New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. June 21, 2017

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This blog will continue to grow, but following is a table of contents so far from the top:

  1. Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists – June 21, 2017
  2. 1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854 – June 14, 2017
  3. Fishing on the Nepisiquit River in the 1870’s – June 7, 2017
  4. The Clock at Fredericton City Hall – May 31, 2017
  5. Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé – May 24, 2017
  6. Boss Gibson’s First Railroad – May 17, 2017
  7. The New Brunswick Postal Service in 1856 – May 10, 2017
  8. Defending the ‘Worthless, Unsteady and Villainous’ Cutters of Wood – May 3, 2017
  9. Tossed by the Sea Into a Frozen Wilderness-1788 – Apr. 26, 2017
  10. The King of France Cannot Have Given You Our Land, Because it Was Not His – Apr. 19, 2017
  11. Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  12. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick via Charlottetown and Shediac in 1867 – Apr. 5, 2017
  13. A Sunday EXTRA: No Meeting of Minds Between the Acadians and the British in 1717 – Apr. 2, 2017
  14. Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 1844 – A Vast Ocean of Trees – Mar. 29, 2017
  15. Shabby Streets, Decaying Houses, and Steep Plank Sidewalks. Saint John in 1874 – Mar. 22, 2017
  16. In the Beginning – Wabanaki Creation Stories – Mar. 15, 2017
  17. Pride versus Rascals and Villains in Saint John in 1791 – Mar. 8, 2017
  18. The Trent Affair – Mar. 1, 2017
  19. A Shocking Description of Anti-Confederates in Rural Nova Scotia in 1867 – Feb. 22, 2017
  20. Surveying Through the Wilderness in 1844 – Feb. 15, 2017
  21. At the Bend of the Petitcodiac in 1844: Moncton – Feb. 8, 2017
  22. Maria Rye and Her British Home Children – Feb. 1, 2017
  23. New Brunswick’s East Coast in 1832, Following the Miramichi Fire – Jan. 25, 2017
  24. Slavery in the Loyalist Era – Jan. 18, 2017
  25. Weather and the Seasons in Micmac Mythology – Jan. 11, 2017
  26. New Brunswick’s Roads in 1832: ‘Many paths are misnamed roads’. Jan. 7, 2017
  27. Nova Scotia and New England During the Revolution – Dec. 28, 2016
  28. A Holiday Special: Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 23, 2016
  29. Expressions from Cuffer Down plus Signs and Omens – Dec. 21, 2016
  30. From Passamaquoddy to the Petitcodiac: What it Was Like in 1832 – Dec. 14, 2016
  31. Raymond Writes About the Lives and Customs of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet People – Dec. 7, 2016
  32. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  33. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  34. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  35. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  36. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  37. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  38. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  39. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  40. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  41. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  42. 1 – David Kennedy’s Travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 21, 2016 (This blog posting was lost on Sept. 28th. I decided not to re-post, since it would clutter my subscribers’ screens.)
  43. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  44. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  45. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  46. Blog past #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  47. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  48. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  49. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  50. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  51. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  52. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  53. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  54. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  55. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  56. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  57. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  58. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  59. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016
  60. The Northern Colonies: Languishing in Mediocrity – ca 1804 – May 18, 2016
  61. Fredericton’s Victoria Cottage Hospital – May 11, 2016
  62. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records – May 4, 2016
  63. Slog on, or Die – Apr. 27, 2016
  64. Changes Nova Scotia Underwent from Discovery to 1758 When the First General Assembly Met in Halifax – Apr. 20, 2016
  65. The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures – Apr. 13, 2016
  66. Missions to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in the Early 1800’s – Apr. 6, 2016
  67. It Sounded Like a Residential School Philosophy – Mar. 30, 2016
  68. The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  69. Giddy, Eccentric, and Discontented Characters, or Misguided Souls, or Turncoats? – Mar. 16, 2016
  70. Indian Routes of Travel in New Brunswick – Mar. 9, 2016
  71. Historic Sites from the English Period on the Saint John River – Mar. 2, 2016
  72. How to Hunt a Moose, a Goose, and a Caribou in New Brunswick in 1791 – Feb. 24, 2016
  73. William Hubbard Complains to Edward Winslow about the Congregationalists in Sheffield – Feb. 17, 2016
  74. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours – Feb. 10, 2016
  75. WE NEED THE ACADIANS TO REMAIN: Lieut Governor, 1715 – Feb. 2, 2015
  76. Guy Carleton on the Fur Trade in Canada, 1767 – Jan. 27, 2016
  77. A Letter on Irish Immigrants – Jan. 20, 2016
  78. The Wreck of the ‘Lord Ashburton’ – Jan. 13, 2016
  79. A Ghost at Noonday – Jan. 6, 2016
  80. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 3: Will Not the Bright Sun and the Blue Heavens Testify Against Us? – Dec. 30, 2015
  81. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 2: To Every Thing There is a Season – Dec. 23, 2015
  82. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 1: All Men From One Blood – Dec. 16, 2015
  83. Limits to the Royal Bounty – Dec. 9, 2015
  84. Nova Scotia, a Receptacle for Superfluous People? – Dec. 1, 2015
  85. From New Ireland to New Brunswick – Nov. 25, 2015
  86. The Most Gentlemanlike Government on Earth – Nov. 18, 2015
  87. I Love You for Your Plainness – Nov. 11, 2015
  88. Ward Chipman Remembers the Final Evacuation of New York – Nov. 4, 2015
  89. A Reply to “Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok” – Oct. 28, 2015
  90. A Century of Educational Progress in New Brunswick from 1800 to 1900 – Oct. 21, 2015
  91. Notes About the Earliest Public Markets in Saint John, New Brunswick – Oct. 14, 2015
  92. The Provincial Dairy School at Sussex, New Brunswick, 1900 – Oct. 7, 2015
  93. An Account of Nova Scotia in 1743 – Sept. 30, 2015
  94. The Petition of the Infamous 55 – Sept. 23, 2015
  95. Francis Sharpe’s Woodstock Apples – Sept. 16, 2015
  96. The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  97. The New Brunswick Election of 1785 – Sept. 2, 2015
  98. The Many Fires in Saint John, 1784-1877 – Aug. 26, 2015
  99. A Proposal for an Attack on N0va Scotia – Aug. 19, 2015
  100. Fredericton’s Great Flood of 1936 – Aug. 12, 2015
  101. A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015
  102. Saint John in 1834, Before it was Forever Changed by the Great Fire – July 29, 2015
  103. New Brunswick, No Country for a Mere Gentleman, 1834 – July 22, 2015
  104. Woodstock, the Only Village Between the Green River and Fredericton in 1834 – July 15, 2015
  105. On the Tamiscouta Prtage from Lake Tamiscouta to just above Grand Falls, 1834 – July 10, 2015
  106. Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok – July 1, 2015
  107. By Steamer to the So-Called City of Fredericton – June 24, 2014
  108. A Quiet and Business-Like Little City – June 17, 2015
  109. Rambles Among the Bluenoses in 1862 – June 10, 2015
  110. Edward John Russell, a New Brunswick Artist – June 3, 2015
  111. Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Report of the Medical Superintendent, 1875 – May 27, 2015
  112. The Saint John River and Port Royal in the Early 1600’s – May 20, 2015
  113. What Should We Think of Benedict Arnold? – May 13, 2015
  114. Diphtheria in New Brunswick in the Year 1889 – May 6, 2015
  115. The Official Account of the Destruction of Burnt Church – Apr. 29, 2015
  116. The Exchange Coffee House and Saint John’s First Club – Apr. 22, 2015
  117. The Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians – Apr. 15, 2015
  118. The Story of Brook Watson – Apr. 8, 2015
  119. Where Stood Fort LaTour? – Apr. 1, 2015
  120. Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War – Mar. 25, 2015
  121. At Portland Point – Mar. 18, 2015
  122. Electrical Power From the Reversing Falls – Mar. 10, 2015
  123. Father Rale’s War – 1722-25; How it Ended – Mar. 4, 2015
  124. What Was the Big Deal About the Marco Polo? – Feb. 25, 2015
  125. Grand Manan to Petitcodiac, in 1786 – Feb. 18, 2015
  126. A Trip From St. John to Fredericton in 1870 – Feb. 11, 2015
  127. A Tour of St. John, N.B., in 1870 – Feb. 4, 2015
  128. Destruction by Fire of the First Cathedral in Chatham – Jan. 28, 2015
  129. Burgan the Burglar – Jan. 21, 2015
  130. Facts and Reasons Against Confederating With Canada – Jan. 14, 2015
  131. Discontent in Early Halifax in 1756 – Jan. 7, 2015
  132. A Trip on the ICR From Bathurst to Miramichi – Dec. 31, 2014
  133. Early Attempts to Introduce the Cultivation of Hemp in Eastern British America – Dec. 24, 2014
  134. Touring Campbellton and Dalhousie, Despite the Mosquitoes, 1876 – Dec. 19, 2014
  135. The Fire of 1837 in Saint John – Dec. 10, 2014
  136. The Cruise of the Rechab – Dec. 3, 2014
  137. A Night in the Deep – Nov. 26, 2014
  138. Robert Foulis (A Misplaced Genius) – Nov. 19, 2014
  139. The City Mills – Nov. 15, 2014
  140. The Brothers d’Amours – Nov. 5, 2014
  141. John Allan’s Revolutionary Mission to the Saint John River – Oct. 29, 2014
  142. Relics of the Acadian Period – Oct. 22, 2014
  143. Some Odd Old Advertisements – Oct. 15, 2014
  144. The Miramichi Fire – Relief of the Sufferers – Oct. 8, 2014
  145. Jonathan Eddy’s Account of the Attack on Fort Cumberland, November, 1776 – Oct. 1, 2014
  146. Which of These Two is the Wisest and Happiest? – Sept. 24, 2014
  147. Fredericton Bridge, a Prophetic Writing – Sept. 17, 2014
  148. A Speech to Distinguished Persons of Stake and Consideration – Sept. 10, 2014
  149. Building an Education System From Almost Nothing – Sept. 3, 2014
  150. Cape Tormentine to the Baye des Chaleurs in the 1600’s – Aug. 27, 2014
  151. The Customs of the Mi’kmaq in the 1600’s and Before – Aug. 20, 2014
  152. Two Documents Relating to the Fenians in New Brunswick – Aug. 13, 2014
  153. The Lazaretto for Lepers in Tracadie, 1862 – Aug. 6, 2014
  154. Thoughts About the Augustine Mound at Metepenegiag Mi’kmaq Nation – July 30, 2014
  155. What am I Bid for This Pauper? – July 23, 2014
  156. Trouble at Madawaska, 1831 – July 16, 2014
  157. The Great Fire at Saint John, June 20, 1877 – July 9, 2014
  158. The Poor Fellows Shook as if They Would Fall to Pieces! – July 2, 2014
  159. How to Build a Logging Camp in Around 1850 – June 25, 2014
  160. Risen from the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton – June 18, 2014
  161. Rocks and Water, Magnificence and Squalor; St. John in 1876 – June 11, 2014
  162. Moncton as Seen by a Journalist in 1876 – June 4, 2014
  163. Events Leading to the Caraquet Riots of 1875 – May 28, 2014
  164. A Dramatic Account of the Miramichi Fire – May 21, 2014
  165. Saint John in the Early 1840’s – May 18, 2014
  166. A Note to Subscribers, and a Memorandum for me – May 14, 2014
  167. The Myth that Kerosene was Invented in New Brunswick – May 7, 2014
  168. A Church with Military Boots and Fixed Bayonets – Apr. 30, 2014
  169. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  170. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  171. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  172. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  173. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  174. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 – Mar. 19, 2014
  175. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  176. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  177. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  178. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  179. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  180. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  181. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  182. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  183. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  184. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  185. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  186. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  187. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  188. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  189. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  190. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  191. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  192. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  193. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  194. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  195. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  196. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  197. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  198. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  199. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  200. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  201. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  202. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  203. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  204. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  205. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  206. A note to subscribers – Oct. 30, 2013
  207. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  208. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches – Oct. 23, 2013
  209. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  210. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw – Oct. 9, 2013
  211. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  212. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  213. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  214. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  215. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  216. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  217. The Loss of the Royal Tar – Aug. 21, 2013
  218. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  219. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  220. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  221. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  222. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  223. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  224. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  225. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  226. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  227. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  228. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  229. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  230. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  231. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  232. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  233. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  234. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  235. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  236. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  237. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  238. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  239. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  240. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  241. The First Decade of the 1800’s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  242. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013, Rev. Sept. 9, 2015
  243. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  244. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  245. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  246. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  247. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  248. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  249. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  250. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  251. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  252. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  253. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  254. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  255. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  256. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  257. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  258. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  259. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  260. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  261. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  262. Oops! An explanation – Oct. 31, 2012
  263. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  264. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  265. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  266. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  267. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  268. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  269. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  270. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  271. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  272. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  273. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  274. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  275. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  276. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  277. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  278. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  279. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  280. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  281. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  282. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  283. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  284. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  285. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  286. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  287. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  288. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  289. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  290. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  291. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  292. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  293. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  294. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  295. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  296. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  297. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  298. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  299. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  300. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  301. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  302. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  303. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  304. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  305. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  306. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  307. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  308. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  309. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  310. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  311. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  312. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  313. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  314. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  315. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  316. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  317. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  318. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  319. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  320. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  321. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  322. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  323. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  324. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  325. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  326. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  327. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  328. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  329. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  330. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  331. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  332. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  333. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  334. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  335. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  336. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  337. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  338. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  339. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  340. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  341. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  342. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  343. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  344. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  345. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

