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Gagetown: As We Were by J. K. Chapman

Every time, I put on the brakes, the back wheel of my bike made a grinding noise and the wheel wobbled. Furthermore the chain needed to be tightened as it kept slipping off the sprocket. Cliff helped me turn the bike upside down on the barn floor and off he went. I set to work with wrenches, pliers and screw drivers. Within a few minutes, I had managed to get lots of grease on my hands and on my arms up to my elbows, to say nothing about the mess of my skirt and blouse.

I was so engrossed in my repair job that I didn’t see Gramp and Gram until I heard Gramp say, “Too bad that girl didn’t attend a school like the one the Peters sisters ran in Gagetown, where she would have been taught music, painting, deportment, needlework, and other skills considered necessary for a well brought up young lady!”

In the 1987 publication, “Gagetown: As We Were” by J. K. Chapman, I learned the Peters sisters were the younger siblings of Harry Peters junior. The school attracted daughters of army officers stationed in New Brunswick, a few girls from Nova Scotia and some pupils from the village.

During the prosperous days of the Peters family, the Gagetown house and grounds were beautifully kept. The head groundsman was Andrew Hector, who was held in such high regard that he was deeded a parcel of land on the south-eastern corner of the property. After the Peters girls became elderly and the school was closed, their nephew Johnny Millidge, a fine artist, cared for the property.

The Loyalist ancestor, James Peters was born in 1746 at Hampstead, Long Island, New York. He became the leader and most powerful person in Gagetown.

Hugh Johnston Junior was a large land owner in Queens County. In 1810, he built a fine residence in Gagetown. Upon his death in 1850, he owned 10,000 acres of land in New Brunswick. He was not of Loyalist stock but he had connections. His first wife was the daughter of John Murray Bliss, Judge of the Supreme Court and his second wife, the daughter of Thomas Millidge, a Saint John merchant and M.L.A.

In November of 1785 in the Township of Gage, 97 men, 70 women and 170 children were receiving the Royal Bounty of Provisions.

A most informative letter written in 1932 by Dr. Cossar to Dr. Richards, Premier of New Brunswick tells of the work of the Cossar Farm, which had been purchased in 1910 as a receiving home for Scottish boys.

The more than fifty black and white photos provide a walk down memory lane with views of everyday tasks such as Lewis Brooks boiling pig feed, haying on the Otty lot, and the buildings - Dingee Hotel, Grey Gables (Rubins Hotel), Jim Hamilton’s Blacksmith Shop, Collier’s Portable Mill, McKeague’s Store, Rectory (built in 1843), Mary K. Tibbitts and her advanced class circa 1893, Peters House, the Mount House, and the MacDermott property in the freshet of 1923.

Gagetown: As We Were - A Short History with Illustrations” by J. K. Chapman that provides information on the founding and development of this village on the gently sloping hillside of Grimross Creek, is available at several libraries and museums throughout New Brunswick.
Query 1312
Cavanaugh Paintings
: Searching for location and photos of paintings and drawings by my uncle, Bernard Cavanaugh. He painted mostly in St. Stephen, with some in Winnipeg. Dates would be from the 1940's to the 1990's. They may be signed, Cavanaugh, B.Cavanaugh, Bernard Cavanaugh, A.B. Cavanaugh or Tony Cavanaugh.
1189 Post Road
Sussex Corner, NB
E4E 2X7

Query 1313
Tilley - Shannon - Allison - Leonard - Bill: Can anyone provide me with information concerning the relationship of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley to Samuel Leonard Shannon who was a member of the Nova Scotia colonial legislature in 1867, and whose mother, Nancy Allison, was the niece of Major Samuel Leonard who served with the Royal forces during the Revolutionary War or to Caleb Bill who was also a member of the Nova Scotia colonial legislature at the time of confederation?
83 Balmoral Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M4V 1J5

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Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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