Upper Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia
The community is situated along Pockwock Road and is considered one of the most historic communities for Black Nova Scotians. There were 330 residents who identified themselves as having black ancestry in the 2006 census.
Its border is defined by the Government of Nova Scotia and it is adjacent to Hammonds Plains in the east and south, Upper Tantallon in the south, Head of St. Margarets Bay and Mount Uniacke in the west, and Mount Uniacke and Upper Sackville in the north.
Upper Hammonds Plains was originally established in 1815 as a settlement area for Black Refugees from the War of 1812 when a group of 500 refugees moved to the area immediately north of the then 34-year-old logging and farming community Hammonds Plains.
"As with most Blacks forced to live on the outskirts of more thriving areas, they were faced with great hardships. In 1821, 95 of these Black settlers left for Trinidad. Most, however stayed under horrible living conditions and numerous obstacles, rising above their circumstances to carve out an honest living for themselves."
"Land and water expropriation has been a major issue in the community since municipal and provincial governments began looking to the Upper Hammonds Plains area for land around 1974. This resulted in the expropriation of Pockwock Lake to supply water for the city of Halifax, the town of Bedford, and Halifax County. The expropriated land would house the Halifax regional water commission’s water treatment plant. The community was offered $100,000 for the land – much less than what it was actually worth. Moreover, although the water main lines passed through the community’s backyards, there was no offer of water service made to the community. In 1987 Rev. Willard Clayton raised the issue of the need for water service and compensation, citing that the community lost use of its sustainable resource of fishing, as well as recreational swimming and Sunday morning baptisms, among other things. Hammonds Plains is now connected the city’s water system."
"Rev. John Burton (or 'Father Burton') was the first to provide pastoral services to the community. He established the Hammonds Plains Second Baptist Church in 1822. In 1832, the legendary Rev. Richard Preston (founder of the African United Baptist Association) established the Hammonds Plains Baptist Church. In 1839, the two churches joined - the unified church was referred to as Emmanuel Baptist Church." The current building housing Emmanuel Baptist Church was built in 1845 and has served the community continuously since that time, having undergone a significant expansion in 2005.
The Pockwock Lake reservoir is the primary water supply for Halifax. A water treatment plant and pipeline in the community are operated by Halifax Water, a department of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Upper Hammonds Plains boasts the first all Black volunteer fire department in Canada.
Schools which service residents of Upper Hammonds Plains include;
- Kingswood Elementary School
- Madeline Symonds Middle School
- Tantallon Elementary School
- Five Bridges Junior High School
- Sir John A. Macdonald High School
- Hammonds Plains Consolidated School
- Charles P. Allen High School
- "Halifax Community Profile". Upper Hammonds Plains. Racism, Violence & Health Project, Faculty of Social Work, Dalhousie University. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "NSCAF Civic Address Finder". Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.