Historic Fredericton North.


194 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 978-1-55109-635-3
DDC 971.5'515





Reviewed by Richard Wilbur

Randall White is the author of Voice of Region: On the Long Journey to
Senate Reform in Canada, Too Good to Be True: Toronto in the 1920s, and
Global Spin: Probing the Globalization Debate.


Retired teachers Ted and Anita Jones know Fredericton North’s four closely associated communities of Nashwaaksis, Devon, Barker’s Point, and Marysville intimately, having been born and raised in one of them and taught at least a couple of generations of these communities’ children. After their introduction, which gives these adjacent, once independent centres their geographic fix across the river from Fredericton proper, they go on to deal with each separately, outlining the founding families and the gradual development of familiar institutions such as churches, schools, locally owned businesses, social activities, and transportation. Each section contains many single and group photographs of local dignitaries and social groups, all accompanied with the names of each and every person depicted—no small feat considering the ages of the earlier shots. In most cases, the captions tells the story of the team/school/store, but in the case of the latter group, we are never told why the store closed and can only assume each fell before the onslaught of shopping malls and usually American franchises, assuming that they escaped that 19th-century scourge, fire. One of the rare exceptions was the Devon lumber business established by the Gill family in the late 19th century, which is still managed by a Gill descendant today.


The two communities that get the most extensive treatment (Devon at 61 pages and Marysville with 46) I found the most interesting, partly because my family and I lived in the former for three years and knew by name many of those profiled thanks to the fact I was privileged to teach many of their offspring when they journeyed across the St. John River to continue their education at Fredericton High School. Later these communities finally got their own institution. The other, Marysville, stands out largely because of the historic unity imposed by its founder and long-time patriarch, Alexander “Boss” Gibson, New Brunswick’s most successful entrepreneur during the period. In all, a fine example of local history.


Jones, Ted, and Anita Jones., “Historic Fredericton North.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29035.