warrants. The Treasury Debentures will not be received in payment of duties—there, what are they worth:” How then are these poor people to be supported—they are chiefly women and children whose fathers and husbands have left them in search of employment, and this we fear, in the depressed state of thing, is a vain pursuit. Who, we would ask will, in the present state of business, make advances for an indefinite period? It has been said that the Commissioners are obliged to support them, and the poor emigrant is told this on his arrival, and in many cases they demand it as a right; and in a majority of cases the husband leaves his family under the is impression: then we would ask, what are the Commissioners to do? We know of no law to compel a public officer to advance money for public purpose. Here are a multitude of people cast on our shores in a starving state, and no labor for them. We would gain ask, what is to be done? The poor stranger cannot be allowed to starve—humanity forbids it—our better feeling revolt at the idea of the poor innocent child calling for food, and not being supplied, it cannot be-they must be fed. We are told that under the late Board of Health law, they were empowered to draw, to the amount of two hundred pounds for each county in any one year, even in anticipation of their wants; but he Commissioners of the Poor House it appears, must first make the advances, render their account on oath—petition, and run the risk of having the amount refused, as was once partially the case, after laying out of it one year. Such a state of things appears to us inexplicable. Are the commissioners or overseers entrusted with the management of the Poor less to be trusted with the expenditure of public money, than the gentlemen composing the Board of Health? It has been said that the emergency is not so great as the preservation of the public health demand that immediate steps be taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases; but we ask, how long will the healthy remain so, if not fed; and is not the present a sufficient emergency to call for some extra steps to be taken, where so many of our fellow creature are cast upon us destitute of the means of support, deluded by the designing people at home, with the prospect of immediate employment on their arrival here. They land with empty pocket and empty stomachs, and must be fed, we again reiterate what is to be done.


Dec 8/1847
Bldg. known as Old Poor House fitted up as an orphan asylum for children of emigrants. Already has received 163. Alderman Smith and Henry Chubb manage it. "The children are exceedingly clean, and comfortably clad in new garments of homespun cloth."


Oct. 21, 1857
On Sunday night last, about half pat 10 o’clock, the large barns attached to the Alms House, were discovered by the keeper, Mr. Edward DeWolfe, to be on fire. the inmates of the House were all in bed at the time, and it was with no small exertion that Mr. DeWolfe succeeded in driving out the stock, and breaking open the piggery—the alarm was immediately given, but the fire had made such progress, that before the engines and populace reached the premises, which are about half a mile from the town, all that could be done was to save the House and sheds from the devouring element, which was accomplished. In the barns were 17 tons of hay, 6 tons of grain, a large quantity of potatoes, 6 barrels of beans, 1 do. of peas, together with double and single harnesses, and all the farm implements.
            Mr. DeWolfe in addition to being slightly burned has suffered a very considerable loss, as the farm produce was owned by him and uninsured. There is much sympathy expressed for him in the community, as he is an honest an industrious man, and the loss will fall heavily upon him at this season of the year. It is to be hoped, that means will be taken to relieve him in his present depressed circumstance, and save a worthy family from utter ruin. The origin of the fire is a mystery, as the premises were apparently all safe at quarter past 9 o’clock.


Oct 20/1858
Paupers from the United States
For some years past, our neighbors “over the Line” have been in the habit of shipping from their poor houses large number of paupers to this province; in some instances a schooner load has been landed on our shore, who, from the destitute condition, have become a Parish charge. So late as Friday last, a whole family, the majority of whom were helpless children, were sent by the Overseers of the Poor at Eastport, by steamer to St. Andrews, their father having been lodged in Machias jail for some misdemeanour, and the family consequently unable to support themselves became town charge; but the Eastport Overseers determined to relieve themselves of this tax upon the town, and sent them here to be supported, and they become a Parish charge. The commissioners have more now than they can support, and it behoves the people to stir in the matter, and obtain an Act of the Legislature to put a stop to this growing evil by passing a law to prevent the landing of indigent emigrants from a foreign country and to make the owners of vessels landing paupers liable to pay for their support. The United States law are stringent enough on this point, and our Legislators at the next session should pass a similar act.


Nov 3, 1858
The Eastport Sentinel has quoted our remarks respecting the pauper family recently sent here by the Overseers of Poor of that Town, and among other statements says that the family came there “a year or two since from Perry, to which place they came from St. Andrews.” And also states that “during a considerable portion of the time they have resided here they have been in whole or in part supported by the town” and adds that “they were citizen of the British Empire, and as St. Andrews forms part of that empire, and was their last place of residence in the Empire, they were sent “home.” We have given the principal paragraphs relating to this affair, as our contemporary is desirous of dealing honesty and fairly with the subject; but as the Sentinel appears to labor under a misapprehension with respect to its “citizens” we beg to inform him that the children according to their mother’s statement were born in the United States, and were consequently subjects of that Republic, are entitled to its support, and should not be thrown on the cold charity of strangers. Their mother we are aware is a native of this province, and she, poor woman, can support herself, but is unable by her own exertions to maintain a large family of young children, deprived as they are of their natural protector by the laws of their native country. They consequently became a town charge, and should not have received the “cold shoulder” from their countrymen. The province, we believe, has not in a single instance ever shipped its paupers to the United States. John Bull has more regard for his subjects than to ship them off to a foreign country to experience the cold neglect of strangers. When “Uncle Sam” ships British subjects to the Provinces, he sends them back “to their own,” and they are received and cared for. A law such as the Sentinel recommends would be offensive to the Colonies. We trust some of our Legislator will move in the matter during the next Session; until then there is no remedy for the evil. Public attention has been aroused upon the subject, and the end is accomplished. Our Eastport contemporary, we are happy to notice, deals with all matters, whether political or otherwise, in a mile, conciliatory, and proper manner—and does not indulge in personal invective or coarse abuse, as many of his coadjutors are in the frequent habit of doing.


Feb 16/1859
Hatch farm extends from Poor House to Montague.


