Pryor Property


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Trail Interpretation

The Pryor Property: Quinpool Road to South Street

The Pryor family owned all the lands fronting on the Northwest Arm from Quinpool Road to SouthStreet in the early 19th century. William Pryor, of William Pryor & Sons, a prominent West Indiamerchant, acquired many parcels of land as well as water lots in the period between 1816 and 1833.

Much of the land was part of the original grant to Major General John Campbell, commander ofBritish troops on the Penobscot, Maine, during the Revolutionary War and commander-in-chief oftroops in province in 1786. He sold it to Attorney-General Richard John Uniacke, Sr., who in turnconveyed it to William Pryor in 1816.

Other lots were purchased from John Stayner, merchant; Richard Clay (1818) and Stephen HallBinney (1833). About 1818, Pryor acquired a water lot extending into Arm, including foot of CoburgRoad.

William Pryor sold some property and his heirs sold off other parts after 1859.

(The green dashed line in each of the maps below shows the route of the railway cutting.)

Quinpool Road to Jubilee Road

The "Jubilee" estate, in the area of today's Woodlawn Terrace and Dunvegan Drive, had a housethat was built by John Pryor in 1810, the year of George III's jubilee. The railway alignment wasvery close to the buildings on the estate, probably necessitating one of the few demolitions along theroute.

"The Priory", residence of Edward Pryor, is not visible on the map because it was destroyed by fireabout 1870. It was located on the north side of Jubilee Road, just east of Pryor Street. WilliamDuffus occupied the house for a time. The Duffus family had been prominent if Halifax businesscircles since late 18th century, and was related by marriage with the Cunard, Morrow, Salter,Murdoch and other old families.

Around the time of its destruction, it was the residence of James Scott, head of the Army and NavyDepot and one of the merchant princes of the city. Edward Stairs, president of the century-oldWilliam Stairs, Son & Morrow, Ltd. Married James Scott's daughter. His father, the late Hon. W.J. Stairs, declined the offer of the post of Lieutenant-Governor of the Province.

A new house, owned by C.W. Anderson, was built about 1880.

Sir Charles Tupper's "Armdale" was located at the foot of Quinpool Road. He bought the woodsfrom Henry Pryor, the land where Armdale house was situated and the open field in front fromHosterman, and the other portion from the William Pryor estate.

Regan does not discuss the subdivision shown on the map, only some of which was subsequently realized.

Jubilee Road to Coburg Road

Today's Waegwoltic property was the residence of Hon. A.G. Jones, Governor of Nova Scotia, foralmost a half-century. The Hon. A.G. Jones was a native of Digby county who amassed a fortunein the West India business at Halifax, represented Halifax county in the Dominion parliament, was the Minister of Militia in the first Liberal cabinet and died in Government House.

Jones' estate was called "Bloomingdale" and was bought from William Pryor. It originally included"Fairfield", which Mr. Jones sold to John Stairs. The property was acquired from the Jones estateby F. W. Bowes, who transferred it to the Waegwoltic. "Bloomingdale Limited" was the originalincorporated name for the Waegwoltic.

Coburg Road to South Street

Robert Morrow bought "Bircham" on the south side of Coburg Road at the Arm in the years up to1869, partly from Arthur Ansell Boggs. He married the daughter of William Stairs in 1854 andbecame a partner in the business, replacing John Stairs.

The property was bought by F.W. Bowes, a director of the Carleton House and former news editorof the Halifax Chronicle and editor of the "Echo". It was renamed "Birchdale" and housed asuccessful summer hotel for some years (see advertisement at back of Regan's book).

"Thornvale" still stands on the private road linking Coburg Road and South Street. William Pryor's heirs after 1859 conveyed it to Thomas L. Connolly, Archbishop of Halifax. Previously, it had beenthe residence of Rt. Rev. William Walsh, first Archbishop of the diocese.

The Archbishop later sold the property to T.E. Kenny, a member of the mercantile house T. & E.Kenny, who represented Halifax County in the House of Commons for several terms.

In 1878, Sir Sanford Fleming owned the Coburg Cottage property adjoining Thornvale.Subsequently, he exchanged it with T.E. Kenny for a property on South Street.

(See overview maps from 1878 Halifax Atlas.)

Copyright © 2011, Halifax Urban Greenway Association