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I am researching the NICHOLSON family from Spryfiled, Halifax County, Nova Scotia Canada.
William Nicholson Sr. and wife Mary Allen, first appears in the Porter's Lake near Dartmouth N.S. area in 1840, but I don't know where he was before that.

In the 1851 census of Spryfield, William Sr. and Mary had nine children: William Jr., Mary Ann, Jane, John, Thomas Isaac, Charhes Jonah, George Ebenezer, Sarah Elizabeth, and Matilda Charlotte.

The NICHOLSONs of Spryfield, Halifax County, Nova Scotia were in charge of the water supply for the City of Halifax for many years, starting in 1848 when the dam at Long Lake was built. William Nicholson, Sr. was probably the first dam keeper. There were Nicholsons associated with the dam until WW II, almost 100 years. William's sons George (Ebenezer) William and Charles Jonah were Keepers of the Dam in subsequent years; George was at Long Lake as caretaker and his son Charles W. was there after George, and stayed until the start of the Second WW. Charles Jonah was at the Chain Lake Dam as caretaker. Charles was also a cabinet maker and carpenter and seemed to follow that trade until he became Keeper of the Dam at Chain Lake.

You had asked if there was still a Keeper of the Dam...there are city workers who look after the water supply now. They check for the buildup of any algae, or anything that might affect the quality of the water. No one person is stationed at the site any more. The dams on the lakes where the Nicholsons worked, are no longer part of the Halifax water supply, but Chain Lake is still protected by the city, in case it ever has to be used as a backup. There is a "pump house" there. If you get to Halifax for a visit, there is still evidence of the dam and the operation that was carried out at the Spruce Hill site which the Hartlens managed. The Keeper had to do periodic checks of the water, and would open the dam to allow water out, if the lake became too high. Nobody was permitted to use those lakes for swimming. Long Lake, where the original Nicholson family lived, was no longer used as "watershed" (thatís the term they used for the lakes that were used to supply Halifax with water) after 1965-66. There were pipelines built as early as 1848, and so the Keeper would have to inspect them as well for damage or leaks.

-Iris Shea, Mainland South Heritage Society

Any information would be appreciated. I am also willing to share the information that I have.

The Nicholson Family Home Page

Robert P. Nicholson
36 Dewitt Acres
Fredericton, N.B. E3A-6S2

The Nicholsons of Halifax Co., NS.
Updated February 7, 2006

Robert P Nicholson
36 Dewitt Acres
Fredericton, NB E3A 6S2

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