Sophia Killam Caie saw a need, and she was determined to meet it. The north end of town - Milton - needed a recreation ground for sports and games.
Mrs. Caie, along with her husband, Robert, owned a portion of land that was ideally suited to this purpose. After a series of transactions with others who owned the remaining land in this block, namely, George and Jane Hood and the Town of Yarmouth, the Caies were able to donate to the citizens of the town not only a new park, but a new site for Milton #2 (Naiad) Engine House as well.
Mrs. Caie stipulated the park was to be "known as, and called, Coronation Park". Over the years the park has been known by many names, ranging from Public Square to Boys Playground.
The old Milton #2 Engine House was located on this very block. The Caies donated a new site for its replacement. The new Engine House had many advantages over the old one. It was bigger; had brick exterior walls; and had a tower in which was mounted a large clock - also a gift from the Caies. This building was opened in June, 1910.
The old Engine House was destroyed by fire less than a month after the move to the new premises. The Yarmouth Herald reported that the building was completely destroyed, and "the fire was evidently the work of an incendiary, and investigation will be unnecessary."
1921, the young people who used the park sought permission from the Milton Improvement Society to make a ball diamond on the property. This led to Coronation Park being called by its most descriptive name - Milton Ball Field.
One question remains: What event led to Mrs. Caie's choice of the name of Coronation park? There was no relevant coronation within a few years of the Park's naming. It remains a puzzle today.
[Illustration captions, beginning at bottom left, read]
· Located on the site of Coronation park was No. 2 (or Naiad) Engine house, named as such since it housed the "Naiad" company's steamer (shown here and presently on display in the Firefighters' Museum). In the left background can be seen the Wesleyan Methodist Church and, to its right, the steeple of Yarmouth North Baptist Church.
· Bain's Omnibus stands in front of Cann, Allen & Co.'s hardware store. The 'omnibus' began service from Milton Corner to Moody's Corner (Main and Argyle Streets) in 1878 and ran until the Yarmouth Street Railway started in 1892. (Photo by L.G. Swain of Yarmouth.)
· Panoramic view of Yarmouth, 1878. Coronation Park was bounded by Herbert St. to the south and Alma (or North Alma) St. to the north. The latter was renamed Huntington St. (Herbert Huntington was a long serving, honourable member of the Provincial government in the days of Joseph Howe.) Wetmore
St., to the east, is now known as Pleasant St.
· Main St. looking north c1909. On the left can be seen the Milton Library. On the right is the Milton Engine House located on the site of Coronation Park. Beyond that is the Wesleyan Methodist Church (demolished in the 1960s when its congregation moved to Beacon United Church.)
· Vancouver Street bridge was surrounded by mills which led to the area's name "Mill Town", thence "Milton". This image was likely taken following the storm of Oct. 11th, 1900.
· The "Rialto" was the largest building in Yarmouth when raised in 1839 - it being 70 feet long and 40 broad with three stories not including basement and attic. It became the centre of industry for Milton. Next door was the Milton Iron Foundry run by Wilson, Clark & Co.