Dartmouthians recall 'Little Brooklyn,' the stadium they once had
For all the ongoing debate surrounding a new stadium for the Halifax area, it's often forgotten that Dartmouth actually had one, and it really wasn't that long ago.
At the time, folks called it “Little Brooklyn.” It could hold thousands of fans, and was located at one of the Maritimes' busiest intersections.
According to David Jones, his hometown is steeped with secrets, mysteries, and long-forgotten historic facts.
“Dartmouth is a beautiful place full of rich history,” Jones said.
One of his favourite chapters in Dartmouth history is the one that features the old stadium on Wyse Road next to the Macdonald Bridge.
“Unless you happened to grow up in Halifax and Dartmouth in the late 1940s or 50s, you would no idea that there was a serious baseball stadium in Dartmouth,” Jones said.
It was called “Little Brooklyn" because it was named after Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
“It looked like a wonderful spot to go spend time with your family and friends, catching a game on the weekend or in the evening,” Jones said.
Little Brooklyn was the home of the Dartmouth Arrows of the Halifax and District Baseball League; football was also played here.
“This was at a time when TV sets were not common, so this was the real entertainment for people,” Jones said. “My understanding is that the stadium was used a little after 1959 when the H & D Baseball League folded.”
The stadium was torn down almost 60 years ago. Today a hotel sits on the property.
Longtime Dartmouth resident Alex Joseph grew up watching his father work as an umpire at Little Brooklyn.
He has the cherished pictures hanging proudly in his office.
“You had between 3,000 to 5,000 at those games,” Joseph said.
Joseph says the stadium may be long gone, but when he closes his eyes, he can still smell the freshly-mowed grass and hear the roar of the crowd.
Today, there's nothing at the site to officially commemorate the long-lost stadium.
"I think it's kind of sad that we're not remembering that part of our history, especially in Dartmouth,” Joseph said.
Jones says that needs to change because Little Brooklyn represents a big piece of Dartmouth history.
“This is one of many examples of where we need a plaque to tell this story,” Jones said.
It's a story that highlights a long-lost chapter in time -- a time when Dartmouth was its own city, and had its own stadium.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Paul Hollingsworth.