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Ruby M. Cusack
 “Reflections of the Past” - The Historical Writings of Lower Millstream


 "Echoes of the Past - From the Millstream and Surrounding Areas"

            PANB   P644-20       Panoramic view of Lower Millstream

The road was full of turns, pot holes and had few homes. I was surprised when we came around a corner to see a group of small houses covered with tar paper. Several children were playing in the yard surrounded by dogs, both big and small.

Mum had been wanting a white Spitz and spotted one among the group. Dad stopped the car and backed up. I was right behind him when he approached a woman with a small child hanging on to her.

Dad inquired if she would sell the white Spitz and if so for how much? She quickly replied, “Fifty cents.” Dad put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a total of thirty-five cents in change.

The woman said, “That will do.”  She picked her up and put her in the back seat of the car. The dog quickly jumped up on the back window, contented as could be.

Once we arrived home, Mum insisted her dog, which she named “Betty” be given a bath. Once the tub was filled with warm water, Betty jumped in, placed her front feet on the rim and waited to be bathed.

We quickly realized she had been well trained and remembered many things from her former home, wherever it may have been.
Horace Macaulay relates in his 2003 publication “Reflections of the Past” - The Historical Writings of Lower Millstream, of his father bringing from Boston an Alsatian dog, who was very bright, that he purchased from a Breeder in that city. He was named King and became the protector and playmate of the children but his best friend was their father.

It seems all country kids grew up with dogs as their playmates and memories of them are kept alive in books and stories written many years after the sad loss of the faithful friends.

We owe a thank you to Horace Macaulay and others who took the time to compose a history of places like Millstream. It is from these writings, the next generations will learn of the past. Learn of such events as ice cutting and packing the ice cakes in sawdust long before electric refrigerators were part of the household. It is said the Millstream Creamery stored around 4000 ice cakes each year,

The many photographs in this book bring to life what the homes, barns, farms, schools, and churches looked like - beautiful windows to the days of yesteryear.
As one looks at the faces of those who lived in this area, one gets a feeling of knowing these people.

Mrs. W. W. McAuley submitted some facts to the June 27, 1924 Kings County Record including the following, “One of the members of New Brunswick’s first Executive Council was Col. Gilfred Studholme. Records in the Crown Land Office, Fredericton, show that in June 1784, Col. Studholme and five associates were granted a tract of land situate, lying and being in the county of Sunbury in His Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia containing five thousand acres. Four are named, James Hays, Thomas Harper, John Burgess and William McLeod. The tract of land was called Studville. Col Studholme made his home, lived and was buried at what is now called Fox Hill. Ghost stories and treasure hunting have attracted many to the area of his final resting place.

In 1854, Lower Millstream had a great disaster with the arrival of the big freshet.

In 1984 the New Brunswick Bicentennial Commission sponsored the publishing of "Echoes of the Past - From the Millstream and Surrounding Areas"  a journey to a valley in Kings County. This book is also filled with memories of the early settlers, the struggle to survive, churches, schools, industries and land ownership.

Thomas Musgrove came from Durham, England in 1795 and was one of the pioneers who settled along the Lower Millstream Valley.

Matthew Fenwick left his home in England and came to Nova Scotia in the 1770s and in 1801 he came up the Kennebecasis River and settled on the Millstream where he received an eight hundred acre grant.

I was quite surprised to find out Bob Nolan born Robert Clarence Nobles, April 1, 1908 in New Brunswick, as a child lived quite near Millstream. When he grew up he performed with Roy Rogers in the Sons of the Pioneers.

In my younger days, the Millstream Creamery sent a truck throughout Kings County to pick up cans of cream that were usually kept cool in a spring. By the way, their cheese was a favourite of many.
Some fellows were fortunate to get the job of keeping snow on the floor of a covered bridge to make it easier for a team of horses to pull a load of logs.

Being able to make and repair was an important job for all to learn. The wooden tool box contained files, punches, rasps, wooden planes, a brace and bit, a draw knife, chisels and many other wooden tools plus those that were made in the blacksmith shop.

A boy knew he was on the road to being a man when he was allowed to carry a jack knife. Hours were spent whittling. By the way, many a country boy is still carrying a jack knife in his pocket when he is in his eighties.

Lower Millstream is one of those communities that has lots of facts to learn about.

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