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Sketches in New Brunswick : taken principally with the intention of shewing the nature and description of the land in the tract purchased by the New Brunswick & Nova Scotia Land-Company in the year 1833, and of illustrating the operations of the association during the years 1834 & 1835 – London Published March 1st 1836 by Ackermann & Co. Strand. Printed by Day & Haghe  / nthTS to the King

No. 1  Encampment at Stanley

The surveying party, appointed to explore the line of road, intended to be opened out through the Forest, started from Fredericton, in July 1834; and after tracing out a practicable line nearly straight, struck the River Nashwaak, at the spot here delineated. The view was taken on the evening of their arrival; it shows the party felling the first trees, and forming their encampment.

 

The spot being found eligible for a Town, from a combination of favorable circumstances, was subsequently laid out as such, and the following sketches will show the progress of its formation. It was named Stanley, in compliment to the present Lord Stanley, then Secretary of State for the Colonial Department.

No. 2  Erecting the Mill dam at Stanley

In all new settlements one of the essentials is a Saw Mill; and when we observe that all the houses are built of wood, its utility becomes the more apparent. Advantage was therefore taken of the natural Fall in the river, and a dam was thrown across the Nashwaak of about 160 feet in length. The sketch shows the mode of effecting it.

 

A number of the largest trunks of elm and pine trees were placed up and down the stream, in the direction of the current; these were crossed by others of great length, notched on to them transversely, and well loaded with stones. A second series of trees, very much longer than the first, was then crossed on the transverse logs, immediately over them, and in like manner well loaded with rocks; and so on, until the structure attained a sufficient height.

 

The framework on the left was made of birch timber, firmly bolted together, and technically called the Flume; through which the water, acting on the wheel in the mill, is designed to be conveyed. The proper elevation and inclination having been attained, the back of the dam is covered by stout planking, closely fitted. The joints were then rendered tight with hay and gravel, so as effectually to prevent the escape of the water; and on the completion of the mill, the flume was planked, and the water suffered to accumulate behind the dam to a required head.

 

If the bottom be of a sandy nature, it becomes necessary to incline the dam both up and down the stream, or the constant falling over of the water would excavate and undermine the structure, to the destruction of the mill and dam. This latter kind is called the Rolling Dam. In the centre of the sketch is seen the first log-house, built on the surveying party's first encampment; and on the left, a shed covered by spruce bark, forming a sort of shop for the carpenters, until something more substantial could be made for their use.

No. 3  The mill-Dam at Stanley

This view shows the dam when completed; the water of the Nashwaak flowing over it. The frame of the mill had not then been placed in its situation, in front of the flume. In the foreground are seen the log canoes which, towed by horses, conveyed the provisions to the parties engaged in the several works in operation. Some of these canoes are thirty-six feet in length, by three in breadth, hewn out of single pine trees. The navigation of these vessels requires great skill and hardihood, both in the management of the canoe, and the riding of the horse over the uneven and rocky bed of an impetuous river.

 

Few horses can endure the fatigue more than two seasons, and the men in after-life are frequently victims to rheumatism, brought on by exposure and immersion in the water, at often a freezing temperature, for days together, in the spring and autumn: and men engaged in such pursuits, are deserving higher remuneration than the ordinary laborer.

No. 4  Commissioners camp at Stanley

Before any houses could be erected, this temporary shelter was built, and occupied by Mr. Kendall, during his superintendence of the operations going forward at Stanley, for the first season. It was made by arranging a number of twenty-feet poles, so as to meet in a point in the centre, where they were firmly secured; a quantity of spruce bark was then laid on, and fastened to the poles; a flooring of spruce boughs, and a buffalo skin, completed the furniture, with the exception of the tea-kettle, tin dish, and pemmican, which form the invariable, indeed indispensable accompaniments of the woodman's hut.

No. 5  Process of Clearing the Town-Plot of Stanley

Clearing land, that is getting rid of the trees growing on it, is to a novice one of the most disagreeable kinds of labour, though to the persons accustomed to it, it seems to possess a charm, as they prefer it to other kind of labour. In the view before us, the fire has run over the ground once, and the men are piling and burning the limbs left unconsumed. The surveying party on the right are represented as about to start on an exploring expedition, and the provisions are being brought by oxen for the supply of the different parties.

