It Happened in New Brunswick.


230 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 978-1-55109-627-8
DDC 971.5'1






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.


David Goss is a Saint John historian, popular lecturer, and tour guide. After writing several books, giving countless talk, and conducting numerous walks throughout New Brunswick—but especially around his hometown of Saint John—Goss has amassed a huge store of local history, and in doing so he has established a wide network of contacts leading him to people with stories worth the telling. As well, he is an energetic researcher, turning to old newspapers found in the provincial archives and libraries to check the veracity of verbal and even printed accounts. (For example, he’s uncovered the hitherto little known fact that Lowell Thomas, a household name in early American radio and travel books and the supposed writer of In New Brunswick We’ll Find It, a widely read 1938 travelogue, never visited the province, leaving the research to assistants.)


It Happened in New Brunswick is a collection of stories containing some familiar accounts as well as a few that are new to most residents. Readers of all ages will find his material fascinating. The book is divided into six sections, including “They Made New Brunswick Proud,” “Life in Acadie,” and “Not of this World”—all written in a clear and conversational style. However, I found myself really hooked when I got to “Clippings and Conversations” and “We Worked Hard—We Played Hard.” They contained long monologues (varying in length from a few paragraphs to several pages) about sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, and sometimes tongue-in-cheek tales, interspersed with the odd, usually crisp snapshot of the subject or narrator.


I taught Canadian history for four decades and now and then thought I was making my point, but I’m not in the same league as this literally walking history buff, who should be recognized with an honorary degree for making our past come alive.


Goss, David., “It Happened in New Brunswick.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,