May 27, 1868
Communication to the Editor of the Standard
Sir: -- At a meeting held by us at the Alms House on the 15th inst., the inmates, were all questioned as to the treatment and care received from the Keeper and Matron, and we are happy to say there were no complaints. We also examined the rooms and found them all clean, comfortable and in good order. Various reports in circulation through the parish derogatory to the institution cal for giving the forgoing facts publicity, and knowing you to be a lover of “fair play,” we ask you to give them a place in your columns and oblige the Commissioners of Poor house.


July 22, 1874
New Potatoes. Mr. Thomas Finley, Keeper of the Alms House, presented us with some excellent potatoes of this year’s growth on Monday last. They were of the usual size, dry and mealy. Mr. Finley has the credit of having the first potatoes in market this year.


May 9, 1877
Terrible Accident
On Friday last, about one o’clock, George Stewart, a colored man, who resides on the Commons, was repairing a horse collar, was seized with a fit, and fell among the embers of the fire left after cooking dinner. There were only two small children in the house at the time, who attempted to drag the poor man out of the fire place, which they partially accomplished, but finding they could not get him out, they started for the shore where his father was at work, and while on their way, met a son of Mr. James Dougherty, and having informed him of the accident, he started at once for the house, and pulled the poor man away from the fireplace, not however before his face had been fearfully burned, the lower part of his right ear actually roasted and his right eye destroyed. The unfortunate man was some time before he showed signs of consciousness, and when able asked for water; his mouth was so dreadfully swollen that it was difficult for him to drink. Dr. Gove having been sent for, dressed the wounds, and ordered the suffering man to the Alms House. Little hopes are entertained of his recovery.


St. Croix Courier
May 10/1877
Terrible Accident—A Man Roasted Alive
George Stewart, a colored man who resides a short distance out of the Town of SA, while in a fit on Saturday last, fell off the chair on which he was seated headlong into the fire. There was no one in the house at the time besides Stewart except a girl of some six years, a niece of his. She ran out and called her brothers and sisters, who were at play in a field a short way off. They came in and with their united strength (they were all children) were unable to drag him from the fire, on which he lay roasting. One of the children ran for help, and had to go about half a mile to the shore where some men were at work. When they entered the house they found Stewart lying on the fire, head close to the back of the chimney and clothes burning. They speedily removed him and tore the burning shirt off him. Young Dougherty went at once into town for medical aid. Dr. Samuel T. Gove, and Dr. Harry Gove promptly repaired to the sense of the accident, and administered what remedies were necessary at the moment. The house in which Stewart lived in was a mere hovel, presenting a scene of squalid misery, and was not a proper place in which to take care of the man. The Doctor ordered his removal to the poor house, on reaching which a thorough examination was made and all that could be done to alleviate the suffering of the patient was attended to. Fortunately, he was unconscious. His person presented a sickening appearance. The right arm from the wrist to the neck was literally roasted, the right side from the lower rib upwards, and extending from near the back bone to the right breast was almost as bad, the fingers of the left hand were burned, the fore finger dreadfully so, his right ear was burned off, also all the hair from his hear, the scalp and flesh on the forehead were literally charred, right eye destroyed, and right cheek roasted. It is not possible for him to recover. Sunday he was conscious, complaining of the pain to his shoulder; his head and arm had swollen very much, and the swelling was increasing.


June 20/1877
The Alms House
The Warden and Councillor Stevenson in the discharge of their duty met the commissioners at the Alms House which they thoroughly inspected, and also looked over the farm. We learn that they made some suggestions, which are being put into operation; and expressed themselves satisfied with Mr. and Mrs. Finley’s management. The inmates spoke of the kindness and attention of the master and matron.


Feb 12/1879
A visit to the Alms House last week with other commissioners convinced us of the excellent management of Mr. and Mrs. Finley who superintend this home home for the poor and aged. The rooms were neat and clean, the house warm, and the aged men and women expressed themselves well satisfied with the attention paid them by the keeper and his wife and their rations. The house is regularly visited by the clergymen of all denominations and service is regularly held by the Rector. The stock is kept in good order, and produce of the farm carefully husbanded. The surplus produce is sold and account kept of the proceeds, which serve materially to reduce taxation for support of the poor. The number of inmates at present are six women and six men, all over 70 years of age, and a small boy. These are so infirm that they are unable to perform any kind of labor. Many of them have been residents of the house for several years. The “outdoor relief” given by the Commissioners is large owing to the depressed time and lack of employment.


Jan 15, 1880
We are informed that he accounts of the Commissioners of the Alms House of this town and Parish will prove most satisfactory to the Rate payers. The expenditure for the year was $1660; this includes the maintenance of the Alms House and the disbursements for out door relief. The receipts for the year amounted to $1,467, which makes the expenditure exceed the income by $192 to meet which there are uncollected taxes for the year amounting to $272. the net income of the Farm, after contributing to the support of the inmates of the Alms House, is about $200. Great credit is due to Mr. Thomas Inlay, for the skill and judgement displayed by him in the working of the farm, and of the faithful service he rendered to the Commissioners.


St. Croix Courier
July 14/1881
Saturday evening lat Percy Truesdale and a young man from St. Stephen were trying the pace of their respective steeds in a trot down Water St., at the corner of King St. the wheel of Truesdale’s carriage struck the hind wheel of the Alms House wagon, standing opposite Capt. Balson’s store, which slewed the wagon round causing it to strike Capt. B. who was standing at the edge of the sidewalk levelling him prone to the ground, fortunately doing him no further damage than the shock of the fall, the body pin of Truesdale’s carriage came out, the horse started off with the front wheels, but was stopped before he did any more damage. Truesdale was pitched out, and alighted on his hands and feet, luckily escaping without injury. The practise of fast driving on the streets of the town is becoming altogether too prevalent, it is high time that the ordinance in reference to fast driving be enforced.


