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Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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The New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company The Company's First Colonization Effort

The Work Begins

In the summer of 1834, the New Brunswick government set about turning the settlement scheme into a reality. The surveyor general's office completed a survey, beginning at a point on the old Royal Road at Nashwaaksis and running in a straight line to the Nashwaak River. A town site was selected in the valley where the survey line met the Nashwaak, and a dam was built to generate power for a sawmill that would produce lumber to build new homes. Operated by Walter Britt, the first millwright, the sawmill was located on the riverbank at the bottom of what became known as Stanley Hill.

Likewise, the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company began the difficult process of turning a campsite into a pioneer settlement. They hired workmen who began constructing a temporary shelter for E. N. Kendall, a retired naval lieutenant, the company's newly-appointed resident commissioner. The first permanent building raised was the tavern or company house, which was built of logs in the shape of a cross. The tavern had a bakery and a wine cellar, as well as a vegetable garden located at the rear. During that first summer and fall the workmen also built bridges, houses, and storehouses and cleared the town site.

By 1835, Stanley had a dam, a sawmill, a tavern, and the outline of a town centre. The land company received a grant of 589,000 acres in York County, in October of the same year, at a cost of two shillings and three pence per acre. This tract comprised all the lands in the county north of the St. John River and west of the Nashwaak and west also of the portage road to the South West Miramichi apart from lands already granted. Now the company needed settlers.