June 21, 2017 at 8:48 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists

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From the blog at

Walter Bates was a farmer from Stamford, Connecticut who arrived in Saint John in May of 1783 aboard the Loyalist evacuation ship Union. He settled in Kingston, becoming Sherriff of Kings County, and died there in 1842.

We have heard from Walter Bates before. My blog posting from November, 2016 entitled An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception! was based on his work, and can be found at

Bates also wrote a memoir which included a description of the arrival of the Union and of the settlement of Kingston. This work was edited by W.O. Raymond and republished in Saint John in 1889, and part of this is presented below.

The appended passenger list indicates 65 heads of household arriving on the Union. However, the early Kingston settlers surveyed only 44 lots, so that not all of the Union passengers went to Kingston. Furthermore, some of the Kingston settlers likely arrived on other ships.

Bates probably wrote his memoir well after the fact. He describes the Kingston settlers as a band of happy workers, firm in their loyalty to Britain and sustained by faith, striving to provide for the women and children. Time had taken the rough edges off of what must have been years of unrelenting hard work.

Trinity Church, Kingston


Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists

It seemed as if Heaven smiled upon our undertaking, selecting the best ship in the fleet for our comfort, and by far the best captain. And so, with warm, loyal hearts, we all embarked with one mind on board the good ship Union, Captain Wilson, who received us all on board as father of a family.

Nothing was wanting to make us comfortable on board ship, which blessing seemed providentially to attend us throughout.

From Eaton’s Neck the ship sailed through East River to New York.

Having a couple on board wishing to he married we called upon Reverend Mr. Learning who received us with much kindness and affection, most of us having been formerly of his congregation; who after the marriage reverently admonished us with his blessing that in our new home we pay due regard to church and school as means to obtain the blessing of God upon our families and our industry. We re-embarked the next day, the ship joined the fleet, and on the 26th day of April, 1783, upwards of twenty sail of ships under convoy left Sandy Hook for Nova Scotia — from whence our good ship Union had the honor of leading the whole fleet fourteen days and arrived at Partridge Island before the fleet was come within sight.

Next day, our ship was safely moored by Capt. Daniel Leavett, the pilot, in the most convenient situation for landing in the harbor of St. John all in good health.

We remained comfortably on board ship till we could explore for a place in the wilderness suitable for our purpose of settlement. Those who came in other ships were in some cases sickly, or precipitated on shore. Here again we were favored.

A boat was procured for the purpose of exploration, and David Pickett, Israel Hait, Silas Raymond and others proceeded sixty miles up the River Saint John. On their return they reported that the inhabitants were settled on intervale land by the river — that the high lands had generally been burned by the Indians, and there was no church or church minister in the country.

They were informed of the existence of a tract of timber land that had not been burned on Belleisle Bay, about thirty miles from the harbor of Saint John, which they had visited. They viewed the situation favorable for our purpose of settlement. Whereupon we all agreed to disembark from on board the good ship Union and proceed thither. We departed with Captain Wilson’s blessing, and embarked onboard a small sloop all our baggage.

The next morning with all our effects, women and children, we set sail above the Falls, and arrived at Belleisle Bay before sunset.

Nothing but wilderness before our eyes; the women and children did not refrain from tears!

John Marvin, John Lyon and myself went on shore and pitched a tent in the bushes and slept in it all night. Next morning every man came on shore and cleared away and landed all our baggage, women and the children, and the sloop left us alone in the wilderness.

We had been informed the Indians were uneasy at our coming, and that a considerable body had collected at the head of Belleisle. Yet our hope and trust remained firm that God would not forsake us. We set to work with such resolution that before night we had as many tents set as made the women and children comfortable.

Next morning we discovered a fleet of ten Indian canoes slowly moving towards us, which caused considerable alarm with the women. Before they came within gunshot one who could speak English came to let us know, “We all one brother!” They were of the Micmac tribe and became quite friendly, and furnished us plentifully with moose meat.

We soon discovered a situation at the head of Belleisle Creek suitable for our purpose of settlement with Church and school.

No surveyor was appointed until July, when Frederick Hauser was commissioned with directions to survey and allot our land according to our wishes.

He commenced where we had designed for our Church and school house in Kingston with a road six rods [99 feet] wide and surveyed twenty-two lots numbering on each side. Before the lots were exposed for draft it was agreed that one acre off each adjoining corner of the four first numbers should be allotted the place for the Church and school house and that lot number one on the west side should be reserved for the parsonage. The water privilege to be reserved for those who would engage to build a grist mill and saw boards enough for our Church and school house.

Accordingly the lots were drawn and the numbers fell to the persons named in the grant.

Whereupon every man was jointly employed clearing places for building, cutting logs, carrying them together by strength of hands and laying up log houses, by which means seventeen log houses were laid up and covered with bark, so that by the month of November every man in the district found himself and family covered under his own roof and a happier people never lived upon this globe enjoying in unity the blessings which God had provided for us in the country into whose coves and wild woods we were driven through persecution. Here with the protection of a kind providence we were perfectly happy, contented and comfortable in our dwellings through the winter, and on Easter Monday met together, and as secondary means to promote religion, elected the following persons preparatory for the church, namely:

WARDENS: David Pickett and Joseph Lyon; and VESTRYMEN: John Lyon, Israel Hoit, Jonathan Ketchum, Andrew Patching, Elias Scribner, John Fowler, James  Ketchum, Silas Raymond, Ephraim Lane, James Moore, Seth Seeley, and Thomas Sumner.

The Rev. John Sayre who ministered to us at Eaton’s Neck soon after his arrival in the fall fleet removed to Maugerville.

