Salisbury 250 Banner Program

Salisbury 250 > Salisbury 250 Banner Program

Biographies:

Fred Colpitts

1887-1963

A native of Little River, Fred Colpitts has strong ties to the Salisbury area and made strong contributions to the agricultural and economic success of Salisbury.

Colpitts is best known in the Salisbury area for his involvement in the silver fox trade and his contributions to the agricultural field. Starting his career in 1914, Fred bought three pairs of foxes; this purchase would lead to the development of the largest ranch in the British Empire. Partnering with his brother James – who resided on the West coast of the country – the Colpitts Brothers sold foxes for breeding stock all throughout North America.

Through selective breeding techniques, Colpitts was able to refine the colour of the fur to a lovely shade of silver, which would become high in demand. Successfully developing the Platinum Fox, visitors from all over the world became attracted to the area. These foxes had top sales figures in Montreal, New York, and London; a matched pair of these foxes were sold for $5,000.00, which would be over $100,000 in 2024.

In addition to operating the ranch for the fox trade, Colpitts carried on with many agricultural endeavors, including beef and swine operations. Purchasing a dairy farm in 1927, he transported said farm from Alberta to the East Coast, where it still stands. Known as Little River Holsteins, the farm can be found today in Colpitts Settlement.

Colpitts also represented the county as a member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1930 to 1939.

Known for his generous and friendly nature and community-minded spirit, Salisbury is proud to have been home to Fred Colpitts.

Sources: Dalhousie University, 2017

Rev. Joseph Crandall

1770-1858

Rev. Joseph Crandall made his mark not only on Salisbury, but New Brunswick as a whole, through the establishment of several Baptist Churches, in addition to his involvement in the New Brunswick Baptist Association in the 1800s. Crandall University, located today in Moncton, N.B., was named in his honor.

Emigrating from Rhode Island, Joseph Crandall’s family moved to Chester N.S. in the early 1770s. Losing his mother at a young age, and subsequently losing his father shortly thereafter, Crandall found his way to Liverpool, where he would eventually engage in the cod fishery and become involved in freighting lumber.

After some time, Crandall would find himself through religion and quickly began to feel like he was being called to preach. Touring and preaching across Nova Scotia, he found his way to New Brunswick. In 1799, Crandall became the first regularly ordained Baptist minister in the province and began his career as a pastor in Sackville. The following year, he established a Baptist Church in Salisbury, where he was a permanent resident.

Spreading the word of God, Joseph Crandall travelled across the province while being heavily involved in the Nova Scotia Baptist Association. Becoming a separate identity, the New Brunswick Association was formed in 1822, with Crandall becoming the first moderator.

Crandall was also elected to be a part of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly in 1820 and 1821; however, was forced to resign due to his involvement in the church and his career as a preacher.

Easily one of the most influential and most venerated religious leaders in New Brunswick during the 19th Century, several generations of New Brunswickers could recall the impact of Crandall and his sermons. Preaching until his death, Joseph Crandall preached his last sermon just six weeks before his death at age 97.

Source: J.M. Bumsted, 1985

Air Marshal Hugh Campbell CBE, CD

1908-1987

Born in Salisbury in 1908, Hugh Lester Campbell had an impressive career in the Air Force. In honor of his contributions, the local Air Cadet Squadron in Salisbury was named after A/M Hugh Campbell.

Growing up in Salisbury, Hugh Cambell attended school in both Salisbury and Moncton. After graduating from the University of New Brunswick, he worked as an electrical engineer until he was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot officer in 1932.

Advancing through his career, Campbell travelled to Britain, where he would become the Director of Air Staff at the RCAF Overseas HQ. He travelled extensively over parts of Africa, India, Italy, Sicily, and Malta. Campbell was injured on the job while inspecting units in North Africa when his jeep ran over a landmine.

Hugh Campbell returned to Canada in 1944 where he was appointed Assistant to the Chief of Air Staff, becoming air member for personnel in the Air Council in 1945. He was the first Canadian Chief of Staff representative to participate in the work contributing to the military committee of NATO. Shortly thereafter, Campbell returned to Europe, where he would build the first Canadian Air Division, eventually being comprised of 12 squadrons. In 1955, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff and was responsible for operations at Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe (SHAPE). Campbell was injured again in a plane crash, flying to Paris, and crashing in West Germany.

