New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

William Brydone Jack on the Future of University Education in New Brunswick

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From the blog at

King’s College, later the University of New Brunswick, was a liberal arts institution which slowly transformed itself to also teach the sciences. James Robb was a notable addition to the faculty when he became a lecturer in natural sciences in 1836, for example. Similarly, there was no degree program in Civil Engineering until 1862, though some courses were taught at an earlier date.

Enrollment at the College was always low, and many people thought that the tuition was too high. There were complaints that the curriculum did not prepare the students for the regular occupations by which most people made a living. There were also complaints that the curriculum promoted the Anglican faith — and therefore favoured the old Loyalist elite. In short, it was not a people’s university.

William Brydone Jack became a Professor in mathematics, astronomy and surveying in 1840, and was President between 1861 and 1885. This was a critical time, because complaints were mounting. There were calls for the annual grant to be discontinued, and also that the College be turned into an agricultural school. A Commission was established to make recommendations and, eventually, the University became a secular institution with a more diverse curriculum.

Following is Jack’s address to the University, given on June 25, 1857. It is clear that all of these issues were forefront in his mind. I have decided to present the address without editing, since William Brydone Jack’s work deserves to be read as-found. You will see, however, that he used long complicated sentences.

William Brydone Jack

From Wikipedia

William Brydone Jack on the Future of University Education in New Brunswick

The Statutes of this University require that an Annual Oration be delivered within these walls, in praise of the Founders and Benefactors of the Institution. This year the duty thus prescribed devolves upon me; and after others have so often and so eloquently addressed you upon the subject, you will readily give me credit for sincerity when I say, that I now appear before you with no small degree of diffidence.

In every civilized community,—in every country wherein man’s proper place in creation and the dignity of his mission are understood and appreciated,—it is perceived that, apart from the divine inflatus whereby he becomes a living soul, his power and superiority over the rest of the animal creation are due to the peculiar gifts of reason and of language. By means of the former he is enabled to trace the mutual relations of things and their influences upon one another, and to speculate upon the mysterious connection between cause and effect: by means of the latter he can make known his motives, his thoughts and his feelings to his fellow-men. These peculiar faculties are possessed in different degrees by different individuals, but in all they are susceptible of great and marked improvement by cultivation. Seeing, then, that from and through them originate all advancement in knowledge, all pre-eminence in art, all the blessings of government, and all national changes, whether for the better or the worse, it is clearly of the utmost importance that every effort should be made not only to increase their efficiency, but also to give to their powers a beneficial and suitable direction. Hence it comes that in all nations which have occupied a prominent place in the world’s history and been instrumental in promoting human progress, Schools for intellectual discipline and instruction have received generous encouragement and support. Everybody has heard of the Schools of the ancient Grecian Philosophers; and although these sages, for the most part, scorned that simply useful knowledge which is now too generally regarded as the only knowledge worth possessing, yet who would venture to assert that such illustrious men did not exercise a beneficial influence in their day and generation, and that their lofty speculations have not most materially contributed to the elevation of the human race?

Permanent and well-appointed establishments for imparting instruction in the higher branches of learning exert an advantageous and wholesome influence in many ways. In them are found embodied the wisdom and intellectual advancement of the age; and they serve as resting and rallying points, from which fresh inroads are to be made into the dark regions of the unknown. In them mind acts upon mind, and the intellect is not only invigorated, but prompted to take loftier and bolder flights. The student who has the high privilege of resorting to such an institution feels, on entrance, that he is not merely to acquire a certain portion of information, but that he is admitted a member of a learned community;—that he has become connected with that which is substantial and lasting, not merely with that which is artificial and transitory. He finds around him men who can appreciate his cravings for intellectual superiority, and the spirit of emulation fires him with the noble ambition to excel. Even if he cannot stand pre-eminent, it becomes a point of honor with him to strive to be no disgrace to the venerated body in whose ranks he has been enrolled.

If in these respects this University has hitherto failed in achieving aught that is great or glorious, the fault does not lie with the founders. To them still belongs the merit, and to them be accorded the praise of founding in New Brunswick an Institution with such high objects in view. The principle that in this country provision should be made for affording its sons an education not inferior to the demands of the age, was a sound one, and one worthy of the good men who succeeded in establishing it. This was the fundamental principle contained in their work, and one which they believed would live and bear fruit after they were dead and forgotten; and I trust it will long be regarded as a principle of such inestimable value that it ought never to be abandoned. If experience has proved some parts of their scheme to be faulty, these it becomes the duty and the privilege of their successors to amend; if it has been found that there are other parts which cannot be realized at once, but which require to be modified to suit persons, places and times, it may be an act of true wisdom, as well as of prudence, to alter these in conformity to such requirements. But, throughout every change, let the grand principle I have spoken of be preserved, and New Brunswick may yet have good reason for glorying in her University.

Every day of life supplies the means of self-culture and improvement to the wise; and the boundaries of human knowledge seem capable of almost indefinite extension, as mankind advance in their destined course of civilization and proficiency. Hence an education, such as that afforded by Colleges and Universities, is becoming every day more and more indispensable; and all thoughtful and clear-sighted men regard it as a mark of sound policy in a nation to establish and foster such Institutions, and provide them with the means of directing and encouraging in their onward career of study, those whose talents and acquirements promise to contribute to human progress.

Looking at the matter from the narrowest point of view, and taking into consideration only one department of study pursued within these walls, I beg you to consider for an instant how much really valuable information our young men may acquire from an experienced and able teacher regarding the Flora and the Fauna of our Province; and how much profit might accrue to them from a knowledge of its geological formations, and from an intimate acquaintance with the nature and properties of the minerals underneath its surface; and then, I would ask you, whether you can have any sympathy with those, who in their blind zeal for the total subversion of the College, virtually say to the youth of the Province, we will allow you no opportunity in this your native land of obtaining instruction on these subjects,—so far as it depends upon us, the great book of nature with all its wonders shall remain to you an illegible book,—so far as it depends upon us, your minds shall never be elevated, nor your reverential feelings excited by a systematic study and an intelligent contemplation of the marvelous beauty, the harmonious adaptation, and glorious majesty of the Works of Him whose kingdom ruleth over all. It is sheer folly or shallow pretense, in the would-be-destroyers of the College, to say that our young men can acquire all the needful information on these and other useful subjects at our Academies or Grammar Schools. This, I am certain cannot be accomplished, unless in these as ample provision be made for the purpose of giving special instruction in the different departments of study as is at present enjoyed by this Institution. To obtain the higher, and therefore the most efficient and useful instruction in the various subjects comprehended in a liberal education, it becomes absolutely necessary to make a division of labour among the teachers; and science has now penetrated so deeply into the mysterious laws of nature, and can show by so many examples how these may be made subservient to the objects of art, or rendered available for practical purposes, that even the most clamorous for only useful learning are obliged to acknowledge the value of this higher teaching. Many arts and professions owe their very existence to Chemical Science alone; and their onward progress towards perfection is dependent on the rapid flow of the tide of discovery in that science. That these are really useful matters on which instruction is needed, inasmuch as they can be made directly available and turned to profitable account in the ordinary business of life, the so-styled practical man will in all probability admit; but then, he may perhaps be ready to ask, with a triumphant air, what benefit society is likely to derive from the vain theories and empty speculations of philosophers; and of what possible use the study at College of the loftier and painfully accessible branches of learning can be to mankind in general. This question could be most readily and satisfactorily answered by an appeal to facts;— by showing that most of the grand discoveries, which have contributed so largely to the advancement of the age, and which form at once its glory and its boast, have been the fruits of purely theoretical investigations. To these we owe the discovery of Electro-plating and gilding, and the beautiful art of Photography: to these the Miner is indebted for his Safety Lamp, which preserves him from harm while surrounded by an element of destruction, apparently uncontrollable by human power: and the discovery of the Electric Telegraph itself,—the most wonderful invention of modern times—can be traced, by a process of pure deduction, from the fundamental principles of abstract science.

Without, however, wearying you with illustrations of the value of theoretical science, even in a merely commercial and practical point of view, I may be permitted to ask, what could be apparently more remote from any useful application than the investigation of the curious phenomena of polarized light? Who could have believed that the narrow track of observation opened up by Malus, a young French officer of Engineers, as he looked through a prism at the windows of the Palace of the Luxembourg, would have taken such a direction as to furnish the Navigator with the means of detecting rocks and shoals in the depths of the ocean, and thereby preserving him from their lurking dangers,—as to enable the Chemist with unerring certainty and a rapidity previously undreamt of, to tell the amount of Sugar in the Cane, Beet, and Parsnip juice, at different stages in the growth of the plant, and thus to point out to the manufacturer when and on what article he can most economically bestow his labour,—as to assist the Engineer to discover the laws of tension in beams, and thereby give additional security to life and property,—as to provide the Astronomer with a new method of measuring unapproachable objects, and even of marking the passage of time, as well as of deciding whether yon far distant shining speck which has just burst upon his astonished vision, owes its brilliancy to the light proceeding from itself, or borrowed from other bodies?

These facts in the history of physical science, and others which might be adduced in almost endless profusion, afford incontrovertible evidence of the value of theoretical investigations; and prove that it would be presumption in any one to assert that such investigations are unworthy of attention, because being to all appearance of a purely speculative character, they can never lead to any useful result, or be brought to bear upon matters connected with the ordinary concerns of life. In this particular, the tide of public opinion seems now to be setting in the proper direction; and, it is beginning to be recognized at last, that in an advanced stage of civilization a competition in industry must be a competition in intellect; and that more and more encouragement must be given to the cultivation of theoretical science, as forming the basis and ground-work of all true progress.

