York Sunbury Historical Society October Program

Jennifer Pyke Marysville history exhibit panel

THe Jennifer Pyke panel in the Maryville satellite exhibit includes the scanned pages of Jennifer's date diary. Over several years, Jennifer collected dates of events in the Marysville community and recorded them in her diary.

The York Sunbury Historical Society hosts a lecture on the third Thursday of each month, for most months. All evening programs will take place at Old Government House (51 Woodstock Road, Fredericton). We can park on site and come in the side entrance.  Open to the public!

The presentation on Thursday, October 21st (7:30pm) will be presented by Dr. T. W. Acheson and will be based on the Marysville Satellite Exhibit that Dr. Acheson and the York Sunbury Museum (571 Queen Street, Fredericton) launched in 2009.

“The Boss’s Town” satellite exhibit explores the relationship between Alexander Gibson and the people of Marysville. It is a series of six transportable panels that explore what the “Boss” has done to create a town that was exactly as he had envisioned.

Alexander “Boss” Gibson was the child of humble Irish immigrants.  He was raised on a pioneer farm and began his life as a laborer, trained as a sawyer, and became a sawmill manager in St. Stephen, where he established his own sawmill in Lepreau.  In time, he had become the greatest timber baron in the province, acquired more than 1,600,000 acres of timberlands and established a company town at Marysville. He also built two major railway lines, made the village of Devon a railway centre and built a large cotton mill at Marysville.

The exhibit focuses on the kind of town the “Boss” wanted. It emphasizes the kinds of churches, schools, stores, mills, houses and the social connections in the town that were applied to make it exactly how he had envisioned it for the people of Marysville. The exhibit draws upon the many resources in the York Sunbury Museum and goes beyond in its emphasis on the Marysville community. Gibson tried to promote a wholesome atmosphere within the community, promoted community celebrations and meals and provided land to all the churches. He endeavoured to keep out unwholesome influences, coarse behaviours, banning of alcohol and loose woman away from his community. At the age of 64, he joined his workers in making brick for his cotton mill.

The panels are an extension of the larger exhibit, The Boss’s World, housed in the York Sunbury Museum and are a series of photographs and information providing a depiction of what life was like for the mill workers and people living in the community of Marysville. As the creator of Marysville, Gibson provided his workers with adequate living quarters, provided heating for the housing, and an area for a garden and a cow.  He was also, for the first time, allowing woman to enter the work force.  As an employer, he provided a higher quality of life for his workers of his time. 

The program is open to the public and free to anyone who wants to attend.

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