Nov 15, 1883
A much needed addition is being made to the farm buildings in connection with the St. Andrews Alms House, viz: a frame building 30 x 24 ft. post and 17 ft. rafters, the lower floor of which will be divided into a stable, grain room and a room for the storage of farming implements not in use. The upper floor will afford additional room for the storage of hay. The frame is up and boarded in and the roof shingled, the work is being done under the supervision of Mr. Thomas A. McCurdy.


July 9/1885
About 10 o’clock of the evening of Tuesday the 30th ult., a newly born female child, was left on the step outside the door of the house on Sophia street in this town occupied by Mr. Joseph Handy and Mr. Brad Boone. The infant whose parentage is unknown, was cared for during the night by Mrs. Boone, and rather than allow the little waif to be sent to the alms house, it was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dolby, whom it is to be hoped, will be amply repaid for this kind act.


Aug 7, 1886
We publish today the speeches made by Councillor G.D. Grimmer, and Henry Osburn, at the public meeting of the rate payers of this town, held in the Court House on the evening of Thursday the 28th ult., together with a synoptical statement by Mr. Osburn of he Alms House accounts, for the first eight months of the current year. . . . The statements made by Mr. Osburn, chairman of the Alms House commissioners, was most gratifying, showing as it did, a great entailment in the expenses connected with the maintenance of the Alms House and of the poor. A statement that fully justified, if justification were necessary, the councillors in making the radical change they did in the personnel of the commission. Councillor Grimmer was in error in the statement made by him in reference to the Moses Stewart property. The rent of the 18 acre lot leased by Stewart is twelve dollars and two cents per annum, in addition to this lot, several years ago, Stewart acquired the lot held by one O’Brien, the rent of which is four dollars, and the lot held by Thomas Algar, at a rental of three dollars per annum. The rent of the three lots, therefore amounting to nineteen dollars and two cents per annum, and instead of the town owing Moses Stewart, the reverse is the case.


The annual cattle show and fair will be held on the Alms House farm, Wednesday, next the 13th inst.


Feb 10, 1887
Report of the Commissioners of the Alms House, Parish of St. Andrews
[change of management of Alms House deeded absolutely necessary by Osburn. See article]


Feb 16/1888
What Does It Mean?
Several owners of real estate in St. Andrews and vicinity have recently been approached by American gentlemen, with a view to ascertain if they could be induced to sell their property, and if so at what price. In two or three instances memorandums have been issued by which the owners agree to accept amounts for their property, stated in said memorandums the parties of the other part to have the refusal thereof up to the dates mentioned therein. It is also reported that the parties referred to have an eye upon the almshouse farm. We think however the ratepayers of St. Andrews will not be so foolish as to part with that property.


Oct 28, 1889
A Wasted Life
England’s First Naval Engineer Dies of a Loathsome Disease in St. Andrews Poor House
In a pauper’s grave, in sunny Saint Andrews, the victim of one of the most loathsome diseases that flesh is heir go, rests all that is mortal of George Lane.
            Few of those who have waited upon this poor unfortunate in his declining years knew that his hand held the throttle of the first steam war vessel that Great Britain ever owned. Yet evidence can be found to establish that fact beyond question. Lane was an Englishman by birth. There was no need to tell that to anyone who heard him talk. His speech betrayed his nationality at once. In early life he was apprenticed to the great English engineering firm of Maudesley and Company, who have assisted in building so many of Britain’s iron walls. When the first naval steamer was built Lane was placed in charge of her engine. How long he held that position is not known. It is known, however, that he was in the English navy for a number of years. When Col. Maudesley, a member of the above firm, visited St. Andrews fifteen or twenty years ago, he was told of Lane’ existence. The colonel remembered him quite distinctly, and Lane and he had several interviews. Through the intervention of Col. Maudesley, on his return to England, Lane was granted as allowance by the English government. This he often referred to as his “superannuated allowance.”
            When Lane first came to SA, thirty-eight or forty years ago, he was one of the biggest dandies in the town. It was his boast that he had “twenty-two white waistcoats” to select from. He usually appeared on the street with wide man-of-warsmen pants on, and was seldom seen without one of the white “waistcoats” he was so proud of. In those days he was a railroad engineer. He had come out of Canada from England, and had driven a locomotive in Quebec before drifting down to St. Andrews.
            The bane of his existence was grog. He had acquired a taste for it while in the navy, and when he got ashore his appetite for strong drink increased rather than diminished. By degrees he descended the social ladder. He drank himself out of the cab of his locomotive; he drank up his “superannuated allowance”; he drank his “twenty-two white waistcoats” and his dandy apparel. Everything he owned went for um. At last the day came when he had no place to lay his head. Turned out of his lodgings, he sought shelter in the cabin of an old stranded schooner that was lying at the upper part of the town. [this is surely the H. V. Crandall or Mary Ellen!] For many years he lived there an amphibious existence. Then disease fastened itself upon him, and the poor dissipated wretch had to abandon his cabin home at last and seek refuge in the Poor House. There he lived until a few days ago, when death came and ended his miseries. His exact age at the time of his death is not known, but he is believed to have been near ninety.


June 26,1890
”For Adoption”
The three able-bodied men who compose the Alms House Commission for the parish of St. Andrews are in a stew just now, and all in consequence of a little blue-eyed babe that some cold-hearted mother cast upon the tender mercies of a cruel world. The little tot was found on a door-step a few weeks ago. The Alms House Commissioners were requested to become guardians of the waif, but they made hast so slowly that the finder waxed impatient, and it was passed over to childless pair, who expressed an anxiety to get it. The foster parents had their child christened in the Presbyterian church, and for a time were delighted with their charge. They soon tired and then the child was cast upon the commissioners. There being no nurse at the Alms House, the child was farmed out to party in town, who were given $1.25 a week for its keeping. The Commissioners fear this modest sum is going to prove too serious s drain upon their resources, and now they advertise the child “for adoption.” We hope some kind-hearted person will be found willing to become parent to this poor little foundling.


