Memories of Fifty Years Ago

Gagetown Reunion
will mark 50th anniversary of expropriation

I think the aroma of potato scallop, brown beans and raisin brown bread reached our nostrils as soon as we made the turn off the highway and headed down the lane to the Field Day, that was being held in Claude's Meadow near the shore of the Hammond River.

The men had a roaring fire going in a kitchen range. The ladies were busy setting the tables and getting the tea made.

Children were enjoying three-legged sack races while the almost grown-up boys competed at hitting the bull's eye with a .22 rifle.

A great deal of laughter was coming from a group of women who had entered the rolling pin throwing contest.

Car load after car load arrived for this once-a-year event.

I think the phrase that was used the most was, "Do you remember?"

From August 1 to 4, hundreds of former residents, descendants and friends will be remembering the 50th anniversary of the expropriation of homes and land in 20 communities to make way for Base Gagetown, the largest training area in the Commonwealth.

They will share their memories, meet old friends, renew friendships and remember life as it was before expropriation, as they gather for a reunion at the Fair Grounds in Gagetown.

The exhibit booths of families and communities will be a great attraction to many.

For those not familiar with the former communities, the reunion will be an opportunity to learn about the way of life of the residents and the history of the communities, from the 1820s.

Registration and the opening of booths will be at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1.

The official opening and unveiling of the monument dedicated to the former communities and the families, as a lasting remembrance to the part they played in Canadian History, will take place on the grounds of the Queens County Court House Museum on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Put on your dancing shoes for the square dance on Saturday evening at the Queenstown Community Hall. By the way, this building was moved from Dunns Corner in 1953.

At 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon an interfaith service will be held with pastors and former missionaries, who have family roots in the area communities, participating.

For those who are interested in genealogy, two seminars will be held in the Royal Canadian Legion Building. Terry Punch will be there on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. and the New Brunswick Genealogical Society will be holding one on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

The display from the New Brunswick Provincial Archives will provide an opportunity to do some tracing of your family tree.

Entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and on Saturday afternoon will be provided by the many talented family members of the Camp Gagetown communities.

There will be bus tours of former communities and cemeteries on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. courtesy of Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. More information at

The general public is invited to attend all events.

The daily admission is $5 which also covers the Queens County Museum adjacent to the fair grounds and the Tilley House.

By the way, the Base Gagetown Community History Association Inc. was officially organized in July, 1998 to collect the history of over 20 communities and the genealogy of the 750 families that resided prior to 1953 in the 500 square mile area in Queens and Sunbury Counties of South-Western New Brunswick, Canada, now occupied by Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. To learn more, visit their website at - a treasure trove of information!

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Query 1094
: I would like to know about Colemans in Hampton or Norton from 1845 and up.
THOMAS COLEMAN, RR#2, Box 2500, Holden, Maine, USA, 04429. E-mail

Query 1095
Smith - Folkins
: Joseph Richard Smith married Sara Elizabeth Folkins on 4 August 1851 in Studholm Parish, Kings County. Any information about him and his parents would be appreciated.
JOSEPH W. SMITH, 287 W. Sabal Palm Place, Longwood, Fla., USA, 32779-6056.

Query 1096
Kelly - Bass
: David and Jane Kelly were listed in St. George Parish in the 1881 Canadian census. Daniel Bass was a labourer who lived with the Kelly family at this time.
NANCY BUCK, 688 4th St. N.E., Portage La Prairie, Man., Canada, R1N 3G2.

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