Come walk an historic path with me.
Janet Crawford and Al Smith explore the creation and installation of stone carver Scott Harris’s Yorkshire monument in Sackville. The immigration of Yorkshire settlers to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the late eighteenth century was a significant event in this region that represents an important sector of our citizenry (including our two authors!).
Then join Al Smith’s continuing journey in the naming of the streets of Sackville. This time Al explores the convoluted evolution (my choice of words here) of the naming of King Street. Of special interest here to me is the role played by a particular citizen (I’ll say no more!). And on a different journey, Colin MacKinnon explores one of a number of “Lodges” in Sackville around the turn of the twentieth century, focusing here on “Coronation Lodge Number 176.” There was no internet available in the early 1900s; fraternal organizations like the one described here by Colin and which could be termed a “social internet” helped to fill that need. So put on your walking shoes and travel with me on a road of Tantramar milestones.
Yorkshire Milestone Monument
Installed in Sackville
by Janet Crawford and Al Smith
The year 2022 was a significant one for descendants of Yorkshire families as it marked the 250th year of the commencement of the Yorkshire Immigration to Nova Scotia1. Seeking a better livelihood, over 1000 immigrants left their homes in Yorkshire, England, over the four-year period 1772-1775 and settled in the greater Chignecto region. That very significant early settlement event is now immortalized with the placement of a beautiful stone monument in the centre of the Town of Sackville, NB, in September, 2022.
The concept for the monument, based on the theme of being a milestone, was conceived by Sackville artist and Yorkshire descendant Janet Crawford. The project was realized through Janet’s collaboration with local stone carver Scott Harris.
Milestones and way-markers are very common historical features throughout England with over 1500 having been recorded in the County of Yorkshire2. Milestones were guideposts, often indicating mileage and direction to the next village. They were essential landscape components before there were maps or even roadways. Crossing the North York Moors was especially perilous in foggy or wintry weather and guide stones were essential to avoid getting lost.
Sackville’s “Yorkshire Milestone” is obviously not meant to be a guidepost but rather a monument recognizing a significant event in the Town’s settlement history. The Yorkshire Immigration was the third wave of European settlement in this region. For the most part, settlers arriving from Yorkshire purchased their lands from New England “Planters” who had received land grants a decade earlier. Prior to the Planters, Acadian farmers had occupied much of the Chignecto region dating back to the late 1600s and Indigenous peoples (Mi’kmaq) for circa 3,000 years. Janet says: “I wanted to present a sculpture that would represent some of the important contributions the Yorkshire folks brought to this area. The strong influence of the Yorkshire immigration can be seen throughout the Sackville area. Rather than a simple, flat commemorative plaque— it demanded more. I was so delighted that Scott Harris agreed to work with me on designing and creating this monument. He brought an historical emphasis to the project and his skills as a stone mason and carver added so much to the creativity of the work.”
Scott adds: “The monument-form mimics a Yorkshire milestone of a certain era, one that satisfied the dimensions and shape needed to display glass mosaic images and carvings.”
The monument is located along the walking trail around the Town’s flood retention ponds between Lorne and Charles Streets. It records dates of the Immigration and the straight-line distance between Sackville and Yorkshire. It also contains two beautiful vitreous glass panels created by Janet Crawford depicting a marsh barn and an early Methodist chapel, both features attributed to the early Yorkshire settlers. “I chose to use vitreous glass tiles to create these mosaic panels and decided that a precision approach to the imagery would work best in this context. Nipping, shaping, grinding and assembling tiny pieces of glass into a recognizable image were demanding, time consuming and very rewarding.”
Scott Harris’ stone carvings are of a White Rose, a symbol of Yorkshire, and a Brigantine, a typical ship used to transport the settlers and their possessions.
A large trilingual (English, French, and Mi’kmaq) panel accompanies the monument giving passersby more detailed information. An interesting fact mentioned in the text of that panel is that the monument is located on lands purchased by Charles Dixon in 1772, one of the first settlers from Yorkshire.
Another interesting fact associated with this monument is that the creators, artist Janet (Lowerison) Crawford and stone mason Scott Harris, were unaware at the beginning of the project that they are both descendants of Yorkshire immigrant Richard Lowerison (1741-1825). Richard Lowerison was born in the village of Stainton, Yorkshire North Riding, England. He married Mary Grey (1744-1834) in Yorkshire in 1762. Richard was a passenger on the immigrant ship Albion arriving at Fort Cumberland in 1774. His wife Mary and two children followed him the next year arriving on the vessel Jenny. They initially settled on the Petiticodiac but later purchased a property in Point de Bute; they are both buried in the Methodist Cemetery there.
Funding for the project was provided via a grant from the Town of Sackville that was sourced from New Brunswick Tourism, Heritage and Culture as well as Canadian Heritage. The Town of Sackville installed both the monument and the information panel; rest benches will be installed in the spring. Janet would like to thank Scott Harris who was a joy to work with, to Leslie Van Patter for her assistance in designing the lettering for the sculpture, and especially to Town employees, Matt Pryde and Todd Cole
who were generous and enthusiastic.
1. Nova Scotia at that time included all of present day New Brunswick.
2. Website: https://www.yorkshiremilestones.co.uk/
The “Loyal True Blues”
Coronation Lodge No. 176, Sackville, New Brunswick
by Colin M. MacKinnon
The following short note provides a brief glimpse of some of the past fraternal organizations from our area. The group photograph below, taken around 1910, shows members of Sackville’s “Loyal True Blues”, Coronation Lodge No. 176, wearing their regalia (Figure 1). They are posing in front of the old Merchants Bank (Royal Bank of Canada), at the corner of Main Street and Bridge Street. What is especially fortunate for us is that most of the people were identified on the back of the image with corresponding numbers written on the hat of each gentleman. This picture belonged to Lodge member Seth Mark Campbell Jr. (1873-1945) and has been passed down through the family (Figure 2).