Nov 13, 1890
Fires Last Week
Two Mysterious Fires occur within a few hours of each other.
“It never rains but it pours” is an adage that has once again been verified. On Friday night about five o’clock, consternation was caused in town by the sudden appearance of flame in the outskirts. At first it was thought that it has the Alms House that had caught fire, but in a few minutes all doubts on this point were set at rest, as the fire was found to be in John Doherty’s barn on the Bar Road. The building contained about three tons of hay, a mowing machine and some other articles. Everything was burned. it is not known how the fire occurred. The barn and contents were insured in the Lancashire office for $400.
            Between 12 and 1 o’clock the next morning the townspeople were alarmed by the wild clanging of the fire bell. As no blaze could be seen many thought it was a false alarm, but as it continued to peal they turned out to find the firemen industriously at work trying to smother a fire in the one-storey wooden building on King St., owned by Capt. Green, and occupied by W. D. McKay as a photograph saloon. As the ire had made little headway, and was easily reached, it was soon subdued. Mr. McKay got out the most of his furniture and effects before they were destroyed. There was no insurance on the building. There is a belief that the fire was of an incendiary origin.


April 2/1891
Mrs. Irvine, wife of the caretaker of the Alms house, fell from a loft in the barn attached to the institution on Tuesday, and received injuries. Dr. Osburn was called attend her.


May 21/1891
The Alms House Matter
The action of the Alms House Commissioners in demanding the resignation of Keeper Irwing does not give unbounded satisfaction in the parish; on the contrary, there are many who strongly condemn the course the Commissioners have taken. In view of all the circumstances it does seem to us that the board have been a little hasty in their judgment, and that there should be some better grounds for dismissal than they have yet shown. According to the resolution of the Board (as published in last weeks’ beacon) the only offence that the keeper is charged with is that of refusing to haul a load of wood to a pauper; according to the keeper’s own statement he had the wood hauled and paid for the hauling of it out of his own pocket. It is true he did not use the Alms House horses in hauling the wood, but as a justification for his conduct on this point he says that he had positive orders from the chairman of the Farm committee not to take the horses off the farm during farming weather. What other course was the man to pursue? Had he taken the farm horse for the work he would have disobeyed one master; in refusing or neglecting to do so he disobeyed the mandate of another. He took what seemed to him to be the easiest and most prudent course in the interests of the farm and now he is to be decapitated for it. Most people will conclude that the Commissioners themselves are not altogether free from censure. There should be no conflict of authority among them and no room for doubt in the keeper’s mind as to the person or persons from whom he should receive orders. Had there been such an understanding it is extremely doubtful if the present difficulty would have arisen.
            As Mr. Irwing appears to have discharged his duties very faithfully in the past, and as the Commissioners themselves are not altogether blameless, we think that neither their dignity nor the public interests would have suffered very much had a less sever course been taken.


The Alms House Trouble
. . . evidently endeavours to make an uncharitable allusion. I have been on the board with Mr. Peacock a number of years and I have never found a more faithful and painstaking man on the board, and I unhesitatingly state that to Mr. Peacock is due a large share of the credit for the improved condition in which the Alms House affair now stand as compared with the conditions in the year 1885.


June 4, 1891
New Keeper Appointed
In consequence of the difficulty that arose between the Commissioner and the Keeper of the Alms House, the latter will vacate the premises on the 12th inst. A new keeper has been found in the person of Mr. William Carr. He will take charge immediately on Mr. Irwin’s retirement. Mr. Carr is pretty well known, being a resident of the parish, and will doubtless be able to fill the office acceptably. He is a married man, but has no family.


June 11/1891
A female infant, apparently three or four weeks old, was abandoned on Mr. James Rooney’s doorstep on Monday morning. It is not known who the mother of the infant is. The Alms House authorities have farmed the child out.


Nov 5/1891
Not Guilty
The Poor commissioners of St. David’s Honorably Acquitted
The two poor commissioners of the parish of St. David’s who were on trial last week in the county Court for wilfully neglecting to care for two paupers in their charge, are not the monsters their enemies would have the people of Charlotte believe, for, after a patient hearing of the evidence on both sides the jury promptly returned a verdict of not guilty. The first witness in the case was John Webber, whose description of the dilapidated state of the poor house, and of the filth which he alleges he found there, was briefly given in last week’s paper. [details follow]


Sept 15, 1892
A full grown healthy child was left on the doorstep of Mr. Jas. Rooney early Monday morning. The commissioners of the alms house took charge of it.


Jan 19, 1893
Sudden Death
Elizabeth McLean, an aged maiden lady, was found dead on the floor of her house on Sunday last. She and her brother, Wallace McLean, had lived together for years. During the life of their parents they had been in affluent circumstances, but of late years they have been dependent upon the charity of their friends, and whatever assistance the Poor Commissioners saw fit to give them. Miss McLean’s death is believed to have been due to paralysis.


June 8/1893
Two handsome deer disported themselves in the pasture alongside the Alms House, on the borders of the town, on Saturday forenoon. They were seen by several people. After permitting their graceful proportions to be viewed for a few minutes, they turned heir backs on the spectators, and skipping over the fences as if the were so many twigs, they headed for the forest.


May 3/1894
The wailing of an infant alarmed the inmates of Mr. Treadwell’s house on Sunday morning about 6:30 am. Mrs. Treadwell made investigations and found that some one had left a little girl baby in the outside porch. The child was poorly clad, and was half perished from cold. It was taken into the house, fed, and afterwards handed over to the tender mercies of the colored woman who keeps the “baby farm” in connection with the Alms House. The child appeared to be three or four months old. The fact that the child wore clothing similar to that on two other foundlings that are now at the “Farm” would seem to indicate that someone has accepted the contract to keep up the infantile population of St. Andrews alms house.


