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.

York Sunbury Historical Society October 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:  Robert McNeil
Topic:  The Lumber Camps of New Brunswick
Date:  October 20, 2016

This month’s program will be a presentation of the life of the woodsman in the lumber camps of the 1920’s and 1930’s including photos and paintings depicting the life of the lumberman.

York Sunbury Historical Society June Program


571 Queen Street, Officers’ Square, Fredericton, New Brunswick

The York-Sunbury Historical Society will be hosting a “Show & Tell” and “Show & Share” program on Thursday, 16 June 2016 at 7pm at the Fredericton Region Museum.

We will be sharing a few favourite artefacts and some new ones from the museum collection and we invite you to share an artefact from your private collection.  Items to consider sharing could include family diaries, medals of family members, old tools or documents.  It could be something of historical interest or intrigue but it must be an item with a story attached to it, just waiting to be told.  Tables will be set up to display items brought in.

We will be creating labels in advance for the objects so please contact the museum with details of your artefact to save time.  The presenter may decide whether to “Show & Tell” or to “Show & Share”.  We ask that presentations be 5 to 10 minutes to allow time for all to share, or tell.

A reception will follow the presentations and the program is free and open to the public.

The Historical Society Recognizes Robert Guthrie, Curator Emeritus


Robert Guthrie receiving his award from The Honourable Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.

Following is the citation that the York Sunbury Historical Society President read during our award presentation last night.

The Curator Emeritus Award is being presented tonight in recognition of the service of the first full time paid curator/ manager of the York-Sunbury Historical Society’s Museum.  That gentleman is Robert Guthrie and we are pleased to be able to honour him in person tonight.

Mr. Guthrie’s curatorial profession began in 1968 when he was hired by the York-Sunbury Historical Society.  The Society had been collecting since 1932, 36 years, and had amassed approximately 10,000 artefacts and an additional 20,000 archival items.  Robert Guthrie had accepted a monumental task when he took on the curatorial/manager position.

In addition to operating the museum, Mr. Guthrie professionally led a cataloguing team that successfully produced a valuable record of those artefacts.  It is on this body of work and research that the York-Sunbury Historical Society’s Collection Management stands firm today as the basis of the current computer data base.  During his tenure at the Society’s museum, Mr. Guthrie also curated and installed 8,000 square feet of exhibits that endured with only minor updates for 40 years.

Mr. Guthrie continued his curatorial profession by joining the Kings Landing construction project as Chief Curator to assume responsibility for the cataloguing, care, and control of the artefacts to be used in furnishing the 60 structures of the finished historical village.

Mr. Guthrie then became Registrar of Collections for the Province of New Brunswick’s major artefact collection, which was the responsibility of the NB Heritage Branch.  This included the province’s large and modern artefact warehouse and most of the artefacts in the Heritage Branch’s numerous operating museums and heritage farm sites.

Robert Guthrie has now retired and is being recognized by this award for his dedication to excellence, and his commitment to completing professional curatorial work that is above reproach, and has left a valuable legacy for all the citizens of the province.

It gives me great pleasure to invite Her Honour Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau to come forward to present the award to Robert Guthrie.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Robert Guthrie, Curator Emeritus!

York Sunbury Historical Society April 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 are free and open to the public.

Speaker: Brent Wilson
Topic: “Sharing Our History”
Date: 21 April 2016

This month’s program will follow the Annual General Meeting. Brent Wilson will speak about Fredericton and the Great War. Once the program is over, we will invite audience members to to share their stories and artifacts of family members who participated in the two world wars, either at home or overseas.government house

Brent Wilson works at the Brigadier Milton F. Gregg, VC, Centre for the Study of War and Society at The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB, Canada.  He is Director of the Centre’s New Brunswick Military Heritage Project and Editor of the Project’s book series.  He also teaches military history in UNB’s History Department.

He has conducted numerous battlefield tours in Belgium, France, Canada, and the United States with the Gregg Centre, Canadian Battlefield Foundation, Security and Defence Forum, Tactics School at the Combat Training Centre, and commercial tour groups.  Recently, he assisted in the development of the New Brunswick Military History Museum at CFB Gagetown and the commemoration of the War of 1812 as a member of the New Brunswick War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee. Among his publications are Hurricane Pilot: The Wartime Letters of Warrant Officer Harry Gill, D.F.C., 1940-1943 (Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane Editions, 2007), and (with Lee Windsor and David Charters) Kandahar Tour: The Turning Point in Canada’s Afghan Mission (Toronto: John Wiley and Sons Canada, 2008).  He is currently working on a history of the 26th New Brunswick Battalion during the Great War.