It thus appears that instruction in the highest and most abstruse branches of learning ought not to be neglected, even though we should agree to measure the value of all knowledge by the standard adopted by those who maintain that science is only useful insofar as it can be rendered applicable to practice. This unit of measure is undoubtedly of great value; and affording as it does outward and visible manifestations of its worth, which can be appreciated equally by the learned and the ignorant, it has in our times, and more especially on this side of the Atlantic, come to be looked upon as the true and only standard. In the teachings at this University, every disposition has been shown to acknowledge its merits, by employing it as often as occasion permits. Nevertheless a very little reflection will be sufficient to convince us that it is partial and imperfect. For, independent of the transitory things of this world, knowledge is valuable for its own sake. In the acquisition of it we are following the dictates of both nature and revelation, since we are cultivating that special talent which God has entrusted to our keeping, and through which he has been pleased to give us superiority and dominion over the rest of his animal creation on this terrestrial globe. In all systems of education which pretend to educate man as man, it ought never to be forgotten that he is an intellectual and moral, as well as physical being; and that he has been so constituted by his Maker as to have wants and pleasures of a far more refined and exquisite kind than those which merely concern the body.

I have indulged in these somewhat trite remarks, because it is a very common thing in this Province, more especially in its chief commercial City, for parents, even in affluent circumstances, to excuse themselves for not giving their sons anything beyond a common Grammar School education, by saying that, as they are intended for men of business, this is quite sufficient for all their requirements; and that it would be folly, or at least an utter waste of time, to send them to College, since they could there gain nothing which would enable them to rise faster or higher in the world. Now this is a very erroneous and mischievous view to take of this very important subject, and one which every educated and right-thinking person ought to condemn; inasmuch as it ignores the intellectual and moral nature of man, excepting so far as conducive to his self-gratification and mere worldly aggrandizement. It in truth owes its origin to the same spirit of mammon as that which renders man a foe to godliness; and against which the earnest and pious minister of religion finds too much and too just cause for incessant complaint. It behooves us, therefore, to unite our efforts with those of the Clergyman, and resolve to check as far as lies in our power the far too prevalent idea that wealth is the real measure of worth; that professions and trades exist merely for the sake of the riches which they draw in their train; that the acquisition and accumulation of money is the grand end and aim of our existence; and that for this purpose we are to toil and moil and waste our energies and even our lives. Such ideas tend to the degradation of man’s higher and better nature, and of all those pursuits which are immediately connected with mind;— they stifle the feelings of his spiritual existence, and deaden the consciousness of his belonging to a nobler and more excellent economy than that which is conversant with money-making, or the manufacture or sale of commodities. A taste for literature and science, so far from being incompatible with the necessary business of life, serves to relieve and sweeten its toil; and the man who, happily for his own sake, has been imbued with it in early days, finds that he possesses within himself many sources of pleasure and enjoyment, which are unknown to and untasted by others who have been less fortunate in their education.

Before I conclude, it may be expected that I should offer a few remarks upon the Bill relating to King’s College, which has been recently laid before the public, under the auspices of the College Council. This Bill merits attention, not only on account of the source from which it emanates, but also for the important alterations which it contemplates in the administration of the Institution. The scheme which it embodies may not probably correspond with the ideal which many of us may have formed; but we ought to bear in mind that the Council may have considered the existence of the College at stake; and that at a crisis when decided changes were expected, it would be well for the honor and educational prosperity of New Brunswick, if these could be so controlled as to prevent their assuming an excessive and violent character. Such being the position of affairs, it might be matter for grave consideration whether it would not be sound policy to concede some of our predilections and opinions in order that the vital principle, which acknowledges the necessity for such an institution, might be preserved, and the interest of the higher branches of education continue to be represented within the Province.

It would be out of place in me, on the present occasion, to examine in detail the various provisions of the Bill. The advantages likely to be derived from some of these, might be questioned; while of the measure as a whole, all circumstances considered, a favourable opinion may be entertained, as calculated to be productive of good. At all events, it seems to contain the germs of such a measure as ought to be generally acceptable, and as is most likely to secure for the College that fair and impartial hearing, which has long been denied it, and the want of which has stood so much in the way of its popularity and usefulness. Could public confidence be established, the inducements held forth by the Bill to all the young men of the Province, without distinction of rank or creed, to resort hither for a sound and liberal education, are of such a free and generous nature, as to lead one to anticipate from them the best and most satisfactory results. And if the different branches enumerated in the schedule of instruction, can be well and successfully taught within the specified time, sure I am that the Alumni of this University would rank second to those of few in the world.

I am aware that the scheme has been objected to in certain quarters, as having the effect of turning the College into what has been denominated a Godless Institution. The originators of the Bill, however, expressly declare that religious instruction is indispensable to a collegiate course of study, and that no youth can be well-educated who is not instructed in Religion as well as in Science and Literature. They quote with approbation, and emphatically endorse the sentiments of Professor Sedgwick, when he says:— “A Philosopher may be coldhearted and irreligious, a Moralist maybe without benevolence, and a Theologian may be wanting in the common charities of life. All this shows that knowledge is not enough, unless feelings and habits go along with it, to give it meaning, and to carry it into practical effect. Religion reaches the fountainhead of all these evils, and she alone gives us an antagonist principle whereby we may effectually resist them.” It is, therefore, not only conceded by the framers of the Bill that man is a spiritual and accountable being, but also that all education is good, only so far as it proceeds upon this supposition; and they lay down the doctrine that “the Government, if not as representing the collective sentiments of all religious persuasions, yet as being at least the guardian of their equal rights, should require that the evidences, the truths, and the morals of Christianity should be at the foundation of all public Collegiate instruction, and the spirit of Christianity pervade its whole administration. As to the teaching of what is peculiar to each religious persuasion, this clearly appertains to such religious persuasion and not to the Government.”

The objection which I have been considering, would probably be deprived of any weight which it may still have in the minds of some religious and conscientious persons, if every Christian denomination—and be it observed that all are respectfully recognized in the Bill—were allowed the option of connecting with this University a School of Divinity for the purpose of teaching its own peculiar religious tenets;— each of these schools to enjoy all the advantages and privileges conferred by such connection, but to be supported by the denomination which it represents. It might also be allowable for the Professor, or Professors, in each of these schools, to have a voice in conferring degrees in Divinity, on distinguished members of their own persuasion. Moreover, such an arrangement as that just mentioned, has something like a precedent to recommend it to favour. In the Scotch Universities, although the Established Church is alone admitted into immediate union, yet there the Faculty of Arts is wholly untrammeled by that of Theology, and its course of study is altogether independent, since it not only works apart, but owes its maintenance to funds drawn from an entirely separate source. Now, to the general, literary, and scientific curriculum, students of all religious persuasions are freely admissible, and the scheme and mode of instruction therein pursued would continue equally unaffected by having in legalized connection ten Schools of theology belonging to as many different Christian denominations, as by having one. It is true that in these Universities the Professors in even the Faculty of Arts are required to subscribe some religious test more or less stringent; and even in this land of latitudinarian principles it may still be permitted to doubt whether it would not be better that the Professors should, before instalment in office, be obliged to declare their belief in, at least, the inspiration and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures.

Whatever changes may be at any time effected, let us hope that the necessity for maintaining in New Brunswick an institution for affording its youth such instruction in the higher branches of learning as is commensurate with the demands of the civilization of the age, will never be overlooked; and let us who are in any way connected with this University, Students as well as Professors, each in his place and to the best of his ability, strive to make it a worthy and lasting monument of the enlightened policy of its Founders.


Written by johnwood1946

April 4, 2018 at 7:51 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Saint John: From Nothing, to Become Canada’s Winter Port

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From the blog at

Saint John: From Nothing, to Become Canada’s Winter Port

Saint John, Canada’s National Winter Port, 1920

From the N.B. Museum

The earliest railways in Canada did not include a connection to the Maritime Provinces. The Grand Trunk Railway had been built from Sarnia to River du Loup, but no further. Another line had been built from Montreal to Portland, Maine, but it was not desirable for the British provinces to rely upon the United States and not to have a winter port of their own.

Following Confederation, it was agreed that there should be a rail connection between Ontario and Quebec and the Atlantic Ocean through the Maritime Provinces. What route should be taken was a matter of bitter debate, however. Some argued that Saint John should be the terminus of the Intercolonial, with the Halifax traffic being carried across the Bay of Fundy by ferry. It was also proposed that the line should go up the Saint John River in order that that the river could benefit from the rail line. Finally, the decision was made that the Intercolonial Railway would begin at Halifax and extend up the east coast of New Brunswick by the shortest possible route to the Saint Lawrence. Saint John had lost the argument, and this was why an early New Brunswick railway line was built between St. John and Shediac — to intersect the Intercolonial and allow Saint John at least some connection to the Canadas. One consequence of this was that Halifax would be Canada’s winter port, leaving Saint John as a minor provincial port.

In 1902, someone wrote a history entitled The Winter Port, the Great Achievement of the People of St. John. This was a bitterly political account of Saint John’s fight to become a major winter port, and blamed the Conservative Party for all of Saint John’s woes, while praising the Liberal Party for every success. It included a lot of good history, however, and following is a severely condensed and edited version of the paper. The author is unknown, but it is the sort of document that a partisan organization might produce.


During discussions of the railway question, following completion of the line between St. John and Shediac, the late Hon. John Boyd delivered a speech full of optimism regarding the future of St. John in which he said “Looking at our position with regard to Lower Canada, St. John must yet become the winter port of that country … Portland has already taken from us a portion of that trade… We look forward to the early action of Great Britain in adopting as her own the contemplated scheme of uniting tie eastern and western hemispheres by the Atlantic and Pacific railroad. Our connection with Canada will place us in a direct line with this great work, and Saint John in a few years may thus rise to the position of the Liverpool of America.” Mr. Boyd had thus coined a new term The Liverpool of America.

The Pain of Isolation

Disappointment ensued, however. It had been argued that the Intercolonial be built up the St. John River, but the political influences against the valley route were too powerful for Sir Leonard Tilley. The adoption of the military route by the Conservative government was a great blow to the city and delayed the progress of St. John for a quarter of a century. Two years after the completion of the railroad the Liberal government, which had been in power three out of the nine years the Intercolonial had been under construction, and which had built the Courtenay Bay branch of the railway and constructed the deep water terminus at the southern extremity of the city was replaced by a Conservative administration. For seven years following the election of 1878, the Intercolonial was controlled by Sir Charles Tupper, the first Minister of Public Works, and afterwards as Minister of Railways. During this period, freight was loaded at Halifax and carried over the Intercolonial at a loss to the country. The long haul and the many delays made the Halifax route more unpopular each year, and notwithstanding that the subsidized steamers carried the mails between Canada and Great Britain still made weekly calls at Halifax, little or no freight was landed and they went on to Portland Maine to deliver and receive cargoes of Canadian goods. The adoption of the military route did neither Halifax nor St. John any good. Meanwhile, maps were being printed showing the Intercolonial with Halifax marked as the Winter Port of Canada.

