An early settler of Pugwash was Jacomiah Seaman, Sr, a Loyalist emigrated from Long Island, New York, who was granted lands by the British Crown to compensate for loss of property during the American Revolution.[i] Two of his sons, Abraham (a harbormaster and tavern owner) and Stephen, likely purchased the land where Thinkers Lodge stands from three Mi’kmaqs in 1802. The original house was built around 1807.[ii] Initially, it was a 26-foot by 34-foot rectangular center hallway.
A dispute about the ownership of the land between Roach, Morse, and Seaman who was suffering from financial problems continued over eleven years until 1828, and Stephen Seaman’s family was evicted from the house in 1817. In 1818, David Sampson Pineo (1770-1838) purchased from Roach and Morse the Old Stephen Seaman House, “which was still one of two or three dwellings on the east side of Pugwash Harbour.”[iii] The purchase price for the land and house was to be paid in five annual installments of 100 pounds. David moved his wife and five children into the “harbor-front” home. These pioneers took great risks, so financial difficulties were not uncommon.[iv]
[i] Old Pugwash Families by James F. Smith, as published in The Oxford Journal, Oxford, Nova Scotia, The North Cumberland Historical Society, June 1985
[ii] The History of Pugwash by James F. Smith, the North Cumberland Historical Society, 1978, Pugwash, Nova Scotia
[iii] Old Pugwash Families by James F. Smith, NCHS, June 1985
[iv] Vivian Godfree email, April 20, 2018