Snuggled between two placid rivers, the Miramichi and Bartholomew in the heart of New Brunswick, is the little village of Blackville. It has the most famous streams in North America running through it.
Blackville was long settled before it received its name. It was believed to be settled right after Northumberland County was established and at the same time New Brunswick was separated from Nova Scotia in 1784. Many Loyalists, dissatisfied with their land grants, moved from the Saint John and Nashwaak Rivers in 1785-1787.
The first to come was Alexander Underwood, a sea captain of Yorkshire, England who took part in the Revolutionary War. After the war was over, Captain Underwood was trekking his way through the wilds of New Brunswick by way of the Miramichi with every intention of returning to his native land, when by chance he met a fair lady, by the name of Nancy McGraw, fell in love, married and settled in Blackville.
Other settlers to follow included the Campbell, Carroll, Wells, Donahue, Quinn, McCormack, Idear, Mersereau, Underhill, Schofield, MacLaggan, Morehouse, Grady and Burke families. Many of their descendents are still living here today.
In 1866, Blackville was a lumbering and farming settlement with about 20 families. In 1871 it had a population of 450. In 1898, Blackville was a station on the Canada Eastern Railway and a junction of the Intercolonial Railway with 1 post office, 5 stores, 2 hotels, 2 sawmills, 1 woodworking factory, 2 churches and a population of 600, and included the settlements of Underhill, Breadalbane and The Forks. Blackville was incorporated as a village in 1966, annexing the neighbouring communities of Underhill and Breadalbane in the process.
[table id=9 /]
Where did Blackville get its name? The Parish of Blackville was established in 1830 and was named after the Honourable William Black, administrator for the Government of New Brunswick. Colonel Black was commander-in-chief of New Brunswick from 1829-1831. He was born in 1770 and was the 4th mayor of Saint John. He died January 17, 1866 aged 96 years. He had three sons and three daughters. He was given two grants of land on the Miramichi each containing 1,000 acres and it was during this time when he resigned in Blackville that Blackville got it’s name.
Browse through our historical files below: (more pages will be added soon)
- Jacob Mersereau, Photographer