Ruby M. Cusack
A History of Riverview, Bridgedale, Gunningsville, Riverview Heights
Bicentennial Project of 1984
Traffic Tie-up on the Gunningsville Bridge of Dec, 1963
PANB Moncton Times - Transcript fonds: P115-5960
Dec 27,1963 traffic tie-up Gunningsville Bridge
When the aroma of bacon and pancakes
drifted upstairs, I knew it was time to leave the comfort of the feather
tick. But before I made my way to the kitchen, I needed to remove
the barricade Gram had at the bedroom door as she feared I would
sleepwalk and fall down the stairs.
I think Aunt Sadie heard me getting up. When I entered the kitchen she
took my plate that was piled sky high with my favourite foods from the
warming closet of her Fawcett wood stove and quickly toasted a couple of
pieces of homemade bread on the wire rack that she placed in the
firebox and then sent me on my way to the dining room.
I noticed a large boiler of hot water on the stove which was no surprise as this was Monday which meant it was “wash day”.
No one noticed me as I sat down at the table and reached for the
molasses dish and the bottle of strawberry jam. Gram was telling Gramp,
the first job on his agenda today was to put up a new clothes line as
she was doing the bedding and didn’t want a broken line of clothes
falling on the ground.
He didn’t seem too pleased at this request as he made it clear, he
wanted to finish cleaning out the old potatoes from the cellar and get
everything ready down there for the fall crops to be brought in. I had
watched in previous years as he even swept the mud floor that was as
hard as cement from all the walking that had been done on it since the
house was built in the 1880s. He grumbled, he even had to build a couple
of new shelves for the pickles to be placed on, as well as replace some
rotten boards on the sides of the bins that held the root vegetables.
He thought for a moment before advising the ladies not to do the wash
today as the sky looked a bit dark. Also when he brought the cows in
this morning the sky was a reddish colour, which was a sign of rain.
Gram quickly replied that she had checked to see if there was enough
bright blue sky peaking through the clouds to make a Dutchman a pair of
breeches and most important of all were the fairy-wash webs on the wet
grass which was a sure sign that it was safe to fill the wringer washer
and do the laundry.
Probably Elizabeth Wade Collier, looked at the weather signs before she
filled the wash tub and took out the washboard to do the laundry for her
eight children. In her day, the water was usually carried by the pail
full from a spring or a stream. Many a man laboured for days digging a
well and lining it with rocks leaving the missus of the house to tie a
rope to the handle of the pail and pull it up. Some husbands often
rigged up a pole with a weight on one end to make the job easier. Every
home had a rain barrel.
By the way, Elizabeth Wade was born in 1785 in what is now Albert
County. She married John Collier in 1813, who was born in England in
1788, and joined the Navy when he was about sixteen. When the ship
dropped anchor near Alma about 1810, he made the decision to stay in New
Matthew Ryan, who was born in 1821, was a British Soldier who served
under the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic Wars. He won a
mention for bravery during the Battle of Waterloo and came to Coverdale
when the war ended. When only seventeen, his son James Ryan married
Elizabeth Trites, a daughter of Jacob Trites, one of the original
settlers. He attended Normal School in Saint John to become a teacher.
He lead a diversified life including roles in politics.
One of the earliest and very religious residents was the Rev. James
Wallace who was born in Hopewell in 1797. One of the interesting events
that his son wrote about was his crossing of the Petitcodiac River and
getting into quicksand.
Hazen Gunning was cleaning the bridge when Mr. Sanford S. Ryan, County
Councillor and a member of the New Brunswick Legislature was crossing
the bridge and stopped to talk. He told him, he intended to submit the
name Gunningsville for the official name of the area as the Gunnings had
been the first settlers on an English land grant. The name was kept
from circa 1910 to 1973.
Byron Dobson saw the need for housing in what became Riverview. He
bought the 90-foot scow, Sherman B. in order to haul sand and gravel
from Martin Head to mix with cement for the foundations in many of the
houses he built.
The oldest known gravestone in the cemetery adjacent to the Coverdale
United Church is that of John Weldon who drowned on June 8, 1819 in his
A tragic reminder of the Saxby Gale of October 4, 1869 is in the
Wesleyan Union Cemetery on the Coverdale Rd. where a little stone marks
the graves of four O’Brien children who slipped from a raft while
crossing the river. Two children were saved.
The first ferry service on the Petitcodiac River was in 1841 with fare
for a passenger being 1 s. 3 d,: for every ox, cow, etc. 3 s.: for every
horse 4 s. Simon Outhouse was the Ferryman.
Dr. J. Arthur Dobson contributed a very interesting chapter on the Fundy (Dobson) Hiking Trail.
Circa 1670, the Micmac Indians called the Petitcodiac River -
“Petgotgoiag” and in 1781 Henry Alline’s Journal refers to it as -
A History of Riverview, Bridgedale, Gunningsville, Riverview Heights was
a Bicentennial Project of 1984 and provides much information for those
who are researching this area and wish to gain details on the three
villages that formed the Town of Riverview and the folk who lived there.
This book covers such topics as the Riverview Businesses - Past and
Present up to 1984 and includes locations, owners and dates. The results
of the Municipal Elections of 1967, 1969, and 1971, of the Villages
gives a peak into those involved in local politics. Details are given on
Churches, Clubs, Lodges, Societies, and Schools.
It is unbelievable as to the amount of information that was packed into
this two-hundred page book by those who contributed their time and