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"Looking Back At St. Martins"
Dad and Gramp sat at the kitchen table with pencil, protractor set, yard stick and a big piece of brown wrapping paper. It seems it was the first time they had built a cupola for a barn and were drawing a pattern. They were having difficulty figuring out the angles for their design. Even the slant to the louvers was giving them headaches. They would draw a line, look at it and then erase it. Holes were starting to appear in the paper.

As I leaned over Dad's shoulder and listened and watched, I couldn't understand how this building was going to keep the hay from heating in the hay mow thus prevent a fire.

The ladies finished their job in the porch of cutting green tomatoes and onions for chow and came inside.

Gram took one look at the drawing and exclaimed, "Dave, I have been wanting a widow's walk for years and finally you are building one for me!"

Gramp replied grumpily, "You can't see any sailing vessels, bays or ocean waters  from here so forget that idea."

I was really confused as to the connection to a widow walking in a building that would keep the hay from catching fire that needed to have a view of ships out in the water.

Now if I had lived in a seaside village such as St. Martins, I would have known that many a sea captain built his home with a cupola style building, called a widow's walk, often enclosed by windows with stairs coming up from the attic through a trap door.  Here his wife would spend hours staring through the spyglass waiting to see the sight of sails on the horizon.

The St. Martins Community Access Centre compiled a publication in 1998 titled "Looking Back At St. Martins"

Many of the photos take one back in time to buildings that are long gone, while other buildings are still standing.

St. Williams Roman Catholic Church was once a huge church, with a rectory called Sweeny Hall and many barns and back buildings until all were destroyed in the Great Fire of May, 1900 causing over $100,000.00 in damage. While the new church was being built, the congregation gathered for worship at the Baptist Church in West Quaco.

The David Brown house was built in 1786 by Isaac Springstead Sr.

William C. Love Sr. was a lighthouse keeper. It is said that William would walk to Saint John in the morning and be home in time to light the light..

Very interesting details are given on the construction of many of the houses and their present and previous owners and occupants: The Henry Huttges Jr. home was erected in 1877 by Dr. George Gunter with his wife Rhoda. Later it became the home of James Hodsmyth, who was a tailor from Ireland.

The Osborne Memorial Hall had two doors and was used as a school.

The St. Martins United Church was formerly the Presbyterian Church, dedicated on July 31, 1898 by Reverends W. W. Rainnie and James Ross.

The St. Martins Union Baptist Seminary was built in 1886 at a cost of $65,000.

In 1878 a railroad was constructed connecting St. Martins to Hampton and took eight years to complete.

If you have connections to St. Martins, you will enjoy a step back in time, leafing through the pages of ‘Looking Back At St. Martins'  to view the homes, churches etc. in this picturesque village, where many sailing ships were built.

Copies of this publication can be viewed in the Quaco Museum and other institutions.

A copy of this very hard to find book for sale at

Query 1813
Barker - Bowes: Matthew Barker was born 1811 in England - owned the ship WILLIAM that was built in New Brunswick and sold in 1834. He married Elizabeth Fouquet Bowes in Hantsport, Nova Scotia in December 1834 and died 1837. He was the Captain of schooner Enterprize, shipping gypsum in the Bay of Fundy

Query 1814
Moody - Tait: I'm looking for the parents of Mary Elizabeth Moody who was possibly born about 1823 in Upham Parish, New Brunswick. She married Thomas Tate (or Tait) in 1844 in  Kings County, New Brunswick. Thomas was born in Northern Ireland about 1811. Mary  died about 1891 in Salisbury, Canada.
Contact Jenny Tait by email

Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at: 

New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of
New Brunswick for sale.

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