Return to Ruby Cusack dot com Home Page

Ruby M. Cusack
  A Short History of Carleton County

Not only had Jack Frost been doing his best to give us lots of cold weather but one snowstorm after another piled up high drifts of snow.

When we heard the train whistle blow from several miles away, we knew a welcome spell of soft weather was here, which brought visitors who were suffering from cabin fever.

The men talked of winters past and lumbering camps where they had worked and as usual some lumber camp pictures were brought out and passed around.

I could almost hear the sound of the bells on the horses as they trudged through the logging roads with loads of hand chopped logs.

One visitor spoke very softly. I thought he said, “The novel for the horses came first.” Immediately, I visualized a cartoon of those big horses wearing reading glasses and I took to giggling but a stern look from Gramp clammed me up. (For the readers not familiar with lumber camps - the shed for the horses was called a hovel)

It seemed full stomachs kept the men happy so it was very important for the boss to choose a good cook who could prepare pancakes, bacon, fried eggs, homemade bread and a strong cup of tea for the early morning breakfast.

Dad held up a group picture of men attired in their lumbering clothes standing in front of the tar paper covered building. He pointed to a fellow wearing a white apron who was a fill-in for the regular cook who had taken ill and had to go home. This new guy was one of the best pie making cooks that ever crossed the threshold of the camp kitchen but he brought more than his culinary skills.

After his arrival, the men soon found themselves to be very itchy and came to the conclusion that since it was winter time the red bites where not from black flies or mosquitoes but from lice.

I could just see all those men sitting around the stove in the evenings, trying to scratch through their long underwear and maybe using a narrow piece of kindling to reach their backs. I took to laughing, with tears running down my cheeks. I could not stop, no matter how hard I tried.

Gramp reprimanded me that I was being very rude and to skedaddle.

I didn’t have a clue what he was telling me to do but I quickly left the kitchen.

If I had lived in Carleton County, I would have probably heard the story of the naming of Skedaddle Ridge as a good many of the early settlers in the early 1860s “skidaddled” from Maine across the border to avoid draft into the American Civil War.

In 1922, T. C. L. Ketchum compiled A Short History of Carleton County, New Brunswick “undertaking to place before the public some impressions and facts of Carleton County and, incidentally of Victoria and Madawaska to establish a guide post here and there, which, with the copious matter already published might aid someone in the future with an inclination to local history in the larger task of editing a complete history of the county.”

Many interesting incidents are mentioned in this publication - such as:

In 1836, the Woodstock and Fredericton Stage Coach company was formed, to run from the Court House at Upper Woodstock with stopping not less than five minutes at some convenient place on the north side of the Meduxnakeag Creek. The stage carried passengers, parcels and letters. It cost seven pence for a letter from Fredericton with cash on delivery - the receiver paid the postage not the sender.

In 1840 the first step was taken in the formation of the Carleton County Agricultural Society. The man elected to be president was Richard Ketchum.

Iron was mined in Jacksonville at Iron Ore Hill and brought to Woodstock where an extensive smelting plant was operated at first by a group of Saint John people.

Frank Sharp will be remembered for his work in the development of apple culture.

To the early settler or pioneer, Hartland was at the mouth of the Becaguimic generally shortened to the mouth of the Guimic which meant salmon bed. The grantee was William Orser, who came from New York. His first wife was Mary Blake said to have been the first female white child born on the St. John River.

One of the earliest settlers of the parish of Wicklow was John Antworth.

 Carleton County GenWeb at gives information and links to many topic of interest such as: Seventy years of New Brunswick Life by William Thomas Baird, The Founding of Woodstock, Carleton County Act 1831-32, the Birth of Carleton County, and Tappan Adney who was married to Minnie Bell Sharp (1865-1937) of Woodstock, NB in 1899. She conducted the Woodstock School of Music for many years, and ran for Federal office in 1919.

By spending time reading A Short History of Carleton County and browsing many guide posts will be found for the New Brunswick researcher.

The book can be read online at

A copy of the book may be for sale at

Query 1897
Alexander - Craig - McGier - Keith: My family album has a photo inscribed Robert Alexander, St. Andrews, NB. According to Greenock Presbyterian Church records, Robert was one of two witnesses to the marriage of Margaret Alexander and Moses Craig, 29 Nov 1859.  I need to know the relationship between Margaret and Robert. Moses A. Craig, was born 1837 in Chamcook, St. Andrews, the son of David Craig and Phebe McGier. The newly wedded Craigs settled in Calais, Maine and are in the census of 1860 and 1870. Moses lived briefly in Lowell, MA and is listed there as a widower in the 1880 census. He moved back to Calais and married Catherine 'Jane' Rogers Keith in 1881. I am seeking information on a fire at the home of a Moses Craig in Calais on  May 13, 1877 which involved a "serious accident". Did Margaret die in the fire?
Contact gailgordon1 at

Visit Ruby's Bookshelf
New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of
New Brunswick for sale.

Back to Home of  rubycusack dot com