Marion Gilchrist Reicker's
"Those Days Are Gone Away"
When Cliff and I arrived home from school,
we were certainly surprised to find Ora had brought a truckload of four-foot
slab wood from his mill in Bloomfield and dumped it by the woodshed. Dad
would buck-saw it up during the days he couldn’t garden and it would be burnt
in the kitchen stove during the summer.
We took one look at that pile of slabs and set right to work to build a
fort. Mum let us tear up a flour bag to make a flag on which we printed with
a red wax crayon - ‘Fort Rubcliff’. Dad gave
us an old door and hinges to make the gate.
By dark, when Gramp drove into the yard, it sure was looking good to us.
He sauntered down to take a look at our project and asked, “Did you choose
this spot for your palisaded enclosure as it has a good view of up and down
Before we had a chance to answer he went on to tell us, “ Sir Thomas Temple
built the first English Trading Post on the Saint John River in 1659 at the
mouth of the Jemseg River but the Treaty of Breda in 1667 forced him to surrender
his land to Pierre de Joibert, who later became Sieur de Soulanges.”
I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about but if I had known Marion
Gilchrist Reicker, she could have told me the whole story as she did in her
book, “ Those Days Are Gone Away”.
In fact, De Joibert brought his young wife to the trading post at Jemseg
and on August 18, 1673, their daughter, Louise Elizabeth was born at Fort
Jemseg, the first white child to be born in Queens County, New Brunswick.
She was educated at the Convent of the Ursulines in Quebec City. At the age
of seventeen, she married the Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor-general of Canada,
who was thirty years her senior. They had twelve children.
In 1674, Fort Jemseg was captured by Jurreaen Aernouts, a captain of a Dutch
frigate, who was an associate of the pirate, John Rhoads of Boston. They captured
de Joibert and held him ransom in Boston until Count Frontenac, the Governor
of New France, paid a ransom of a thousand beaver skins. De Joibert returned
home and in 1676 was granted the seigniory at Jemseg and was later made Governor
of Acadia but death struck him down around 1678. It is possible that the
Mount House on Grimross Island may have been built by him. His widow received
another large tract of land that included most of the present parish of Gagetown.
However, the titles lapsed because of non-fulfilment of the required conditions.
The four D’Amours brothers who had come to Acadia from Quebec received a
large seigniory in the St. John River area. Louis D’Amours was the first farmer
in Queens County. A census in 1695 showed he had 65 acres under cultivation,
with a house, barn, stable, 22 horned cattle, 50 hogs and 150 fowls. In the
previous year, he had harvested 80 bushels of wheat, 100 bushels of peas,
30 bushels of Indian corn and 18 bushels of oats. It was Louis D’Amours
who purchased John Gyles from the Indians at Medoctic where he had been held
captive for nearly six years.
In the fall of 1758 Brigadier Moncton was given orders to destroy all the
French settlements along the St. John River. Upper Gagetown was only
one of the places where homes were burned and cattle were killed. Most of
the Acadians, displaced from their homes, made their way to Quebec.
When the Loyalists arrived in 1783, Zebulon Estey, Thomas Hart, Benjamin
Bubar, Edward Coy, John Crabtree, Archelaus Hammond, John Kendrick and others
had already settled in Gagetown but some of them were turned away to make
room for the newcomers.
The next chapter in the book deals with the Loyalist Settlers, such as Henry
Belyea who was married to a first cousin of Paul Revere. Major John Coffin
secured Glazier Manor, an estate of some five thousand acres at the mouth
of the Nerepis. Lieutenant-Colonel James Peters was from Hampstead, New York.
Thomas and Eliphalet Olmstead came to Maquapit Lake.
Interesting chapters were included on Immigration and Settlements from 1812
to 1865, giving the name of the settlements with a list of the householders
The MacDonald Diary provides an insight into the daily life of the
residents in Queens County during the years 1857 to1868.
The author also included information on the river boats, militia, doctors,
education, postal service, taverns, churches, sailing ships and woodboats.
As the loomcrofters weave the threads into cloth so does Marion Gilchrist
Reicker weave the stories of the settling of Queens County into her 1981 two
hundred page publication, “Those Days Are Gone Away - Queens County, N.
B. 1643-1902" which is available for viewing in several research institutions.
* * *
By the way, on Saturday evening,
June 19, 2004, you are invited to meet at the flagpoles on Fort Howe at 7:00
p.m. where Joan Pearce will be leading a walk titled "The Romance of Fort Howe”.