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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ebenezer Cole and Dorchester, New Brunswick


Ebenezer, along with Joseph Read, were founders of the Baptists of Sackville. Around 1802, Ebenezer moved to Dorchester where he continued to farm. Two of his older sons, Rufus, called Squire Rufus and Martin purchased the lands of their Uncle Martin, who had died in 1809. Here they quarried grinding stones and shipped them all up and down the east coast. Martin became the mariner and captained the ships that he and Rufus owned, while Rufus tended to the business of the quarries. Squire Rufus and Martin purchased a 60 ton schooner, Brant, and then they built a vessel of 100 tons and called it Martha Grace, which they sailed for 12 years.  According to some of the histories written about this area, this business became quite successful, until heavy duties imposed by the American Colonies made it cost prohibitive.

Squire Rufus Cole (1796-1884) m.1 Lavina Cutler (1797-1862) – 11 Children
          Seraphina Cutler (1819-1853) spinster
          Martha Grace (1821-1846) m. Charles Calhoun – 3 children
          Mary Ruth (1823-1890) m. Stephen Barnes (1807-1872) – 5 children
          Olive C. (1826-1862) spinster school teacher
          Rufus Cutler (1829-1918) m. Charlotte Smith  - 7 children
          Jonas Cutler (1831-1883) m. Adelia Jane Calkins (1851-1924) – 2 children
          Ruth Elizabeth (1834-1864) m. Thomas Anderson (1840-1918). They married in 1863      
          and Ruth was lost at sea in a storm in 1864.
          Lavinia V. (1837-1884) m. Edwin Bennett (1841-1870) – 1 child
          Charles W. (1840-1875)
          Augusta (1844-1866)
          Laleah Burpee (1845-1870) m. Alfred Bennett  They were married in 1867 and then      
          Laleah was lost at sea in a storm.

Ebenezer’s youngest son from his first marriage was Martin and he was the one who went into business with his older brother Squire Rufus. Martin settled in Sackville, married Mary Smith in 1830 and had 6 children.

          Mariner Lamb (1831-1862) m. Lucy Ann Snowden (1836-?) 2 children
          Alfred D. (1834-1912) m. Margaret McIntyre (1849-1916) – 4 children
          Ruth E. (1837-1912)
          Jonathan (1840 -?) Catherine Palmer (1841-1888) – 2 children
          Martha Ann Grace (1842-1877) – Asa Read (1831-1880) – 1 child
          Joseph Bedford (1850-1924) – Ada Tower (1856-1935) – 9 children

Ebenezer now had a second family, who were still quite young. Ebenezer’s oldest son, Jonathan and his oldest daughter Elizabeth (Cole) Palmer appear to be the only ones of his children, by his first marriage, who remained in Dorchester. His daughter Ruth (Cole) Calhoun removed to Albert Co., and his other daughter, Martha (Cole) Read went to CT. When Ebenezer died in 1826, his second wife, Margaret, would have been about 38 years old, with three children under the age of 11. I’ve found nothing written in any of the histories nor does there seem to be any family lore regarding how she managed the farm. Perhaps neighbors and family pitched in to help keep things going. However it was managed, she was able to keep the farm until her son Edward was old enough to take it over.

Edward was married in 1841 to Catherine Buck, d/o George and Phebe (Palmer) Buck and the Ebenezer Cole farm now became the home of the next generation of Coles. Edward and Catherine had 9 children. They were:

Ebenezer (1843-1867) m. Mary Ann Cook
Lucinda Jane (1845-1919) m1. Capt. William Edward Buck (1840-1887 lost at                          sea), s/o James R. and Sarah Mitton Buck. - 10 children;  
                                              m2. Capt. John A. Cook (1844-1909 lost at sea), s/o George and        
                                              Ann Coffee Cook
David (1850-1863)
Phebe (1851-1869)
*Rebecca Ellen (1854-1944) m. Alexander Scott Chambers (1855-1887 lost at                                                                                  
                                              sea), s/o James and Sarah MacPherson Chambers – 2 children                     
Edward William (1857-1908) m. Alice Dooe (1860-1934) – 7 children
Mary Abigail (1859-1925) m. John Muldoon (1847-1922), s/o Alexander and Mary Flynn  
                                               *1 Child
Emma Frances (1863-1948), m. Edmond Cole (1857-1918), s/o Martin and Sarah Crossman 
                                              Cole - 1 child
Margaret ((1866-1899) m. William Andrew Mitton (1858-1903), s/o Andrew and Ruth Mitton         
                                              – 4 children

A newspaper clipping says that Edward’s son, Ebenezer, died at his parents’ home. He was a sea Captain and his ship was the schooner William K. Chapman. Not all of the ships from this area of NB were ‘coasters.’ Many went on much longer voyages, The West Indies, Europe, Africa, even China. The clipping didn’t say what the cause of death was, but bringing back a tropical disease from some far distant port happened more often than one would think. Edward and Catherine had already lost their son, David, in 1863, then they lost Ebenezer and soon to follow, their daughter Phebe. In a matter of 6 years they lost three of their children. Lucinda became the eldest, nearly ten years older than my gt. grandmother Rebecca. The rest of the children grew to adulthood.

This was the day of sailing ships. Dorchester became a major ship building center, with plenty of available timber and a good harbor for launching ships.  There were three major ship builders in the Dorchester area. Gideon Palmer began his ship yard in 1854, in Dorchester, William Hickman moved to Dorchester in 1865 and took over an already established shipyard. Robert Chapman’s shipyard was in Rockland. Overall, the ship building industry lasted from about 1825 until 1899, but from mid-1820 to the 1860’s, it was considered the Golden Age of Sailing. Dorchester also became a port, of sorts. They exported timber, gypsum, and grinding stones which could end up in any one of the major seacoast cities. The return cargo might be coal or other goods that were not easily attainable in Dorchester.

Dorchester became a prosperous community and those connected to the shipyards or sailing became well respected citizens. Edward either gave up farming or greatly reduced the farming he did, because around 1847 he began to run the subsidized ferry between Hopewell Cape, Albert Co. and Cole’s Point.

As it is said, all good things must come to an end and that applies to the shipbuilding of sailing ships. A new age is arriving. There are now railroads springing up and ships are no longer relying on wind but on steam. As the industry began to decline, there were fewer and fewer jobs to be had. More and more of the Dorchester and Sackville inhabitants began to relocate. Many chose other shipbuilding sites along the east coast, other chose to go the bigger cities and take on a new trade all together. Those who had built ships were now building houses, using their carpenter’s skills. For many it was fortunate their skills were transferable. It was the end of an era.

Edward Cole’s mother, Margaret, died in 1876. Edward and Catherine continue to live in the Ebenezer house until he died in 1897. Catherine would live until 1904. Their son Edward, and his wife Alice, with their seven children also lived at the homestead.

 





















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