johnwood1946

New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

The Upper Oromocto River in 1847

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By JohnWood1946@hotmail.com

Abraham Gesner’s 1847 observations of the Oromocto River in New Brunswick; with Notes for Emigrants, pages 157-159:

“The principal river or tributary of Sunbury is the Oromocto, which empties itself into the St. John twelve miles below Fredericton.”

“The south branch near its sources, passes through a broad expanse of high intervale. That this intervale was once the site of a lake, is satisfactorily proved by the strata of fluviatile shells found in the soil and underlying marshy clay, which for their fertility are equal to any in America. In and bordering upon this beautiful spot, there are upwards of 160 farms, that seem like a little colony whose inhabitants have been taught the art of self-government, and who, if not disturbed by the petty political jarrings of the world beyond the forests around them, will long enjoy happiness and contentment. A rude path extends from this settlement between the Nerepis Mountains to the main post-road, and in its course passes a waterfall of one hundred feet. The rugged alpine cliffs are piled up on every side, and dark and deep gorges, overhung by leaning trees, render the pass one of exciting interest.”

“Between the south branch settlement and the Nerepis Road, there is a large tract of wild land, in part surveyed, and which might be conveniently intersected by a cross road, and thereby opened for settlement. A part of the woods has been destroyed by fire, and, from the gloomy appearance of the surface, it has been shunned by settlers: nevertheless, the soil, of medium quality, has been fairly tested at the Geary settlement. Between the south branch, through the Rushagornis and Maryland settlements, to Hartt’s Mills, and thence to Fredericton, there is a good road, and agriculture is beginning to succeed the more precarious business of lumbering. From Hartt’s Mills there is an obscure path through the wilderness to the Magaguadavic. There is a mountainous ridge and at its base there were formerly fine forests of pine; but these also have been destroyed by fire, and the lofty trees now stand lifeless, decayed, and ready to fall to the ground. A light growth of birch and elder is succeeding them. Thus the district has suffered irreparable loss, and much of its original beauty has faded away before the devouring element.”

“The south-west branch, with its pretty lake, has a fine settlement; but the remote parts of the southern parishes, like those of the north, are still shaded by the indigenous forest.”

“The fine farms that slope towards the principal streams, and the rich intervales attached to them, are favourable for pastures; hence the produce of the dairy, with beef, mutton, and pork, are sent in considerable supplies to the markets of St. John.”

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Written by johnwood1946

July 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM

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