York Sunbury Historical Society Announces 2013 Martha J. Harvey Award Recipients

Martha J. Harvey was the founder of the York Sunbury Historical Society
Martha J. Harvey was the founder of the York Sunbury Historical Society

Fredericton, NB— December 5, 2013: Each year, the York Sunbury Historical Society (YSHS) seeks nominations from its members for the Martha J. Harvey Awards of Distinction to be awarded at the annual society Christmas luncheon.  The annual award honour outstanding contribution to the field of history in central New Brunswick and long and meritorious service to the YSHS.This year, an award will be presented to Dr. Vincent Erickson for his work and dedication to the YSHS, his research and publication on the history of native peoples of Maine and the Maritimes and his continuous support for the Society and Fredericton Region Museum. The second award will be presented to Donald Roberts for his many years of dedicated volunteer work on the YSHS Board of Directors and with several of the society and museum committees as well as his contributions to the preservation of our local history.

Formed in 1932, the York Sunbury Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets historical data, records and objects relating to the history of the province of New Brunswick, and in particular that of York and Sunbury Counties. Last year, the society presented awards to Brian Hallett and Eleanor Stillwell.

All Fired Up for History with the Latest Issue of the Officers’ Quarters!

Just released, the Fire edition of the Officers' Quarters!

Just released, the Fire edition of the Officers’ Quarters!

Fredericton, New Brunswick (November 22, 2013) – The York Sunbury Historical Society Publication Committee has released their latest Officers’ Quarters this week.

Edited by Simon Murgatroyd, this issue of the local history publication features the Rising from the Ashes: The Fires at St. Mary’s Ferry exhibit curated by Koral LaVorgna.  Mr. Murgatroyd is a long-time volunteer at the Fredericton Region Museum.  He has assisted with several events, artefact cataloguing and exhibit installations but has recently decided to add editing for the historical society to the repertoire of volunteer experiences.

Launched in 2009, the St. Mary’s Ferry exhibit was a city of Fredericton Arts, Culture & Heritage Funding project.  It traced the history of two late 19th century fires on Fredericton’s north side and the community’s response to the disasters.  The historical society is grateful for the assistance of Koral LaVorgna who guest curated the exhibit and offered to share it, along with another article, in the Officers’ Quarters.  Her second article explores the devastation caused by fire of downtown Fredericton in 1850.  Ms. LaVorgna is a graduate student, historical consultant and researcher.  She has volunteered with and worked for the York Sunbury Historical Society on numerous projects.

The fire theme continues with contributions from several guest authors and with short features connecting museum artefacts to historic fires in the region.  Guest authors include John Wood, Captain David McKinley, Eugene Campbell, Jill Ainsley and Clinton Gillespie.  Their articles explore the history of fire extinguishers, the Oromocto fire in 1919, Exhibition Palace, fire horses and the very recent Isaac’s Way fire.  The Publication Committee is grateful for their assistance and to Tina and Jason LeJeune from Isaac’s Way for sharing their story with our readers.

Copies of the Officers’ Quarters are available for purchase at the Fredericton Region Museum for $10 each.  Funds raised from the sale of the publication supports the York Sunbury Historical Society research and publishing program.

About the Fredericton Region Museum:
The York Sunbury Historical Society founded the Fredericton Region Museum in 1934.  In 1959, the museum found permanent headquarters in the Officers’ Quarters (571 Queen Street) in the heart of downtown Fredericton.  The society and museum remain a non-profit enterprise with a small paid staff and numerous volunteers.  Fall hours (September – November) are Tuesday to Saturday 1pm-4pm.

York Sunbury Historical Society Monthly Program

All evening programs take place at Government House (51 Woodstock Road, Fredericton) at 7:30pm. You can park on site and come in the side entrance.

Programs are free and open to the public!

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30pm

Speaker: Dr. Gail Campbell of the University of New Brunswick

Dr. Gail Campbell (image from University of New Brunswick website)

Dr. Campbell will lead on interesting talk ‘Exploring Men’s and Women’s Shared Worlds of Family and Community in 19th-Century New Brunswick: A Case Study of 4 York-Sunbury Diarists’ from the Miles, Robinson, Morrison and Carman families.  Dr. Campbell‘s previous presentation kept the members enthralled throughout, and we are pleased to have her back for our monthly program on Thursday November 21 at Government House @ 7:30 PM.  York Sunbury Historical Society members and the public are invited.

On another note:
The York Sunbury Historical Society annual Christmas party will be held at the Fredericton Inn on Monday December 9, 2013.  Arriving at 11:45 for dinner at noon.  We have reserved the Front Regency Room for our function, where breast of chicken and all the fixings will be served.  The presentation of the Martha J. Harvey Award will also be made.  Come and bring a friend.  We need to know how many people to expect, please RSVP to the Fredericton Region Museum by noon on December 8, if you plan to attend.  Cost: $18 taxes in.

York Sunbury Historical Society October Program

The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863, d...

The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863, depicting the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1—3, 1863. The battle was part of the American Civil War and was won by the North. Hand-colored lithograph by Currier and Ives. Español: Batalla de Gettysburg Magyar: A gettysburgi csata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please join us for the York-Sunbury Historical Society presentation on Thursday, October 17th at 7:30pm at Government House.   Our guest speaker will be Jim Cougle.

150 Years ago, New Brunswickers from Fredericton and Saint John faced each other in the American Civil War battles around Gettysburg.  Jim Cougle will provide the interesting details of how the New Brunswickers came to be involved in the American Civil War and where they fought.  This is also the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address that was delivered at Gettysburg after the horrendous battles that had seen such a loss of life for both the North and South.

Jim Cougle is the author of “Canadian Blood, American Soil, The story of Canada’s Contribution to the American Civil War”.

