History of New Germany, Nova Scotia
The first settlement was made to the north of what is now known as Chesley’s Corner by persons from Lahave, principally of German origin, between 1780 and 1790. John Feindel built the first log house presumably on the Lake Road. His son, George, was the first white child born in New Germany.
One of the earliest settlers was John Michael Varner, who came from Germany. He is the Grandfather of Elias and Mathew Varner. Other early settlers to the district were John Mailman, William Woodworth, and Thomas Penny. It was Thomas Penny who carried a bushel and a half of potatoes on his back from Bridgewater to his home, with only a pathway chopped through the forest to follow. William Woodworth settled across the lake, on the west side, and his daughter was the first female child born in New Germany. In the surrounding areas, it is said that Indians lived in tents. The new settlers used burnt land to plant their potatoes as planting on burnt land served as a fertilizer. These people wore cowhide moccasins and when they planted in the spring they buried them to make them soft.
The first store was located at the foot of the lake and owned by Alex Grinton. A cheese factory, about the size of the warehouse, was built on the same side of the river as the schools. It was sold to Will Downing, son of the Methodist minister who made it into an apartment building. Will Downing also bought a store where Steadman's used to be and then sold out to I. B. Delong.
Nathaniel Morgan built a new saw and grist mill at Morgan’s Falls. Before this mill was built, people had to go to Kaulbach’s Mill twenty miles away. John Chelsey built a mill on the site of the one which was owned later by his grandson John Chesley. Nathaniel Morgan was fond of visiting places away from home. He was traveling towards Liverpool, and it is supposed he became bewildered and lost his way in a storm. His dead body was found by Mr. Avard Wile, not far from where Aaron Hebb used to live.
Nelson Chesley Esq., son of John Chesley lived in New Germany for over sixty years. He was a county magistrate and postmaster. He died April 3, 1894 in his eighty-eighth year. He was much respected by all who knew him.
The following is a petition of Joseph Soulnow, an Indian who lived at Church Hill, near New Germany Lake. This petition is to the Governor in request for land. The spelling is original to the document.
This information was found in the Burn’s house in 1989 and given to Marlean Rhodenizer by Zella Burns.
PETITION OF JOSEPH SOULNOW
New Germany, Nov. 11, 1829
TO HIS EXCELENCYE’S PLEASURE:
This petition is of great concernment to me, poor Ingin, because if nobody care for poor Ingin what shall I do for the land that my Grate Granfather first oned before anybody was in Nova Scotia, was after his dead given to my Grandfather from him to my father, then to myself and my brother, and now it is gave away, and now, what shall I do.
If our Governe new that I, poor Ingin, would have to starve, because he got no land, I think it would please him to give hime a peace to make a farm, if could not give him my own land again, that was given me from our Governer long luse it, be we long ago, and layd out, and the Governer did sine my plan and me luse it, be we had cleared on it, and planted appel trees, and fenced a gardin, had a sellar, and now me want to farm and nother man don’t let me, but plenty Kings land if the His Excelency whould have mercy on poor Ingin, because no hunten in Nova Scotia he must all die, so please to give poor Ingin only 100 each that we can plant and stick to our King, then we will all love our King and pray for God to Bless him, so Do not let poor Ingin starve Suner please to give him land to work on then your humble petitioner will ever pray.
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