Following his retirement in 1962, Hugh Campbell continued to serve as commissioner of the Northwest Territories and was a member of the board of Canadian Aviation Electronics.

Hugh Lester Campbell passed away in 1987. The funeral service was held at CFB Ottawa South and was attended by hundreds; from military dignitaries to civilian friends, Hugh Campbell undoubtedly made a positive impact.

Source: The Air Force Association of Canada, 2020

Mary Crisp (“Aunt Mary”)

1877-1965

Beloved by many, Mary Crisp is a name whom many will never forget. A woman of God, Mary Crisp was taught to show love to everyone, which would lead her to a life of caring for many and a legacy of being forgotten by few.

At the young age of nine, Mary’s mother passed away which left the responsibilities of taking care of the children to her. While taking care of her younger siblings, Mary was able to successfully complete her own public education and continue to enjoy an extensive teaching career.

In 1923, at age 46, Mary bought a piece of land on Reeder Road in Salisbury and had a two-storey, 14 room house built on it. It is with that home that the name Aunt Mary was born.

Mary Crisp, often referred to as Aunt Mary, fostered several youths coming from broken homes. Nonetheless, Aunt Mary welcomed and cared for them selflessly. In just 10 years, Mary Crisp had housed over 60 children.

In 1935, Mary had 21 children under her care. Many community members would donate what they could to help with the costs of housing these children. Mary had set up a classroom in her home and taught many of the kids herself.

Some stayed in contact with Miss Crisp after leaving her home, sending letters, and visiting every so often. Others may have been too young to have even remembered all that she did for them. She sold the house to Mrs. McDonald, who was one of the first children Mary looked after.

She passed away in 1965. Many of her former foster children sent cards and flowers to pay respects; some travelled from all over Canada for the final goodbye. Mary Crisp created a safe and loving home, which many are grateful for.

Source: George Taylor, 1970(?)

Sir George Parkin

1846-1922

Sir George Parkin’s life was significant on several levels. As an educator, administrator, writer, and imperialist, his work has, and will continue to, inspire the masses.

Born in Salisbury, George Parkin spent a lot of time on the farm hoeing potatoes, making hay, or chopping wood. Though, his mother instilled a love for literature which only grew with time. This led him to have a deep desire to learn about the world.

Eventually, Parkin would attend the University of New Brunswick where he would graduate with great praise. Following his graduation, he went on to teach in Bathurst before his appointment in 1872 as headmaster of the Fredericton Collegiate School until 1889. John Medley – a High-Church Anglican bishop of Fredericton – decided to sponsor Parkin for a year at Oxford University.

As an older and considerably experienced student attending school, Parkin did quite well at Oxford, earning experiences like famous debates and great honors.

Parkin returned to his educational career and spent the next 15 years teaching in Fredericton. Making several contributions with his beliefs of community and the impact of public service rather than individual gain, he placed those ideals into his teaching, his speaking, and his writing. Some of his most famous works include Imperial Federation: The Problem of National Unity (1892) and Sir John A. Macdonald (1908).

Parkin has been described as a very significant and passionate man. With a sweeping and compelling personality, he was instantly the center of any conversation. His idealism led him to play a role in Sir Wilfred Laurier’s policy decisions and be an advisor to other cabinet ministers and to leading journalists.

Parkin’s grandson, George Parkin Grant, took up his grandfather’s vision; his rhetoric can still be heard in federal Conservative and New Democratic parties today. With this, many can sense the impact George Parkin has on social democracy in Canada.

Parkin’s daughter, Alice, married Charles Vincent Massey who was the first Canadian-born Governor General.

Micheal Ignatieff, former Liberal Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition from 2008-2011, is also a direct relative with Parkin being his maternal great-grandfather.

Source: Terry Cook, 2005

Sarah Emma Edmonds

1841-1898

Sarah Emma Edmonds wore many faces during her lifetime. Being unwanted and threatened as a woman, Sarah disguised herself as a man for most of her life. Playing the part of a slave, a nurse, a spy, and a man; she was always a hero.