June 20/1901
A Twenty Mile Jaunt
How John Graham Demonstrated the Sturdiness of His Frame
The alms house commissioners of St. Patrick are men who believe in taking time by the forelock. When they found that John Graham, who had been a resident of the parish for a little less than a twelve-month, was not in the receipt of a munificent income and that the weight of odd years was telling on his once sturdy frame, they came to the conclusion that sooner or later he would become a parish charge and that it was in the interests of their constituents that he should not be permitted to obtain a legal settlement in the parish. They, therefore caused summons to be issued to the overseers of the poor of St. David to show cause why Graham should not be returned to that parish, where he had lived s sufficient length of time to gain a residency under the Poor Act.
 As the law requires, a summons was also served upon Graham, who was living at that time upon William Blakely’s farm, a little over twenty miles from St. Andrews. It did not take the veteran long to get into his good clothes and trudge towards the County seat. He covered the twenty miles to St. Andrews easily in a day and when he got here he was only beginning to get warmed up to his work.


The hearing of the case was to have taken place before Justice Hatheway on Monday and all the parties were here with the witnesses and their lawyers, but the lawyers for the prosecution having learned of the walking feat of the veteran, and having been assured by his friends that he was not a pauper, nor likely to be one, they concluded to drop their case. The parties then got their heads together and it was decided to proceed no farther. Mr. Graham will, therefore, continue to exercise his privilege of citizenship unmolested.


march 14/1895
Sensation at the Alms House
Consternation prevailed among the household at the Alms House, on Thursday morning last. About 2 o’clock the keeper, Mr. Kerr, heard sounds proceeding from the room in which Morris O’Brien was an inmate, but as such were of common occurrence, he paid little heed to them. A short while afterwards the crash of broken glass awoke the silent echoes, and groans were heard from some one outside the house. Mr. Kerr hastened out, and found O’Brien lying on the snow in a half-dazed sate, having thrown himself out of the window of this room on the second story. The poor old man’s mind had been wandering and in his delusion, trying to escape from fancied captors, he leaped through the window. He was taken into the house, and Dr. Gove sent for. He was unable to find any serious injury, though it was evident that the old man had sustained a sever physical shock.


May 16/1895
A blind and bed-ridden inmate of the Alms House, named John McCann, had his right foot amputated on Tuesday by Dr. Gove, gangrene having set in. Death in his case would seem to be a precious boon.


August 20, 1896
The Alms House Buildings have received what they have very much needed—a coat of paint.


January 21, 1896
. . . Mr. Andrews further informed the Beacon that the old colored woman, who died in the Alms House last week, was the daughter of a slave owned by his grandfather on this maternal side, Rev. Richard Clark, who came here with the loyalists and was the first rector of Gagetown. he brought with him two slaves Jerry Cole and wife. Polly, lately deceased, was one of the fruits of this union. She was brought up by a daughter of Rev. Mr. Clark, who resided in St. Stephen. She was about 95 years of age.


Aug 26/1897
John Conley, the victim of last week’s railway accident, is still at the Alms House, where he is receiving daily attention from Drs Gove and O’Neill.


John Cooney, the victim of last week’s railway accident is still at the Alms House, where he is receiving daily attention from Drs Gove and O’Neill. His brother came down from Fredericton to wait upon him. His father, Michael Cooney, was here on Saturday and was eager to take his son back to Fredericton, but the doctors would not permit the removal of the patient.  The father is respectable old gentleman and deeply deplore the unfortunate accident on his son and the circumstances which led up to it. The injured man has displayed wonderful nerve, but the result of the amputation is very uncertain. There has been considerable suppuration from the wound and it may be necessary to resort to a further operation.; The doctors are doing all they can, and Mr. and Mrs. Carr the alms house keepers, are ably seconding their efforts.


Nov 25, 1897
The Alms House Commissioners of Fredericton, have respectfully declined to entertain the claim which was presented by the St. Andrews Commissioners in connection with the Cooney case, on the ground that Cooney had not been a resident of Fredericton for a period of ten years.


Dec 9, 1897
Frederictonians seem to regard St. Andrews as a comfortable haven in the hour of distress. ON Saturday, a young woman belonging to the capital, applied to the alms house for admission. She had been living in Milltown with her sister, and getting into trouble, concluded that St. Andrews would furnish a safe retreat “until the clouds rolled by.” She travelled on the train as far as Watt Junction. At the Junction she told the agent that she had only 30 cents in change. He contributed sufficient to purchase a ticket to St. Andrews. On her arrival here she walked to the alms house, and telling her story, asked to be taken in. the caretaker gave her shelter until he had consulted the commissioners. They promptly informed the young woman that she would have to return from whence she came. She produced a roll of bills, intimating that she would pay her board if necessary. This the commissioners would not consent to, and on Monday she returned up river.


Jan 20, 1898
A Fredericton girl, who has lately been in SS, abandoned her offspring at the door of the Fredericton Alms House, a few days since. The wrappings of the child led to the discovery of the mother. She agreed to reclaim her child, and so prosecution was not pushed. This is probably the same girl who sought a haven of rest at the St. Andrews Alms House a month or so ago.


Feb 3/1898
The Alms House Commissioners organized on Friday evening lat, electing F. F. DeWolfe Chairman and E. B. Coakley secretary.


Jan 11, 1900
A lad named George McCarty, who refused to stay where the Alms House Commissioners placed him, but persisted in making his bed in barns, hay-mows, pig-styles and the like, was sent to Jail last week for thirty days for vagrancy.


Feb 1, 1900
Alms House Matters
The members of the Alms House Commission for 1900 were sworn in on Friday. R. E. Armstrong was chosen chairman and B. F. DeWolfe secretary. IT was decided to dispense with the numerous committees which have hitherto controlled Alms House matters and make the full commission a committee of the whole to attend to all business that might arise. All requests for relief, etc., will have to be made through the Secretary. In cases requiring immediate attention and in unimportant cases the Secretary and the chairman are authorized to act together. Other cases will be considered by the full board.  The secretary was authorized to ask for tenders for medical attendance, also arrange for the purchase of fuel. The secretary and Chairman were named as a committee to purchase such staples as flour, meal, sugar, tea, etc., at the best terms possible. The commission will meet on Friday of next week.


May 10, 1900
The Alms House Commissioners, at a special meeting held on Saturday evening, decided to supply the Alms House with a sufficient sewer. Tenders will be invited for the purpose.