The Canadian Pacific Railway was under construction, but it had its eastern terminus at Montreal. For years, the people of St. John had discussed the question of a short line between St. John and Montreal by the Megantic route, and an agitation was kept alive to extend the Canadian Pacific to St. John. In 1884 the question came up in parliament and, finally, a bill was passed granting a subsidy of $250,000 for 20 years for the construction of a railway to connect the Maritime Provinces with the west. This departure from the usual course of granting so much a mile was due to much of the proposed railway being through the State of Maine. When this measure was up for consideration the Conservative government still wanted to prevent St. John from obtaining full advantage of her geographical position, and a provision was inserted in the bill requiring the construction of a railway from Harvey in York County to Salisbury in Westmorland County, which would sidetrack St. John and parallel the existing line between St. John and the Intercolonial. The Senate withdrew the clause concerning the Harvey-Salisbury section, a policy which was endorsed by everyone except the people of Halifax. Canadian Pacific then undertook the construction of the Megantic route and, on June 2, 1889 the first Montreal train reached St. John. The distance between the two points was now reduced from 740 by the Intercolonial to 481 miles by the Canadian Pacific route.

St. John’s economy stagnated. Between 1871 and 1882 the population hardly grew at all. Then, in 1877, the great fire brought devastation and the population actually dropped. All of this was due to the Conservative administration which controlled affairs from 1867 to 1873 and which promoted Halifax as Canada’s winter port. St. John had lived in the vain hope that steamships would be placed on the St. John to Liverpool route, but none came. The railway was completed and trains made daily trips over it, but the Conservative government gave no assistance the railway to do the business through Canadian ports.

The opening of the Megantic line again brought hope to the city, but 1889-90 passed and no move was made to utilize St. John for anything but local traffic. There were also rumors that the Canadian Pacific were seeking traffic arrangements through Portland, Maine and Boston. In 1890, negotiations were undertaken with Canadian Pacific to have something done and, as a result, the Union wharf was constructed at Sand Point. In 1892, the city negotiated with the Conservative government for the purchase of the Carleton Branch rail line which had been made useless through the construction of the Falls railway bridge. The Conservatives nonetheless demanded $40,000 for it, and extracted another $40,000 in order to help build the first grain elevator on the west side.

By 1902, the city had expended about $250,000 in terminal facilities to handle winter trade but none had come. The subsidized steamers which made Montreal their summer port used Portland, Maine during the winter, and no effort was made by Ottawa to bring about a change. The flag had been waved during the general election of 1891, but after the people had voted the flag was put away. The slogan Canada for the Canadians was forgotten and subsidies continued to flow to American ports.

Making a Beginning

Mayor George Robertson and Council appointed a committee in 1895 with authority to confer with any and all government and business authorities and to find a solution to St. John’s economic problems.

It was only days after that that a representative of the Beaver shipping line met with Mayor Robertson, and said that they were unhappy with their arrangements at Portland, and asked for a $20,000 subsidy to make shipments through St. John on a trial basis during the following winter. He was told that the request should be made to Ottawa and a few days later the Committee, and the Beaver line people, and a collection of politicians and business people went to Ottawa to press the case with George Foster, Minister of Finance and representative for York County. Foster agreed that the subsidy would be paid by Ottawa and that a confirming telegram would be sent by the time that the delegation got back to St. John. The telegram was not forthcoming, however, and it was only after several New Brunswick MP’s threatened to resign that it was finally provided.

The subsidy for the Steamship line secured, the next thing to be done was to make preparations for the first winter. The wharf was without a warehouse and there were no railroad tracks nor cattle sheds. The railway and the city agreed to extend the rails to Union Wharf and city engineers prepared plans for the warehouse which was completed two months later. Enthusiasm was born in the people and old and young thronged to the West side to see the work that was being done. The facilities were far from complete, but the experiment proved a success.

The first steamship to arrive was the Lake Superior, which sailed up the harbor amid a general salute of tug boat whistles and moored at the Sand Point wharf in Decembers, 1895. Canadian Pacific had a large quantity of freight, not only in the yards at Sand Point, but also on every siding and railway yard between Montreal and St. John. So energetic was Canadian Pacific that the goods were delivered in Toronto and Montreal hours in advance of those shipped through Portland, Boston and New York, and St. John had made a good start in her winter trade. The holds of the Lake Superior were soon emptied and the loading commenced. This was accomplished and the Lake Superior sailed away again on the 13th of December, having been in port 10 days. The next arrival was the Concordia of the Donaldson line which reached port on December 20th from Glasgow and discharged her cargo at the same berth as the Lake Superior.

One steamship after another arrived, and all were given quick dispatch, and the record made in the delivery of western freight exceeded the best expectations. From the very inception of the trade it was evident that St. John could meet the competition of any of the United States ports which had hitherto enjoyed a monopoly of the winter trade of Canada. By the end of the season, 22 steamships had been discharged and loaded. With this experience, St. John was more than ever determined to become the Winter Port of Canada.

Scaling Up the Trade

St. John was determined that the experiment should be continued on a larger scale. Negotiations were commenced and it was agreed, in 1896, that the city was to build additional wharves and Canadian Pacific would contribute $56,500. Following this, the Leary leases were acquired and other properties obtained, giving the city entire control of the wharf property north of Protection Street. Houses and sheds were then razed, a dredge was brought in, and plans for new wharves extending west to Union Street were prepared. Construction commenced early in July and was completed for the winter trade of 1897-8. The facilities were thus improved so that there was a new terminal for three steamships to load or discharge at the same time. During the initial season there were but 22 steamers loaded at St. John, while in 1896-7 the number was increased to 46. The average tonnage was also increased by 151 tons.

Mail Subsidies Continued

There was agitation to stop subsidizing the mail-steamship lines which did not also patronize Canadian ports for freight. A recent call for tenders had specified that Halifax should receive all of the mails from England, which would have continued the diversion of freight to Portland. This became an issue in the 1896 election, and the parties supported the change. This was forgotten, however, as soon as the Conservative Party won the election. St. John was very dissatisfied with this result, and with the Conservatives in general. There was even talk that the Harvey to Salisbury proposal would be resurrected. This campaign ended in the defeat of the Conservative candidates in St. John and also ended the political career of Sir Charles Tupper. The Conservative government was defeated and the Laurier government came to power with A.G Blair representing New Brunswick in cabinet as Minister of Railways. While the policy of the Laurier government was to pay Canadian subsidies only to steamships using Canadian ports it was not possible to carry out this policy since the mail contract was already awarded.

When the mail contracts expired the two companies which had the contract did not tender. They thought that the government would have no option but to accept their terms and extend the contract, but they were wrong and arrangements were made with the Beaver line to carry Canadian mails for a year. This was a distinct notice to these companies that it was the intention of the government to adhere strictly to the policy of subsidizing only the lines using Canadian ports all the year around. The persistency of this Liberal policy was responsible for a large share of the success which followed the adoption of St. John as Canada’s Winter Port. Had the government yielded to the steamship companies, then St. John would not have been able to attract so large a share of the Canadian winter trade as she now does.

Continues Growth

The development of winter trade through St. John was rapid and nearly every year has shown an increase over its predecessor. Liberal government subsidies were extended to several new steamship lines and the handling of the increased traffic severely taxed the facilities of the port, demonstrating the necessity for more wharves.

Harbor improvements continued apace, with help from the Liberal government. The Conservatives had always refused to contribute to dredging, even though the buildup of silts were from up the federally regulated river, because they claimed that St. John was a local port and not a federal port. St. John was unique in this situation since the city’s charter of 1785 had vested control of the harbor with the city. The Liberals took a different view which was important because of the high cost of dredging. Very little has been said in the press regarding this most important work at the inception of effort to make St. John the Winter Port of Canada.

Memorable projects included improvements at the Long Wharf at the northern end of the harbor which was acquired and replaced by a modern structure and warehouse. This wharf and the grain elevator which was built on the site of the Harris car works, which the Conservative party had been instrumental in removing from St. John to Amherst, cost upwards of half a million of dollars. The Conservative press had complained that the elevator was a waste of money and would never be used.  Yet during the winter season of 1907-8 over 1,000,000 bushels of grain were loaded, which grain could not have been exported at St. John if the elevator had not been constructed. Between January, 1901 and July, 1908 there have been 598 vessels berthed at the new Intercolonial pier.

By 1905, additional wharfs were required if some of the steamship 1ines were not to move their business elsewhere. An appeal was made to Ottawa and it was agreed that the federal government would undertake dredging for other sites, while the city would build the wharves. An additional wharf and warehouse were completed at a cost the city $150,000 while the government paid $250,000 for dredging. Yet another wharf was required and, again, the Liberal government agreed to pay for dredging.

This is how St. John came to be Canada’s Winter Port, and how useful the Liberal government was in achieving this.

Written by johnwood1946

March 28, 2018 at 8:30 AM

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Saint John, New Brunswick Churches in 1910

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Saint John, New Brunswick Churches in 1910

Following is a catalogue of churches, and a synagogue in Saint John in 1910, taken from St. John, New Brunswick: What to See in the City and Vicinity and How to See It, compiled by the New Brunswick Tourist Association. The text comes from that publication, but I have substituted better photographs.


Church of England

Trinity Church — a beautiful stone edifice in the late early English Gothic style, is situated between Germain and Charlotte Streets, fronting on Germain. First founded of all Churches in the City, it traces its descent from the Loyalists, and has within its walls an interesting memento of its origin—the Royal Arms, which once adorned the old State House in Boston, and sat in mute judgment upon the famous Tea Debates. Few Tourists visit St. John without seeing this historic relic. Situated in the midst of the most prominent hotels, Trinity is thronged with summer visitors. The new organ, considered the finest in the Maritime Provinces, and the strong surplice choir, render the services bright and musical. Not new, but of lasting influence on the inhabitants of St. John are Trinity Chimes. They have struck the hours and played their tunes over our forefathers, and their sweet notes recall potent memories, and ever invite the thoughts of men to high and holy things.—Rev. R.A. Armstrong, M.A., Rector; Rev. J.W.B. Stewart, M.A., Curate.

