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Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Beginnings Bishop P.-A. Chiasson's Visit

Settling In

Soon after their arrival on 12 September, the colonists set to work on their 100-acre lots, making a shelter from branches until their log cabins were ready. Father Allard was aware that none of them had ever worked on a farm, and that they had very little cash for supplies between them. Of the 40, 18 were penniless, 10 had about 50 cents in their pockets, and the rest had approximately one dollar a piece. To add to their problems, the colonists had no food, no tools or implements, no seeds, and no horses or oxen. Father Allard supplied them with the necessities - food, clothes, tools, boards, paper, glass, nails, and medicine - to enable them to meet their immediate challenges.

Under the provisions and regulations of the Crown Lands Act of 1927, each settler was required to pay $12 to cover the cost of the application and survey, to build a house no smaller than 16 x 20 feet, to cultivate 10 acres of land over three years, to perform road work to the value of $30 or pay $20 cash in lieu of such labour, and to live on the lot for a minimum of seven months during each of three consecutive years. When all these conditions were met, the settler would receive a land grant. Applicants had to be male persons, 18 years of age or older, who had never owned crown land and who were not currently the owners of a farm or woodlot suitable for cultivation. Applications could be cancelled for non-compliance within a reasonable length of time.

Within a few weeks of settling in, a committee was established to work with the local overseers of the poor for the settlers' welfare and to ensure compliance with provincial regulations, as established by the departments of Public Works and Lands and Mines. The committee consisted of Joseph R. Haché, assistant forest ranger; Arthur Beaulieu, county councillor for East Bathurst; and Théophile Haché, county councillor for West Bathurst. Father Allard was named supervisor of the colony with the responsibility of overseeing the settlement generally and approving any settlement issues the committee investigated. Initially, Allard had suggested that the colony be named "Coffyn Settlement," in honour of the county's MLA, but Minister Tilley recommended "Allardville" in honour of its founder.