The Rev. John Beardsley officiated for us occasionally, and made some preparation for building in Kingston.

On Thursday, the 7th day of October, 1784, I had the honor of the first marriage by the first minister. On the death of the Rev. John Sayre, in 1786, the Rev. John Beardsley was removed to Maugerville.

The vestry appointed to hold church at the house of Elias Scribner, and Mr. Frederick Dibblee to read the prayers. Public worship was thus attended regularly on Sundays till July, 1787 when Rev. James Scovil came from Connecticut, with the view of removing to this province as a missionary. As an encouragement we voted him the lot reserved for the parsonage, and on the following summer he removed with his family into Kingston, and attended public worship on Sunday in the house of Elias Scribner, where he found, and much to his comfort, a full congregation of church people in the wilderness ready to do everything in God’s name the exigencies of the church required.

With the coming of the Rev. James Scovil and the establishment of all the ordinances of religion, our little community was well content.

“Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, even Thy altar, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.”


Written by johnwood1946

June 21, 2017 at 8:48 AM

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1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854

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From the blog at

1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854

Death Takes its Toll

From the McCord Museum

George Fenety was born in Halifax in 1812, and died in Fredericton on 1899. He was a well-known publisher and was Mayor of Fredericton at the time that Phoenix Square was being developed to its present configuration.

Today’s blog post is an excerpt from Fenety’s lecture entitled Longevity, which was published in Fredericton in 1887.


Filth and bad drainage were pregnant causes of disease in 1854, when the cholera broke out in Saint John. This City was in a most foul state, and had no proper water supply. No wonder the disease found congenial food here for the destruction of life. What I am about to relate may not be without interest to the younger members of the audience, and serve as a caution to the citizens in case of another cholera visitation, which God forbid. It is now thirty three years since that terrible scourge, when 1,500 of the people of this City and Portland were carried off in about eight weeks. As an epidemic, the disease first exhibited itself at the beginning of July in the neighborhood of the “Bethel Meeting House,” foot of Morris Street, where a woman and three of her children died within the space of forty eight hours; and after carrying off many others, it established itself in St. Patrick’s Street, taking a bound, as it were, over half a mile of ground. In this locality of slaughter houses and other abominations, the scourge was terrible; and it held on while there was a victim left, it would seem, to satiate its appetite. Those who died not die fled, so that the entire street was all but deserted. It next took possession of York Point, and the neighbourhood of the Mill Pond—likewise filthy disgusting places—where hundreds fell beneath the fetid breath of the destroyer. Portland was visited next, and in the main and bye-streets of this Parish, there were not a dozen houses out of four hundred that were not attacked. It then reached Indian Town, where the havoc was more manifest than perhaps in any other part, from the fact of the place being more compactly built. At one time, it was said, there were not a dozen persons, out of a population of 300, remaining, owing to the deaths and desertions. After destroying and dispersing all before it in Indian Town, the epidemic made its way into Lower Cove, and extended its arms right and left, in nearly every street.

Although these localities were the strong battle grounds of the disease, it manifested itself in a sporadic form in all parts of the City and suburbs—the air seemed impregnated, it had an unusual, sulphurous smell—nor was the fog any panacea; on the contrary, when the fog was the heaviest the disease seemed to increase. Upwards of 43 bodies were conveyed over the Abideau Bridge one day, when the fog was so dense that an object fifty yards ahead could not be discerned. The disease performed a circuit, confining itself chiefly to the lowlands, while the higher ground—or centre of the City—being better situated for natural drainage, was lightly passed over. More than one half the deaths were put down to predisposing causes—such as physical debility, inattention to regimen, poverty, ignorance, fright, and so forth. But every one healthy and vigorous felt that the last day was at hand for him, except perhaps the hard drinker; during that year no licenses for selling liquor were granted by the Mayor, and there never was so much drunkenness shown in the streets, in the midst of this harvest of death. The roughs and drunkards lost their heads and fell easy victims to the cholera. No class of men were more zealous or worked harder to mitigate suffering and minister to the wants of their fellow beings than the Doctors and the Ministers They were in the midst of the disease day and night; and although some of them were debilitated and worn out from exposure, it was set down as a most remarkable thing, that not one suffered or died from the disease. Heroic instances might be cited of deeds performed. One case might be mentioned of a reverend gentleman, who spent his days in the Protestant graveyards performing the burial service over the dead, as bodies would arrive one after another, rather than see them buried without such ministrations. On riding one morning to the church yard, head of the Bay, he saw a number of persons crowding together over some object. On coming up he found a boy writhing in agony, a victim of the cholera. He lifted him into his carriage, conveyed him to the Almshouse, and that boy grew up into manhood to relate the circumstance. That Clergyman’s name was Rev Wm. Scovill, who died in England a couple of years since. The orphans were so numerous that it was almost impossible to find them shelter. The Roman Catholic Bishop (Connolly), likewise dead, improvised buildings which afforded temporary quarters for a large number. Heads of families were cut down, leaving in some cases eight and ten helpless children, and starvation for want of care, was in some instances the result. The Almshouse was filled with children, the offspring of well to do and poor alike. In twelve days there were 48 cases of cholera in this Institution alone, and 26 deaths. The shipyards at Courtenay Bay and the Straight Shore were deserted. There were upwards of twenty large ships on the stocks at the time, and almost 2,000 men employed. But now every yard was as silent as a graveyard.

The progress of the disease from day to day will be better understood by the subjoined figures: The object was to keep the existence of the cholera as secret as possible—and no bulletins were issued for some days, until the necessity for doing so was forced upon the Board of Health, at that time not a very vigilant body. July 26th there were 10 deaths. For the 24 hours ending July 29th 33, including St. John and Portland. Next 24 hours 30. Next 31. Next 27. Next 24. Ending August 1 with 27. Next, August 4 41, and for the week ending the latter date 221. Next 24 hours August 11 40. Next 42. Next 37, and for each day afterwards 31, 33, 21, 18, 20, 20, 14, 18, 17, 15 and 13. And August 21 the decline is very marked, viz. 7 then 10—and last bulletin 3 at the end of September. I have omitted some days in the statement, but that is not material. There were probably 5,000 cholera cases and 1,500 deaths during the terrible two month visitation.

A person named Munford, who was sexton in the Germain Street Methodist Church, was engaged by the Board of Health to attend to the sick and dead. If there was a hero, that person was one in the true acceptation of the word. He was at work everywhere, day and night. Death had no terrors for him. Rough wooden coffins were going about the streets by cart loads; and Munford often unassisted would place the dead in coffins and have them carried away for burial. Persons in a dying state deserted by friends in sheer terror, had in Munford a ministering angel, doing what he could to afford relief. The Victoria Cross, then not instituted, has never been bestowed upon a more worthy hero. He worked and lived through the whole plague, and came out more than conqueror. Every house was provided with cholera medicine, and disinfectants were used in almost every room. The vapours from chloride of lime went up like incense pouring out of the windows like smoke, and scenting the air in all the neighborhood. House to house visitation by physicians, was a means used to find out the sick when in the incipient stages of the disease and provide remedies. The plan was considered most valuable, and was no doubt the means of saving many lives, especially among the poor and destitute. Finally, tar barrels and various combustible compounds were set on fire in the streets, so that the whole town was a glare of light at night. This proceeding was considered to be highly efficacious. The air was full of smoke and tar fumes, which perhaps destroyed the miasmatic germs and went towards bringing the plague to a close.

I thus described on the 21st August, 1854, the desolation of the scene that everywhere presented itself, and it may not be out of place if I here read it:

“We passed through Portland on Friday afternoon. Oh what a change was there presented since our previous visit! It was a scene of desolation and church-yard stillness, the houses with their closed shutters and white blinded windows, serving as monuments to remind us that the angel of death had passed with destructive rapidity through the tenements of this broad avenue. Scarcely a human soul was to be seen in the street. A field-piece might have been placed in any situation and discharged, and the chance of hitting any person would have been very remote. It was Portland at 12 o’clock at night, and yet the sun was in his meridian. The gutters were strewed with lime, in a yellowish state, showing the preparations that had been made for the terrible scourge. In these houses death had been busy for the past six weeks,—hundreds of human beings who inhabited there, in whose veins just now beat the pulsations of life and happiness, are now in eternity. From the Portland (Rev. Mr. Harrison’s) Church out to the Valley Church, through Paradise Row—a distance of about a mile and a half—where thousands of people and vehicles of all kinds are usually to be seen, it being one of the greatest business thoroughfares in the whole Province—we counted (at 4 o’clock in the afternoon) six human beings, and not a single vehicle. Out of about two hundred shops, there were not more than ten that were not closed. As a universal thing we may add, the white blinds were drawn at all the upper windows. It appeared to us as if those who had survived had deserted their houses and gone into the country— anywhere to get clear of the fatal destroyer. But a person must go through Portland to judge for himself it was a most painful and soul-stirring visit, that of ours on Friday afternoon.”

Public meetings were called, and steps taken to guard against future visitations. A Committee was appointed for the relief of the destitute, composed of the following citizens: James A. Harding, Chairman; Rev. William Scovil, Rev. William Donald, Rev. George Armstrong, Rev. Wm. Ferrie, James Macfarlane, John Boyd, W.D.W. Hubbard, Chas. P. Belts, James M’Millan, to whom contributions were to be sent. The destitution was terrible, especially among the poor; for during the eight weeks of the plague there was no business done, no employment, and consequently no money and but little food.

