Dartmouth's Bicentenary Time Capsule - 1950

photograph of a newspaper clipping showing a man and woman in front of a box labelled Bicentenary Souvenirs Sealed 1950 AD Open 2000

In 1950 the Town of Dartmouth celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding. A time capsule was created to commemorate the bicentennial and though it was intended to be opened for the 250th anniversary in 2000, last mayor of Dartmouth, Gloria McCluskey opened the capsule on July 30th, 1995 in what was seen then as Dartmouth's last birthday party before it merged into Halifax Regional Municipality in April 1996.   

The newsclipping on the left describes the time capsule and shows the mayor  and local historian Harry Chapman at the opening on the Dartmouth Common.

This virtual exhibit presents a selection of contents from the time capsule, which can be viewed in their entirety at Halifax Municipal Archives.

Daily News, July 31, 1995 p.5 (VFE-224-V)

Time Capsule Contents

  • programmes from Bicentennial events;
  • invitations to the Bicentenary events;
  • post-cards of 1950s Dartmouth;
  • The Patriot newspaper from July 20, 1950
  • posters for the "Old Time" Market;
  • Bicentennial Committee minutes, budget, stamp and ribbon-badges;
  • IODE Bicentennial Committee minutes;
  • a mounted plaque of the town logo with the Bicentenary banner;
  • promotional match-book;
  • 64 photographs (see selection below)
Cover of Bicentennial program with logo at top and colour photograph of celebration on Lake Banook

Click on image to view full program including essays on Dartmouth history HMA101-94-9 (6MB)

colour photo of a black metal box with the words Sealed 1950A.D. Open 2000A.d. on the lid and "Bicentenary Souvenirs" on the front

Cast-iron container (101-94)

The Dartmouth Bicentennial and Old Home Week Committee was established in 1946 and chaired by Arthur C. Pettipas (mayor 1948-1950). The Town of Dartmouth provided $25,000 to the Committee to organize the 10-day celebration for the 200th anniversary of the founding of Dartmouth.

Photos of Bicentenary celebrations

Below is a selection of the 64 photographs taken by Benjamin Studios and placed in the time capsule. See the Archives Database to view all 64.  Contact the Archives if you can identify any of the people or places shown, but not mentioned in the captions.

Natal Day Parade photographs - August 2, 1950


Youth Day photographs, August 7, 1950


Photographs of Venetian Night on Lake Banook - August 8, 1950


Sporting Events photographs


Cultural Events photographs

Logo of Dartmouth Bicentenary of Dartmouth, July 30-August 9, 1950