Tantramar Heritage Trust [logo] Tantramar Historic Sites Acadian monument

Sackville Centennial Monument,
Adjacent to Swan Pond,
155 Main Street, Sackville, N.B.


Designed to commemorate the centennial of the Town of Sackville's incorporation in 1903, the monument was sponsored by the Tantramar Historic Sites committee, designed by Peter Manchester, and funded by the Town of Sackville.

Unveiled by Tantramar MLA Peter Mesheau, Sackville Mayor Jamie Smith, and designer Peter Manchester, Friday 24 September 2004.

This "centennial monument" was commissioned and designed in 2003 to commemorate the incorporation of Sackville in 1903 and to remember its founding settlers.


One century before incorporation Sackville Parish was largely made up of Planter, Yorkshire, and Loyalist families. There were still Acadians in the Parish, and Mi'kmaq nearby. All played an important role in founding the community we call Sackville.


After a century of commercialization and industrialization the Town of Sackville was incorporated February 5, 1903. Trade in cattle, grindstones, and leather goods had shifted to lumber, hay and stoves. This was made possible by the bustling seaport and a vigorous shipbuilding industry with long-standing links to Saint John, New England, the West Indies, Britain and around the world, and later by the railroad which from 1869 forged new links with the rest of Canada. Already by the 1840s, the centralizing of these commercial interests, and the building of the academies at Mount Allison, created the central core of what is today Sackville.

Tantramar's First People

Artifacts have been found in this area from at least 4,000 years ago, when Fundy tides had only begun to build the vast Tantramar marshes. Over the last 3,000 years there is evidence suggesting at least seasonal encampments along the edge of the marsh, beyond the reach of the highest tides. The Mi'kmaq thrived on the marsh's bounty. Stories tell of abundant waterfowl, a diversity of fish, and hunting parties making their way across the local landscape. The Isthmus of Chignecto was an important crossroads long before European fishermen and traders made their way here before 1600.


Following Champlain's exploration of the Bay of Fundy in 1604, Port Royal was founded, and by the 1670s some "Acadians" moved to the Missaguash. Chignecto they called "Beaubassin" and the marshes "Tintamarre" ñ referring to the noise of waterfowl in great numbers. Early in the 1700s the western edges of these marshes were being dyked and streams controlled by "aboiteaux." Gaudet, HachÈ, Bernard, Bourg and Richard families built homes at Veskak, PrËs des Bourg, PrËs des Richard, and the largest village of all, "Tintamarre," with its own chapel. Following the British capture of Fort BeausÈjour in 1755, the majority of the Acadians were deported and their farms burned.

Les Acadiens

A la suite de l'exploration, en 1604, de la baie de Fundy par Champlain, Port Royal fut fondé, et dès les années 1670 quelques "Acadiens" allaient s'établir dans la région de Missaguash. Ils donnèrent le nom de Beaubassin à Chignecto et appelèrent les marécages "Tintamarre" en raison des immenses volées de sauvagine qui les occupaient. Au début des années 1700, la construction des digues et des aboiteaux qui controlaient le débit des ruisseaux sur la lisière ouest des marécages avait commencé. Les familles Gaudet, Haché, Bernard, Bourg et Richard s'établirent à Veskak, Prés des Bourg, Prés des Richard, et à Tintamarre, le plus important de ces villages, qui possédait sa propre église. Lorsque les Britanniques conquirent le fort Beauséjour, en 1755, la majorité des Acadiens furent déportés et leurs fermes furent brulées.

The New England Planters

To replace the Acadians with settlers loyal to Britain, in 1758-9 Gov. Lawrence offered land grants, freedom of worship and representative government in what was then called Nova Scotia. A "township" was surveyed and by 1762 a local committee chose the name "Sackville" and began allocating marshland and woodland along with residential lots. Settlers from Swansea, Mass. formed the first Baptist church in Canada. By 1767 the three villages in the Township of Sackville had a population of 350. Those families which have remained include Estabrooks, Hicks, Tower, Ward, Cole, Oulton, Ayer among many others.

Yorkshire Settlers

Over 1000 settlers from Yorkshire, England emigrated to Nova Scota during the period 1772-1775. The Chignecto region, including the Township of Sackville, felt the greatest impact from this Yorkshire immigration. Families settling in Sackville included: Patterson, Bulmer, Wry, Atkinson, Anderson, Bowser, Dixon and many others. The Yorkshire folk established prosperous farms, erected the first Methodist chapels in mainland Canada including Pointe de Bute in 1788 and one in Sackville in 1790, and pioneered the establishment of an important part of the Town's industrial, mercantile and shipbuilding base in the middle part of the 19th century.


After the American Revolution, thousands of those loyal to the Crown moved to Nova Scotia. Those who came to the Township of Sackville found land was already hard to acquire. New Brunswick was carved off from Nova Scotia in 1784, leaving Sackville on the border. At the same time, the Township was converted into a Parish, public lands were privatized, and authority was shifted to the county. By 1791 a new survey clarified land ownership, and Tantramar's unique combination of cattle, grindstones, tanneries and ship building was soon being developed. Loyalist names included Boultenhouse, Knapp, Purdy, Botsford and Palmer.

See Tower, Katie, "Council Considers Project To Honour Founding Of Town," Sackville Tribune-Post, 31 October 2001; Tower, Katie, "Monument To Be Unveiled In September," Sackville Tribune-Post, 30 June 2004; Fisher, Meredith, "Sackville Centennial Monument To Be Unveiled At Fall Fair", Sackville Tribune Post, 15 September 2004; "Unveiling of Centennial Monument," Sackville Tribune Post, 29 September 2004.

On the Mi'kmaq see Hamilton, Bill, "The Mi'kmaq Imprint On The Tantramar," Sackville Tribune-Post, 7 October 1998.

On the Acadians see Acadian Settlement of Tintamarre

On the Planters see Hamilton, Bill, "Imprint Left by New England Planters," Sackville Tribune-Post, 19 January 2000; Hamilton, Bill, "The Planter Prime Ministers," Sackville Tribune-Post, 21 June 2000.

On the Yorkshire settlers see Yorkshire Immigration

On the Loyalists see Hamilton, Bill, "Loyal They Remained: The Etter Family Saga," Sackville Tribune-Post, 25 August 1999.

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