Although the cholera is again on the advance (it has found a lodgment in New York), and as in 1854 may diffuse itself far and wide, I do not think it possible, even if it gets to St. John, that it can work such destruction as on the former occasion. Our City in a sanitary point of view was then greatly neglected. We counted too much upon the fog as an epidemic preventive, and therefore took no precaution against an attack. The Mill Pond was a receptacle for the dumpage of all sorts of abominations. Erin Street was a large dish which received the flowage of all the high lands round about, and an unsavoury odor pervaded the atmosphere all the year round. All the Back Bay was occupied by slaughter houses in a reeking state of decay and putrefaction. We had no sewers worthy of the name. Stagnation in these respects was the rule. We had no regular water supply. The works were in the hands of a Company, and the pipes run only through certain streets, while the supply even from these was intermittent and uncertain. The Board of Health was not a live body as it is today. The necessity for undue exertion in 1854 may not have been considered essential.

Now all this is changed. The Mill Pond has been filled up, and fine railway structures occupy the site. Erin Street, York Point, and all adjacent streets have undergone a transformation which represents altogether a totally opposite condition of things. Instead of stagnant sewers, the whole city is well drained. The slaughter houses, once so noxious in the back part of the city, have been banished into the suburbs, and are now conducted under proper rules and regulations. The city owns the water works which are well managed, and the supply is generally satisfactory. The Board of Health is alive and active. In short, the sanitary condition of St. John and Portland today is pure and healthful; and the great fire of 1877, by which a large amount of animal and vegetable life was destroyed, may have contributed somewhat to this better condition of things. I do not mean to say that everything is in perfect order, and there is no room for improvement still. No precautionary measures to ward off the cholera should be neglected, whether by Boards of Health or people.

Written by johnwood1946

June 14, 2017 at 8:38 AM

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Fishing on the Nepisiguit River in the 1870’s

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From the blog at

This account is by Richard Lewes Dashwood, from his Chiploquorgan; or, Life by the Camp Fire in the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland, Dublin, 1871. It is the story of a fishing trip with Indian guides. After a short stay on the Cascapediac River on the north side of the Bay of Chaleur, they explore the Nepisiguit River above Bathurst and as far as Pabineau Falls, Middle Landing, and beyond.

Grand Falls on the Nepisiguit River, New Brunswick, 1875

From the National Gallery of Canada


Fishing on the Nepisiguit River in the 1870’s

On the 1st July I left St. John on a salmon fishing expedition to the Bay of Chaleurs accompanied by two brother officers, Captains Butter and Coventry. We reached Dalhousie by steamer from Shediac. Having here hired three Micmac canoes and six Indians, we chartered a schooner to drop us at the mouth of the Cascapediac, a river some distance down the Bay. We commenced the ascent of the stream, each one in a canoe with two Indians to pole, one at the stern, the other at the bow. The stream was so rapid that although our men were first-rate polers, we did not make more than ten miles a day, and that without much delay except for dinner at mid-day. The way our canoes were forced up the strongest rapids appeared to us wonderful. Of what use would a Rob Roy be in such waters? A Rob Roy canoe is a cockney craft, fit only for the Thames or other such sluggish waters, and easily to be paddled by any muff. In a country where the rivers are the only roads, as in parts of America, it is of no use whatever.

After a week’s hard work we arrived at the Forks, about sixty miles from the sea. The river for most of the way ran through a deep gorge, with high and very steep mountains on each side, wooded to the water’s edge. We caught plenty of sea trout on our way up, some as heavy as five pounds. I met a settler coming down the river with his canoe half full of them. His fishing gear was the most primitive I ever saw. A stiff spruce pole served him for a rod, string for a line, and his fly was a bunch of feathers and red worsted fastened anyhow to a large hook. He had no reel, and on hooking a fish hauled him at once by main force into his canoe.

We were much surprised and disappointed at the paucity of salmon on our way up, and when we reached the Forks only succeeded in killing two, after several days fishing. We therefore came to the conclusion that the river as regards salmon was a myth, and decided to return to the sea. It only took us one day to run down to the salt water, so rapid was the stream, especially at one place called Indian Falls, which we ran in our canoes, and very ticklish work it was.

There are no settlers on the Cascapediac beyond a distance of ten miles from New Richmond, the village at the river’s mouth; here we hired a schooner, and having embarked with our canoes and Indians, set sail for Bathurst, a small village situated at the mouth of the Nepisiguit River, where we determined to try our luck; getting becalmed about twenty miles from Bathurst harbour we left the schooner, and prepared to paddle along the coast, the rest of the distance. Going ashore to have breakfast, we found swarms of lobsters in the shallow water among the rocks. We succeeded in gaffing about thirty of them, these made a welcome addition to our breakfast.

The number of lobsters all along the coasts of North America is astonishing; there are many companies who make a lucrative business by potting them.

After a long paddle we reached the head of the tide way of the Nepisiguit, late in the evening, where we made a fire and camped behind an old canoe lying on the shore; a canoe turned bottom up, makes a very good impromptu camp on a wet night.

The settlers here were for the most part French, some of them capital hands in canoes, and first rate fishermen; although their tackle is bad, and their flies very indifferent, they kill many fish, as they know where the salmon lie to an inch, this in any stream is half the battle, as a rising fish will often take a seemingly worthless fly, especially if the man at the end of the rod knows how to place it over him.

The Nepisiguit is one of the most celebrated rivers in New Brunswick. The Indian name is Winpigikewick, meaning troubled waters. The first three miles above the tide way is called “the rough waters;” this part of the stream is wide, and intersected by large rocks in all directions, forming most beautiful pools and heights. The salmon here stand almost always on the ledges of rock at the top of the rapids and pitches, as a small fall is called. Some of these pitches are too steep to pole up, but most of them can be run; to do this requires nerve, and a steady hand, but is not so difficult as it appears at first sight. On a subsequent visit to this river I was able to do bow-man in a canoe, and poled up, and ran places that appeared on my first visit extremely perilous and difficult. The canoes on this river are of Micmac pattern, requiring two men, and are quite steady enough to stand up in, and fish out of. Two miles above the rough waters are the Round Rocks, which is a very fair fishing station when the river is high and the fish are running. Four miles above, at the bottom of the Pabneau Falls, is a most excellent pool; the stream at this spot is not more than twenty yards across, and can be fished with a trout rod. Here is that famous cast from the flat rock, so well-known to all sportsmen who have visited the river. We camped within a few yards of this place, and built a smoke house of spruce bark, as we decided to make this our headquarters, one of us always remaining here during our stay on the river. Some Yankees were camped not far off, so we sent to make arrangements to fish the flat-rock pool day about, as it was the best in the neighbourhood, these gentlemen refusing to come to any terms at all, we sent an ultimatum to the effect, that under these circumstances, one of us would sleep nightly on the flat rock to be ready for the morning cast. This threat was afterwards carried out, and was soon the means of bringing the Yankees to their bearings. We then made an amicable arrangement, and were good friends ever afterwards.

From the Pabineau to the Grand Falls is eleven miles. In this distance there are two good fishing stations viz., Middle Landing and Chain of Rocks; the former is an excellent pool in any water, and easily to be fished; the latter is good only in high water. Grand Falls is the best station on the river, containing four good pools; it was, on our arrival, occupied by a party, so we were unable to fish there until a short time before our departure from the river. The salmon cannot get above the Grand Falls, though steps might be made, and there is sixty miles length of river above, and excellent spawning grounds. There are, however, great quantities of brown trout above, especially at a place called the Devil’s Elbow, where they are large, some weighing three and four pounds. During our stay on the river, which lasted a month, we smoked over a hundred and twenty salmon, which we packed in boxes and sent off to our friends at St. John. The following is the receipt for that process: Split the fish down the back and clean them, cutting out the gills at the same time; this should be done as soon as possible after they are caught, or the fish will become soft; immerse for two days in a strong pickle of salt and water, a trough for this purpose is easily hewn out of a fallen spruce or pine, or, in lieu, use a dish of birch or spruce bark. After taking the fish out of the pickle, wash them in running water, then hang them up in a smoke house for six days. A smoke house is built in the shape of a wigwam, and covered with birch or spruce bark; great care must be taken to keep the fire, which is placed in the smoke house, always burning very slowly, if it gets too hot the fish become cooked and therefore spoilt; it is a good plan to place the entrails of fish on the fire to keep it cool.

The scenery on the Nepisiguit, though pretty, has very little grandeur about it, the land being comparatively flat on both sides of the river, which with the breadth and shallowness of the stream in many parts, soon causes the water to become hot after a drought, when the fish naturally become sulky, and will not rise. I remember once, under these circumstances, whipping the stream for four days without a rise, although there were many salmon up at the time. I consider this river therefore most uncertain, though if one is lucky enough to hit off the right height of water, excellent sport is to be had.

The flies for the Nepisiguit are of a plain description, especially as regards the wings, which should be brown mallard, with a few sprigs of golden pheasant neck feather underneath; body fiery brown with blue and claret hackle, wound on together, is a standard fly, and is known by the name of the “Nicholson,” so called after the inventor, a well-known sportsman of St. John, New Brunswick. Black body, black hackle and yellow tip is a killer, and the same fly with a crimson tip fishes well at Middle Landing. Grey monkey body and Irish grey hackle is very good in clear water. Body half grey, half claret fur, with grey and claret hackles placed on together, is an admirable fly for the Pabineau. This fly was invented by my friend Captain Coventry, who stuck many a fish with it off the Flat Rock.