Trinity Church

St. John’s Church, known as the Stone Church — was for many years the only Church structure not of wood in the City. It is finely situated, fronting the northern termination of Wellington Row and Germain Street. It was erected in 1824 as a Chapel of Ease to Trinity Church, and was served by the Rectors and Curates of that Church until 1853, when it became the Parish Church of the newly erected Parish of St. Mark. The Rev. George Mortimer Armstrong, the first Rector, held the position until October, 1887, and in 1888 the Rev. John de Soyres became the Rector, and remained in office until his death in February, 1905. The Rev. Gustave Adolf Kuhring, the present Rector, took charge in the month of June following. The large stone schoolhouse adjoining was completed in 1891. The view from the tower of this Church is one of the finest in the city. This is the oldest church standing in St. John, with the exception of St. George’s Church, on the West side of the harbor.—Rev. G. A. Kuhring, Rector.

Stone Church

St. James (Broad Street) — Rev. R.A. Cody, Rector.

St. Luke’s (Main Street) — Rev. R.P. McKim. Rector.

St. Paul’s (Valley) — Rev. E.B. Hooper, B.A., Rector.

St. Mary’s (Waterloo Street) — Ven. Archdeacon Raymond, M.A., LL.D., Rector.

St. George’s (West End) — Rev. W. H. Sampson, B. D., Rector.

Mission Church of St. John Baptist (Paradise Row) — Rev. D. Convers, Priest in charge. Holy Eucharist, 8; Mattins, 10: 15; High Celebration, 11; Choral Evensong, 7; Seats free. Phone M2181.

St. Jude’s (West End) — Rev. G.F. Scovil, M.A., Rector.

Church of England Institute, also S.P.C.K. Depository — 119 Germain Street, open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Christian [Disciples of Christ]

Coburg Street — Rev, E.C. Ford.

Douglas Avenue — Rev. J. Chas. B. Appel.

First Church of Christ Scientist

First Church of Christ Scientist — Services Sunday, 11 a.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. A Reading Room is connected with the Church, open daily, (Saturday and legal holidays excepted) from 3 until 5 p.m.


St. Andrew’s Church — situated on Germain Street, between Princess and Duke Streets, is the oldest Presbyterian Church in New Brunswick, being founded in 1784. The present beautiful Gothic building, with its imposing freestone front, was erected in 1877, at a cost of $75,000. It is generally regarded as one of the finest Presbyterian edifices in Canada. Besides the main auditorium, which seats a thousand, there are two large lecture rooms and numerous class rooms. The large pipe organ built by Hook & Hastings, is one of the most excellent in the city. The first settled pastor was Rev. George Burns, D.D., who was inducted in 1817. Rev. David Lang, M.A., B.D., is at present the pastor.

Saint Andrew’s Church

St. David’s Church — situated on Sydney Street, between Princess and Duke Streets, has the largest Presbyterian congregation in the City. The edifice is a large pressed brick structure, with stone trimmings, and seats 1,050 people. A large number of tourists worship in St. David’s during the summer, and strangers are always cordially welcomed. Rev. A.A. Graham, B.D., Minister.

Saint David’s Church

St. John (King Street East) — Rev. J.H.A. Anderson, Minister.

Calvin (Corner of Carleton Street and Wellington Row) — Rev. L.A. MacLean, Minister.

St. Stephen’s (City Road) — Rev. Gordon Dickie, Minister.

St. Matthew’s (Douglas Ave.) — Rev. J. James McCaskill, Minister.

Carleton — Rev. H. R. Read, B.D., Minister.

Fairville — Rev. W.M. Townsend, M.A., Minister.

United Baptist

Germain Street Baptist House of Worship — stands at the corner of Germain and Queen Streets, facing on Germain. It is a brick structure, with stone trimmings. Its interior is bright and pleasing, seating about 750. The present building was erected on the site of one destroyed by the great fire of 1877. The Germain Street Church is the oldest of the Baptist Churches in St. John, being founded in 1810. Other churches have gone out from it and are now worshipping in different parts of the city, Main Street Church, at North End, having a very large and still increasing membership. In this old mother Church, in earlier days, labored some of the Germain St. Baptist Church fathers of the Baptist denomination in the Maritime Provinces. Of these we mention Theodore Harding, Chas. Tupper, father of Sir Charles Tupper, and Samuel Robinson, all men of precious memory. Rev. W.W. McMasters, Pastor.

Original Germain Street Baptist Church, Following the 1877 Fire

Main Street —Rev. D. Hutchinson, Pastor.

Waterloo Street — Rev. F.H. Wentworth, Pastor.

Brussels Street

The Tabernacle — Rev. G.D. Milbury, M.A., B.D. Pastor.

Carleton (Charlotte Street) — Rev. M.E. Fletcher Pastor.

Victoria Street, N.E. — Rev. B.H. Nobles, Pastor.

Leinster Street — Rev. W. Camp, M.A., B.D., Pastor.

Fairville — Rev. F.E. Bishop, B.A., Pastor.

Carleton (Ludlow Street) — Rev. W.R. Robinson, M.A., B.D., Pastor.


Synagogue (Hazen Avenue) — Bernard L. Amdur, Rabbi, Louis Green, President. Services.— Friday, 8 p.m., summer; 7 p.m., winter. Saturday, 9 a.m. Lectures.— Friday night (English). Saturday morning (Hebrew). Progressive Orthodox. Semi-Reform Ritual. Hebrew School attached to Synagogue. Sunday School in English.

Shaarei Zedek Synagogue


Queen Square Church — is a very handsomely built Gothic structure of native stone. Visitors are much impressed by the beauty of its design and admirable acoustic properties. The congregation worshipping in this imposing edifice was organized on the first Sunday in October, 1791, and it is consequently the oldest congregation in St. John. Its membership at the present time being a particularly large and active one. Rev. Wilfred F. Gatez, Pastor.

Queen Square Methodist Church

Centenary Church — occupies a commanding site at the corner of Princess and Wentworth Streets, in an attractive residential portion of the City. This stately and impressive Gothic edifice is built of gray limestone, and is the largest, as well as one of the finest, churches in the City. Its Chapel, admirably adapted for all Sunday-school and congregational work, is one of the most beautiful on the continent. This Church is the home of a large and influential congregation. Rev. C.R. Flanders, D.D., Pastor.

Centenary Church

Exmouth (Exmouth Street)

Portland Street — Rev. H.D. Marr, Pastor.

Carleton — Rev. Jacob Heaney, B.A., Pastor.

Carmarthen Street — Rev. C.W. Squires, Pastor.

Zion — Rev. J. Crisp, Pastor.


Roman Catholic

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception — This exceptionally attractive building is situated on Waterloo Street, a few minutes’ walk from King Square in the centre of the City. Near the Cathedral is the residence of the Bishop of St. John.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Cathedral — Right Reverend T. Casey, D.D., Bishop of St. John. Reverend Fathers A.W. Meahan, D.S. O’Keefe, W. Duke and M. O’Brien. Sunday Services — Mass, 7, 9, 11 a.m. Vespers, 3.15 p.m.

St. John the Baptist (Broad Street) — Very Rev. W.F. Chapman, V.G., and Rev. J.W. Holland. Sunday Services — Mass, 8, 10 a.m. Vespers 7 p.m.

St. Peter’s — Rev. J.A. Duke, C. SS. R., and Reverend Fathers Borgmann, Maloney, Holland and P. O’ Regan. Sunday Services—Mass, 6, 7.30, 9, 10.30 a.m. Vespers, 7.30 p.m.

Holy Trinity (Canon Street) — Rev. J.J. Walsh. Sunday Services — Mass, 8, 10 a.m. Vespers, 7.15 p. m.

St. Rose, Fairville — Rev. C. Collins. Sunday Services — Mass, 8, 10 a.m. Vespers, 3.30 p.m.

Church of the Assumption, Carleton — Rev. J.J. O’Donovan. Sunday Services — Mass, 8, 10 a.m. Vespers, 7 p.m.


Union Street — Rev. Silas W. Anthony, Pastor.


Christadelphian Hall — 162 Union Street. Services at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. All are welcome.

Written by johnwood1946

March 21, 2018 at 8:01 AM

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Chief-Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians

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Several accounts are available of how the Passamaquoddy Indians, and related groups such as the Maliseets, went about choosing a new chief in days gone by. These accounts vary significantly, but the following one is from a good source and should be included in any comparative study. It is from Chief-Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians, as published in the Journal of American Folklore by (Mrs.) W. Wallace Brown in 1892.

Big Chief Thunder, Maliseet, 1907

From the Abenaki/Wabanaki and Maliseet Culture and People website


Chief-Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians

It has been said that it is difficult to induce individuals to abandon old customs and habits, and nearly impossible to prevent them from relapsing into these from time to time. Naturally, however, constant intercourse with white neighbors has had its influence over the Wabanaki, and has changed nearly all of their customs, as it has their costumes. The ceremony which has undergone the least change as observed among the Passamaquoddies is the Rite of Chief-making, as the election and inauguration of governor is called. The government is a tribal assembly, composed of chief, subordinate chief, Po-too-us-win, captains, and councillors. The latter are appointed by the chief from among the old men of the tribe. They do not make the laws, for the law is usage transmitted by tradition. They settle all matters of dispute by the decision of the majority, receiving the chief’s sanction. A new captain is chosen on the resignation of another, and is installed in office at the inauguration of the chief.

The name or duty of Po-too-us-win is not easily defined. He is the “keeper of the wampum,” he is the installing officer, he is the envoy extraordinary, sent with presents or wampum, on visits of importance to other tribes; the Po-too-us-win is really the mouthpiece through which the chief speaks.

Five days are usually devoted to the ceremony of chief-making, though the festivities often last for one or even two weeks.

