Those Amazing Women
The Age of Sail brought a considerable amount of wealth to the port of Yarmouth. There have been many instances in which those who earned these riches undertook projects to benefit the citizens of the area. However, none were so wide ranging in their generosity, and concern, as the family of shipowner, Samuel Killam. These benefactors were his daughters Sophia (Killam) Caie and Clara Killam and his granddaughter Clara Caie. Individually, and collectively, these women were wide ranging in their generosity. Their efforts were responsible for:
· Coronation Park
· a permanent home for the Milton Library
· funds to meet the operating costs of that Library
· the clock for atop the new Milton #2 Engine House
· land for the Yarmouth Golf and Country Club
· land, and financial support, for the Vancouver Street site of the Yarmouth Hospital
· the Golden Horse Fountain at Milton corner
· financial support for Holy Trinity Anglican church
· enrichment activities for the Greenville School
· academic awards and scholarships for deserving local students
· recreational facility for student nurses
· accommodations for rural female high school students and for the hospital's night nurses
· art appreciation lessons for women of the Milton area
· a helping hand whenever and wherever it was needed
Miss Clara Caie, in particular, was very active in local and national women's organizations and was a strong advocate of Women's Rights.
Milton Improvement Society
In 1913, a group came together to organize an Improvement Society for the Milton area. Much of their early activity was done in conjunction with projects initiated by the Killam/Caie women. Their stated purpose then, as now, was "to improve conditions wherever, and when needed."
Among other projects undertaken over the years, the Society:
· assisted with the maintenance and beautification of Coronation Park
· assisted with the maintenance of the Milton Library
· carried out beautification of Sealed Landers Park
· repurposed the watering bowls on Milton Fountain as planters
Their work continues to this day, and will, no doubt, continue for another 100 years.
[Photo captions, from left to right, read]
· Clara Caie (1874-1955), daughter of Robert and Sophia Caie
· The Milton Fountain or the "Golden Horse Fountain" was presented by Miss Clara Killam in 1893. It initially provided drinking water for people, horses and even dogs and cats. Following damage by a snow plough it was re-aligned in its present position. The street car belonged to the Yarmouth Street Railway which began in 1892
and was the first such enterprise east of Montreal.
· The Milton Fire Engine House was opened in June, 1910. The tower was used to dry canvas hoses. Its clock was given by the Caies and was cared for by the Milton Improvement Society. This building served until 1975, when the Yarmouth Fire Department was placed under one roof.
· Sophia Caie (1836-1916), daughter of Capt. Samuel Killam and wife of Robert Caie.
· Constructed in 1888 to house the Milton Library this Gothic Revival style building was donated by Sophia Caie and her sister Miss Clara Killam. It later became the first home of the Yarmouth County Museum.
· "Fir Banks", Vancouver St., was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Caie and their daughter, Clara. It stood until the 1960's. One of Yarmouth's finest houses it was surrounded by splendid formal gardens.
· Clara Killam (c1853-1909), daughter of Capt. Samuel Killam.