The climate is charming in the summer, hot days succeeded by most lovely still evenings, which you can never so thoroughly enjoy as when camped alongside a noble river, smoking your after supper pipe; you listen to the shrill cry of the mosquito hawks (a species of night jar); and the notes of the frogs, which vary from a shrill whistle to the hoarse croak of the bull frog, intermingled with the pleasant sound of running water. Your rod, ready for the morning cast, is leaning against a bush; at length you lie down to rest, speculating where you will rise him in the morning, and determined not to miss that fish which comes up by the white stone, as you did yesterday.

Written by johnwood1946

June 7, 2017 at 8:29 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Clock at Fredericton City Hall

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From the blog at

The Clock at Fredericton City Hall

The history of Phoenix Square goes back to at least 1822, when a building was proposed for the fire department and a temperance hall, where City Council also met. There were several fires over the years and facilities were rebuilt each time. This history was reviewed in an earlier blog posting entitled Risen From the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton, at

The present City Hall was completed in 1876, but the property around it was undeveloped — and a bit of a mess of hay and cordwood markets. There was no fountain out front, and the clock tower was empty. Mayor George Fenety wanted to develop the area, and his first step was to install a clock in the tower. Later on, he also championed the building of the fountain and the relocation of the public markets.

Fredericton City Hall Today, Complete With the Clock

From Wikimedia

Following is a summary of events leading to the installation of the clock.

April 3, 1877: Mayor George Fenety made a ‘Proposition to City Council for obtaining a Clock.’ The previous Council had included a clock-tower in the design of the new City Hall, and it was now time for the new Council to provide the clock.

Fenety had determined that a 1,500 lb. bell from the United States would cost about $560, and that a suitable clock from London would cost $1,312. A clock could be bought from the United States at a lower cost, but Fenety favoured the superior British model. Altogether, he thought that a clock and bell could be purchased and installed for about $2,000. Some money was on hand from a recent concert, but a loan would be required for the balance.

Fenety did not want raise taxes, or to pay for the project by subscription. Instead, he proposed that the proceeds from concerts be used to pay off the loan within three or four years. In addition, he offered that his $200 salary be abolished and credited toward the clock. The annual $200 salary saving could then be used for cleaning up Phoenix Square which was a jumble of hay and cordwood markets. Fenety also offered to guarantee the City’s loan.

April 3, 1877: The proposal was accepted, and Aldermen Beek, Richey, Simmons, Dykeman, and Moore were appointed a Committee to progress the matter.

April 19, 1877: The Committee presented their report, having consulted with Messrs. Shute, Babbit and James White, who were knowledgeable about clocks. The report was adopted and James White was appointed to go to Boston to inspect several clock manufacturers and to compile a specification for the work.

April 26, 1877: White arrived in Boston and inspected several manufacturers and several actual installations and found them all acceptable.

May 15, 1877: White presented his findings to the Mayor, but also reported upon correspondence of April 27, 1877 from Gillett & Bland of London. A London clock would be superior to the American clock in several respects and its manufacture would be superintended by Sir William Beckett, “a man of the highest scientific attainments in such matters.” In addition, the London clock would be slightly cheaper, even FOB Fredericton. He therefore recommended that the Gillett & Bland proposal be accepted, but that the bell be ordered separately, from William Blake & Co. in Boston.

May 15, 1877: James White’s report was accepted and the Mayor was authorized to borrow $2,000 on behalf of the City and to arrange for the supply of a clock and bell, with at least three dials, and perhaps four. It was further agreed to credit the Mayor’s $200 salary toward the project.

May 15, 1877: The Revisors, Aldermen Dykeman, Beek, Neville, Estey, and Moore each surrendered their salaries toward paying off the loan, $10 each and $50 in total. [Revisor: A person responsible for editing legislation in order to make it consistent with other provisions of the law.]

June, 1877: The bell had been obtained from Boston, and was installed.

June 6, 1877: Gillett and Bland of London acknowledged The Mayor’s order of the clock.

March 20, 1878: The clock was completed and shipped on this date.

January 21, 1878: Fenety had lost reelection and, on this date, asked Council if he should complete the project, or hand over the file to a successor.

January 24, 1878: Council agreed that George Fenety should carry on and finish his work with the clock and bell.

April 7, 1878: The clock arrived in Halifax aboard the steamer Peruvian.

April 9, 1878: The clock arrived in Fredericton by rail.

May 1, 1878 at 12 o’clock noon: The clock, having been installed in the City Hall tower, was struck for the first time.

May 7, 1878: Fenety submitted a closing statement of accounts to Council. The final cost had been $2,012.69, compared with an initial estimate of $2,000 and a later more detailed calculation of $1,893.44 (plus installation).

June, 1878: George Fenety was no longer Mayor, but he was knowledgeable about the project. He therefore gathered a chronology of events leading to the installation and of the current plans for paying off the debt. This blog posting is based upon his chronology.

Fenety’s closing thoughts:

  • Some people had proposed an illuminated dial fronting on York Street. Fenety estimated the first-cost of this to be $250, with an annual operating cost of $120. His recommendation was to leave this for future consideration.
  • There was a wooden grill underneath the clock on each face of the tower, and Fenety found these unpleasing and “barn-like”. He recommended that they be replaced with something better. [There are metal louvres there today.]

Written by johnwood1946

May 31, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé

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From the Blog at

Following is a description of criminal behaviour and corruption, mostly in Saint John, N.B., during Prohibition. I have condensed and edited it from an original work, and given it a new title.

The problem with this work is that it exposes the people involved in these shenanigans based largely on hearsay evidence. It is therefore not surprising that it is anonymous and does not even indicate the name or location of the publisher/printer. It also does not indicate a year of publication, though it speaks of Prohibition in the present tense. It also mentions Premier Walter E. Foster, though that is not much help since Foster’s premiership (1917 to 1923) was entirely within the prohibition era in New Brunswick (1917 to 1927). The best we can say is that it was written sometime between 1917 and 1927.

Several reputable organizations were involved in making the original work publicly available, but I remain uneasy and have therefore changed the names of all of the principal characters, except for some who were not implicated in any wrongdoing.

Cars Like This, Running Booze in the 1920’s

North Vancouver Museum & Archives, via the McCord Museum


Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé

There is no locality in which the prohibitory law is administered as crookedly as in New Brunswick. It is thoroughly rotten!

Cameron was the Chief Inspector under the prohibitory law and is said to have been worth about $50,000 following his term. He is also said to have had an interest in a drug company, which was presided over by Martin Alexander, but Alexander and Cameron quarreled and warfare resulted. It was then that Alexander displayed his Douglas Avenue hand and Cameron resigned at the invitation of the premier, Hon. W.E. Foster.

Michael McQuestion came out from Scotland, settled in St. John, and became a cook with the 115th Regiment. McQuestion went into a delirium tremens from the prohibition booze, and ran amok with a bread knife at the barracks. He was disarmed and placed in solitary confinement and when the d.t.’s had worn off, was liberated.

McQuestion was then discharged from the military and joined the St. John police force. He was relieved of duty there for similar reasons, and went to a shipyard in St. John where he was a watchman for a few weeks. Following this he became a dominion policeman, and after a few months of this he became a booze hound. For three years he was a booze hound, and, although he was open in his seeking of graft and in bootlegging himself, he was retained in the service by Cameron for the very simple reason that he knew too much.

McQuestion would be staggering on the street under the influence of liquor and met with many mishaps when drunk. On one occasion he was confined to his home by illness. He was ill, but it was due to drinking. On another occasion he fell while drunk and sprained an ankle. Another time he was driving in a carriage at Moosepath Park and fell out of the carriage and damaged his collarbone.

McQuestion was driving during his three years as inspector at the unfortunate men who carried bottles of poisonous mixtures labeled as gin and whiskey. There were instances in which he was accused of placing in the clothing of helpless drunks, bottles containing liquor and the men would be fined $200. The inspector would bring the drunk to the police station and then pretending it was his first search, would frisk the drunk and find the bottle, while the fact was that McQuestion had been drinking from it himself and had placed it on the drunk.

Many men were fined $200 who should have been fined only $8. Their wives would be compelled to beg, borrow or steal the amount of the fine. Other families would mortgage their lives for a year before the debt was paid. McQuestion drove for three years at the men who drink the stuff the poison peddlers sell for five and six dollars. In the last year of his service as a booze hound, he did not arrest more than three actual leggers.

McQuestion would prey on the railroad station and when he saw men get off the trains under the influence he would arrest them and conduct a search. At the outset of prohibition there were many men traveling from New England who did not know of the prohibitory law being in force in New Brunswick. These men would fall easy victims to the inspector. Men going home to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia for vacations in the summer and at Christmas period, would fall into the clutches of McQuestion when they changed trains at St. John. There were cases of men en route to their families with several hundred dollars in savings from Upper Canada and the United States who would be jugged by McQuestion and fined $200. In many instances they would have only a few dollars left, and in other cases the men would not have $200 and they would remain in jail for months before they were liberated.

There was one man from Boston who was en route to Moncton to spend Christmas with his parents. He brought a bottle with him and had a few drinks. When he landed in St. John and changed trains the ever present McQuestion was in the offing and arrested him. A bottle of whiskey was found and he was fined $200. Instead of being with his family he was forced to spend the Yuletide in jail. He had $100, but was not willing to pay this out and be stranded.

McQuestion was in the Hotel Edward, King Square, St. John, one night, which was his usual hangout. A friend entered and after a whispered consultation McQuestion disappeared and returned with a bottle of the so-called whiskey, which he passed over for five dollars. On another occasion he bought a bottle for a woman at the same hotel.

McQuestion was the guest of bootleggers on many the wild ride to Fredericton for horse races. One time, they were in a car owned by Mack Smith and they all got drunk. The other members of the party were forced to tote McQuestion into a hotel and drop him on his bed.