The office of chief is never hereditary, and until recently it was only on the death of a chief that a new one was chosen. If there were two candidates, the matter was decided by the candidates joining hands over a mark drawn between them, their adherents forming two lines by each clasping his arms around the waist of the one in front of him. The party which succeeded in pulling the opposition candidate across the mark had the right to elect the chief. This method seems to have been unsatisfactory, for in later years they tried the expedient of each one placing his hat at the feet of the preferred candidate. This was brought into disrepute by the hats often numbering more than the heads. At the present time they vote by ballot and the election is held every four years. Of the five days devoted to chief-making the first is entirely given to electioneering and voting. On the second day a council is held by the newly elected officers and their friends. Funds are contributed to defray contingent expenses, and minor preparations made for the feast. The inauguration is held on the third day. Formerly it was customary to use the flesh of a moose or caribou, but on the occasion a description of which I subjoin, a young ox was killed, and the meat boiled in some large kettles over an open fire.

This meat is a very important factor in the rites and is called Ges-ā-ta-gā-ben. The heart and some of the entrails, along with savory herbs, were put in another kettle, and a soup made; no condiments were used in either case.

While the meat was cooking, the old men, the officers, and visiting officers went into a wigwam which is built for the purpose and proceeded with the rites which no women or young men are allowed to witness.

A stand held the tribal wampum, the silver gorgets, and the chief’s hat. The new chief was told where to sit, and, after a silence lasting several minutes, the Po-too-us-win arose, and advancing to the chief, gave the following salutation: “You are now a great man; you have been chosen to lead us. You must have the dignity becoming to a chief. You must look after the welfare of your people. You must not let one do another an injury. You are now a great man. Chief, I salute you;” at the same time placing the hat on the chief’s head.

Each of the captains then saluted him in much the same words. The Po-too-us-win hung a silver gorget on the chief’s neck, while outside of the wigwam the report of a gun announced to the tribe that the new chief was installed in office. After this the subordinate officers were installed and advised. Then the meat was brought in large wooden bowls, and placed near the centre of the wigwam; the Indians, sitting or kneeling about the bowls, ate the meat with their hands, and drank the soup from rudely shaped dishes made of birch-bark.

[The meat and soup left from this repast was apportioned out to each head of a family, who took the food to his own wigwam, where, with much reverence, it was eaten in silence by the women and children.]

The Po-too-us-win sang:

Chiefs, I greet you with a song; I greet you, captains; I greet you all,

at the same time shaking hands with each one in turn. He improvised a song in praise of the meat. This song is called Sāchem-sca-wint-wagen.

The captains also improvised songs to the meat. After this part of the ceremony, which is called Weck-we-bal-ten, meaning “the people’s supper to the officers,” they again arranged themselves in a circle around the room. A drum was beat with short, sharp taps, very slowly at first; each beat of the drum was accompanied by a “honk-honk-honk” from those in the circle. Then the door was burst open, and six women, chosen from among the visitors, entered dancing. As they passed before the chief, he threw a shawl over the head of the first one, the captains throwing shawls over the others. They danced three times around the room, still covered; then all present joined in the dance, the women leading. This is called Moee-mayic-hapjic, or “women thanking for the chief.” The shawls become the property of the women who dance, and are treasured as trophies. The old custom was to place masks over their faces. There are none of these masks in preservation, so they use shawls instead.

Until after the women’s dance, the rite was conducted with all the solemnity of mysticism. At that point, however, the doors were opened, the chief sang a long salutation, in which all were invited to join the dancing. These dances defy description, and they seem interminable, it is so difficult to see where one ends and the next begins. There are the tribal dances, the Micmac, the Mohawk, and the Snake dance. The Mohawk is more properly a war-dance; it is executed with much energy and is very fatiguing.

On the fourth day a secret council was called by the new officers; they held one long session, eating nothing until it was over. That day the supper was provided by the subordinate chief, and was nearly a repetition of the day before, including the same dances.

The fifth was a general holiday. Complimentary speeches were made, flattering adieus were spoken by the guests, though some of them remained through the succeeding week. That night the women gave the eswe-mās-woc-hapijic, consisting of nuts, candy, fruit, tobacco, and pipes. Nearly all, men, women, and children, smoked during the dance, which was continued to a late hour. This ended the inauguration proper; but there are many customs pertaining to etiquette, relevant to the ceremony. After the adieus are spoken, it is customary for the tribe to get together in council, and there decide how much longer a time the guests must remain, and though the visitors are about to embark on their canoes, the captains are expected to forcibly detain them.

This is the occasion for more feasting, and usually the Wā-bāp (wampum) is read. Wampum reading is the reciting of records or of traditions which the Wā-bāp commemorates.

Written by johnwood1946

March 14, 2018 at 8:28 AM

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Canoeing Down the Restigouche River in 1895

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Canoeing Down the Restigouche River in 1895

An Overnight Camp on the Upsalquitch River, 1902

By William F. Ganong from the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum

George Hay canoed the Restigouche River in 1895 in the company of William F. Ganong, in order to explore and to collect botanical specimens. He then wrote a paper about his findings and read it before the Natural History Society of New Brunswick in December of 1896. The paper was entitled The Restigouche, with Notes Especially on its Flora.

The following is a very condensed and edited version of George Hay’s paper. Almost all of his botanical observations have been deleted, for example.


Last summer, in 1895, in company with Dr. W.F. Ganong, I made a trip down the Restigouche in a canoe. On the morning of the 25th July, we started from St. Leonard’s Station, about thirteen miles above Grand Falls on the St. John, and made the portage through to the headwaters of the Restigouche, twenty-five miles away, arriving there about four o’clock that afternoon.

For the first twelve miles of our portage through from the St. John to the head waters of the Restigouche we had a good road. Our three portageurs drove ahead on a stout wagon drawn by two horses, with our canoe and baggage, while we brought up the rear in a light wagon. The remaining thirteen miles we made mostly on foot over a very rough road.

The morning was bright and beautiful, and for two or three miles we drove along the banks of the St. John until we came to the Grand River, up the ridge bordering on whose valley we were soon winding by hills that brought us gradually to the northern watershed of New Brunswick. The view from one of the highest of these hills is strikingly picturesque. Except the narrow settlement we were going through, all around was an unbroken wilderness. Along the Grand River Settlement there were three types of abodes. The first were those of the oldest settlers, with passably comfortable houses, a considerable acreage of land reclaimed from the forest, and with fields showing a more or less scientific attempt at cultivation. The second showed a link between the modern and the settler of bygone years. There was the frame house, and nearby the remains of the old log cabin now a picture of ruin and distress. The last was the frontier settlement, which we observed just before plunging into the forest. This hut is typical of a dozen that we saw in the last few miles. Not a vestige of a tree or shrub around, it was a bare and comfortless place.

We bade good-bye to civilization on that hot July day, and betook ourselves to the grateful shade of the forest. A great city is not the only place where we meet with extremes of wealth and poverty, of high life and low life. As we entered the woods and saw those aristocratic elms and maples and pines, we were impressed with their magnificence, and could not help thinking that if those poor settlers, when they carved homes for themselves in the wilderness had left standing one or two lordly forest trees, then the Giver of all blessings would look down upon such a habitation and pronounced it good.

This watershed, dividing the St. John from the Restigouche, is a gently undulating tableland, elevated about eight hundred or a thousand feet above the sea level and well-watered. Many of the streams trickle slowly through swamps and find their way either to the tributaries of the St. John or Restigouche. The soil is apparently of considerable depth, remarkably free from stones, and would form a rich agricultural district if rendered more accessible by a road or railway. But this grand primeval wilderness would then be blackened by forest fires, — the sure attendant of settlement. The shrill whistle of the locomotive would be daily heard in those solitudes whose silence is only occasionally broken by the gentle sounds of the canoe man’s paddle.

About four o’clock on the afternoon of July 25th, our ears were gladdened by the welcome sounds of rippling waters, and in a few minutes we stood on the bank of the Restigouche. Its clear waters now gliding swiftly over the pebbly bottom, now reposing in some quiet pool, gave the anglers an invitation to cast. We found the water very low — not deep enough in the shallow places to float a loaded canoe — and that meant work for the canoe men. We pitched our tent on that famous camping ground near the mouth of the Waagan, the resting place for many years of voyageurs like ourselves — a pretty bit of meadow but whose edges were blackened by the fires of too careless campers of other years. The camp of the absent warden was taken possession of, and before sundown we had everything in good shape for a comfortable night. But we had not reckoned on our hosts — the flies. They came in swarms — mosquitoes, black flies, sand flies, bite-em-no-see-ems and others of that vile horde. We used all the resources at our command — smudges, veils, ointments and the mildest adjectives, but they would not off. A smudge is effective but it is as likely to drive you as well as the flies out of the tent. Never sleep on a sand beach, but choose a place a trifle elevated and leafy, then you will probably sleep soundly.

The old route between the St. John and the Restigouche was by canoe up the Grand River and into one of its small tributaries, the Waagansis; thence by a carry of three miles into the Waagan, an affluent of the Restigouche, and down that stream to the spot where we made our first camp. But that is now practically impossible owing to the filling up of the slow-running Waagan, and the dense growth of bushes which almost conceals it.

I will give you an idea of the topographical features of this northern heritage of ours. I remind you that the chief watershed of New Brunswick extends from the extreme northwest limit of the province southeasterly to Baie Verte; that the eastern slope extending from this is drained by the Restigouche, Nepisiguit, Miramichi, and by a great number of smaller rivers. The southwestern slope is drained by the St. John and its tributaries, and by smaller rivers. Next to the St. John and Miramichi the Restigouche is the largest river in New Brunswick. It is 150 miles long and drains an area of 2,200 square miles. Its chief tributary from the south is the Upsalquitch, and three chief branches from the north are the Katawamkedgwick, the Patapedia, and the Metapedia, one of which at least is larger than the main stream; but the main stream is considered to have the right to the name because of its direct course from the watershed in northern New Brunswick to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The wide divergence of the four tributaries from the main stream is the origin of the Indian name Restigouche (river of the five fingers). The Restigouche takes its rise in the northeast of the County of Madawaska, near Prospect Peak, and about twenty-five miles northwest of our camping ground at the month of the Waagan. Its waters are clear and cold, from the springs and lakes of the dense wilderness to the north. Its flow is strong and swift, broken by rapids on an average of every one hundred yards, but nowhere impassable for a canoe. In its course of 110 miles, from the Waagan to Tide Head, above Campbellton, there is a descent of from 400 to 600 feet. The Restigouche flows through a narrow valley, growing deeper as you descend the stream, flanked by hills rising very steep from the waters’ edge. In the loops formed by its winding course there may be seen, at intervals, stretches of meadow land and beautiful terraces from thirty to seventy feet above the river; but so suddenly does the stream change its course and rush to the opposite side again, that these meadows and terraces alternate from one side of the river to the other in quick succession. With patches of meadow and terrace, near each other, yet separated by the river, and with precipitous hills rising on all sides, the upper Restigouche can never be a country of farms.

