The French and Scottish people were the first inhabitants of Advocate. They settled back from the water’s edge upon the hills. Remains of their dykes and cellars of their homes are still to be seen. They lived chiefly by hunting and fishing. But after a time this race of people died out and Advocate was again destitute of inhabitants for a number of years.
The British government then gave the land to old English soldiers, who setting little value on it were ready to sell it cheaply.
In 1776 at the time of the American Revolution a man named Lutheran Morris and his wife came to Advocate. They resided on what is known as the J.D. Knowlton place. Mr. Morris was a weaver by trade. He lumbered, hunted and fished for a living. He and his wife now lie buried in Capt. Silas Knowlton’s field. The resting place of Mrs. Morris is marked by a large, round beach stone.
In 1779 the first Knowlton came to Advocate. He settled in the western part of the country. The first Spicers also came to Advocate in 1790. These people came from England and settled on what is now known as the S.R. Canning place.
In 1800 the Loomer and Blenkhorn race came to Advocate. The first Loomer settled on the place now occupied by David Loomer. Mr. And Mrs. Patrick Ward came to Advocate in 1820.
Among the later settlers were those whose names were Bigelow, Malcolm and Cox. The early settlers lived chiefly by hunting, farming and fishing.
To obtain their groceries they would take boatloads of fish to Partridge Island and exchange them for sugar, flour, molasses and other supplies. Seventy years there was not a wagon in the place. People traveled on horseback when it was necessary to travel at all. Before the main road was built there was just a path through the forest from Parrsboro to Advocate and from Advocate to Salem.
When two men were going to Parrsboro with just one horse, one of the men would take the horse and ride two miles then alight and tie it and walk along. The other man would come up and take the horse and ride for two miles then tie it and walk along and on until they reached their destination.
A famous gale and high tide was prophecied by a man named Saxby on October 5, 1869. As the people did not believe in the prophecy, they made no provisions for it and were much startled at ten o’clock at night October 5, 1869, by the water pouring into their cellars and raising above their floors. This was called the Saxby Tide.
After this, new dykes were built of mud and piling which with many repairs, have stood to the present day. The first frame house built is that now occupied by J.D. Knowlton. The second on built is that now known as the A.W. Atkinson.
In 1820 the first schoolhouse was built opposite the spot where Mr. Porter’s house now stands. The first teacher’s name was Dormany. He boarded around, staying a few days at each house according to the number of children sent to school.
The first church was a Methodist one and stood on the spot where Mr. Goldsteins’s house now stands.
The first vessel built in West Advocate by a man named Armstrong in the year 1800, was called Windsor. Many vessels were built in West Advocate between the years 1840-50. Among these were those whose names were Mossy Glen, Mary Sofia, Three Sisters and P.C. Dewis. The Vetruvius was built in 1830 by a man named Morris who lived at the cove in East Advocate.
Robert Morris’ house is sitting in an old French graveyard. He came there, ploughed up the land and dug a cellard and built a house. The first graves in our present cemetery were old French graves. There is supposed to be a burying ground at Point Hill. The people who were very superstitious gave this the name of Ghost Point.
The early settlers believe that Capt. Kidd’s money was buried at Spruce Island. Numerous holes are to be seen where they dug trying to find it. Isle of Haut was first called Isle of Halt after a man who landed there. It was afterwards changed to Haut. A story connected with the island is this; when the first refugees came to Advocate there as an Indian and his squaw among them. The Frenchmen would not allow the Indians to land. They therefore set out to sea in an open boat and landed on Isle of Haut. As there seemed to be no means of obtaining a living there the Indian left the island but he left his squaw there to starve. She built a cabin for herself and got a living from the Island some way for a number of years. Finally some Englishmen landing on the island found her there, and took her away with them. Her husband was found and sent out to sea in an open boat which was set on fire.
Advocate has a fine situation. It is nearly surrounded by hills, has Cape D’Or on the east, and Cape Chignecto on the west.
Cape D’Or was the first inhabited by Scottish people. Lady Harely supplied the money to buy land for colonists brought out by a man named Richard to settle and Cape D’Or was the place cho nbsen. But, as they could not make a living there, they soon left the place. When Richard went away he took the deed of the place with him so no person really owns Cape D’Or.
A family of Scottish people moved off the cape and settled on the place now occupied by Bert Morris.
When the refugees first came up the bay they saw the copper on Cape D’Or shining in the sun and though that it was gold. Because of this they called the place the Arm of gold.
A French lookout was situated on Cape Chignecto about half a mile from Refugee cove. The French people built fires here to signal to people on the opposite shore. On this lookout was found an old newland hoe with the root of a tree growing through the eye of it. This was on exhibition in Elderkin’s store for years.
Advocate there used to be three churches, eleven fine stores, three
hotels, and a restaurant.