A reception will follow the presentation.  Non-members are cordially invited.

York Sunbury Historical Society 2013 Membership Drive!

Please Join Our Awesome Organization!!

Spencer showing the nurses, Patty and Joanne, the hats. Instead of going to school this morning, she went to the hospital to donate the 103 hats that she made and collected at the museum.

Spencer showing the nurses, Patty and Joanne, the 103 hats she made and collected at the Fredericton Region Museum to the Chalmers Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She made and collected hats while she operated her tea place dressed as Hannah Ingraham. She offered visitors a history lesson and knitting lessons on the museum balcony.

The York Sunbury Historical Society has started its annual Fall membership drive!!  I would like to give our current membership a big thank you for a tremendous 2013!  We are thrilled to have Richard Phillips as our new Membership Chairperson.  He has several years of experience volunteering with the York Sunbury Historical Society, including as its President.

In 2013, the York Sunbury Historical Society and Fredericton Region Museum had what must have been another record number of summer children’s programs!  We gave tours to hundreds of school children as well as English Language Program classes and daycare groups.  Spencer joined us, again last summer, and opened her tea place on the balcony and taught our guests how to knit preemie hats on a round loom.  At the end of the summer, she donated over 100 hats to the Chalmers neonatal intensive care unit.

The Society is publishing the Fire Issue of the Officers’ Quarters with guest editor, Simon Murgatroyd.  It will feature photographs that were recently donated to the museum while we were visiting the post office to pick up a package!  The issue was inspired by Koral LaVorgna’s exhibit, Rising from the Ashes: The Fires at St. Mary’s Ferry.  There are two other Officers’ Quarters in the works including one that by our students!

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

The Fredericton Region Museum had thousands of wonderful visitors, hosted a fine art exhibit, a Picaroons beer launch, a community open house and opened our much anticipated Planters exhibit!  We have continued to make improvements to our artefact storage areas and have been fortunate to have several amazing artefacts donated to the collection including the pocket watches featured in the local newspapers!

If you are a current York Sunbury Historical Society member, please renew for 2014 and if you are not a member then please review our membership levels, print a membership form and join!  A membership is well worth the cost, and you will be supporting a great organization.

His Honour Graydon Nicholas and York Sunbury Historical Society President, Fred White, present the trophy to B Company, Recce Platoon Team. Paul Inman and Mark Magee (Magee Jewellers, 265 Main Street) did a great job making the trophy!

His Honour Graydon Nicholas and York Sunbury Historical Society President, Fred White, present the trophy to B Company, Recce Platoon Team. Paul Inman and Mark Magee (Magee Jewellers, 265 Main Street) did a great job making the trophy!

Gripping new Civil War drama opening in Fredericton on September 20!

Nick from D Films ask me to pass on the following information:

D Films have the gripping new Civil War drama Copperhead, from acclaimed director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals). The film will be opening in Fredericton on September 20, 2013 at Empire Theatres Regent Mall.



Copperhead tells the story of Abner Beech, a stubborn and righteous farmer of Upstate New York, who defies his neighbours and his government in the bloody and contentious autumn of 1862. A story of the violent passions and burning feuds that set ablaze the home front during the Civil War, Copperhead is a timeless and deeply moving examination of the price of dissent, the place of the individual amidst the hysteria of wartime, and the terrible price of war – a cost measured not in dollars but in fractured families, broken loves, and men dead before their time.

Despite its distinctly American content, Copperhead is a film that is strongly tied to Atlantic Canada. Copperhead was filmed at King’s Landing Historical Settlement in Prince William, New Brunswick. An outdoor living history museum located approximately 20 minutes West of Fredericton, King’s Landing preserves the lifestyle and traditions of 19th century Canadians and Americans. It recreates perfectly the contentious autumn of 1862 in Upstate New York, the period in which Copperhead is set.

Copperhead not only stars Billy Campbell, Angus Macfadyen, and Peter Fonda, but also features many talented Canadian actors who are predominantly from the East coast. Francois Arnaud (‘The Borgias’) hails from Montreal, Mary Fay Coady (Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day) from Halifax, Brian Downey (Hobo With A Shotgun, ‘Lexx’) from St John’s, among others.

Official trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Zx0ZN80vk

Seeking Information About the Caretakers for Rookwood House

Odell House, Fredericton

P4-2-59 Odell House, Rookwood – Fredericton

Ms Murgatroyd,
I am seeking information about the caretakers for Rookwood House, which was the name given to their estate by the Odell family.

I believe that a family relative, Ann Foley, AKA Mrs. James Abram(s), was caretaker there around 1896. Her husband had died in 1889, at the age of 61, but I do not know how old Ann was at any particular point in time, but if she was born in the same year as he, she would definitely be on in years in 1896. I suspect that she was younger. I am seeking any information on her personally.

I am also seeking information on the role of caretaker for the house. She was given a cottage separate from the family dwelling, so she may possibly have been head of a number of servants, but that is only guesswork.

Around 1896, Mrs Abrams brought to Fredericton a ‘niece’, by the name of Anna Marie Lillian Keating of Charlestown (Boston), who was a ten-year-old orphan. She was given away in marriage to Matt Malone in 1911 by G.A. Lannigan, as recorded in the press in 1911.  Might you have any record of her?

Matthew Malone was a local manager at the Yerxa Grocery Co. which may have been the Xerxa & Yerxa on Queen Street. Do you have any information on this grocery company? They later sent him to Woodstock, perhaps to start a branch there.

Thank you for any help in this.
Walter Hughes

Any help with Walter’s questions would be greatly appreciated.  Please leave your answers in the comments below!

Rookwood, Fredericton

P4-2-18 Caretaker’s cottage (early Acadian), Rookwood – Fredericton