Missing! An investigative report into Oak Islands long lost 90 foot stone (part 3 in a special series)
By Doug Crowell Blockhouse Investigations
In the summer of 2015, we found a picture in the Creighton Family Archives at Dalhousie University that was labeled as A & H Creightons. The sign above the door read Halifax Seed Co. Ltd. As we know from the well known statement given by Harry W. Marshall in 1934, about the 90 foot stone (click here to view it), the bookbindery business of A & H Creighton merged with Edward Marshall's business in 1879 and became Creighton & Marshall Stationers. We also know that when Creighton & Marshall closed down in 1919, the Halifax Seed Company took over their premises.
Here is where the confusion is encountered. R.V. Harris and the Marshall Statement indicate that A & H Creighton bookbindery was located at 64 Upper Water Street in Halifax Nova Scotia, and it was. Marshall recalls that it was 64 Upper Water Street, but Business Directories for the 1870s state the address was actually 68 Upper Water Street. Street numbers may have changed by the early 1900s.
However, we do know for certain that the route of Upper Water Street changed at some point in time and most people believed the building gave way to urban development and was lost to history. Take a look at a map of Halifax in 1830
Upper Water Street, Brunswick Street, Hollis Street, and Lower Water Street all converged in the same area indicated by the red arrow (which we added). Now look to the right side of the map to where you see the word "UPPER". We had to crop the map here for display in this article, but the full map indicated "UPPER WATER STREET". Note that the street address numbers are rising as you travel to the left along Upper Water Street. Now look back to our red arrow. Note that the building on the lower right corner of the block labeled "E" is angled. Now look at a current Google Maps image of the same location.
A more modern traffic flow system has been developed in this area and Upper Water Street now continues on a straight path, rather than passing by the angled building indicated by the red arrow in the above image. This gives the impression to current researchers that the now existing overpasses, the Casino, and the Purdy's Wharf Office Towers now reside where 64 Upper Water Street was likely to be located, when in fact the addressing at this location would now likely be listed as Hollis Street.
Now take a look at the picture we found in the Creighton archive papers at Dalhousie University.
See how the Halifax Seed Company unit is on an angle from the unit to the left of it. This angled feature is almost as well known to those who know their way around Halifax as the Flatiron Building in New York is to most New Yorkers and movie goers, so it was easy to go and check out the location.
Here is a comparison image of the same building then and now.
The doors, the 2nd Floor windows, and even the off white bricks above the NSCAD awning, marking where the small windows and the vent had previously been located, show us that this is the same building.
So to recap, the building in which the Oak Island 90 Foot Stone was taken and put on display, which was A & H Creighton's Bookbindery, located at 64 (or perhaps correctly 68) Upper Water Street in Ordnance Square, still exists. This is where Captain H. L. Bowdoin would have gone to see the stone in 1909, when it was then known as the location of Creighton & Marshall. After Creighton and Marshall closed up shop in 1919, R.V. Harris wrote that the premises was renovated and a company by the name of S. R. Cossey & Co. occupied the location from 1919 to 1927, at which time the Halifax Seed Company moved into the unit. Harris further writes that he, Frederick L. Blair, and Tregunne (owner of the Halifax Seed Company) "made a thorough search of the premises and basement today and found no trace of the stone."
On August 28th of 2015, after confirming the building still existed, Kel Hancock, Thomas Kingston, and myself gained access to the building and conducted a search. The fellow that arranged the access for us had said that a lot of old equipment was still tucked away in the basement, so it was with a high state of excitement that we walked down the steps and into the basement.
Did we come up as empty in our search as Harris and Blair did in 1935? Did we find the stone described in the 1935 Statement of Harry Marshall? Did we see the 90 Foot Stone as seen and described by Oak Island Treasure Hunter Captain Bowdoin in 1909?
We reveal that very soon in Part 4, which is the final installment of this special series.
Thanks for reading and goodnight from The Blockhouse!
From The Blockhouse
is published by Blockhouse Investigations and oakislandcompendium.ca
in Nova Scotia, Canada
Editors and Chief Correspondents
Kelly W. Hancock, CD
John Wonnacott, P. Eng.
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