Refusing to settle for an unwanted marriage arranged by her abusive father, Edmonds fled to the small village of Salisbury at the age of 15. She worked in Salisbury for a little while making ladies’ hats and eventually co-owning a millinery shop in Moncton. However, threatened by her father’s discovery of her whereabouts, Sarah decided to flee for good by changing her identity completely – by assuming the identity of a man.

Taking the name of Frank Thompson, Sarah moved to the U.S. where she would become a bible salesman and end up in Flint, Michigan. Frank would eventually enlist in the Army when the Civil War broke out. Just barely meeting the physical requirements, Frank managed to continue to conceal her true identity.

Knowing she could be successful at the task, Thompson volunteered to be a spy. Shaving her head, darkening her skin, and acquiring a plantation suit, she assumed the identity of a slave answering to the name Cuff. She proved herself to be incredibly useful, successfully conveying the information to her headquarters.

Over the years, Sarah would cross enemy lines as many different people, including an Irish immigrant, a black female slave, and a young Kentucky lad – until she contracted malaria. Fearful of being discovered as a woman, Sarah fled to Pittsburgh, where she would admit herself to the hospital as a woman.

Once fully healed, Sarah would attempt to return to Frank Thompson’s military commitment, until discovering he was wanted as a deserter – a crime punishable by death. Just like that, her military career was over.

Through years of concealing her true identity, Sarah Edmonds’ name continues to be praised as a wartime hero for her contributions and sacrifices.

Source: Tom Derreck, 2017

Evelyn May Smith

1916-2008

Born and raised in Salisbury, Evelyn spent her life giving back to her community. Being actively involved in numerous organizations, Evelyn’s impact on the community was more than significant.

Striving to help make her community a better place, Evelyn could be found assisting the Public Health Baby Clinics, volunteering at the library, or serving as President and Secretary of the former Salisbury Women’s Institute. In addition, she was a former board member and secretary of Pine Hill Cemetery Inc. and was also a member of the Westmorland County Children’s Aid Society for many years. Though, Mrs. Smith’s community involvement didn’t end there.

Evelyn was Past President of the Ladies Auxiliary Canadian Legion Branch # 31; helped to organize the Salisbury Unit of the Canadian Cancer Society and was Campaign Chairperson and Memorial Chairperson for Salisbury and surrounding area for 40 years. She was the first Clerk/Treasurer for the Salisbury Local Improvement District, eventually becoming the incorporated Village of Salisbury, and maintained that position for 25 years.

Evelyn was recognized for her dedication and was presented the Governor-General’s Medal for Community Service. She was also honoured by the Village of Salisbury in 1989 for 45 years of Community Service.

Source: 250 Nomination Form

John Melvin Adair (JMA) Armstrong

1907-1997

JMA Armstrong was a dedicated leader and passionate educator. Devoting his life to Salisbury, Mr. Armstrong was a beloved member of the community.

Born just outside of Sussex, Armstrong spent his formative years attending and graduating from Sussex High School. Immediately following his graduation in 1925, Armstrong attended Provincial Normal School (Teacher’s College) and graduated the following year, in 1926. From there, Armstrong started a long and dedicated career as an educator.

After a couple of years in the industry, JMA Armstrong decided to return to school to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University. He then returned to his career, becoming principal of Jaquet River High School.

In 1950, Mr. Armstrong started a long and fulfilling career at Salisbury Regional High School, which lasted for over 18 years. Accomplishing a lot within this time, Armstrong was also the Secretary of the Salisbury Regional School Board, in addition to continuing his education and earning a Bachelor of Education at the University of New Brunswick. Building on his interests and passions, Mr. Armstrong inspired his community in many ways; one of which being by organizing the first Air Cadet Squadron in Salisbury.

Retiring from his service at Salisbury Regional School, Mr. Armstrong continued his path of education. He became the District Supervisor for School Districts 14, 16, and 17 for the 1969-1970 school year. He also served as a supply teacher, well into his retirement years.

JMA Armstrong was a passionate man who led his community through quality education. Always striving to better himself and his community, John Melvin Adair Armstrong is a name whom many will never forget.

