After many years of serving the carriage trade, the time of the wayside inn passed. Then came the years as a home and its last family lived there but briefly in 1938. None would have known it as an Inn by then. Malcom McClare was born in that historic building. His parents would have known it as “Mapledale”. The Bill Lynch Shows now own the field it stood in. When you glance in at the lower gate, try to imagine the Fitzmaurice Inn looking back at you.
When John Fitzmaurice found the time to check up on his nearest new neighbour, he found him busy using a draw-knife to peel the logs for the cellar beams of his house. John Lunn only stayed three years on the farm he worked so hard building. He sold to William Skinner in 1822 and went back to Sackville.
We have no way of knowing who added to this farm through the years. We have the records of all its owners but William Skinner was operating quite a farm there in 1832 when his sons, who didn’t have the love of farming, left for the city and he took into his home a young man named James Beddo. Those beams are still bearing the weight of the house on their shoulders today. They are huge and they have no intention of budging from where they were put so many years ago. After passing through a few hands, this farm became the home of the Bawdick family in the 1890’s. (For those newer residents of Mount Uniacke, this house was still standing until about 2012 on the Etter Road in the middle of the new subdivision that is going in. The house had to be demolished due to safety concerns).
Peter Etter came to Nova Scotia in 1775. He had been banished from the new Republic to the south for his loyalty to the British Crown. His three sons Benjamin (settled in Halifax and became a Silversmith); Peter (went to Newport to settle); and Franklyn (settled in Chester, Lunenburg Co).
Franklyn Etter of Chester, now discharged from the Nova Scotia Rangers, raised a family in Chester, when it came time for Daniel, his eldest son, to settle. He was well trained in carpentry. Daniel was able to prove his skills on the building of Richard Uniacke House.
By the time the Uniacke Mansion was finished, Daniel had wandered around enough to know this is where he wanted to bring up his family. One day he went over to Darby’s log house and informed him he would like to buy a piece of his land down in the corner by the road into East Uniacke. Darby agreed to sell, but he told him “Yes, I will sell you that piece of land but there is a consideration. I will keep a piece of the ground there for something I have in mind.” Daniel built his home on the side of the fields that are now in back of the Union Church. He and his wife Mary, added to their family until they had sevens sons and two daughters.
Hants County had separated from Halifax in 1781 and there were districts known as townships all across Nova Scotia with men from their own areas who took up the business of the Township.
By 1830 it was the time for this Village to become a Township. Can’t you just see John Fitzmaurice and his sons calling for Darby McDonald and his sons and heading down the hill to Daniel Etter’s where they joined Jacob Pence and some of the others for that first meeting?
The meeting took place on April 30, 1830. The township would officially be born on January 1, 1831. The boundaries were set at that time and they remain the same today – 1984.
Well, let’s get back to the meeting. Lakelands was to be part of the township so Charles Thompson was there, as was John Hibbits from East Uniacke. The men were very anxious to have a school. There would, in fact, be two of them. One in Lakelands known as District #5 South, and one building in the Settlement known as District #5 East. It was at this time that Darby stood up and Daniel was to know why a piece of his land had been saved. Darby would give to the new Township a plot of land for an Enclosure for a burial ground and a school and enough land so that a meeting house could be built there. He made it very clear that at no time in the future was that land to be conveyed over into private hands in any land transactions surrounding it. Darby knew what he was about. His directions remain the same today. He would have been proud of the way the burial grounds are kept. But, the little meeting house seems to be looking for friends who are conscious that a land mark is slipping away from us.
Now that a Township was being formed, the offices to oversee it also had to be filled.
Below is the first list in 1831:
Uniacke Township Offices 1831
Overseer of Highways – Jacob Pence
Fence Viewer – Darby McDonald
Constables – William McDonald and William Fitzmaurice
Pound Keeper – Darby McDonald
Collector of the Rates – Daniel Etter
Assessor of Rates – John Fitzmaurice
Overseer of the Poor – Jacob Pence and John Fitzmaurice
Town Clerk – William Fitzmaurice
As you can see from this, the responsibility of the first offices rested on the shoulders of the first three families. The offices changed almost from year to year and the following are those who were on the lists up to 1848:George Skinner; Joseph Etter; George Lynch; Charles Thompson; Andrew Hawes; Daniel Thompson; William Mcdonald; George Etter; David white; Benjamin McDonald; George Hobson; Timothy Savage; George Pence; Joseph Britton; Thomas Fitzmaurice; Edwdard McDonald; James Beddo; Richard Corkum; Franklyn Etter; John Hibbits.
The first building to appear inside Darby’s Enclosure was the tiny school. (This is the Union Churchyard of now). David McGregor was the first teacher. He taught from June to December and for proof of who and what he taught and to receive his pay, he had to forward a list to the township. So it’s thanks to this that we know who the first pupils of Uniacke were:John Pence 15; Eliza 9; Daniel Pence 5; George 12; Williams 4; Richard Pence 3; Dorothy 16; Mary McDonald 14; Henry Lacy 22; Joseph Etter 15; Jeremiah 10; William Brason 13; Ann 14; Nathaniel 7; Mary Hobson 14; Daniel 12; William 9; George 12.
So priceless was the learning of the children that the little school had George Lacy at 22 and Richard Pence at 3, leaving the world of illiteracy behind.