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

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

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, Mayor Gloria McCluskey decided to open the capsule on July 30, 1995 for what was considered as Dartmouth's last birthday party before it merged into Halifax Regional Municipality in April 1996.   

The news clipping on the left describes the time capsule and shows the Mayor McCluskey 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 its entirety at the Halifax Municipal Archives.

Time Capsule Contents

Contents of the Bicentenary time capsule include:

Cover of Bicentennial program with logo at top and colour photograph of celebration on Lake Banook

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

  • Programmes from Bicentennial events;
  • Invitations to the Bicentenary events;
  • Post-cards of 1950s Dartmouth;
  • Copy of The Patriot newspaper from July 20, 1950
  • Posters for the "Old Time" Market;
  • Bicentennial Committee minutes, budget, stamp, and ribbon-badges;
  • I.O.D.E. Bicentennial Committee minutes;
  • Mounted plaque of the town logo with the Bicentenary banner;
  • Promotional book of matches;
  • 64 photographs (see selection below)


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 time capsule container. HMA 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.

See the full time capsule description in the Municipal Archives' online database.


Photographs 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 images.

Contact the Municipal Archives if you can help identify any of the people or places shown in these photographs.

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