Fonds MS-4-63 - James E. Dickie and Company fonds

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James E. Dickie and Company fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1855-1901, 1924 (Creation)

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Physical description

5.85 m of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Administrative history

James Edward Dickie, Esq., was a prominent businessman in Stewiake Village (Upper Stewiake), Colchester County, Nova Scotia. The second son of Isaac Patton Dickie and Rebecca Barnhill, he was born in 1832 in Onslow, Colchester County, and was sometimes referred to as Edward in his early years.

Dickie briefly owned a store in Onslow with his older brother John Barnhill Dickie. The partnership dissolved around 1855 and James Dickie moved to Stewiacke Village in 1856 where he bought a general store from J.L. Walker. With his brothers-in-law, Frederick Tupper and George Fulton, he established J.E. Dickie and Company to operate the store. Fulton left the company in the mid-1870s to purchase his own store.

James Dickie was active in his community. He was an elder in his Presbyterian Church, held a number of professional appointments and shares in local communities, and served as the Justice of the Peace for Colchester County. He married Harriet Tupper in 1859 with whom he had six children who lived to adulthood: Alfred, Alice, Henry, Edwin, Bessie, and Laura. At one time or another all of the children assisted with the operation of the store, working as clerks and communicating with suppliers, customers, and employees. Edwin, in particular became very involved with the family’s business.

In 1890 the company was reformed as Messrs J.E. Dickie and Son to reflect Edwin’s growing participation and responsibilities. James Dickie’s health declined shortly thereafter and Edwin took over the business. James Dickie died in August of 1891.

Edwin Dickie began dealing under his own name as a wholesale and retail dealer and direct importer. A branch store at Brookfield, managed by Elijah Leard, was in operation by 1901. Edwin quit the store late in the fall of 1907, selling to his cousin Hedley Fulton, in order to settle in Vancouver, a move he had been considering since the mid 1890s. James R. Fulton was operating the Dickies’ former store in Stewiacke in 1924.

Custodial history

This fonds was received in several accessions from Edward J. Dickie and Donald Dickie, great-grandsons of James E. Dickie, in 1972.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of documents illustrating the diverse interests of James Edward Dickie and his family. While nearly all of the records date from the ownership of the Stewiacke general store by James E. Dickie and his son Edwin, the fonds does contain one letter-book from 1924, when James R. Fulton managed the store.

This fonds consists of documents which fall into three main categories: business records related to the companies owned by the Dickies; correspondence which contains a mixture of both personal and business records; as well as the personal records of the Dickie family.

The fonds contains the following series: General Store (J.E. Dickie and Company; J.E. Dickie and Son; Edwin Dickie); Lumber Company (Dickie and Company); Nova Scotia Telephone Company; Stewiacke Valley and Lansdowne Railroad; Letters and Communications; James Edward Dickie; Harriet Tupper (Mrs. James E. Dickie); Edwin Dickie; Rev. Dr. Henry Dickie; and Rachel Dickie (Upham? – lodger in 1901 census).

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Physical condition

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The original order of this fonds is no longer entirely clear. It has therefore been generally arranged according to function and, occasionally, according to certain vestiges of original arrangement remaining within the material. It is apparent in notes made on some of the records themselves that Dickie maintained files chronologically under the following headings: Letters and Communications; Work Bills; Due Bills; and Orders. Others, such as the Bill (or Purchase Invoice) Books, are identifiable by the physical construction. The structure of these files at a higher level is, however, not discernable, nor is there any suggestion of alphabetisation within a recognised file for any given year.

Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Records in this fonds have been intermingled with both the Alfred Dickie fonds, MS-4-64, and the Henry Dickie fonds, MS-2-210. This intermingling occurred while the records remained inactive in the custody of the Dickie family and also after accessioning at the archives. As a result of this confusion, the latter fonds (MS-2-210) has been entirely subsumed into this fonds, while the Alfred Dickie fonds (MS-4-64) should be checked, particularly in reference to Edwin Dickie.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], James E. Dickie and Company fonds, MS-4-63, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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