McQuestion was as raw as beef on the hoof in his actions, but he held his position until Cameron was removed as Chief Inspector. Six months previous, Cameron announced McQuestion had resigned. But McQuestion was angry over this announcement and there was the fear he would open up and tell all he knew. So McQuestion was retained and among other places visited Woodstock where he arrested Councilor Nathan Andrews for carrying a bundle of newspapers and an alarm clock. There was an altercation and McQuestion landed a punch and blackened Andrews’ eye.

Andrews was placed in the Woodstock police station when a hostile crowd gathered outside of the Carlisle Hotel at which McQuestion was receiving his three meals and room at the expense of the province. The crowd included the mayor and chief of police as well as the town manager, who invited McQuestion to appear in front of the hotel and explain himself. McQuestion remained inside and was likely under his bed shaking like a jelly dancer.

After inviting McQuestion to appear and receiving no response, the crowd started to hurl ground fruit and County Cavan Confetti [stones]. Some of the missiles went through the windows of the hotel, and the manager objected. After some argument the crowd dispersed, and McQuestion accuses the mayor and town manager and chief of police of shouting “Bring him out till we lynch him” and “Murder him, boys.” The morning tram carried McQuestion out of Woodstock just as a citizen heaved a street peach. The thing about street peaches is they are all stone.

When Cameron resigned he announced McQuestion was no longer an inspector, and McQuestion is reported to have sent to Scotland his wife and children in preparation for the return of himself. He made it known his wife had inherited a legacy. But it was he who had the legacy, and the legacy was from leggers. It is reported McQuestion sent to his wife $5,000 in one year which is quite fair for a man receiving $1,500 salary It is also stated he has had about $5,000 in banks in St. John, the money deposited since he became a booze hound.

Bootleggers openly state that they bribed McQuestion, or rather that he held them up for bribes which the bootlegger could not avoid lest they be arrested. Consequently few of them failed to come forth with the amounts asked.

Jacobs came from England a few years ago and settled in Moncton, where he was a booze hound. He was transferred to St. John for about a year and was then transferred to St. Stephen in the waning days of the Cameron administration. It is said that Jacobs frustrated an attempt by Inspectors McQuestion and David Adams to double cross him in the collection of graft from bootleggers.

One day Jacobs discovered a dive on Long Wharf directed by two Bulgarians, on which he had not been collecting. He seized a bottle of the so-called whiskey that stood on the shelf of the soft beer store and told the Bulgarian partner to appear in the police court in the morning. After the raid the partner went out and informed his associates of the unexpected episode. Steve Patterson, who is now serving three years in the penitentiary for theft, then tried to rustle up McQuestion and Adams but found they were both in McAdam and were expected back soon after noon. He waited for them at the station and on their arrival explained the situation as related to him by his partner. According to Patterson, McQuestion told him “That’s all right. I’ll fix that all right.” That afternoon, evidently, McQuestion and Adams slipped Jacobs the graft and in turn Jacobs substituted a harmless liquid in the bottle for the prohibition whiskey. The result was there was no evidence against the accused and the case was dropped.

At the beer shop on Main Street opposite Long Wharf, a man is said to have asked one of the owners: “How do you get away with it,” and the reply was “We don’t pay Jacobs $300 a month for nothing.”

Jacobs, like McQuestion, was especially efficacious in hoisting drunks who had bottles on their persons. Like McQuestion, he sought the unfortunates who drank the stuff the bootleggers made and sold. Meanwhile the leggers escaped except for the odd case when one of them was in arrears in slipping graft, or when one had fallen out of favor with the more senior leggers.

After Jacobs went to St. Stephen, there were dozens of cars crossed daily from St. Stephen and Milltown to Calais and Milltown in Maine. Bootleggers went from St. John to St. Stephen in cars and via the railroad openly carrying booze. It was not long after Jacobs was removed that the first seizure was made at St. Stephen of booze from St. John, and bootleggers James Michaelson and Thomas Roberts were arrested. The fines were easily paid and the business resumed.

After being removed, Jacobs started talking of what would happen if he were not looked after, and he was consequently appointed to the customs service. This was at the instance of ex-Inspector Cameron and with the intervention of Francis White, after White had promised the job to James Porter. Porter was a veteran with a shattered spine and a wife to support, and received the munificent sum of $15. monthly veterans’ pension.

At all events, Jacobs with the pull of Cameron landed the job the Canadian should have had. Porter was incapacitated, a St. John man and honest, and yet he was double crossed in favor of a booze hound who was fired from the staff of inspectors. This is fine treatment to mete out to a man who had his spine almost torn asunder in the service of his country. This was a rank injustice to all of the veterans in St. John and staggered most of the residents of the city.

Tom Malcolm had a feud with Francis Grant, because Grant had been buying what booze he did not produce himself from an unapproved source. Malcolm then bought off former Inspector Cecil Curtis who, in turn, asked his employee Jack Burtt to get three convictions against Grant in order to get him a two year jail sentence. Burtt failed in this task.

Now, Burtt had been sleuthing about for evidence about bootleggers and had produced a number of reports, amounting to about fifty handwritten sheets, for Curtis. The proof that Curtis had been bought off by Malcolm is shown by the disappearance of these reports from Curtis and their reappearance in the possession of Malcolm. The reports dealt primarily with the Malcolm’s activities including his manufacture of poisonous stuff on the Golden Grove Road. They also described his activities on Ashburn Lake Road, where a still named the little red house was also the shipping place for much of what was produced at a cost of about fifteen cents a bottle and sold at five or six dollars a bottle.

Suddenly, the reports were in the possession of Malcolm, a fact of which only a few of the leading bootleggers were aware. The story was soon published in the St. John Globe, causing an uproar in the prohibition office and a sensation among Globe readers. No sooner was there a call for an investigation when the reports mysteriously returned to Curtis, except for a select few.

When asked for an explanation as to how the reports came into the possession of Malcolm, one bootlegger winked and said, “Them reports was found on the street. They dropped outa Curtis’ pocket as he was gettin’ on a street car.” Another bootlegger said “The reports were found in Mary O’Reilly’s.” Another bootlegger said that the reports were found in John Glynn’s stable on Dorchester Street. Mary O’Reilly’s dive is a house of prostitution on Golden Grove Road.

Robert Walker of St. John was visited by Chief Inspector Curtis and was asked if he was the man who had advertised to sell or trade a farm. Walker replied in the affirmative and Curtis stated that he wanted to dispose of a house and lot in East St. John and would consider trading them for the farm owned by Walker. Walker says that Curtis wanted to close the deal at once but Walker demurred and asked time to think it over. Walker says he investigated and found the house and lot Curtis claimed to own mortgaged to within a few hundred dollars of its value.

Since he came to St. John from England about ten years ago Curtis has been a city policeman, a C.P.R. policeman in St. John, Montreal and McAdam and then an Inspector. Why did he quit the C.P.R. to take a temporary job as an Inspector at a salary of not much more than what he was getting?

On the Manawagonish road one night in a decrepit Chevrolet that was as battered as an octogenarian after a brawl, Curtis was told to block the road as a big car resembling Tom Malcolm’s came speeding from the city. Curtis ignored this and the car sped by loaded with booze en route to a storage place on Manawagonish Road. Another car was spotted and Curtis, who persisted in handling the wheel, refused again to block the road. Consequently, the second car, which was also one of Malcolm’s sped by unmolested. The Chevrolet could not make more than fifteen miles per hour comparted to forty for the other two cars, and there was no way of overtaking them. Curtis remained at the wheel and stopped near Five Fathom Hole, where a barn was searched and of course nothing found.

David Adams, Michael McQuestion and John Murray were in a house in St. John one night. All were been drunk, when Murray became peeved with Adams over the affection of a woman and resolved to get Adams. Murray then asked Adams to get him a bottle of whiskey. This Adams did and after partaking of the contents with Adams and McQuestion, Murray secreted the bottle on his person and the following day preferred a charge against Adams.

The result was the Adams’ dismissal, whereupon he campaigned for six months to have an investigation into what had actually happened. There was no investigation, however, because Cameron protected Murray. There is no doubt that Adams and McQuestion and Jacobs were hand in glove, but Adams was not as much in the good graces of Cameron as the other two worthies and consequently was out of luck.

For Murray and Jacobs the objective was always to arrest the drinkers and leave the sellers alone.

Oh, prohibition, what sins are committed in thy name. Men of the type of McQuestion. Adams, Jacobs and Murray as prohibition Inspectors! McQuestion and Jacobs were not the only inspectors seeking the money. But I will state right here McQuestion was the big scream in the money making business. He has enough now to rest on for the balance of his life.

Written by johnwood1946

May 24, 2017 at 7:54 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Boss Gibson’s First Railroad

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From the blog at

Alexander (Boss) Gibson’s life was a tale of rags to riches. He remembered, for example, that he cut timber shakes as a boy and carried them to market for a little money, down in Charlotte County. By 1847 at around the age of 28, he bought some timber properties on the Nashwaak River at a fire-sale price. This business quickly prospered and his timber holdings grew, both on the Nashwaak and elsewhere. Other businesses followed.

In 1866, he commissioned a survey for a railroad from Gibson to Edmundston and, in 1879, the New Brunswick Land and Railway Company was incorporated. Construction began in 1873 and was completed in 1878 and he became President of the New Brunswick Railway. This was a narrow gauge line and Gibson wanted to convert it to standard gauge, but there was a dispute with his Directors and Gibson decided to sell his interests in the road. That brings us to 1880 when he sold to a group of businessmen including George Stephen.