About 12 o’clock on the day following our arrival at the Waagan our guides left for home and we began the descent of the river. The prospect before us of a fortnight in the wilderness, paddling our own canoe through those rapids of the curving gorges ahead. The success of our expedition and our own safety depend on the careful handling of our canoe. We lift it over shallows and guide it carefully through swirling eddies as the river rushes past some precipitous bluff. Then, as we shoot out of the rapids and glide slowly over some smoother current, we rest on our paddles and gaze for a moment on the wondrously beautiful scene around us. But it is only for a moment or two. The stream ahead of us is chafing over pebbles and rocks, and we must choose the course that promises the greatest safety and the least labor. But it is done safely; and the caution and unerring instincts of the steersman were rewarded by not even the approach to an accident during the whole descent of the river. Here and there, brooks and larger streams came dashing in, and the river grew more expansive and deeper, but more headstrong. Our course at first lay among gently elevated hills well back from the river, not more than fifty to one hundred feet in height, but the gorge deepened as we advanced and the hills grew into mountains until they attained in places an altitude of a thousand feet and upwards.

The trees along the Restigouche are largely evergreen, the white spruce being the most abundant. The black spruce is much rarer, while very few pines, and these only of one species, the white pine, are to be seen along the river. The cedar is quite common, and also the balsam fir, whose long, slender trunks often rise to the height of seventy or eighty feet, clothed with old man’s beard, are conspicuous. No tamaracks were seen until farther down. Of deciduous trees, the balsam poplar is the most abundant on the low grounds. Elms, black, white and yellow birches, the white and black ash, maple, especially the red maple, with alders are seen. Willows and sumacs are quite common.

The second day’s run brought us to the mouth of the Grounamitz (Little Forks) about fifteen miles below the mouth of the Waagan. This is the first large tributary of the Restigouche and flows in from the north. The scenery about the mouth is very wild and picturesque, the cliffs rising from the river to the height of over one hundred feet. A mile below the forks of the Gounamitz is Boston Brook, evidently a favored camping ground. Below Boston Brook the country changes from a hilly to a level country, but only for a mile or two, — a good site for a frontier settlement. A short distance further down, just below Jardine’s Brook, the Silurian ledges remind us of the upper St. John.

Our fourth camping ground was near the mouth of the Kedgewick which here comes in from the north and is the largest affluent of the Restigouche. There is a fine stretch of meadow land here and a good farm, the first met with on the river, owned by Mr. Mowatt. A little below the mouth of the Kedgewick on the right bank is the fishing lodge of Col. Rogers, of New York, who owns the famous fishing pool known as Jimmy’s Hole where the water is from thirty to forty feet deep, a steep wall of white rock rising from the eastern side. A little below on a picturesque little nook at a bend of the river we come upon the summer camp of Mr. Ayer, of Bangor, and two miles farther we reach Down’s Gulch, a fine camping ground. For the next ten miles we pass through some of the most striking and picturesque scenery on the Restigouche. The river makes sudden turns, and leaps tumultuously from rapid to rapid, vainly strikes against the base of a rocky eminence and recoils, seething and foaming. There seems scarcely room enough for the river in the narrow gorge through which it rushes. Salmon pools are frequent and very deep. The hills rise to the height of six hundred to eight hundred feet, and the presence of more deciduous trees, such as maples and birches renders the foliage less somber than farther up the river. Opposite the frequent bends in the river are numerous terraces, some of them, especially those at Red Bank and the mouth of the Patapedia, being of considerable extent and all very beautiful. Nearly all these terraces have fishing lodges owned by the Restigouche Salmon Club.

The Devil’s Half-Acre, as might be supposed, is one of the wildest and most rugged spots, and is a precipitous bluff, whose rocky base is surmounted by calcareous slates, rising from the river to a height of some three hundred feet. Nearly opposite the mouth of the Patapedia is a large farm owned by Mr. Wyer, and there is considerable interval land in the vicinity. Although the salmon season was about over there was one angler who was paying his second visit to the famous pool at the mouth of the Patapedia.

Our camping ground on the night of 31st July was Tom’s Island, which we reached just at dark; a clear, cold night with no flies! This island is situated at the mouth of Tom Ferguson’s Brook, and the isthmus connecting it with the right hand bank of the river is of limestone. The central portion of the island is about one hundred yards long and twenty wide in the broadest part, covered with alluvial soil, and bearing a dense vegetation, with a margin extending up river about four hundred yards of more stony material bearing shrubs and low herbs.

We camped over Sunday on a terrace overlooking the Chain of Rocks, having passed safely through Hero’s Rapids, the most dangerous on the river.

A short distance below the Chain of Rocks we heard the sharp click of a mowing machine, a sign that we were approaching the outer world again and beyond was a small settlement (Mann Settlement) with further incontestable evidence of civilization — a school house. A short distance below was Deeside, a settlement which contains a church. Soon we came to the mouth of the Upsalquitch with a fine club house, belonging to the Upsalquitch Salmon Club, fronting on the main river, and a little farther down a few yards below the mouth of the Upsalquitch is the fishing lodge of Dean Sage of Albany. Opposite the mouth of the Upsalquitch is the settlement of Runnymede.

But the last bend in the river brought into view a more imposing sight — the Squaw Cap Mountain and about two miles north of it and a little on our left, Slate Mountain. These twin peaks, the highest land along the Restigouche, rise to the height each of two thousand feet, or fully one thousand feet higher than the Sugar Loaf at Campbellton. It was half past two o’clock that day when we began the ascent of the Squaw Cap, and we were back again at half past seven — total distance ten miles, and some of that was hard climbing, but it was worth it.

On the southern side of Squaw Cap Mountain we obtained a fine view of that great central watershed of the Province from which some single peaks rise, two thousand to two thousand five hundred feet above the level of the sea. There is easily picked out an old friend of former years — Bald Mountain on the Tobique, a trifle higher than the elevation on which we are now perched, tired and panting. Away off to the southwest is the monarch of them all — Katahdin, in Maine, over five thousand feet high. From the north aide the view is scarcely less imposing.

What a tramp that was! How tired we were! But when we looked over the botanical treasures in the tin box, there was no weariness.

The river from the mouth of the Upsalquitch down is settled, and we soon come to the estuary, studded with islands. From Morissey’s Rock we took a parting view of the upper Restigouche, and a grand view it was.

Written by johnwood1946

March 7, 2018 at 8:27 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth

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From the blog at

The Intercolonial Railway published a book in 1892 entitled Forest, Stream and Seashore, which was a travelogue aimed at attracting tourists to the railway in those great days of steam. The book gave no indication of who actually wrote it. The following segment carried the heading ‘In Northern New Brunswick,’ but I have called it ‘Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth’ because of the author’s over-the-top salesmanship in describing the attractions. We, of course, would agree with his assessment.

The Restigouche River at Campbellton, about 1908

From the McCord Museum


Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth

Campbellton, on the south side of the Restigouche River, is the first place in New Brunswick seen by the traveler from Quebec. It is a town of some 4,000 people and is rapidly growing. It is a very convenient centre of operations for the fisherman and hunter of game, and though it has not catered to tourist travel by the erection of a summer resort hotel, it is really an attractive place in itself and its surroundings. Thus it has great possibilities. It is conveniently situated, because it is a central point on the line of the Intercolonial, neither too far south for the people who are above nor too far north for those who are below. It is 466 miles from Montreal, 303 miles from Quebec, 371 from Halifax, and 274 from St. John, and it lies amidst one of the finest regions for sport on the continent. The Restigouche and Metapedia, with their tributaries, afford only a part of the splendid fishing to be had, while the land to the west and north contains all manner of game to entice the sportsman to its forests. Besides, Campbellton is on the estuary of the Restigouche, emptying into the famous Baie de Chaleur, which is of itself worth coming from afar to sail upon, It is convenient as a cool, but not cold, summer resort, with every facility for salt-water bathing, salt-water fishing, and a good time generally. The situation is beautiful, because Campbellton lies at a point on a broad and beautiful river which unites with the waters of a Bay that has no rival in Canada. Beautiful because the mountains rise near and far, their cones pointing heavenward with a grandeur not to be described, while the varying shades are blended with a harmony which all may admire, but which can be appreciated only by the artist.

There is fine scenery in whatever direction one may go in this vicinity, and the principal roads are easy for either carriage or bicycle. There is a splendid view from the top of Morrissey Rock, but a still broader and grander outlook may be had by climbing the Sugar Loaf, a mountain some 950 feet high, close to the town. The view embraces mountain, valley, river and sea for many miles and is well worth the somewhat steep climb.

On the north side of the river, opposite the town, is Cross Point, the old Oiginagich, or Coiled Snake Point, of the Micmacs, where Woodanki, or Indian Town, dates its beginning far back among the centuries. There is now an Indian reserve of 840 acres, inhabited by 120 families, with a population of about 500. They have a neat village, a school taught by a native teacher and are a very orderly people. The mission is in charge of the Capuchin Fathers, who have had a monastery here since 1894. There had been a mission here, however, for more than two centuries before they took charge, the beginning of the work dating back to the early days of the Recollets in Canada.

