Henry T. d’Entremont General Store – Lower East Pubnico, NS

Administrative History

Henry T. d’Entremont fonds
compiled by
Una Hubbard, Archival Assistant (1994), under the supervision of Peter Crowell, Municipal Historian & Archivist (Municipality of Argyle)
Arrangement and description of this fonds was made possible through an Arrangement and Description Backlog Reduction grant from the Council of Nova Scotia Archives and the Council of Canadian Archives.
Date Compiled: 3 September, 1994
Revised for HTML: 21 October, 1998

Henry Thomas d’Entremont, son of George David and Catherine (Murphy) d’Entremont, was born on the 20th February, 1859 in Lower East Pubnico, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. He became a general merchant in 1883 when he opened a store in Lower East Pubnico. The first day book found within this fonds gives the exact date of the opening of the store as the 13 June, 1883. Sold within this store was a variety of merchandise from groceries, hardware, to clothing.

Henry T. d’Entremont gradually expanded his business over the years. A wharf was constructed behind the store by 1892 (“Yarmouth Light” – 11 Aug. 1892, Thurs.). Located on the wharf was a warehouse that was used for a variety of purposes including storage of goods and a drying area for the making of oil clothes. Also part of his business was ice harvesting. He had three ponds and two ice houses set up for the making and storing of ice. The ice was made in the winter and used during the summer or fall to preserve the fish that was being sent via steamers such as the “Arcadia” and the “LaTour” for selling in the United States. Henry T. d’Entremont was also involved in the mackerel business with Elizah LeBlanc. A mackerel trap was set out in the harbour during the spring, and the fish caught were sold in Boston, Massachusetts. Located behind the store and near the wharf was a trap house used as a storage unit and as a living area for the crew who worked with the trap.

Besides shipping mackerel to the United States, Henry T. d’Entremont would also buy lobsters, halibut, and a variety of other fish from local fishermen and transport it to the United States for sale on the American market. He would do the same with crates of blueberries during the summer months. A ledger found within this fonds labelled as the “Account of Lobsters” indicates that the lobsters were first processed in a canning factory before they were transported elsewhere.

Also operated by Henry T. d’Entremont within his general store was a post office which would have been established ca. 1893. (A letter dated August, 1893 from the Post Office Inspector in Halifax, N.S. to him acknowledges the necessity for a mail service in Lower East Pubnico.) The post office would have been located here at least until 1902 when records pertaining to it within this fonds cease.
In addition to establishing his own businesses, he also owned shares in several marine vessels including the “Hazel Glen”, the “Uncle Sam”, the “Souvenir”, and the “Anna McGee”. The Yarmouth Shipping Registry has Henry T. d’Entremont owning 33 of the 64 shares of the “Hazel Glen” in 1901. During the 1890′s, he also invested money toward expenses for the construction of inventor Ernest Niehoff’s “air bag” – a device used to raise sunken vessels. His business relationship with Mr. Niehoff appears to have diminished after 1895 when correspondence between them ceased.

In a letter to Henry T. d’Entremont dated the 8 February, 1894, Ernest Niehoff congratulates him on his marriage to his wife – Sophia LeBlanc of Lower East Pubnico, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Several years after his marriage, he became a member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia as his grandfather, Simon d’Entremont, had before him. He was elected as a member for Yarmouth County in 1916, and served in the Assembly until his death – 30 March, 1920.

In addition to this, he was a member of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association c. 1896-1913 – a fraternal society which dealt primarily in life and health insurance. He was also a member of the Pubnico Fisherman’s Bait Association c.1900′s.

After Henry T. d’Entremont’s death in 1920, Stanley Amiro of Lower East Pubnico, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia took over the general store and established the Amiro Bros. & d’Entremont Fish Company. He, too, was involved in the mackerel trap and the sale of fish in the United States. Henry T.’s daughter, Nemerise d’Entremont, maintained the store after Stanley Amiro, until 1987. (Information for this sketch was obtained from records in this fonds, Edward S. d’Entremont’s Whispers of the Past, Shirley B. Elliott’s The Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1758-1983, “The Argus”, vol.1, nos. 1 & 2, pp. 20-21, and an interview with Edward S. d’Entremont.)