Publications Help Recall
Life Before CFB Gagetown

Although it was a very warm summer's day, Mum insisted, we wear our Sunday church clothes to Gram's 70th birthday party as there would be lots of pictures being taken to mark this milestone. It seemed she wanted us to appear well dressed in the pages of the family album.

During the past four years, many photos from the albums of families who resided in the communities now occupied by Canadian Forces Base Gagetown have been collected and placed in publications to help portray and remember life as it was before the expropriation 50 years ago.

Through the pictures in Places of Our Hearts - Memories of the Base Gagetown Communities to 1953, published by the Base Gagetown Community History Association and the Queens County Historical Society & Museum, memories of places that exist only in the heart have been preserved.

Summer Hill and Dunn's Corner: Gone But Not Forgotten, edited by Richard Corbett, chronicles the life in these communities. Twenty-three contributors address the achievements of people nurtured there. It also celebrates the dedication and sacrifice of the hundreds of families who migrated, mainly, from Ireland and Scotland, met the wilderness and subdued it, built homes and established vibrant communities with roads, bridges, churches and schools. These stories and diaries honour those who persevered and lived quietly until 1952 when everything that had been developed was taken away. There are photos of the homes on each property as well as treasured family photographs that are supplemented by family history going back generations.

Richard Corbett and Derald Kirkpatrick authored A Search for the Descendants of James Corbett and Jane Breakey and the Graham Family. It is in two parts, one addressing the personal search for the descendants of James Corbett and Jane Breakey by the author and the other part the search for the descendants of the main branches of the Graham families who occupied land in Queens and Sunbury Counties. All the Corbetts from Queens County are shown to be related. They were linked in Ireland and those links were reinforced in Canada through the marriage of John Mills Corbett and Jane Corbett. The Graham families were more difficult to prove inter-relationships but each branch was thoroughly examined.

Enniskillen - Golden Memories, by Suzanne McCann is a 178-page history of all the families who had their land expropriated and also of the families who continued to live in the small community of Enniskillen that the Government did not buy. Photos have been included of each homestead and the families who lived in them.

New Jerusalem - We Remember was compiled and edited by Verna Mott and published by the New Jerusalem Committee of the BGCHA. It consists of writings of several community members and descendants and contains 115 vintage photos.

In Graeme Somerville's publication, I take my pen in hand, the clock has been turned back to the 1800s through the letters of the Webb family to reveal the life and times of a pioneering New Brunswick family. Noah Webb, the patriach of the family, migrated from Westchester, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia to New Brunswick in the 1820s. The letters of Noah of New Jerusalem and of his four children James, Reuben, Isaiah and their sister Mary E. (who married Andrew Forbes), as well as a dozen other writers run from 1853 to 1893 and cut deep into the temper of the times.

Clones - Days Remembered was published by the Clones Committee. It is mainly photos of the different families, and information on churches, schools, farming, lumbering and maps of the area.

Remembering Coote Hill was published by Frank Queen. It is a brief history of the community along with photos of houses and genealogy information.

Reflections of Petersville, written by Evelyn Garland with photos and captions compiled by Linda Adams, is a brief history of the community along with information on daily life and photos of the people and places of Petersville. A map has been included marking where different homes were located.

Armstrongs Corner - Memories by the Armstrongs Corner Community Committee has photos of each house with info on the families as well as some genealogy and maps showing were houses were located. Articles on community life were submitted by several residents.

The History of New Jerusalem was compiled by Annie E. Elder in 1953. It is an excellent source of information for those with roots in that community.

A Time There Was - Petersville and Other Abandoned Settlements in Queens County, New Brunswick, 1815-1953 by Marion Gilchrist Reicker was published in 1984 by the Queens County Historical Society. It outlines the history and folklore of a number of Queens County communities that were once viable but for one reason or another no longer exist.

Along Hibernia Roads by Carol Lawson and Connie Denby has information from a diary, photos of homes with info on families including some genealogy and quite a few pictures.

Wes Hamilton has compiled a 14-page chronology of Hamilton Mountain. He is willing to share a copy of his research to anyone interested in this area. Contact him at He will also be handing out a limited number of printed copies at the Reunion.

The above publications and others will be available for purchasing at the Reunion on the 50th Anniversary of the Expropriation of the homes in the 20 communities to make way for Base Gagetown. The four day event will be held at the Queens County Fair Grounds in the Village of Gagetown this weekend. For more information on ordering, e-mail or write to BGCHA, P.O. Box 20086, Saint John, NB, Canada, E2L 5B2.

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