At the Crossroads - A History of Sackville
wondered what Dad and Gramp were watching so I squeezed in front of
them. It appeared someone was trying to lead a horse through the bridge
but no way was the horse going to go.
Without a word the two of them headed down the driveway and along the
Dad took the horse by the bridle, turned him around and backed him
through the bridge without a problem.
William Hamilton knows the benefit of going backwards into history
which has made his research, findings and writings very popular and
beneficial to many.
His book, “At the Crossroads” -
A History of Sackville is
filled with more than 300 pages of information on the history of
settlement on the Isthmus of Chignecto and the place that would become
the town of Sackville.
The nearby marshlands were a great influence on Sackville. They
provided food and nesting ground for the waterfowl which in turn
provided food for the Mi’kmaq. The French dyked and cultivated the
marsh. Cattle grazed there and hay was cut and stored in the marsh
The first recorded European settlers were Jacques Bourgeois, a former
surgeon in France, his two sons, two daughters and their families.
The next group to call this area “home” were the New England Planters
who were followed in the early 1770s, by the Yorkshire migration group.
Next came about 25 to 30 Loyalist families in the mid 1780s. Although
he did not choose to reside in Sackville, Amos Botsford was the most
influential of the group.
Farmers soon found a new and ready market in Saint John. In 1789, the
first beef cattle were driven overland through a blazed trail which
later led to the construction of the Westmorland Road linking Sackville
to the port city.
Charles Frederick Allison was the man with the money behind the
establishing of Mount Allison in the 1830s. As he admitted during a
Methodist meeting in Saint John: ''The Lord hath put it in my heart to
give a sum toward building a Wesleyan Academy . . . " I know the
impression is from the Lord, [then following a dramatic pause] for I am
naturally fond of money."
The story of Shipbuilding in Sackville began with the launch of the
brig Charlotte in 1824 and ended with the schooner Three Links’s launch
in 1898 - with approximately 160 vessels having made their way to the
Charles Pickard owned the Freestone Company and due to his shrewd
business talents, major building projects in New Brunswick and Ontario
used Sackville stone. Precut stones for fireplaces were shipped as far
west as Vancouver.
I have just touched the tip of the iceberg as to the information that
was drawn from material from newspapers, journals, letters, interviews,
maps, other sources and most importantly the personal experience of the
author with his “working backward into history” technique that can be
found on Sackville’s history in William Hamilton’s 2004 book
titled “At the Crossroads - A
History of Sackville.” It will appeal to anyone with family ties
on the Isthmus of Chignecto or who have had an association with Mount
The book is available for viewing in several New Brunswick libraries.
It can be ordered from Gaspereau Press, 47 Church Street, Kentville,
NS, B4N 2M7. They also have a toll free number for book orders: 1
877 230 8232.
More than one hundred articles of Bill Hamilton’s Tantramar Flashback,
which take an informative and entertaining look at the history and
people of the region, are on his website at http://www.billhamiltonflashback.ca/
No Queries were published this week.