Both boating and bathing may be enjoyed to any desired extent in the waters around Campbellton, and the fame of the Restigouche salmon and trout speaks as to the fishing. It was a Restigouche salmon that tipped the scale at fifty-four pounds, and numbers have been caught which were of the respectable weight of forty pounds each. Salmon fishing begins about the middle of May, and all the rivers abound with these great and glorious fish.

After the river is clear, in the early part of May, plenty of five and seven pound trout can he caught in the tide with bait. From the middle of May until July they will take either fly or bait, but for good fly-fishing take the month of July. Here are some of the favorite haunts: Escuminac, 9 miles distant; Little Nouvelle, 22; Little Cascapedia, about 45 or 50 by steamer; Parker Lake, 3; Head of Tide, 5; and Mission Lake, 3 miles from Cross Point, on the opposite side of the river. Guides are easily obtained and are reliable men.

As regards the lakes in the immediate vicinity at Campbellton, the man who seeks for trout will never he disappointed. The favorite resorts are Parker Lake and Inner Parker Lake, the former of which has a wide fame. It is not a large body of water, as lakes go in this country, but in its length of half a mile or so every square-yard would appear to contain a trout weighing from half a pound to two pounds. It is of no avail, however, to go there with fancy tackle and a book of assorted flies, for save at occasional times in the month of June the fish will not be tempted to rise to the surface. The favorite bait is the agile grasshopper, and it never fails to do its work. One of the many instances of successful fishing here, within the writer’s knowledge, is that of three men who in three hours filled a huge wooden bread tray and two large fishing baskets, and were  then obliged to leave a quantity of trout  because they had no way of carrying them home, even though the road to Campbellton was all downhill. Parker Lake is situated on the back side of Sugar Mountain, and the ascent to it is a trifle toilsome, but an hour or two around it will repay even a climb on foot. Good camping ground is found here, as indeed is almost invariably the case with the lakes in this part of America. The lake is on private property, but a gentleman will not find it difficult to obtain a permit to satisfy himself as to its resources. The station agent or any of the hotel keepers, can give him all the information he desires as to the fishing in any part of this country.

In the autumn and spring the wild geese hover around the shores of the Restigouche in immense flocks, while all the many species of duck known to this latitude are on the wing by thousands. Nor do the wild fowl look upon the mouth of the Restigouche as a mere way station in their journey. They linger there, and where there is open water they are prone to linger longer. The Baie de Chaleur and the rivers that empty into it have been their favorite haunts since a “time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary.” A few years ago a man killed fourteen black duck at one shot, on the Little Muni River.

As a matter of course, partridge are plenty, and so are snipe, in their season. Plover are found at times, but not in large numbers.

Caribou are very abundant on both sides of the river. They occasionally show themselves around the barnyards of farmers in the smaller settlements. Even the boys go hunting in this part of the country, and a fine caribou was shot by the twelve-year-old son of Mr. Barbarie, the station agent, a short distance from Campbellton, during a recent winter.

Moose and deer are the reward of those who look for them around the Restigouche, and the restrictive laws of a few years ago have increased the numbers. Bears and loup-cervier are also easy game to find.

On the Restigouche

The Restigouche is part of the northern boundary of New Brunswick, and if its length of two hundred miles were in a straight line it would reach quite across the province. The line is only not straight, but makes some extraordinary bends between its source near Lake Metis and its mouth at Male de Chaleur. The distance between Metapedia and Patapediac, for instance, is 37 miles by the river, but only 21 miles in a direct line. It is but six and a half miles from Upalquitch to Brandy Brook by land, but it is not less than thirteen miles by the river. Even more remarkable is the bend at Cross Point, a few miles further up, where a walk of a few hundred feet across a strip of land will save a journey of about a mile by water. Yet the river is not really crooked; it simply has abrupt bends, with long stretches of straight distances between them. The occasional rapids are not dangerous, and a canoe voyage over the broad and beautiful stream is an experience which must be long and pleasantly remembered. The high and thickly wooded hills form steep banks in many places, and their rich verdure is reflected in the calm waters as in a mirror. Looking further into the clear depths the salmon may be seen moving lazily on the pebbled bottom, waiting only for the tempting fly to lure them to the surface. This is no uncommon sight on any part of the Restigouche. Even at the railway bridge as many as a hundred salmon have been seen swimming slowly around at one time, and it is probable that more or less of them could be seen almost any day in the season were the train to stop so that the passengers could have a look at the water. It is no idle boast to say that the Restigouche is the finest salmon river in the world.

Some may wonder at the Indian, with their descriptive nomenclature, did not bestow the title of River of Fish on this noble stream. That they failed to do so may be accounted for on two grounds: first, that salmon were then even more abundant in all the rivers than they are today; and next, because they had another and more significant title. The word Restigouche, which is a corruption of lust-a-gooch, has had various interpretations given it. Many have believed that it signifies river that divides like a hand, but the late Sam Suke was of the opinion that those words were the translation of Upsalquitch. Others have asserted, upon some unnamed authority, that Restigouche is Broad River, but the old missionary chronicles give the meaning as River of the Long War. This war is said to have had its origin in a quarrel between two boys over the possession of a white squirrel. The misunderstanding lasted forty years, by which time, presumably, the squirrel had ceased to be of commercial value to either of the claimants.

The aboriginal designation of all this region was Papechigunach, the place of spring amusements, which doubtless had reference to some great annual pow-wow in the times of peace. It is the place of the white man’s summer sport today.

The head waters of the river lie near Lake Metis in one direction and the tributaries of the St. John in another, and for much of its length it flows through a dense wilderness as yet un-desecrated by man. The country drained by it and its tributaries includes more than two thousand square miles in Quebec and New Brunswick, and is a land of mountains and valleys—the former rising grandly two thousand feet towards the clouds; the latter having forests in which solitude and silence reign. In these regions there are lakes where the beaver has no one to molest nor make it afraid; there are gorges whose rocks have never echoed the report of a gun; there are miles upon miles which have never been explored, and where the creatures of the forest roam as freely as they did a hundred years ago. One can retire into the heart of New Brunswick and reach rivers which lead to all points, such as Tobique and St. John, Nepisiguit, Miramichi and others of lesser note, as well as the rivers which run to the St. Lawrence.

The estuary of the Restigouche is a beautiful sheet of water, more like a lake than the outlet of a river. It extends from Dalhousie to where the tide and the fresh water meet, eight miles below Metapedia, and in some places is three miles wide. Ascending the river the first place of interest is the site of Petit Rochelle, three miles above Point Bourdo, destroyed by the British, under Captain Byron, in July, 1760. Byron, with a fleet of five vessels, attacked four French vessels which had run up the stream to this point. After five hours of fierce combat, two of the French frigates were sunk. The remaining two sought shelter under the stone battery at Indian Village, but in doing so one of them, Le Marquis de Marloize, went ashore, leaving Le Bienfaisant at fearful odds against the five vessels of the English. The captain was ordered to haul down his flag, but instead of obeying he went below, applied a light to the magazine and blew his vessel to atoms. Byron then went ashore with his men and burned the villages at Bourdo and Petit Rochelle, and only the ruins of what was then a place with a population of 300 families are to be seen at the present day.

Passing the mouth of the Metapedia, a distance of seven miles brings the voyageur to the mouth of the Upsalquitch, the river that divides like a hand. Here is seen Squaditch, or the Squaw Cap, a mountain 2,000 feet in height, and if one cares to ascend to Upsalquitch Lake he will find another conical cap which rises to the height of 2,186 feet. Should he continue his journey beyond the lake, he will reach the head waters of the Nepisiguit, by which he can reach Baie de Chaleur at Bathurst, or the head waters of the Tobique, by which he can descend the St. John to the Bay of Fundy.

About twenty-nine miles above the Upsalquitch is the Patapediac, by which the Metis and other rivers emptying into the Lower St. Lawrence may be reached. Then comes the Quatawamkedgwick, and a trip of about six miles up its waters will bring the angler to a spot famous for seven and eight pounds sea trout. This river leads to the headwaters of the Rimouski.

By following the Restigouche into the Wagansis, a portage of about three miles will bring one to the Grand River, a tributary of the St. John. The Temiscouata and Squatook Lakes may also be reached—indeed, the bypaths in the wilderness are innumerable, for streams run in all directions. All of any size are safe for canoe navigation, and all abound with the finest of fish.


One of the fairest spots on the line of the Intercolonial is found at the town of Dalhousie. Even when this place was not connected with the railway it attracted large numbers of visitors, and now that it is so easy of access it is one of the most popular of summer resorts. Its location at the mouth of the Restigouche, where the glorious Baie de Chaleur begins, would in any event make the site one of unusual beauty, but nature has done much for Dalhousie in giving it hills and heights which command a prospect of sea and land as far as the eye can reach. All varieties of scenery may here be found, from the gently murmuring groves to the rugged rocks of most fantastic form which in places skirt the shore. The harbor, with a depth of more than ten fathoms, and in places from fifteen to twenty fathoms, is an excellent one for all purposes. Protected by a natural breakwater of islands, it is perfectly safe for all kinds of boating, and is large enough to afford an abundance of room for recreation. Beyond it are the broad river Restigouche and the Baie de Chaleur. Fine beaches and water of moderate temperature tempt the bather. The sheltered position of the place gives it a freedom from raw winds, and fog, that terror of so many tourists, is never known around this shore. It is not only a spot where the strong and healthy may enjoy themselves, but it is one where the weak may become strong, and the invalid take a new lease of life.

The views in the vicinity are such as to charm every lover of the beautiful. To the north the bay at the mouth of the Restigouche is only about six miles wide so that Point Maguasha and the hills on the Gaspe side are seen to advantage. Nearer at hand, the varying shades of the summer foliage are seen in striking contrast with the bright red rock which here and there stands out in bold relief upon the hillside. To the southward and westward La Baie de Chaleur widens to the magnificent proportions which entitle it to the name of a sea, while as far as the eye can reach along its southern shore are seen the white houses and the tapering spires of the distant villages.

