A 19TH Century Canadian Time Capsule

They were lost on 11 April and their bodies found on 17 April locked in each other’s arms after a search by thousands. Their head stone may yet be seen in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Dartmouth. The incident is often referred to as the story of the Babes in the Woods”. Some of the other characters living in or around Halifax in the story were not fictional as well. In particular, Miss Grove used the actual names of the Natives as well as those of local businessmen. These names are apart from the ‘historically’ accurate names which Little Grace learns or discusses with her family and friends.

The time-line seems to show a lack of active writing in 1845.

This gap in writing combined with the fact that the history doesn’t cover the early 1800’s (when one would expect this period would be prime material for a school girl in the 1840’s), and with the abrupt change to a poetic finish provide the most compelling evidence that Anne Grove (rather than one of her three sisters) wrote the story. You can read more about Anne <ahref=”http://grove.accesseon.ca/anne.html”>here

In 1845, Anne (then 32 years old) bought a building at 97 Hollis Street to relocate her school from its previous location on Albemarle (Market) street where it had been since November, 1840 as indicated in the following advertisement that was published in the “Novascotian” on November 19th, 1840 (Copied from an article by Robert P. Harvey, Head of Social Studies at Sackville High School):

“Miss Grove has taken the house lately occupied by Major Bayers in Albermarle Street (Market Street, Halifax) and has removed her school there. Miss Grove intends to take a limited number of boarders whose moral and intellectual improvement will form the objects of her constant care. Their health will be attended to and they will be required to take constant and regular exercise. Terms – When the pupil is provided with her own bedding and towels and spoons £35. – When these are not provided £40.”

This suggests that in 1840 there was only one Miss Grove teaching in Halifax. A quick check of the 1838 census records for Halifax and area doesn’t show any sign of the Grove sisters so it appears that Anne was probably the first to arrive.