Claude Ivan Taylor

1925-2015

Originating from Salisbury, Claude Taylor spent his life climbing through the ranks, leading him towards a successful career with Air Canada.

Claude Taylor joined the company (originally referred to as Trans-Canada Airlines) in 1949. Over the next handful of years, Taylor was promoted to several different administrative positions, seeing the company evolve and grow. By 1965, the airline had rebranded and displayed a new name: Air Canada.

Taylor was appointed to Vice-President of Public Affairs in 1973, with more promotions to follow soon-after. In 1976, Taylor earned the position of President and Chief Executive Officer and Director and became Chairman of the Board in June 1984. During his time with the company, Claude Taylor’s goal was to cut the large deficit that had accumulated. Following the Air Canada Act in 1977, he oversaw the reorganization of the company, as it had now become a Crown Corporation. Taylor also saw the company through its privatization process in two stages – 49% privatized in 1987, and 100% in 1988.

In addition to a successful career with Air Canada, Claude Taylor served on many international boards and earned several awards. To name a few, he served on the Executive Committee of the International Air Transport Association as President, was presented with the First Industry Service Award in 1978, was founding Chairman of the International Aviation Management Training Institute, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and was inducted in Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1985.

Source: Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, 2021

Peter Paulet

Peter Paulet was an early Mi’kmaq leader who was presumably a member of the Indigenous community that existed on the north side of the Petitcodiac River, between the (now Pollet and Little) Rivers.

Although he was a leader in the Mi’kmaq community, Peter Paulet’s name indicates some degree of Acadian influence. This is likely due to the intermarriage between the Mi’kmaqs and the Acadians, once the French began to settle in Atlantic Canada in the late 1600s.

The Mi’kmaq name for the Pollet River was Manoosaak. There was great importance in the location of the Salisbury encampment, being both at the head of the tide and near the ends of portage routes leading to the Saint John River system. The rivers provided the main method of travel; the most popular route crossed from the main stem of the Petitcodiac River to the Canaan River.

Living near the area in the early 1800s, Peter Paulet had a strong influence on the area. Some sources say he was a medicine man. The English name of the Pollet River is presumably a reference to Paulet.

Source: Fort Folly Habitat Recovery, 2017

Joseph Broussard (Beausoleil)

1702-1765

Joseph Broussard (also known as Beausoleil) was born in 1702 at Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, NS). Throughout his life, Beausoleil proved to be a true leader, often commended for his bravery. A key figure in Acadian history, Joseph Broussard holds an important place in the Acadian communities across the Canadian Maritime provinces and Louisiana, being the leader of the Acadian resistance before, during, and after the 1755 deportation.

In 1713, tensions began to rise between the French and British, as the British were moving towards colonizing Acadian land. Many Acadians refused to recognize British authority over Acadia, Joseph Broussard included. Over the next several years, Beausoleil was a common figure in the resistance against the British, becoming known as an outlaw.

Fort Beausejour, located in Aulac, NB, was built in 1751 as a defense against the British and was sieged by the British in 1755 (becoming Fort Lawrence). Prior to leaving the fort, Beausoleil did not go down without a fight. With the help of his bravery and alliance with the Indigenous peoples, he led a group of 60 to attack the British camp, only losing one of his men.

At this time during the deportation of Acadians, it’s probable that Broussard and his family fled to the woods and made alliances with families in the region. With the help of his sons and alliances, he set up camp in this area along the Petitcodiac River (see Beausoleil Village).

Over the following several years, Beausoleil continued to fight back and escape British imprisonment. Having had enough of the war and unfair treatment received by the British, Broussard led over 600 Acadians to Saint-Domingue (Haiti). The following year, close to 200 Acadians followed Broussard to Louisiana, where they would receive land and settle.

In October 1765, Joseph Broussard died from a yellow fever epidemic.

Source: Government of Canada, 2023

Stacy Wilson

1965-

A lover of sports, Stacy Wilson proved to be a valuable member of any team she was a part of. As a part of the New Brunswick hockey team, she was known locally for being the leading scorer at the Canadian Championships; by the time she retired from active play in 1998, she was known internationally.

