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Sir Thomas Temple established a trading post on the Saint John River at the mouth of the Jemseg River in 1659. He had hoped that this location would be less exposed to marauders. His fort is described as a rectangular palisaded enclosure with walls 18 feet in height and armed with five iron guns mounted on a wooden platform. Unfortunately for him, the Treaty of Breda in 1667 restored Acadia to the French, and in 1670, he was compelled to surrender Fort Jemseg to Sieur de Soulanges. In 1674, Jurriaen Aernouts, a Dutch buccaneer, with a force of 110 captured Fort Jemseg. Aernouts pillaged and dismantled the fort, and carried off Soulanges for ransom. Soulanges eventually returned and rebuilt Fort Jemseg. It was Governor Villebon, who moved the seat of the Acadian government from Port Royal, first to Fort Jemseg in 1690, and then Fort Nashwaak in 1692. After that, Fort Jemseg fell into disuse. Although there is a Historic Sites and Monument Board plaque located in Lower Jemseg, the exact location of the fort is unknown, but is believed to be near the Gagetown Ferry.
To see an Aerial Map of Fort Jemseg site, please click on the link. The map contains the suspected location of the Fort (and most of the geophysical results thus far) at the Scovil ferry landing – opposite the village of Gagetown. Photo courtesy of Jason Jeandron, MPhil., Archaeological Prospectors 2005(c).
During the American Civil War, a crisis known as the Trent Affair brought Great Britain and the Northern American States to the brink of war . This crisis resulted in over 11,00 British troops being rushed as reinforcements to British North American. During the winter of 1861/62 they were moved by sleigh across New Brunswick from Saint John to Riviere du Loup. A series of overnight camps where established along the route with the first at Petersville, 30 miles or a day's journey from Saint John. A modern training camp has been established at Petersville as part of CFB Gagetown. It is designed to provide accommodation and support to troops using the nearby manoeuver areas.
The village was named in memory of a Maritime hero, Major A.F. Welsford of the British 97th Regiment, who was killed on September 8th, 1855 in the storming of the Redan at Sebastopol during the Crimean War.
World War One Mortar
An unusual piece of ordinance is on display in the Village of Chipman with the serial number N2 709 H2 1918. It appears to be a rifled, wheel mounted heavy mortar, vintage 1918.
Maxim Machine Gun
On display in the Soldiers Memorial Hall of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #71 is a German Maxim Machine Gun, a trophy of the Second Canadian Division captured in World War One, complete with bullet hole in the body. It is not known where or when it was captured.
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