 

The mill and tavern were in an incomplete state, as shown in the drawing. The appearance of the blackened stumps, is distressing to the eye of an English farmer; but in practice, the plan of leaving them in the ground for a few years is found to succeed much better than the slower and more expensive mode of uprooting the trees at once. The grain is scattered among the ashes, and covered in with a rude angular harrow, which, at this early stage, supersedes the plough; and this rough mode of culture is sufficient to produce a crop much greater than would he expected by persons accustomed to the straight furrow, and drill husbandry.

No. 6  the saw-mill 

The logs are cut on the borders of the river, and floated down to the mill-pond to be sawn. The deals are thrown out at the lower side of the mill, ready to be collected in rafts and conveyed to market. On the right is seen one of a series of pier-frames, built of logs, filled with stones, for the purpose of breaking the force of the ice in the spring freshet, and to conduct the logs to the mill by means of a boom, connected by chains extending from pier to pier.

No. 7  Tavern at Stanley

This building was made of logs, nearly in the form of a cross, the angles being dove-tailed together, and each course of timber being firmly connected by treenails of hardwood to the one beneath it; the interior square was continued one story higher than the others, so as to allow their roofs to abut against it; and by this means a very strong and commodious building was made. The buildings to the right are the workmen's houses; and the machine drawn by oxen, was made of solid birch, wheels bound by iron, with a strong axle and pole used for conveyance over the rough and uneven ground previous to the formation of roads.

NO. 8  General View of Stanley

At the time this view was taken, the hill on the opposite side, comprising thirty-four acres, was cleared and cropped; the buildings nearly all enclosed, and in a habitable state. Parties were engaged in building houses on six of the town lots, one of which is shown to the right, the men being engaged in covering the roof with shingles, made of pine, and laid on similar to slating. A stream sufficient to drive ordinary machinery, runs down the valley, on the opposite or northern side of the Nashwaak; and the road, after crossing the bridge which is thrown over the river, below the hill, winds up the valley, and is continued in a direction nearly straight to the S.W. branch of the Miramichi River.

NO.9  Exhibits Part of the Royal Road

The principal feature is a remarkable elm tree, standing by the road-side, which even the ruthless destroyers of everything in the shape of timber, who constitute the laboring population of New Brunswick, spared in opening out the road, and dignified by the name of Sir Archibald's Walking-Stick in compliment to his Excellency the Governor, Sir A. Campbell. A gentleman resident in the neighborhood, a man hauling cordwood to town, a shanty, and an incipient log-house, make up the concomitants of the scene.

No. 10  Winter in Stanley

The winter in New Brunswick, is a season of the greatest activity. The snow renders many parts of the country accessible, which from want of good roads are almost impassable in the summer; it also enables the lumber men to drag the trunks of trees intended for market, to the banks of the rivers, which are swollen by its melting in the spring sufficiently to float them to the seaports.

 

These views attempt an illustration of the appearance of the country at this period, and the sort of carriages used. The Sleigh is the vehicle for personal conveyance, and varies in form according to the taste of the owner. The Sled is that used for heavy draught: on it the farmer conveys his produce to market, whence he returns home with a heterogeneous load from the merchants' store, for his winter supply.

 

In the Lithographic drawings, the skies are made murky and dark: this is by no means the ordinary appearance, either in summer or winter, except for a few hours preceding or during the continuance of a snow-storm. On the contrary, the atmosphere is clear in a most remarkable degree; and the roofs of houses, covered with tin, continue perfectly bright and free from rust for a number of years.

No. 11  winter scene in stanley

No. 12  winter scene in stanley

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Questions or wish to contribute?

Dr. Tim Patterson

Dept. of Earth & Sciences, Carleton University

tim.patterson@carleton.ca

Dr. Bruce Elliott

Dept. of History, Carleton University

bruce.elliott35@yahoo.ca

Copyright © New Brunswick Land Company and the Settlement of Harvey and Stanley