In times past, prior to the social safety net we enjoy today, people tended to rely more on family, friends and neighbours in the community. The various fraternal organizations of the era fulfilled part of this need. As an example, on the 9th of September, 1909, Rockport lighthouse keeper Edwin Lockhart was granted a Charter from the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick to “hold a Lodge of Loyal Orangemen No. 43” (Figure 3). A rare survivor, a hat belonging to Rockport lodge brother John Arthur “Art” King (1881-1972) is clearly marked “L O L” over “43” (Figure 4). In 1910, the by-laws for the Rockport Royal Orange Benefit Lodge (R.O.B.L.) stipulated how funds would be used to support sick members. The following selected quotes provides some details of the The “Loyal True Blues” Coronation Lodge No. 176, Sackville, New Brunswick organization, ARTICLE III states: “The Initiation Fee shall be Three Dollars: Dues Thirty cents a month, all to go in as a General and Benefit Fund.” ARTICLE VIII specifies how some of the funds could be spent; “When a brother of this Lodge is taken sick or incapacitated from work, otherwise than by immoral conduct. He shall be entitled to receive benefits for three months, if sickness is that duration, but no longer in any one year to the amount of three dollars per week making allowances in case of extreme necessity”. Should there be a death of a lodge member, this is covered in ARTICLE XXVI: “At the death of a brother in good standing this Lodge shall pay the sum of thirty dollars towards defraying the funeral expenses.” I presume the rules for Sackville’s “Royal True Blues” would have been similar.
There were other groups as well; established on 27 April, 1905, as Branch 392, the Catholic community centered around Middle Sackville had a similar organization. The title of this group was conveniently called the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association (CMBA); the name leaving little doubt of its purpose. This guarantee of mutual assurance and support was further emphasized by a handshake depicted on the clasp that supported the ribbon worn by association members (Figure 5). It is worth noting that the ribbon had printing on both sides, the back portion having a black background that was worn when attending the funeral service of a fellow lodge member.
At one time, Sackville had a number of lodges besides those mentioned above: they were the “Knights of Pythias Tantramar Lodge No. 40”, “Pythian Sisters, Rensforth Temple No. 27”, “Ruby Rebekah Lodge No. 16”, “Leaman Loyal Orange Lodge No. 102”, “Lebanon Lodge No. 28, F and A.M.” and “Myrtle Lodge No. 71, I.O.O.F.”
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Sharon Bainbridge, Heather Stone and Ken Tower for sharing stories, artifacts and photographs. The image for the Coronation Lodge No. 176 ribbon was provided courtesy of Macklem House Antiques, Saint Andrews, NB.
What’s in a Name?
How Foundry Street became King Street
The street now officially known as King Street was for over half a century known locally as Foundry Street. “Foundry” was seemingly an appropriate name for the street as it ran past the sprawling manufacturing plant of the Fawcett Foundry (Enamel & Heating Products Limited). However, the evolution of the naming of this street from “Foundry” to “King” is somewhat mysterious.
Following the official incorporation of the Town in 1903 there was a Streets Committee of Town Council appointed to recommend official names to the streets within the incorporated town. The use of the name King Street came initially from that 1903 Committee and was to apply to the easterly end of Main Street – “from Crane’s Corner via Episcopal Church to town line”1. However, it does not appear that recommendation was accepted and the easterly section of Main Street was simply known as East Main Street. The present-day King Street was shown as Foundry Street on the 1899 Stewart & Co. map of the Town as well as on the 1911 Goad Insurance map of Sackville. However, on the Town’s first official map drawn by Land Surveyor Kenneth S. Pickard and issued on May 1, 1922, the street is shown as King Street. Similarly the 1947 and 1954 Goad Insurance maps show it as King Street.
It would seem that possibly the street was officially named King Street, likely after King Edward VII (King of Great Britain and Canada 1901-1910), sometime before 1922 but the older name prevailed in local usage. Street name-plates were not erected in town until 1941 and the name-plate erected for this street was Foundry Street. That name-plate remained until the early 1960s when Grace Wright, wife of then Sackville mayor James G. Wright2 (whose residence was on that street), vehemently objected to the name of the street and wanted it changed to its official designation as King Street. Mrs. Wright was successful and the street name was changed to King Street which at that time only went as far as the old town boundary. The remainder of the street connecting through to the crossroad to Dorchester was still known as the Upper Fairfield Road. With the major expansion of the town boundaries in 1975, the use of King Street was extended to the new town boundary. In 1996-97, with changes made for 911 service, the street name was extended to the full length of the road and the name Upper Fairfield Road was dropped.
Grace Wright was not only instrumental in correcting the naming error but it also seemed to her that it was more appropriate to have the Mayor’s residence address listed as “living on King Street”.
1. Crane’s Corner is the intersection of York and Main Streets—the name was to apply from the current downtown traffic light past the Anglican Church out to the Booster Pump which was then the easterly boundary of town.
2. James G. Wright was Mayor of Sackville in 1960-61 and 1963-67.
Source: Smith, Allan D., Aboushagan to Zwicker – An Historical Guide to Sackville NB Street Nomenclature. Publication of the Tantramar Heritage Trust (2004).