I.e., Mrs. and Colonel John Stuart

(see S18n1 )

According to Lawson (1893, p.257), the "mansion" Louisa speaks of was built by Thomas Beamish Sr.--on a 500 acre lot granted in 1765 to Frederick Ott, step-father of Mrs. Thomas Beamish Sr. (see Al6nl ). When Frederick Ott died, in 1783, he left the land to the children of Thomas Sr. and Amelia. So the house that Thomas and Louisa, Harriet and Betsy are visiting this day, at one time belonged literally to Thomas and Harriet and their sisters and brothers. Likely, the Beamish family lived here from shortly before 1790 (in which year Thomas Beamish Sr. is said to be "late of Halifax but now of Cole Harbour") to 1797, the year the Crown bought this and other lots for the use of the Maroons. If so, then it is very likely Maria would have been born here and perhaps Harriet before her. This early Beamish presence in Cole Harbour may explain how the Beamish and Collins families have become close friends.

When Frederick Ott made his will, in 1780, only five of the Beamish children were mentioned explicitly: Margaret Ott Beamish (mother of Thomas Beamish Akins, the historian), Frederick Ott Beamish, Charles Ott Beamish, Elizabeth Ott Beamish (mother of Beamish Murdoch, the historian--for which latter see O1n2 ), and Sarah Catherine Ott Beamish. But all of the yet unborn children of Thomas and Amelia were included as well, Thomas Jr., Harriet, and Maria among them. The Beamishes held the land from 1783 to 1797. In the latter year, Thomas would have been ca.16. His as yet unmarried sisters Margaret and Elizabeth (mothers of the well known historians) would have been ca. 23 and ca. 20 respectively. (Each of these women died not long after this, during or shortly after the birth of her only child--the one mother in 1809, the other in 1800.) Their younger sisters, Harriet and Maria, would have been eight and ca. six respectively. Louisa Collins might have been as much as one year old.

Lawson says the Stuart house was "long and low, completely shaded by trees, and very gloomy in appearance." (p.257) This may have been true of the house--particularly in Lawson's time--but it is difficult to believe it of the setting. For the house would have been perched halfway up the side of Long Hill, which hill affords a splendid and exhilarating prospect of the broad expanse of the Cole Harbour basin. And certainly it would not have been true of the gentleman who occupied the house, for as she herself points out, "Staurt was a most cheerful and kindly man, hospitable in the extreme, and a great favourite with his neighbours." (p. 258)

Click to view site of the Stuart Farm .