The following document was published in 1880 and carried Alexander Gibson’s signature. It was entitled The New Brunswick Railway and its Land Grants, and was clearly for the purpose of promoting the railroad for sale.

Boss Gibson’s First Railroad

Alexander (Boss) Gibson with Fredericton Station Agent Fred. Edgecombe, ca 1869-77

New Brunswick Provincial Archives


The New Brunswick Railway begins at the Village of Gibson, on the eastern bank of the River St. John, eighty-five miles from the sea, and extends to Edmundston at the confluence of the St. John and Madawaska rivers, a distance of 161 miles. It has two branch lines: the Aroostook Branch, 19¼ miles long, and the Woodstock Branch, 11 miles long, making in all 191¼ miles of road. The gauge of the road is three feet six inches; but in the construction of the road-bed, bridges and culverts, regard has been had to its probable adaption to the standard gauge, and its timber and stone work is of such a character that it would be necessary for that purpose simply to move the rails, which could be done at small expense. It was built under the inspection of an Engineer appointed by the Government, whose certificate was requisite to entitle the Railway Company to the subsidy of 10,000 acres of land per mile.

The general character of the country through which this road passes will be understood from the statement of the fact that, from the City of St. John to the Quebec boundary at St. Francis, a distance of three hundred miles, there is a continual succession of well-cultivated farms, with numerous towns and villages, on both sides of the River St. John, except for a distance of about three miles in York County, and about five miles in Victoria County. For one hundred and eighteen miles the N.B. Railway follows the St. John through this rich and prosperous region, and of the remaining seventy-three and a quarter miles of its total mileage, forty are through long-settled and thrifty agricultural sections. The unoccupied lands along the Railway are nearly all well adapted for farming, and have remained vacant heretofore only because they were difficult of access. It is safe to say that within a very few years the whole length of the Railway, except perhaps some ten or twelve miles, will pass across cultivated farms.

Gibson, the starting point of the Railway, is one of several villages collected within a radius of three miles, and containing in the aggregate a population of about three thousand five hundred. It is the natural centre of a very large section, which includes some of the finest farming lands in the County. It is half a mile above the mouth of the Nashwaak, a stream intersecting a well-settled district of very considerable extent. On the south bank of the Nashwaak begins that succession of lowlands or intervales, as they are called, which extends many miles down the river, and is occupied by an exceedingly well-to-do class of farmers. Irrespective of the country intersected by the Railway, Gibson is the natural trade centre of an agricultural population of about six thousand people. It is beginning to command a large trade from up the Railway line. The trade of the rich parishes on the eastern side of the St. John was until recently done in Fredericton, which city is situated directly across the St. John River; but there has been a great change since the opening of the Railway, and Gibson promises to become a mercantile centre of very considerable importance.

Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick. It has a population of about 7,000, and has railway connection with St. John and the United States. It is visited by many tourists every year, a great number of whom go up the N.B. Railway for the sake of the very attractive scenery to be found along the river. It is difficult to imagine more beautiful views than those which unfold themselves like a panorama to the tourist up the St. John Valley. As this is becoming more widely known, the stream of summer travel is increasing. This of itself is no unimportant factor to be taken into account in considering the future business of this Railway. The relations between Fredericton and Gibson are so intimate as to make them practically one centre. Four steam-ferries run regularly between the two places. The St. John is here upwards of one-half a mile wide, and is navigable to this point during the whole season of navigation by vessels of one hundred tons, and during spring and fall by vessels of large size. Gibson is practically accessible at any time during the season of open water, by such vessels as are ordinarily engaged in the West Indian trade and the coasting trade of the United States.

The station grounds at Gibson consist of a block of land containing eight acres, held by the Company under a ninety-nine years lease (with covenant for renewal), at a rental of $270 per annum. They have a frontage of 1,700 feet on the St. John River, including a wharf with 400 feet river frontage. Upon these premises are four dwelling houses for the use of certain officers of the road; also the head offices of the Railroad and of the land department, together with wood and freight sheds, passenger station, engine-house, turn-table and machine-shops, all in good order. The machine-shops are more complete than any other railway machine-shops in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, except the Intercolonial Works of Moncton; and the Company is independent of any outside aid whatever in keeping the road and rolling-stock in repair, and in the construction of every description of rolling-stock except locomotives. The machinery in the shops is as follows:— 1 Stationary Engine, 1 Pony Engine for pumping, 1 Double-ended Wheel-lathe, 1 Axle and Wheel-lathe, 1 Gap -screw Cutting-lathe, 1 Small Screw-lathe for light work, 2 Drill Machines, 1 Shaping Machine, 1 Bolt-cutting Machine, 1 Steam Hammer, 1 Gay and Wood Planer, 1 Grooving and Surface Planer, 1 Four foot Dia. Circular-Saw and Table, 1 One foot Dia. Circular-Saw and Table, 1 One foot Dia. Circular-Saw for grooving, 1 Tenon Machine, 1 Variety Moulding-Machine, 1 Band-saw 1 Straight Moulding Machine, and 2 Emery Grinding Machines with all the necessary fittings and hand tools, the whole in good order.

For the first twelve miles, or to Keswick Station, the N.B. Railway follows the St. John River, and is for the greater part of the distance near the river bank. No more beautiful or more prosperous section of country, from an agricultural point of view, can be found in Canada. At Keswick there is a commodious station building, which is well situated as respects the trade of a very large tract lying farther up the St. John. The railroad here enters the valley of the Keswick, a branch of the St. John, which it follows for 16½ miles, or to Upper Keswick, passing Zealand Station at 7¾ miles from Keswick. What has been said of the St. John Valley as a farming district, is true, only on a smaller scale, of the .Keswick valley; but in addition to the settlements, through which the railway line passes, large agricultural districts lie on either side of the railway, and are intersected by nearly five hundred miles of highway road, the railway stations being located with a view to furnishing central points for the shipment of produce. Millville station is 10 miles from Upper Keswick, and is an important centre for freight. The next station to Millville is Woodstock Junction, l3¾ miles farther up the line. There is a large two story hotel and dining hall here owned by the Company; which contains also the station master’s office. Here are also fuel sheds, an Engine house with car scales, sidings, etc.

The country between Millville and Hartland, the next station to Woodstock Junction and 9 miles from it, is mostly all a forest; but new settlers are locating themselves at different points, and as the land is, except for a few miles, of most excellent character, it will probably be soon all occupied by farms. In the meantime, the shipment of the produce of the forest furnishes a good deal of business to the road. At Hartland the railroad again enters the St. John Valley. This is a place of considerable trade, which must increase as the settlement of the back country progresses. Hartland is the trading point, not only for the old communities along the river, but also for large new settlements in the interior. Here are a station, freight house, sidings, etc.

From this point until the terminus at Edmundston is reached, the railway follows the river, being at no point more than a mile away from it, passing through an unbroken settlement all the way, although at a few points the forest is standing along the track, where the road runs through woodlots upon improved farms. On the eastern side of the river and extending back from it, in some places fifteen miles, are a succession of fine new settlements. These are rapidly growing in wealth and importance. Where twenty-five years ago the forest was unbroken, are broad farms and commodious buildings. The soil is very fertile. On the west bank of the river, the settlements extend in tier after tier to the United States boundary, a distance of from 9 to 11 miles, and thence for many miles into Aroostook, Me. The first station above Hartland is Florenceville, which takes its name from a village on the opposite side of the river. A steam ferry plies between these points. Nine miles west of Florenceville is Centreville, and four miles further is Bridgewater, Me., both trade centres for a large area of settled country. At Florenceville station there is in addition to the station building, a freight house and sidings. Kent station is 3½ miles above Florenceville. Here connection is made by highway with the head waters of the Miramichi, as well as with several fine settlements. From this station large quantities of supplies are sent to the woods for the use of parties engaged in lumbering. Bath station is three miles beyond Kent, and Muniac 11¼ miles beyond Bath. A large Scotch colony has lately been located near Muniac, which within a few years must afford considerable business to the road. Muniac is a point for the shipment of produce from and supplies to the very excellent farming district on the west bank of the St. John. Passing for 8 miles over the rich farms of Perth, the station of that name is reached. At this point, the railroad crosses to the west bank of the St. John, by a bridge eight hundred feet long to Andover, the shire town of Victoria County. Andover and Perth are the seat of a large lumber and local trade, and are situated near the mouth of the Tobique, one of the largest tributaries of the St. John. Too much stress cannot be laid upon the future importance of the Tobique River as a feeder to the Railway. It is sixty-three miles to the forks of the stream, and the settlements have reached that distance, although they are not continuous.

There is a steady influx of people into the farming lands adjacent to the Tobique. This river drains an area of a million acres, more than one-half of which is tillage land of the best description, and is owned by the N.B.R. Co., and is unoccupied. Andover has good hotels, and is a resort for tourists who are attracted by the fishing in the Tobique and neighboring streams. Aroostook Junction is the next station above Andover, and is six miles from it. In addition to the station are sidings and engine-house, turn-table, &c. Limestone Station is 8¾ miles above the Junction. It takes its name from the American village of Limestone, 4 miles distant. From Limestone Station to Grand Falls, the next station is 10 miles. Here there is a large freight and passenger station, an engine-house, turn-table, siding, &c. The station and village take their name from the falls on the St. John River. Notwithstanding the lack of good hotel accommodation, and the difficulty of reaching the Falls before the construction of the Railway, they attracted many visitors annually.

Now that good hotels have been opened and railway connections bring the Falls within easy reach of the American cities, a tide of summer travel is setting toward this really attractive spot, which must not only add to the importance of the town and lead to the settlement of the adjacent farming lands, but also prove a great source of revenue to the Railway. A large Danish settlement has been established in this vicinity, which although only seven years old is in a most flourishing condition, and last year raised a very large surplus crop, chiefly wheat. This settlement will be largely increased if the adjacent lands are not locked up by the Railway Company.

