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In the early days and continuing into the 20th century, under the townships' Commissioners of Sewers, each group of proprietors of a dyke organized itself for the day-to-day use of the lands and the maintenance of their condition. At annual meetings, the proprietors set the yearly rate for covering the dykeland expenses. They also appointed, from among themselves (it was all voluntary work), assizers to assess the size and value of dyke holdings; field watchers to keep an eye on the condition of the fields and to ensure peace on the dykelands; fence viewers; and drivers to care for the animals feeding on the common fields. Branders were also appointed to brand and otherwise mark the livestock to be allowed on the dykelands after haying or harvest. The records consists of five volumes with information about dykes and common fields in the Annapolis Valley area, including minutes of Proprietors and minutes and accounts of the Wickwire Dyke.
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