When Stacy chose to start playing hockey at the age of eight, she was the only girl in Salisbury to do so. Joining a team comprised exclusively of boys, her path to fame was not exactly easy. As the players got older, Wilson started to notice the difference between herself and the boys and felt as though it was a dead-end, leading her to quit. During this leave, Stacy tried other sports like badminton – where she would represent New Brunswick twice at the Canada Games.

Upon her arrival to post-secondary at Acadia University, Stacy felt compelled to return to hockey. In doing so, she played a crucial part in starting a hockey program for the school. Over the years she spent at school, Wilson competed at the Canadian Championships and represented Team New Brunswick several times. In 1990, she was called to the international stage.

Once joining Team Canada, Stacy would help her team win gold at the Women’s World Championships with three goals and 11 points in five games. Over her eight-year career with Team Canada, Wilson accompanied the team through numerous competitions, including women’s worlds gold in 1992, 1994, and 1997. In 1998, Stacy Wilson captained her team through the Olympic Winter Games, earning the team the silver medal.

Leading Team Canada to the world Championships for several years, as well as the 1998 Winter Olympics, Wilson was not only a successful athlete, but a leader dedicated to her team. Paving the way for young girls alike, Stacy is an inspiration for all.

Source: Paul Edmonds, 2019

George Taylor

1938-2002

A reporter and writer, George Taylor focused a significant amount of energy on the Salisbury area in his writings, and his work is still being passed around today.

Growing up in Salisbury, Taylor earned his early education here and graduated from Salisbury High School in 1956. He went on to become a reporter and editor for the Times and Transcript newspaper, often attending and reporting on elements in and around Salisbury. George would attend each of the graduations from the original Salisbury High School, and then at JMA Armstrong High School, and consistently wrote positive reviews of the ceremony. He would also regularly attend the Salisbury and Petitcodiac council meetings to report on the latest news.

Alongside his wife, George would grow large gardens and share the produce with family, friends, neighbors, and local food banks, prior to the Helping Hands food bank being established in Salisbury.

George Taylor’s contribution to Salisbury did not end there. In 1984, he wrote a book entitled A History of Salisbury for the Salisbury Committee for NB’s Bicentennial. Using his skills as a reporter and writer, Taylor interviewed several Salisbury residents and families and touched on highlights in Salisbury’s history, including the pre-European periods. Since the original publishing date, another edition of the book was released in the year 2000. This picture is of George working on the book.

George Taylor passed away in 2002. He is remembered as an intelligent, quiet, gentle man who loved the outdoors, gardening in the summer and trapping muskrats along the river in the winter.

Source: Hazel Alward, cousin to George

Samuel Street (S.S.) Wilmot

Originating from The Bend (now known as Moncton) in 1803, Samuel Street (S.S.) Wilmot was the grandson of John Bentley, a loyalist who once had the only store in The Bend.

Bentley was a river trader, and in 1804 purchased 500 acres on the north side of the river from Yorkshiremen. Wilmot eventually took over all, or most, of this land, and at one time owned a considerable part of Salisbury.

S.S. Wilmot moved to Salisbury in 1821 at the age of 18. He was a land surveyor, having attended Kings College (now known as the University of New Brunswick). He surveyed the Westmorland Great Road (eventually becoming the Post Road and now known as Main Street) which connected Saint John to Nova Scotia by 1835. In 1847, he became a Justice of the Peace. Wilmot was also the surveyor for the European and North American Railway that came through Salisbury in 1860. In addition to his surveying, he took up farming.

The Wilmot family was very prominent, not only in Salisbury, but New Brunswick as well with many of them elected to Legislatures.

The image used here is of the family home, which once belonged to Wilmot, and is still standing in Salisbury today.

Source: Jonathan Crosby, relative

Jordan Lifecare Centre/Memorial Home

In 1909, the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick appointed a Commission of practitioners to inquire about and report to him the best methods to prevent and cure tuberculosis. With this, a report was adopted that a sanatorium be established.

