Article extracted from the New Brunswick Reporter

NBR – 1845.05.02 – Reminiscences of New Brunswick – #6

[For the Reporter.]


Leaving the Gulph shore, I shall now proceed to the upper part of the River Saint John. As this may be considered a new country, and always has been, and still is a subject of dispute in regard to boundaries, it may be interesting to point out some of its localities, and to view nature in her wildest forms. In this part of the Province we meet with the sublime and the picturesque. In one part we find the towering mountain and then the roaring catarack ; diversified by the majestic grove and valley. But in our progress, it may also claim our attention to mark the achievements of man over the face of nature, by noticing some of the pleasing scenes where the busy hand of art and industry is changing the face of the country. And as Woodstock has the first claim, it may be well to pause and give it a passing notice.

This pleasant little Town is situated in the lower part of the County of Carleton, on the right bank of the River Saint John, and about sixty two miles from the Seat of Government. It comprises three villages, the distance between the two extremes, being a little over two miles, embracing a sufficient space for a large town. The whole of this space will no doubt be built up in future years, as it is situated in a fine country for Agricultural and Trading pursuits. What may now be properly called the Town, is the main settlement by the River Maduxnikik, at its confluence with the Saint John. Here are a number of small squares, well built up, with a fine bridge across the Maduxnikik. The Court House and Gaol are at the upper part of the upper village, where a road leads to the American plantation of Houlton, passing through the Richmond Settlement, and a fine farming country. Indeed the whole district adjoining and around this thriving little Town is a superior farming country, and will no doubt in future years, raise Woodstock to the rank of a flourishing city, and fill up the large space between its present extremes with a succession of buildings.

One remark may be made in regard to Woodstock, which is a great defect in most of the towns in the United States. The squares are laid out too small, and the Streets are too narrow. The squares do not allow room enough for back buildings. This however can be easily remedied in the future growth of the place.

Another thing should be attended to while land is plenty, to reserve good public squares, so healthy and ornamental in towns.

There are at present a number of fine buildings in Woodstock, particularly at the main village or Town. It has also no less than eight edifices appropriated to religious purposes, in six of which Divine Service is occasionally celebrated: Two of these buildings have towers and cupolas, which being covered with tin, making a handsome appearance, and are seen a great distance. The Chapel belonging to the Methodists stands on a plain near the bridge, but as they want a more central building, they would do wise to secure a site for another Chapel on the acclivity of the hill near the margin of the Maduxnikik, where there is a present a vacant lot in a very eligible place which should not be lost sight of. The Catholics have a small Chapel at present in use, and a large one in progress on a commanding hill with an extensive prospect. The Episcopal Church is most beautifully situated on the crest of the hill overlooking the Rivers Saint John and Maduxnakik, the Town and adjacent country. A finer spot could scarcely be found, and if the members of that Church will only [embelish] its immediate precincts by planting trees and preventing other buildings from crowding too near, it will remain an ornament to the place. This Church is usually decorated at the festival of Christmas by the ladies belonging to the congregation in the mast tasteful manner, and has no doubt led to the improvement lately introduced into the Metropolitan Church at the Seat of Government.

While noticing the Churches in this place, it would be unjust to the ladies of Woodstock not to notice their exertions in ornamenting their several places of Worship. By the proceeds of several Tea meetings, the ladies of the Methodist Church have raised funds to procure a Bell, which is now in use, and serves as a guide to all the congregations in that place. They have also by private conations and otherwise, trimmed their pulpit, and made other ornamental improvements in their Chapel. While the ladies of the Episcopal Church have tasked their ingenuity and industry to furnish material for A bazaar, with the proceeds of which, they have lately procured an Organ. So that now with the assistance of the fine voices of those ladies who form part of the Choir, that delightful part of the service, the Psalmody has been greatly improved. This is certainly a most pleasing and [laudible] way of ornamenting places of worship. The Tea meetings and Bazaars are pleasing and fruitful sources for raising funds. The Parish is beholding to the exertions of the ladies alone for those pleasing improvements. The conductors of the Tea meetings by their diligence and care with a small outlay not only procure fun as but promote by their harmony the best interests of society. A friendly intercourse among their neighbours. While those who manage the Bazaar by their ingenuity and industry with a small expense realize the means of lasting improvements that will descend with the Churches in what they are made to succeeding generations.

And here it may be well to observe that powerful agents are brought to exercise by ingenuity and industry. It was by these that the richest city of antiquity maintained its commerce and rose to unbounded wealth. Tyre possessed neither mines nor extended territory; but it possessed ingenuity and industry of its inhabitants. In its cunning workmen by whom the productions of other countries received a tenfold value and were then again sent abroad. So choice were they of their skill that they would not spend time on laborious occupations, even [their] ships were built and rigged by strangers. For the Tyrians were reserved those finer operations which raised the grosser materials above the value of gold.

More than 2,500 years since Silk was brought from China, (the only country where it was produced,) and after receiving the utmost skill of the Chinese, it was unravelled and wrought to a far finer texture and then exported, after having received more than a tenfold value from the ingenuity of the woman of Tyre.

(To be continued.)