Sackville 250: A Celebration of Our Town 1762-2012
2012 is Sackville’s 250th birthday.
What exactly are we celebrating?
Well, it’s 250 years since the Township of Sackville’s first meeting…
Governor Lawrence declared Sackville’s name and location in 1759, along with Cumberland and Amherst and six other towns in what was then Nova Scotia.
So why isn’t 1759 our starting point?
Because nothing else happened in 1759: several stumbling blocks, such as local resistance to the new settlements, bureaucratic hold-ups, and a huge storm that breached the dykes, ensured that resettlement was not possible at that time.
By 1762, immigrants from New England were waiting to settle in Sackville and on July 20th, the first Town meeting took place, assigning lots to about 20 families. Each family was allotted property on the marsh for farming and pasturing, a woodlot for firewood and lumber, and a town lot in one of the three villages, Westcock, Middle and Upper Sackville.
1762 is therefore the year “when Sackville was transformed from being merely a set of boundaries on a piece of paper to a community working together to improve its citizens’ quality of life” (Amy Fox, Researcher, Tantramar Heritage Trust)
By the time Nova Scotia was divided in 1784 to create the province of New Brunswick, the Town of Sackville was already well established. We were the first town in what became New Brunswick.
'The first town meeting--or meeting of the committee for Sackville township took place on 20th July, 1762. It was held at the house of Mrs. Charity Bishop, who kept an inn at Fort Cumberland. There were present Capt. John Huston, Doctor John Jencks, Joshua Sprague, Valentine Estabrooks, William Maxwell and Joshua Winslow. Capt. Huston was made chairman and Ichabod Comstock, clerk.
The conditions and locations of the proposed new grant of Sackville were of the first interest to the newly arrived settlers and the proceedings were largely taken up with settling such matters. It was resolved that a family of six, and seven head of cattle should have one and a half shares of 750 acres' (“History of Sackville New Brunswick”, by Dr. William Cochran Milner, Historian, and Former Dominion Archivist (1846-1939) Originally published in 1934 by The Tribune Press, Ltd., Printers & Publishers, Sackville, New Brunswick)”
'The Township of Sackville, along with the neighboring townships of Cumberland and Amherst were laid out in 1762-63 each containing 100,000 acres and the first formal grants were issued in 1765. Sackville Township held its first meeting on 20 July 1762….The Township of Sackville consisted of 20 families in 1763 and expanded only modestly to 349 persons by 1767. Nearly all were from New England.' (“Tantramar History”, Tantramar Heritage Trust, http://heritage.tantramar.com/THTHistory.html)
- We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage "Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage: Community Anniversaries"