After marrying James Jordan, Mrs. Jeannette Jordan moved to San Fransico with her husband. Mrs. Jordan donated her summer home in The Glades to the Government of New Brunswick in 1909 as a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. In addition to this generous donation, three pavilions were also built at the expense of Mrs. Jordan. The first patient was admitted in 1913.

Jeannette Jordan had a marble fountain made in Italy by O. Adreini. This was placed on the front lawn in memory of her late husband.

Between 1912 and 1916, Mrs. Jordan – alongside the Commission – purchased 600 acres of farmland, which provided meat, poultry, eggs, and vegetables for the patients in the sanatorium. A laundry was established in the basement in 1915 and a laboratory in the pavilions. The Main Building was constructed in 1927 and housed approximately 100 patients. In 1937, a fire destroyed the pavilions; all the patients were then transferred to the Main Building. A new Wing Building was built in 1938 to replace what was destroyed.

Over several years, many additions were made to the estate to provide additional space for both the patients and the staff. In 1965, the Jordan Memorial Sanatorium was closed as a tuberculosis hospital and the patients were then transferred to the Tuberculosis Hospital in Saint John. As a result of this change, the sanatorium began to admit geriatric patients from the Provincial Mental Hospitals.

With the goal of rehabilitating these patients, several residents of the sanatorium would perform light duties in the kitchen, laundry, and wards, with staff supervision. Many additions were made to the Sanatorium and the surrounding grounds to make the home a more enjoyable environment for the residents.

In 2001, the Home was reopened as the Jordan LifeCare Centre – a new, smaller 50-bed Nursing Home on the same site.

Source: Town of Salisbury Historic Documents (file #3)

Pearl Colpitts

1932-2023

Born at the family homestead to Russell Colpitts and Geraldine (Fulton) Colpitts, Pearl Colpitts was the fourth of eight children. Throughout her life, Pearl was known for putting her all into whatever she did, whether it be recreationally or professionally.

Pearl earned her early education in Salisbury, graduating in the first class of Salisbury Regional High. Following high school, she went on to Attend Mount Allison University and the Saint John School of Medical Laboratory Technology. Her lab career took her from Moncton, to Bermuda, to Scarborough, and to Edmonton, returning to Moncton to set up the first blood transfusion service (blood bank) in 1961.

Pearl’s love of sports both as a participant and fan was legendary, participating in women’s ice hockey, basketball, badminton, and curling at the provincial level, and competitive ski-doo racing. Though, out of everything, her passion was golf. She represented NB 27 times as an Amateur and Senior at the Canadian Ladies National Golf Championships.

She and her business partner were the owners of the Little River Fox Ranch where they raised champion silver foxes as well as leading sales at Hudson Bay. Pearl and Connie also found time to be leaders of a Cub Pack, sponsored by Salisbury Lions for 11 years.

In later years, birdwatching took the place of the more active sports and she was a member of the 350 club for observing that number of species both native and rarities in New Brunswick.

Whether playing golf, cards or fox ranching her motto was “if you are going to play, play to win!”

Source: Connie Colpitts, cousin and business partner

Ivan and Vivian Hicks

1940-present day; 1945-present day

Though individually not originating from this small town, Salisbury is what brought Ivan and Vivian together. Sharing their love for teaching, performing, and creating beautiful sound together, this pair is an inspiration for small town music lovers alike.

Ivan grew up in Sackville as an only child. His father, a fiddler, played a big role in getting Ivan interested in music and was his first teacher of the instrument. As a result, the skill and passion of music came naturally to Ivan, as he began to play at various events and dances over the years. Outside of music, he began his teaching career in Salisbury in 1964, following his graduation from Mount Allison University. Teaching mainly at the high school level, Ivan’s teaching focus was mainly on the sciences (biology and chemistry) and kept teaching in Salisbury until his retirement in 1996. During that time, he also became Vice Principal of the school.

Vivian spent most of her youth in Sussex, where she earned her early education. Following her post-secondary, Vivian began her teaching career in Shediac Cape, until she moved to Salisbury where she would become the first teacher to teach French in Salisbury at the elementary level.

Ivan and Vivian met through their teaching careers in Salisbury. Taking an interest in his musical passions, Vivian became curious about playing music and had some help from Ivan to get started. As he helped her learn a few chords on the piano, both her musical abilities and love for Ivan grew. They got married in 1970.

