History of Hall's Harbour - A Lighthouse on the Past
As told to Ethel Neville
by Mrs. P.W. Neville, her mother-in-law
The first house (and oldest now) built in HH was by Samuel Bucknam and it is still part of the house where Mrs. P.W. Neville now lives (next to what was old P.O. on the corner of Bay Hill (west side) and on the east side of road (1983 lived in by David & Sharon Garnet).
Mr. Bucknam came from New Brunswick and settled here about the same time as Thomas Parker Sr. came here from New Brunswick also his wife Rachael Cross came with him from New Brunswick. Samuel Bucknam married their daughter, Margaret Parker. They had a son John Bucknam and grandson Ezra, he was the father of Ramsey Bucknam who was made Admiral of the Turkish Fleet. His mother was Isabelle Roscoe. Mrs. Rachael Bucknam (?) died 1860. (Parker?)
Thomas Parker Sr. brought his wife and two or three children from New Brunswick and settled here at HH. His wife was Rachael Cross from NB and he was a captain and went to sea; it is said that she was very lonely here and would often take her children to the beach saying if she saw a vessel going up or down by she would wave to them hoping they would come in and take her away. This couple had a family of eleven – eight girls and three boys. Sons were: Elois, Tom, John, daughters: Margaret (Mrs. Bucknam), Myra (to become wife of Sylvanus Whitney), Sarah, Odelia, May, Jane, and Ann. He owned all the land on the West side of the creek up to what is now our church and built a house near there. He gave the land for the church and cemetery –also the frame for church building. His wife lived to be 102 years. They are buried ?? He died in 1870. The Parkers were all sailors, mostly sea captains.
Another prominent resident here was Sylvanus Whitney. According to the old Church records, he was clerk of the Christian Baptist Church of Cornwallis (as it was then called) in 1841 and 1841. He also came here from NB and married another daughter of Thomas Parker (Sarah Cross), Myra. He bought land from his father-in-law and built a house and General Store, which was latter the P.O. Later those places were sold to John Neville Sr. who kept the P.O. and store.
Sylvanus Whitney had two sons, Fred (Frank Whitney's father) and George. George moved away to Billtown and Fred married Roxanne Alley and lived in the big old house (later Max Parker's and now David and Sandra Houghton's) (Passed on by Mira Patterson, a daughter and Nellie, as daughter) it is said that Roxanne was very nervous living here and she dreamed that a pirate chased her up the stairs with a sword, she got Fred to sell and moved away from the sea bluff up to where Major Simpson now lives. They eventually bought the house just built by Leonard Porter in Vernon Mines, (the home of Frank and Jessie Whitney) now Gerald Whitney's. The story goes that after raising his sons here, Sylvanus and Myra were rich because Sylvanus found Captain Hall's treasure and moved to Dakota where he made more money. He lived and passed away there. He was married twice; his second wife was Alice Jane Boles.
Millage Roscoe also from here but living in Dakota sat the same time, lived near Sylvanus and was asked to help the executors at the time of his death to count his money, and they counted out 60 thousand in gold; this is not fiction but fact. His money and property was divided between his sons. Their bodies were brought back here and are buried in the old Billtown cemetery.. They gave many gifts to the church.
The Nevilles descended here from Ireland. Three brothers of them-Richard Neville settled in South Alton—he was married when he came and they walked from Halifax to South Alton. They had one small boy at this time and carried him most of the way. They had three sons – Tom, John and William and daughters Jane and Mary.
John came here as a young man and lived with the Hamilton's on the Huntington Point Rd. He learned the shipbuilding trade. He later married Leah Monroe from NB. They lived in the place now owned by Fred Parker at top of the hill. Here most of his children were born – Andrew, John, Richard, Stanley, George and Percy; Susan, Edna and Violet. He later bought the store, house and farm at harbour where Halley Neville now lives. He and his sons built several sailing vessels. He had the P.O. from about 1880 when he bought this place.
Retyped: 6 February 2008 by Joanne Ward
From written record given to HHHS
from Gladys Whitney-Gervason's files.
On capsite computer filed under HHUBC