The physical conformation of the country is such as points to a very prosperous future for Grand Falls, it being the point from which easiest access can be had to an area of upwards of a million acres of well-timbered land belonging to the N.B.R. Company. This land, when cleared, will yield abundant crops.

A short distance above the Falls the Railway again crosses to the east bank of the river by a bridge eight hundred feet long. This was necessary, because from a point 2½ miles above the Falls, the St. John River forms the boundary line between New Brunswick and the United States. The railway here enters Madawaska County, and from this point to Edmundston, thirty-eight miles, is probably the most thickly settled district of New Brunswick. From some points of view the houses appear to form a continuous street, so close are they together.

The first station of importance is St. Leonard’s, thirteen miles from Grand Falls. A large trade is done here with Van Buren, an American village on the opposite bank of the St. John, where there are mills and starch factories. A conference has lately been held between representatives of the Canadian and the United States Governments relative to the bridging of the St. John at this point as well as at Edmundston. Green River Station is 16½ miles above St. Leonard’s. Green River is an important stream, as it drains a valuable lumber region belonging to the N.B. Railway Company. It has an excellent mill-site near its mouth. St. Basil Station is four miles from Green River 5¾ miles from Edmundston, the terminus of the road, Edmundston is the shire town of Madawaska County. It is beautifully situated on rising ground between the St. John and the Madawaska—a large tributary stream which drains the Temiscouata and Toladi lake systems. This town has a large local trade. Although the Railroad goes no further, the banks of the St. John are settled on both sides for forty miles above this point, and large new settlements extend back from the river. Extensive lumber operations are carried on above this point, and the Railroad does a large business in bringing up supplies.

Such is an outline sketch of the main line. The Woodstock Branch is, as above stated, eleven miles long. It gives a short line of road to the United States and the ports on the St. Croix via the N.B.&C. Railway, and also through connections with St. John via this and the St. John & Maine Railway.

Woodstock is the seat of some mills and manufactories, is the shire town of Carleton County, as well as the centre of a large section containing many valuable farms. The Aroostook Branch leaves the junction of that name and follows the Aroostook River. At four miles it crosses the United States boundary and enters the State of Maine. Three miles from the boundary it reaches Fort Fairfield, an enterprising and flourishing town. There are large station grounds here with station-house, sidings, etc. The present terminus of the branch is Cariboo, twelve miles from Fort Fairfield. Here are an engine-house, stations, turntables, etc. Nearly equidistant from both of these towns, and about ten miles to the South, is Presqu’ile, which does a large trade with the Railway. The fertility of the Aroostook country is proverbial all over the U.S., although the soil is in no wise superior to hundreds of thousands of acres of the N.B. Railway grant which lie on the same geological formation. Aroostook is, comparatively speaking, a newly settled country, but it gives promise of becoming what an eminent authority in the U.S. foretold of it a quarter of a century ago—“the Granary of New England.” Notwithstanding the tendency of the American people to “go West,” and the inducements held out by Western railway companies, there is a constant influx of first class settlers into Aroostook. During the year 1879, 500 families moved to the Aroostook from other parts of the U.S., and there is no reason to expect any falling off for years to come. The yield of produce is enormous; vast quantities of potatoes are raised, and within the last few years fourteen starch factories, capable of making six thousand tons of starch annually, have gone into operation. The carriage of this starch together with the surplus agricultural and forest produce, affords a large, steady and remunerative freight business to the railroad, when it is remembered that for three million acres, of Aroostook County, the N.B.R. is the shortest and readiest outlet, and that although the yield of produce is so vast, the settlement of the country is only fairly begun, some idea may be formed of the probable value in the near future of this Aroostook connection. To briefly summarize, the N.B. Railway is the natural, and at present the only outlet for an area embracing parts of New Brunswick, Quebec and Maine, containing in the aggregate over eight million acres, every acre of which is valuable, either for its timber or as farm land. And by very much the greater part of it is not only well timbered, but is of the highest fertility. It begins at the head of navigation, for ocean-going vessel on the St. John, and extends to within seventy-seven miles of the Intercolonial, at a point near Rivière Ouille, to which a line for a railway easy of construction can be found. If this is built the distance from Quebec and all points west of St. John will be two hundred and forty miles less than via the I.C. Railway. Its construction would give to the interior provinces, the shortest possible route to the sea, and to a winter port over British soil. In this event, the importance of the N.B. Railway as a part of the great Canadian Railway system, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, can hardly be over-estimated. As these things are yet in the future, we will confine our attention to the local trade. This is increasing, and must within a few years be very much larger than it is now. With the increase of population has come a better system of agriculture. It must be borne in mind, that the present prosperity of the country has been attained in spite of the serious drawbacks, resulting from imperfect means of transportation to a market. Now that this has been remedied, and this immense area of fertile land with its vast stores of timber is easily accessible, and those articles of agricultural produce for which it is best adapted find a ready market in Great Britain, it is reasonable to expect even more rapid progress than that which has marked the last quarter of a century.

The equipment of the N.B. Railway consists of:—10 Locomotives (mostly nearly new), 9 Passenger Cars, 117 Freight Cars, 4 Snow Ploughs, 20 Hand Cars, 22 Hand Lorries, and a full assortment of track tools.

There are self-feeding water Tanks erected at every twelve miles of the road. Although the Railway was in course of construction, and notwithstanding the almost unprecedented stagnation in all departments of business, the net earnings of the railway for the past two years were $54,000.00. The earnings for the three months of December, January and February last, shew an increase of forty-three per cent, over the corresponding three months of the previous year. The timber lands of the Company have been, and must continue to be a great source of revenue, and although owing to the great depression in the lumber trade, only a small portion of the lands was under lease, sufficient revenue has been collected from them to meet a large portion of the interest on the bonds. The first charge for stumpage was seventy-five cents per thousand superficial feet for spruce; one dollar a thousand for pine logs; fifty cents a ton for birch, with corresponding rates for cedar. This has been increased from time to time, and the stumpage now collected is $1.50 per thousand superficial feet for spruce; $2.00 for pine; $1.00 per ton for birch, and corresponding rates for cedar and other lumber. Should the present improvement in the lumber market continue, it is the intention of the Trustees to increase the stumpage on spruce to $2.00 per thousand, on pine to $2.50, and on other lumber in proportion.

The cost of the New Brunswick Railway was as follows:—Bonds issued $1,994,000.; Cash subsidies $177,000.; Cash from Stock subscription $507,000.; Rolling stock purchased from earnings of road $54,000.; Total cost $2,732,000.

The sole liability of the road consists of the bonds above mentioned, and these are chargeable upon the land; the road, rolling stock and property of every description belonging to the Corporation.

In addition to the road and its equipment, the N.B. Railway Company have as assets their grant by way of subsidy from the Provincial Government of 1,647,772 acres of land, less 600 acres sold, leaving 1,647,172 in the hands of the Company. Of this, there is on the head waters of the Miramichi River 300,000 acres, upon which from a long experience in lumbering operations backed by the opinion of experienced foresters, I estimate there is an average of 5,000 superficial feet of spruce and pine to the acre, or fifteen hundred million in all. On the St. John and its tributaries the remainder, consisting of 1,347,172 acres, lies. This will average 1,500 superficial feet per acre, or two thousand and twenty millions in all, making a grand total of spruce and pine for the whole Railway grant of three thousand five hundred and twenty million superficial feet. The birch, ash, elm and other exportable hard woods will average one ton per acre, or 1,647,172 tons.

The amount of cedar is incalculable. It is very much within the mark to estimate an average of 2,000 superficial feet per acre, or 3,294,000,000 feet in all. This, at the present rates of stumpage collected by the Company, namely, $1.50 per 1,000 for spruce and pine and cedar, and $1.00 per ton for birch, ash, elm and other hardwoods of exportable value, represent a total present value of $11,837,655, and there would yet remain a large quantity of valuable wood. In addition to this, on one block of 40,000 acres in Carleton County, through which the Railroad runs, it is estimated that there is besides all other lumber 160,000,000 superficial feet of hemlock logs, which will give 160,000 cords of hemlock bark, worth at present rates $1.25 per cord for stumpage. This lumber is now ready to be cut and is all within comparatively easy reach, the Railway lands being intersected in all directions by large streams. This fact, and the facilities afforded by the Railway for carrying supplies to the interior, give these timber lands a greater value than similar land in other localities. In addition to the trees now standing and of marketable value, there is a large young growth supplying the place of what is cut away, so that with a prudent system of forestry and careful management on the part of the land officers, there is no good reason why the supply of lumber should ever be exhausted, although if the lands of the Company are opened for settlers it will naturally be diminished as the settlements increase. These estimates of lumber are so large as to be almost startling, yet they are too low in the opinion of many persons well qualified to judge by a lifetime spent in and about the lumber woods.

It is worthy of remark that while the land grants of the Western Railways in the United States are lessened in value by the reservation of alternate blocks by the Government, the New Brunswick Railway lauds form a continuous area. In conclusion, it may be noticed that while the area of the Province of Prince Edward Island is 2,173 square miles, and that of the State of Rhode Island 1,306 square miles, the territory owned by the New Brunswick Railway is 2,575 square miles. Before the grants of the land issued, each section was explored by experienced agents of the Company, and all of inferior quality rejected.

Alex. Gibson

Managing Trustee for the Bondholders of the New Brunswick Railway

Written by johnwood1946

May 17, 2017 at 8:56 AM

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