The visitor to Dalhousie need never lack for recreation, apart from the sailing, bathing and fishing. There is a fine beach for long walks, and there are good roads for carriage or cycle. They lead to many pleasant places, and one of these is Mount Dalhousie. From this mountain there is a fine view of the country, but notably attractive is that which embraces Campbellton and the Restigouche River. Boats and boatmen can be had at the beach at all times, and excursions may be made to various parts of the bay at a moderate cost. The favorite trips are to Carleton and Maguasha, on the Gaspe side, and Eel River and Charlo, on the New Brunswick shore. Dalhousie has several hotels which are in favor with the travelling public. It is the shire town of Restigouche County, has a population of about 2,700 and does a large business in the shipment of lumber by water to ports on the other side of the ocean.

Written by johnwood1946

February 28, 2018 at 8:01 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Indian Place Names From Around Passamaquoddy Bay

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From the blog at

Albert S. Gatschet wrote an article entitled All Around the Bay of Passamaquoddy in 1897. It began with a short description of the Passamaquoddy area, but its main purpose was to present a list of Abenaki place names. I have edited the list as follows, hopefully to improve its readability.

The Abenakis include the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Native groups of southeastern Quebec, the Maritime Provinces and New England.

Native group at Tobique, ca 1904

From the N.B. Museum, via the McCord Museum

Indian Place Names From Around Passamaquoddy Bay

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, and Mount Desert Island are all called in Indian Péssank or Péssan “at the clam-digging place or places,” from ess, “(clam) shell” with p- prefix, -an verbal ending.

Bay of Fundy, a storm-beaten corner of the Atlantic Ocean between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, is to the Indians Wikwalwabegituk, “waves at the head of the bay,” –tuk referring to waters driven in waves or moved by the tide.

Bishop’s Point, on north head of Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. Its Indian name, Budebé-nhigen, means “death-trap of whales,” from Budebé-n, “whale;” –higin, a suffix which stands for “tool” or “instrument.”

Campobello Island, New Brunswick, is called Kbagwfdek, from its position between Maine and New Brunswick, “floating between,” from éba, “between” and “gwiden,” floating. Another name is Edlitik, which seems to refer to the sudden deepening of the waters on the west side.

Cherry Island, a rocky formation just south of Indian Island, New Brunswick, is known to the Indian as Mἰsik nĕgúsis, “at the little island of trees.”  Mἰsi is “tree” or “trees;” misik, “where trees stand.” Nĕgú is an abbreviation for m’nfku, “island,” with –sis, a diminutive ending.

Cobscook Bay, a body of water lying west and southwest of Moose Island. It is the Indian term kápskuk; “at the waterfalls.” The tide, rising here to about twenty feet, enters into the sinuosities of the shore, and returns to the ocean to form rapids, riffles, or cascades (kápsku).

Deer Island, New Brunswick, a large isle at the southern extremity of Passamaquoddy Bay, is Edúki mn’iku, “of the deer the island.”

D’Orville’s Head, an eminence where the St. Croix River empties into Passamaquoddy Bay. Kwagustchus’k, “at the dirty mountain,” from Kwagwéyu, “dirty” and tehús, “mountain” with -k, a locative particle, and “at.” The name was corrupted into the more popular “Devil’s Head.”

Eastport, city and harbor, has the same Indian name, Muselénk, as Moose Island upon which it is built, A corruption from the hybrid compound Mús-ĕländ’k, its second half being a corruption of island, with the locative -k appended. The genuine Indian name for Moose Island is Mús m’níku. The Moose Islanders and Eastport people are called Musĕléniek.

Eel Brook, a small rivulet at the northern end of Grand Manan Island, is in Indian Katekádik, which stands for Kat-akádik, and signifies “where (-k) eels (kát) are plentiful (akádi).”

Gardner’s Lake, in Machias Township is called Némdamsw’ águm, the term némdam designating a species of fresh water fish rushing up brooks and channels, with ném, (upward) and águm (lake).

Grand Manan, New Brunswick, a large island with high shores, south of Passamaquoddy Bay, Menanúk of the Indians. The name probably signifies “at the island” in the Micmac dialect.

Herring Cove, a large sea-beach of the east side of Campobello Island, facing Fundy and Grand Manan, is called Pitchamkfak “at the long beach;” Pitchéyu, it is long, ámk, gravel, and -kie, beach, with the locative case -kfak.

Indian Island, New Brunswick, forms a narrow strip of one and a half mile length at the southwestern entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay, and was inhabited by these Indians before they crossed over to Lincoln’s Point and Pleasant Point, Maine. They call it Misik-nĕgús “at the tree island.” The name of Cherry Island is a diminutive of this.

Kendall’s Head, a bold headland in northern part of Moose Island, facing Deer Island, New Brunswick, upon the “western passage” of the St. Croix River, is called by the Indians Wabfgenĕk, “at the white bone,” or Wabfgén, “white bone,” from the white color of the rock ledge on its top. Wábi, white; -gen or –ken, bone; -k at.

Kunaskwámkuk, often abbreviated Kunaskwámk, is a comprehensive name given to the town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, to the heights above and north of it, where the Algonquin hotel is erected, and to the coast between St. Andrews and Joe’s Point. The name signifies “at the gravel beach of the pointed top.” Kuná, “point,” refers to a sandbar projecting into the bay; kunaskwá, “pointed top or extremity;” áimk, “travel,” and “gravelly beachm” with -nk, a locative ending;, at, on, upon.

Lubec, a village south of Eastport, at the narrows between Campobello and the mainland is called Kehamkfak, “at the beach forming the narrows.” Kebé-ik means “at the narrows,” and is the same word as the Cree and Montagnais.-kfak is the locative case of kie, “at the beach or beaches.”

Machias and East Machias, two towns on the southern trend of the Maine coast, which were settled from Scarborough, in Maine, represent the term metchiéss, partridge.

Meddybemps Village and Meddybemps Lake, drained by Dennys River, Dennysville Township, are called after a fresh-water fish mĕdebéss’m or the hanpout.

Moose Island, (see Eastport)

Moosehead Lake, in the interior of Maine, is called in Passamaquoddy Ktchi-ságuk, “at the wide outlet.” A literal translation of the English name would be Musátp ágĕmuk; mús, “moose deer;” átp suffix referring to “head;” ágĕmuk, “at the lake.” Chesuncook is in Penobscot dialect the name of a lake to the northeast of Moosehead Lake, and signifies “at the big outlet,” Ktchi-sánkuk.

Mount Katahdin, though its name is worded in the Penobscot dialect, may be mentioned here as signifying “large mountain.” The syllable kt- is equivalent to ktchf; “large, great, big;” and ad’ne, ad’na, is “mountain.” The Penobscot Indians pronounce it Ktăʹd’n (a short); the Passamaquoddies, Ktād’n (a long).

Norumbega is the alleged name of a river and some ancient villages or Indian “cities” in Maine, spelled in many different ways, but never located with any degree of certainty. The name does not stand for any Indian settlement, but is a term of the Abnáki languages, which in Penobscot sounds nalambfgi, in Passamaquoddy nalabégik—both referring to the “still, quiet” (nala-) stretch of a river between two riffles, rapids, or cascades; -bégik, for nipégik, meaning “at the water.” On the larger rivers in Maine ten to twenty of these “still water stretches” may occur on each. Hence the impossibility of determining the sites meant by the old authors speaking of these localities. Narantsuak, now Norridgewok, on middle Penobscot River, has the same meaning.

Oak bay, a large inlet of St. Croix River, east of the city of Calais, is named Wekwáyik—“at the head of the bay.”

Passamaquoddy Bay, according to its orthography now current, means the bay where pollock is numerous or plentiful. The English spelling of the name is not quite correct, for the Indians pronounce it Peskĕdĕmakádi pekudebégek. Peskĕdem is the pollock-fish or “skipper,” “jumper;” called so from its habit of skipping above the surface of the water and falling into it again. -kadi, -akadi is a suffix, marking plenty or abundance. (cf. the name Acadia, derived from this ending.) There are several places on the shores of this bay especially favorable for catching this food-fish, like East Quoddy Head, etc. Quoddy, the abbreviated name now given to a hotel in Eastport, should be spelt: Kadi or Akádi, for there is no w-sound in this Indian term, and it would be better to write the name of the bay, if scientific accuracy is desired, “Peskedemakadi Bay.”

Pembroke Lake, a long water sheet, stretching from northwest to southeast, is in Indian imnakwan águm, or “the lake where sweet tree sap is obtained.” Mákwan, or “sweet,” stands for the liquid sugar running from the sugar maple. Agum means “lake.”

Pleasant Point, Indian village on the western shore of St. Croix River, is called Sibá-ik, Sibáyik, “at the water-passage, on the thoroughfare for ships or canoes,” which refers to the sites just south of the “point.”

Princeton, a village on the Kennebasis River, south shore (an affluent of the St. Croix River from the west), is called Mdakmfguk, “on the rising soil;” from mdá, “high, rising,” and kmfgu, an abbreviation of ktakmfgu, “land, soil, territory.”

Red Beach, on west shore of lower St. Croix River, above Robbinston, is named Mekwamkés’k, “at the small red beach;” from mékw(a), “red” and ámk, “beach;” –es, diminutive ending, “small, little,” and ‘k, -ûk, locative case suffix, “at, on.”

Schoodic or Skudik, “at the clearings,” is a topographic term given to the Schoodic or Grand Lake on the headwaters of the St. Croix River; also to the St. Croix River itself, and to the town of Calais. That these terms were created by the burning down of the timber appears from the term itself, for sk wút, skút means fire, and the name really means “at the fire.” Another Skúdik lake lies

St. Croix River, in Indian Skúdik sfp, “the river of clearings;” from the clearings on its shores or on the Skúdik lake, where the river takes its origin.

St. George and St. George River, emptying into the northeast end of Passamaquoddy Bay, are just as well known by their Indian name, Megigadéwik, “many eels having,” from mégi, many, gat or kat, eel, -wi, adjectival ending and -k, locative case suffix.

St. John River, running near the western border of New Brunswick and its large tributary, the Aroostook, are both called in Penobscot and in Passamaquoddy, Ulastúk, “good river,” meaning river of easy navigation, without cascades, falls, or rapids; from úla, wúli, good; -tuk, tidal river and waters driven in waves.

Written by johnwood1946

February 21, 2018 at 8:04 AM

Posted in Uncategorized