May 31/1900
The contract for the construction of the sewer at the Alms House has been awarded to John McFarlane and Edward Cummings at 35 cents per foot. This includes the providing of drain pipe.


Jan 10/1901
The St. Andrews Alms House Commissioners, after laying a sewer from the building, carrying out other improvements, and providing generously for the inmates during the year, will have a surplus of $450 to hand over to their successors in office. Much of the producer of the farm still remains unsold, so that the new board will start in under very favorable auspices.


Feb 7, 1901
The St. Andrews Alms House Commissioners have organized with Angus Rigby as chairman and Dugald C. Rollins as secretary.


Feb 21/1901
W. A. Holtland and Thomas Burton have retired from the Alms House Commission, as the Councillors had exceeded their limit.


June 20/1901
A Twenty Mile Jaunt
How John Graham Demonstrated the Sturdiness of His Frame
The alms house commissioners of St. Patrick are men who believe in taking time by the forelock. When they found that John Graham, who had been a resident of the parish for a little less than a twelve-month, was not in the receipt of a munificent income and that the weight of odd years was telling on his once sturdy frame, they came to the conclusion that sooner or later he would become a parish charge and that it was in the interests of their constituents that he should not be permitted to obtain a legal settlement in the parish. They, therefore caused summons to be issued to the overseers of the poor of St. David to show cause why Graham should not be returned to that parish, where he had lived s sufficient length of time to gain a residency under the Poor Act.
 As the law requires, a summons was also served upon Graham, who was living at that time upon William Blakely’s farm, a little over twenty miles from St. Andrews. It did not take the veteran long to get into his good clothes and trudge towards the County seat. He covered the twenty miles to St. Andrews easily in a day and when he got here he was only beginning to get warmed up to his work.


The hearing of the case was to have taken place before Justice Hatheway on Monday and all the parties were here with the witnesses and their lawyers, but the lawyers for the prosecution having learned of the walking feat of the veteran, and having been assured by his friends that he was not a pauper, nor likely to be one, they concluded to drop their case. The parties then got their heads together and it was decided to proceed no farther. Mr. Graham will, therefore, continue to exercise his privilege of citizenship unmolested.


April 9, 1903
The Algonquin golf course will be enlarged to an 18 hole course this summer. The Brixton property, recently purchased, will be included therein. A portion of the Alms House farm may also be leased for the purpose. A professional golfer from Toronto will arrive here in a few days to look over and lay out the ground.


Oct 8, 1903
His Journey Ended
Neil Lochary Drags Himself to St. Andrews to Die
Sick and half-famished with cold and hunger, Neil Lochary, the aged school master, dragged himself on board the CPR train at the Shore Line crossing, on Saturday. On arrival at St. Andrews he tried to walk up the street, but his strength failed him. A passing express team picked him up, and at the direction of the secretary of the Alms House board he was taken to the Alms House. A physician was sent for, but his ministrations could not recall the strength to the wasted frame. He lingered until early Monday morning when death put an end to his wanderings. The deceased was 81 years o age, and a native of Donegal, Ireland. Early in life he came to St. Andrews with his father. The latter carried on a large business here for a number of years. Neil was well educated and for years taught school. For the past twenty years he had led wandering existence, tramping from place to place, teaching in some of the back districts for a time and then moving on to some other locality. Though the possessor considerable property he paid little attention to his personal appearance or comfort. Last winter he was found near Piskahegan in a half-frozen state and brought to St. Andrews. A soon as he had partially recovered his strength he bade adieu to St. Andrews and resumed his trampish life. The end has now come. The deceased has a brother and sister in comfortable circumstances in St. Stephen. They would have cared for him but he would not permit them. His funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon.


Oct 22/1903
Bold Bank Burglars
Bank of Nova Scotia Safe Wrecked by Nitro-Glycerine
All the Cold Cash on Hand Taken—Burglars Helped Themselves from Various Places—Made Escape on C.P.R. Hand-car—Pinkerton Detective has Case in Hand—No Captures Yet
The burglarizing of the Bank of Nova Scotia safe at St. Andrews between Friday night and Saturday morning last furnished the new town with its first sensation.
            The burglary was discovered by Manager Kerr, who went to the bank office about 7:15 in the morning to take out his bicycle. He was astonished to find the outer door open and the lock lying upon the floor. His astonishment was increased tenfold when on entering the main office where the safe was he found the safe the ruin and the room filled with debris. He did not need anyone to tell him that the office had been burglarized and that the work had been done in a thoroughly professional manner. Two holes had been bored in the other doors of the safe and nitro-glycerine applied. Both doors had been shattered by the explosion the pieces of the combination lock and the lining of the doors being scattered all over the room. Holes had then been drilled in the inner door and the lock smashed. The cash box containing about $3000 was cut open and its contents removed. A few rolls of cents were left untouched. Two rifles in the room in front of the safe were not removed.
            The front of the safe had been swathed in old horse blankets, a comfortable, a blanket, a piece of carpet and a long brown reefer. These were all saturated with water to deaden the effect of the explosion. The coat and the comfortable were identified by Mr. A. O’Neill. They had been taken from a shed in the rear of his residence at the head of the town some time during the night. A piece of a silk handkerchief saturated nitro-glycerine, found in one of the holes, resembled a handkerchief that had also been taken from the O’Neill house. A brace and a long screwdriver found on the floor were identified by Kenneth McLaren, blacksmith, as his property, they having been stolen from his premises the night before. A heavy, crow-bar and hammer were identified by section foreman Richardson as the property of the C.P.R. These articles had been taken from the section house alongside the station. Two horse blankets and a lap robe were the property of the Alms House. In getting these the men had evidently some trouble, as they first entered he cow barn and afterwards tried to work up through the floor. The keepers, Mr Carr, noticed a man walking through the lane about 10 o’clock.
            Entry to the bank had evidently been effected through a hole in the front window, one of the large panes, used for ventilating, purposes, being on hinges. This swinging pane was fastened inside by a little brass button. To fore this open was an easy mater. One man had evidently entered the window and then unscrewed the lock on the door, allowing his companion to come in. The rear window was open as if exit had been effected by that means. The glass in the window had been shattered by the explosion.
            Suspicion rested upon two individual who had been seen lurking about the town. The two spent Thursday night in the Quinn fishing camp. Mr. Quinn found them there and had quite along talk with them. They were quiet young men, one, the taller, having a smooth face, while the other, who was a short, stocky fellow with a thick neck, had a reddish moustache. They told Mr. Quinn that they worked in lumber camps. They had walked here from St. George and were going to walk to St. Stephen. The same two got lunch and supper at Stinson’s restaurant on Friday. The paid their last visit to the saloon about 7 o’clock.
            The fact that the hand-car had been taken from the section house and that at 5 o’clock, Mrs. Mowatt heard it rattling by Chamcook led people to believe tha he burglars had used that means of escaping from town.
            Manager Kerr telegraphed and telephoned to all the points in the vicinity, hoping that the robbers might be intercepted. Sheriff Stuart and a posse of constable also started out to make enquiries along the road, as it was though the men would abandon the car soon after passing Chamcook and either take to the woods or make their escape by water.
            One peculiarity of the incident is that though two explosions were heard within fifteen or twenty minutes of each other by several of the neighbors about 3:30 o’clock in the morning none of them thought enough of the mater to look out of doors or make any enquiries.
            The fact tha the articles used by the burglars had been taken from widely divergent points lead some to think tha they must had had assistance. Two men could scarcely accomplish in a night what these men did.
[Cf. Beacon April 28, 1904: “the Bank Robbers: One of the Them Arraigned in Portland, Maine.” After a string of bank robberies in the States. “Huddle and O’Rourke are believed to be the two men who burglarized the Bank of Nova Scotia here last October. Huddle was fully identified as one of the men who were lounging about St. Andrews at the time.”


