WHHS Newsletter, June-July 2012
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Stories from the Past: The Starratt Family (excerpt only)
We’ve got an exciting event coming up at Fort Edward; for the second year in a row, the 84th Regiment of Foot will be holding a Military Encampment at Fort Edward for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. There will be live military drills, black powder demonstrations, a sunset ceremony, as well as many other interesting performances. Everyone who attended last year had a great time talking with the soldiers and watching them re-enact a part of our history.
The Modern 84th Regiment is a volunteer, non-profit association devoted to the re-creation of everyday life of the pipes, drums, infantry and camp followers of the Royal Highland Emigrants 1775-1783, which was formed during the period of the American Revolution. (Join our Facebook event for updates!)
During the 84th’s weekend at Fort Edward in Windsor, visitors will be able to walk among the tents to view what daily life would have been like for the soldiers and camp followers.
All who attended in the summer of 2011 reported to have enjoyed the festivities and appreciated the fact that the actors were all very kind and were glad to answer all questions, as well as take pictures with everyone and anyone. We recorded 225 tourists in the run of one weekend for the last year’s reenactment, and we hope with more promotion this year to double or even triple those numbers.
On another note, if there is anyone who has any artifacts, articles, or information on the history of the African or Mi’kmaw Communites of Hants County, please send them to us or consider donating an item. We are attempting to gather more information and artifacts in order to create some new exhibits for next year. Everything helps!
Kerri Beazley, Museum Coordinator
by Sherri Allen
A few of us who volunteer at the historical society have been or is now researching their ancestral roots. There is always something to look through: newspapers, letters, land grants, wills, scrapbooks, etc. And every now and again we find articles about families who have absolutely no relationship to us at all, but their history is so interesting that is forever in our minds. The below story is one of them.
The Starratt Family
Written by Joan Newcomb for the Hants Journal July 12, 1989 for a Starratt Reunion.
[excerpt only; full version available to members in our newsletter]
A man named Starratt left Galway, Ireland in the late 1830’s with his wife and three sons. At the Port of Cork they boarded a sailing vessel destined for Boston. Poor Mrs. Starratt was sick the entire trip, so much so that when the ship was becalmed off the coast of Nova Scotia for more than two weeks, the crew became alarmed at her condition. If she died on board it meant bad luck. So the captain bribed the sailors to put the woman ashore and Mr. Starratt gave a few gold pieces and his tool box to his eldest son and bid him to go on to Boston and find is Uncle. Then he and his two younger sons parted with a few more pieces of gold and the crew put them ashore to join his wife.
On the island they found some Indians picking blueberries who offered to row them to the mainland. But there was no way the sick woman would get in the canoe now that she was feeling so much better on dry land. A few days later the Indians brought their old chief out to see the family. The chief explained that at very low tide it was possible to wade to the mainland. But he warned that the following month of September would bring gales and high waters which would cover the sandbar. So when the tides came Mr. Starratt put the eldest of the boys on his back and made for the mainland. Leaving him, he returned the next day and brought the younger boy and on the third day, his wife.
They lived in a burned out cellar left after the expulsion of the Acadians by the British. Later, on the bank of the Gaspereau River, Mr Starratt built a small house. When the fisherman finally arrived he had the two boys with him but no baby. The German woman had no children of her own and could not part with the little one so she told the fisherman to tell the mother that the baby was sick and couldn’t make the trip on the boat but would be sent along the next year. This she never did. The Starratts were too poor to go to Liverpool or Boston so they never saw their first born son or the bay again and a few years later Mrs. Starratt died.