UPDATED- CANCELLED February Program!



The Program Committee is pleased to announce the following presentation for the York Sunbury Historical Society.  Presentations take place at 7:30pm in the basement of Government House (51 Woodstock Road).  A reception follows the presentation and is free and open to the public.

Speaker:  Melynda Jarratt, Historian
Topic: “Letters from Beauly”- A Book by Melynda Jarratt
Date: February 16, 2017


Our local historian Melynda Jarratt will be presenting her new book “Letters from Beauly” with us in the basement of Government House. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Book Description:
During the Second World War, hundreds of New Brunswick woodsmen joined the Canadian Forestry Corps to log the Scottish Highlands as part of the Canadian war effort. Patrick “Pat” Hennessy of Bathurst was one of them. For five years, Pat served as camp cook with 15 Company of the Canadian Forestry Corps near the ancient town of Beauly, Scotland. A middle-aged New Brunswick farmer and lumberman with a third-grade education, Pat saw more of the world than he had ever dreamed of, visiting ancient battlefields he had learned about as a child, travelling to his ancestral Ireland, and attending a course of lectures in British history at Oxford University.
While in Scotland, Pat regularly corresponded with his family in New Brunswick. Drawing from this unique collection of more than three hundred letters, as well as hundreds of archival documents and photographs, Melynda Jarratt provides a rare glimpse of what life was like for Canadian servicemen overseas and for their relatives at home.

More on Melynda:
Melynda Jarratt is internationally recognized as the leading expert on Canada’s war brides and is the author of three books on the subject. In 1995, Melynda wrote her master’s thesis in history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton on New Brunswick war brides, and went on to obtain a diploma in digital media and design in 1999. She has continued to document this fascinating chapter in Canadian military history for nearly thirty years. She is the co-author of Voices of the Left Behind (Dundurn Press, 2005), which was a Book of the Month Club selection, author of War Brides: The Stories of the Women Who Left Everything Behind to Follow the Men They Loved (Tempus Publishing, 2007; reissued by Dundurn Press, 2009), and of Captured Hearts: New Brunswick’s War Brides (New Brunswick Military Heritage Project and Goose Lane Editions, 2008). Melynda has also written on the history of Dutch immigration to Canada for Pier 21, and in 2012 she wrote the history of Bathurst’s Brunswick Mines, entitled The End of an Era. Melynda has been the curator and outreach officer for the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in Fredericton since 2012.

Officers’ Quarters Celebrates Art & Entertainment in Latest Issue


Officers’ Quarters Volume 32, Number 2 & Volume 33, Number 1 (2015 & 2016) – Special Edition: Art and Entertainment Issue

It’s an exciting day at the museum office!  We just received the latest issue of the Officers’ Quarters from the printers!  The editorial team did an outstanding job and we can hardly wait to send it to our historical society members.  Not only is this issue attractive but it is also packed with wonderful stories about central New Brunswick’s artistic and entertaining past.

We are happy to present an article on the Fredericton Concert and Marching Band by their Conductor, Heather Fyffe – Dunham.  This wonderful organization has been entertaining our community for over 40 years.  We were also fortunate to have an article by Sarah King who wrote an account of the history of the UNB Art Centre.  Founded by artists Pegi Nicol MacLeod and Lucy Jarvis, this vibrant organization celebrated 75 years of art education and display.

Poets Travis Lane and Joe Blades shared a few lines of poetry to represent our community’s literary art. We were fortunate to have several excellent historians and authors contribute to this Quarters including Ian Andrews, Patrick Hirtle, Evelyn Fidler, Eugene Campbell, Alexandra Fox, Mandy Foran, Nick deVries John Wood, Mitch Stewart and Nathan Gavin.  There was so much to share that we went above our page limit!  Instead of omitting articles, we decided that this Officers’ Quarters deserved the “Special Edition” designation.

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 support the York-Sunbury Historical Society research and publishing program.

The York-Sunbury Historical Society’s Publication Committee invites submissions of full-length and short papers reporting on the history of the First World War, Archaeology, Black history and Material history in central New Brunswick.  The Publication Committee and Editor will review all papers and those accepted will be published in the Officers’ Quarters.

The Society is a volunteer organization and does not offer monetary compensation for articles.  Articles must include sources and a good quality digital image or two with permission to publish for illustration.  Contact the Fredericton Region Museum office for more information.

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.  Winter hours (December – March) are by appointment or by chance.

York-Sunbury Historical Society January Program


The Program Committee is pleased to announce the following presentation for the York Sunbury Historical Society.  Presentations take place at 7:30pm in the basement of Government House (51 Woodstock Road).  A reception follows the presentation and is free and open to the public.

Speaker:  Alex Cummings
Topic:  A Look Through Time; Timepieces at the Fredericton Region Museum
Date:  January 19, 2017

This month’s program will be a show and tell presentation of the histories of some of the museum’s unique timepieces that have been acquired over the years.  Alex will lead us through some of the most interesting and unique clocks and watches presenting their history and intrigue through pictures and a small display.