April 7, 1904
The bill which was sent to the legislature by the town of St. Andrews and which contained provision respecting the transfer of town funds now vested in the municipality to the town, the withdrawal of Minister’s Island from the incorporated district, the borrowing of money, and other matters has been vigorously opposed by a number of people in the parish on the ground that the parish interests would be injured by its passage. The chief objection was taken that section relating to the transfer of town funds. As the legislature would not pass the bill while it was opposed, the objectionable section was stricken out. The emasculated bill, however, is not satisfactory to the town, as it leaves the town without any authority to mange Alms House affairs. . . .


Feb 2/1905
The Alms House Commissioners of St. Andrews have organized with N. Treadwell as chairman, and Albert Thompson as secretary.


April 19/1906
The Alms House a Source of Disquietude
There was only one absentee at the last session of the town council on Thursday night last. The chief subject for debate was a statement of the financial position of the Alms House, which had been prepared by the clerk. It was the opinion of he aldermen that the town was maintaining too costly an establishment, but though several suggestions were advanced no motions were made and no action taken. One alderman favored disposing of the farm and boarding the inmates out. Another thought that cheaper property might be got. Still another favored the sale of the present alms house property, suggesting that as the site was a valuable one, sufficient might be obtained to support the inmates on the increment. Two or three bills were ordered to be paid, including one of $65 from the Provincial hospital. Mr. James A. Shirley was appointed commissioner of measure.


Oct 18/1906
A resolution was passed naming the council as a committee with the mayor as chairman, to procure a plan and estimate for the proposed wharf extension and secure the necessary permission from the Dominion government to erect the same. The Mayor was given authority to employ an engineer to draw a sewer plan of the town. It was ordered that the Alms House Commissioners be advised to purchase only one horse for the far.


March 14/1907
St. Andrews town Accounts
Support of the poor--$400.00
Support of pauper lunatics--$130.00


Nov 26, 1908
Town Home In Danger
Saved From Burning by Aged Inmate
But for the prompt action of Siah Craig, an aged inmate of the Town Home, Saint Andrews might have been deprived of this very valuable institution on Friday morning last. About 8 o’clock, when Mrs. McCullough, wife of the care-taker, was in the barn feeding her poultry, she was surprised to hear lusty cries of “fire” proceeding from the dwelling. She hastened inside and found the mess-room filled with smoke and flames. Several articles of clothing belonging to Angelo, one of the inmates, were burning fiercely and a new quilt which Mrs. McCullough had about finished for the Home, was also burning briskly. She seized the burning clothing and thrust it into the stove before it had a chance to set fire to the wood-work. The fire sis supposed to have originated from a pipe that the aged Angelo had been smoking. He was unable to give a connected account of the affair himself. Mr. Craig discovered the faire and lost no time in making an outcry.
[looks like the Poor House has had a name change]


April 1, 1909
One of the questions that the incoming town council will have to attend to will be the poor farm. As one of the assets of the town, it has been a most unremunerative one, so much so that the present Poor Farm committee of the council has decided to dispense with the services of the farm keeper and close up the County Home. There is only one inmate in it. Chargeable against the town and a comfortable boarding placed for him can be found. Nor further action will be taken in the premises until the new council has been chose, when they will be free to act, either to reopen, the institution to keep it closed and lease the farm.


Oct 21/1909
The Poor Committee was empowered to continue the existing arrangement, with ht keeper of the Town Home, Mr. McCullough, until April next, and to dispose of the farm crops to the best advantage.


Feb 3 and 10, 110
The first page of this Herald of April 29, 1821, is largely taken up with a letter dealing with “a scheme to promote the rural economy of the Province.” The writer alludes to “the benevolent measures adopted by two of my townsmen who are erecting a Poor-house.” “The mode of farming the poor to the lowest bidder,” he tritely observes, “as adopted in this province, is not only rendering charity disgusting and abhorrent to its object but is also a radical evil, and alike offensive to humanity and to every principle of national policy. As the poor house building has the advantage of, I believe, at least 20 acres of good land attached to it, I am induced to lay before the public the following interesting extracts (here follows a lengthy report of the Alms House at Salem).


