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Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Exhibit Introduction | Stanley | Johnville | Kincardine | New Denmark | Allardville

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Miss Rye's Pauper Children Declining Interest in Immigration

Colonization Schemes of the 1870s
Besides juvenile immigration schemes, the New Brunswick government undertook several large colonization projects in the 1870s that resulted in the settlement of several hundred Scots and Danes on crown lands in Victoria County. The Scots, led by Captain William Brown, established the communities of Kincardine, Kintore, and Bon Accord, and the Danes, under Captain Søren S. Heller, the settlement at New Denmark. These planned communities added to the changing landscape of the Upper St. John River Valley where Irish and Scottish colonists had created the Johnville and Glassville settlements in the 1860s.
These 19th century pioneers faced numerous challenges and success was not guaranteed. Many had limited, if any knowledge of how to swing an axe, construct log cabins, build roads and bridges, or clear fields for planting. Harsh winters, late springs, black flies, and crop failures added to their difficulties. Undoubtedly, many of them felt lonely, discouraged, vulnerable, and isolated, as they attempted to establish themselves in new surroundings.
Despite setbacks and difficulties, the Scots and Danes, like the Stanley and Johnville pioneers, got on with the task. Churches, schools, and shops were built and societies, clubs, and organizations, similar to those left behind, were formed. Yet a number of newcomers who were unable to cope with pioneer life returned home. Others found work in nearby cities and towns or on the railway, and still others moved to the United States or elsewhere where they believed better opportunities awaited. The settlers who remained created viable communities that kept their Scottish, Irish, and Danish heritage alive over the decades.