We are also excited to announce that after the presentation Alex will be available to show off some of the pieces that he has discussed  and field questions pertaining to the clocks and watches on display.

We welcome all to come and join us for this interesting talk, and see New Brunswick’s interesting history through time.


York-Sunbury Historical Society Announces 2016 Martha J. Harvey Award Recipient

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

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

Each year, the York Sunbury Historical Society seeks nominations from its members for the Martha J Harvey Award of Distinction to be given at the society Christmas luncheon. The annual award honours outstanding contribution to the field of history in New Brunswick and long and meritorious service to the YSHS.

This year, the award was presented to Dr. Sheila Andrew for her expertise as a leading Acadian historian. She has dedicated many years to the YSHS as the Acadian Curator and as a long-term member of the exhibit committee. The Society has benefited greatly from Dr. Andrew’s attention and diligence. The community has benefited from her numerous publications that have informed and encouraged people to become aware of the history of our province.

Founded 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 the award to Dr. C. Mary Young.

York Sunbury Historical Society 2016 Membership Drive!

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 year!

York-Sunbury Historical Society aims to collect, preserve and interpret historical data, records and objects relating to the history of the province of New Brunswick, and in particular that of York and Sunbury Counties. This is accomplished through the activities of the Society and by operating the Fredericton Region Museum.

In 2016, the York Sunbury Historical Society and Fredericton Region Museum hosted several incredible museum day camps and opened its Canada150 exhibit!  We gave tours to hundreds of children as well as English Language Program classes.  We hosted two incredible artists during the summer and hosted another fun-filled open house.

The Society hosted several informative lecture programs, honoured C. Mary Young for her work preserving our botanical past, presented Robert Guthrie with a Curator Emeritus Award and recognized several members for their published works.

The Society is publishing the Arts & Entertainment Issue of the Officers’ Quarters,  it was sent for design this week.  It will feature several articles about cultural organizations, musicians and artists.  We are looking forward to mailing copies to our members.

Membership Fees:
Individual or Institutional Membership $35
Family $45
Friend $100– $299 ($45 family membership & tax receipt for remaining amount)
Companion $300 – $499 ($45 family membership & tax receipt for remaining amount)
Life $500
All YSHS memberships include a subscription to the journal Officers’ Quarters and free admission to the Fredericton Region Museum.

As the YSHS is a registered charity and can issue tax receipts for eligible donations made to our society. Gifts from individual or corporate donors are welcomed. Official tax receipts for gifts will be issued. The Charities Division says that donors cannot benefit in more than a nominal way from their own gifts. That means that no receipts may be given for membership subscriptions. If you would like to donate additional monies, over and above your membership fees, you will be issued a tax receipt.

Online donations can be made using Canada Helps.

York Sunbury Historical Society Christmas Luncheon 2016

The annual York Sunbury Historical Society Christmas luncheon will be held on Thursday, December 1st at the Fredericton Inn in their Regency dining room. Guests should plan to arrive for 11:30am, as the lunch will begin at 12pm.

The menu is as follows:
• Tossed Garden, Potato, Three Bean Salads
• Soup of the Day & Homemade Rolls
• Stuffed Chicken Breast, Baby Carrots, Baby White Potatoes
• Assorted Light Desserts
• Tea and Coffee

Don Roberts will be making a Christmas presentation and the M. J. Harvey award will be presented. Price is $21.00 per person to be paid individually.

Please RSVP by November 29th by the Fredericton Region Museum office.

We hope to see you there!

York Sunbury Historical Society November Program

government houseThe Program Committee is pleased to announce the following presentation for the York Sunbury Historical Society. Presentations take place at 7:30pm in the basement of Government House (51 Woodstock Road). A reception follows the presentation and are free and open to the public.

Speaker:  Bob Dallison
Topic:  The Fenians
Date:  November 17, 2016

In the 1860s, New Brunswick experienced its own brand of international terrorism. The Fenian Brotherhood sought the ouster of the British from their beloved Ireland and found support among Irish-American immigrants. Eager to help the cause, the American Fenians sympathizers contrived to invade British North America and hold it hostage. New Brunswick, with its large Irish population and undefended frontier, seemed the prefer target.

In the spring of 1866, the Fenians massed along the southwest border of New Brunswick. The recently appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, Arthur Hamilton Gordon, proved to be the right man, at the right place, at the right time. He revitalized the militia, called in British reinforcements, and summoned a squadron of British warships. This proved too much for the Fenians, who withdrew and turned their efforts against the more vulnerable central Canada.

The Fenian Crisis had a profound effect on the red-hot political debate occurring over Confederation. In the 1865 election, prior to the arrival of the Fenians, New Brunswicker voted overwhelming against Confederation. However in the 1867 election, after facing a possible foreign invasion, New Brunswicker voted overwhelming to join Confederation.