Nov 17/1910
Settlement Suggested
Between Town and Parish of St. Andrews
All the town aldermen with the exception of Ald. Everett, who was called to Fredericton, were in attendance at the conference convened by the mayor on Thursday evening to take up with the parish representatives the disturbing questions of Western commons and school lands. From the parish there were present Couns. Grimmer and Greenlaw and Mr. James McBride, secretary of the highway board.
            Mayor Armstrong occupied the chair.
            After explaining the object of the conference, he called upon Mr. F. Howard Grimmer, County Secretary and town treasurer, to recite the facts in connection those two questions. Mr Grimmer gave the history of the matters from the period when the commons land grant was made in 1786 down to the present time. With respect to the western commons, there were 800 acres in which the parish enjoyed a common interest with the people of the town of St. Andrews up until the period of incorporation in 1903. The revenue from these lands up to that time had been applied to the maintenance of the poor of the parish. When the Town became incorporated there was cash on hand from this source belonging to town and parish of $5132. Since 1903 this had been increased by sales and rents by $2071, making a total cash on hand of $7203. To effect an equitable arrangement it had been suggested that it should be based upon the relative taxation of town and parish as it existed at the date of incorporation. Prior to 1903, the whole parish had paid $8.70 on every $100. By a careful calculation it had been shown that of this amount $7.45 had been paid by the people who resided within the incorporated district and $1.25 by the people resident in the parish. Approximately it meant six-seventh by the town and one-seventh by the parish. It would be upon this basis that the suggested a settlement should be reached with the parish, both with respect to the cash on hand and the lad still unsold. In this connection, he pointed out that the Parish owes the town between $400 and $500 for the care of certain parish charges in the alms house, the care of that property having been assumed by the townspeople after incorporation. . . .


Feb 16/1911
A Settlement Effected
Between the Two and parish of St. Andrews
Legislation is being asked to confirm an agreement entered into between the town and parish of St. Andrews with respect to the disposition of lands and other property held jointly by the two prior to incorporation and which have remained undivided up to the present time. The lands involved are the western commons, the school lands and the alms house property. The town and parish will continue to hold jointly the commons and school lands, dividing their interests on a basis of 7:45 to the town and 1:25 to the parish. In the case of the alms house property, the parish for a stipulated sum relinquishes all its interest therein, the town assuming full control of lands, buildings and chattel property. The arrangement is a good one for both parties and will tend to remove any friction which might exist between the two communities.


March 13/1913
Town of St. Andrews Accounts for 1912
Poor Account
[disbursements and receipts]


March 12/1914
$335 on street lighting in 1913. Details on individual businesses, esp. &&&Poor Account page 2. Building still in operation.


Beacon (f9822)
June 16/1917
Algonquin Hotel
The new building for the Algonquin Hotel male help will soon be ready for occupation. The work throughout has been admirably done, the plumber, Mr. A. Dobson, is specially to be congratulated on the efficiency of his part of it. The main entrance to the building is on Carleton Street directly opposite the Poor House.


Aug 10/1918
To His Worship the Mayor,
Dear Mr. Greenlaw:
It has been suggested to me by the Manager in Chief of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s hotels, that it might be possible for the Town of St. Andrews to be willing to exchange the Poor House, situated on the Farm and which is rented by us for Golf Links, for the property known as The Inn and Indian Point. This building is in thorough repair, with out houses consisting of large carriage shed, 3 horse stalls, 3 cow stalls, large hen house, coal and wood shed, with very large accommodation for hay and straw etc. in the loft of same, and also excellent storage on the floor above the coal shed. There is also acetylene gas plant and the whole house is in good shape. There are 20 rooms in the house, 2 bath rooms with al fixtures. There is a large attic which would accommodate from 15 to 16 people and the whole is thoroughly equipped for lighting with acetylene gas, even the attics. There is a large water tank in the attic, which holds 5000 gallons; there is also a good artesian well and soft water system with leaders from the roof; this is solid brick and holds about 10,000 gallons of water, and will at all times insure sufficient water for domestic purposes. [so the Inn did not have Chamcook water?]
            The original part of the house is piped for hot air heating, with registers in all the principle rooms of that part of the house, this could be used in the Summer time exclusively, and if it was necessary to close off this part of the house in the Winter time, the extension, which include the kitchen, contains eight bedrooms, sitting room down stairs and a large kitchen, and can be closed off so that one stove upstairs will do the heating and the kitchen range will heat the lower portion. There is a three section range left in the building, which is in good order.
            It has occurred to me that the exchange of buildings might be more suitable for Town purposes, at the same time the Golf Club have found it imperative that he Golf Club House be extended and on the present site of which the Golf Club house stands there is no room without interfering with the layout of the Golf Course. There is a possibility that we might be able to use the present Poor House with extensive alterations, make same available for the Golf House, as the intervening section of land between the two courses is very essential to us for the purpose of teaching golf. At the present time we find it necessary to do the teaching on the Fairway of the 18-hole course, which of course is a detriment at all times to the players, and at the same time embarrassing to the people who are being taught.
            I should esteem it a great favour if you would kindly take this proposition up before the Council and advise me on what basis the transfer could be made, keeping in mind the fact that we will still continue to pay the rental of the farm grounds, which at the present time is leased on a ten year lease, four of which is still to run, with the option of the renewal at the expiration of this time. I shall be glad to have this lease renewed at the time when the present lease expires.
            Your attention to this matter personally, with an early reply, would be very gratefully received by,
            Yours faithfully,
            A. Allerton


Sept 7/1918
Carried: “That the exchange of buildings [Inn for Poor House] be made on the basis of a bonus of five hundred dollars per annum to be paid the Town in addition to the payment to the Town of the present rental of 250 dollars per annum on the land known as the Poor-Farm; also the rent of 80 dollars per annum on the land at “Indian Point” on a portion of which the “Inn” is situated, the foregoing to be subject to the approval of the rate-payers of the Town.”