Gagetown: As We Were by J. K. Chapman
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
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
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
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.
Paintings: Searching for location and photos of paintings
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
- 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?
ROBERT SHANNON CARSWELL
83 Balmoral Avenue
Canada, M4V 1J5