Their collaboration with music grew stronger over the years, spending time teaching music to youth, organizing bands and musical groups, judging and emceeing contests, performing as a duo, with their most recent musical endeavor being Down Home Fiddle Productions.

Source: Ivan & Vivian Hicks

Ruth O’Blenis

1925-2023

Ruth O’Blenis was born December 28, 1925, in Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick. She was born the fifth of eight children in her family. She moved to Boundary Creek, New Brunswick at the age of 19 to be the caretaker for a gentleman there. While doing this, she met a man named George O’Blenis in 1945. In 1946, George and Ruth married and built their own house by hand.

In 1955, they built a service station/gas station on their property. It was here that they began painting cars all while running the service station. In 1960, the service station burnt down and they constructed O’Blenis Auto Body. They enjoyed working together and learning how to repair and paint vehicles. Due to this love, Ruth and George decided to become licensed to officially continue servicing Boundary Creek and surrounding area with a more specialized approach. With O’Blenis Auto Body being one of the first shops in the area to offer this service of repairing and painting cars, Ruth was fortunate enough to become the first Licensed Autobody Repair Woman in New Brunswick.

Ruth continued working in the body shop for over 50 years and could be seen in the shop often sanding cars, mixing paint, and managed the books. Early on, Ruth and George began a family and they raised five children while also working in the body shop.

In 2008, Ruth and George were invited to Toronto to receive the Legends of the Industry Award. This award was given by a national magazine called Collision Repair that recognized them for their contribution to the autobody industry. With Ruth being the first licensed autobody repairwoman, she paved the way for many women to come into the field and modelled hard work and dedication.

In 2019, another recognition was bestowed upon them, recognizing their contributions in the automotive industry from the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Ruth has certainly made her mark in a man’s world with all her accomplishments. One of her granddaughters followed in her footsteps by becoming a nurse, another granddaughter became a vet tech, and one became a well-respected fiddle player. Another granddaughter played hockey for six years on all-boys team. Two of Ruth’s great granddaughters race stock cars in a predominantly man’s sport. All of these traits come from Ruth’s determination to work hard and succeed.

Her five children all worked in the body shop over the years and two of her sons have kept the body shop running for over 64 years!

With the passing of Ruth in 2023, her legacy will live on and never be forgotten.

Source: Diane O’Blenis, granddaughter

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #31

The Royal Canadian Legion is dedicated to serving their community, with an emphasis on supporting and assisting Veterans. Founded by Veterans, for Veterans, the Legion advocates for the care and benefits for all who served in Canada. The Legion was founded as “The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League” with the Charter being issued in July 1926. In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II gave permission to use the Royal prefix. The Act of Incorporation was amended in 1961 to make the official change to “The Royal Canadian Legion.”

The Salisbury branch was organized and received its charter on September 14, 1934. The branch was comprised of members of both Salisbury and Petitcodiac, prior to Petitcodiac forming their own separate branch in 1945. The Second World War ceased the Legion’s operations. The organization was reformed in the fall of 1945 with meetings being held at the bank building hall, Orange Hall (over the blacksmith shop on Kay St.), and Salisbury Regional High School. They even rented from residents in the area, as well as using some of the members’ space to hold their meetings.

The first Legion Hall was built in 1951 and was located on Main St. next to the Baptist Church Hall. This Hall was sold to the Roman Catholic Church in August 1963. The current Legion Hall was built in 1963. The Legion is rooted in service and has been a dedicated member of the Salisbury community.

Salisbury Fire Rescue

The first Fire Department in Salisbury was organized in 1973 at the hands of Trueman Wilson. The first truck went into service officially in 1974 and was housed at the Salisbury Lions Club until the new Fire Hall opened. The following year, in 1975, a second truck was purchased – an oil tanker – which was repaired and used and a backup water tanker. This was used until 1981, when the department received a 1980 Chevrolet tanker from Municipal Affairs. In total, the Department has owned 13 motorized vehicles over the years and currently operate six, the most recent one being purchased in 2023.

Salisbury’s Firefighters Association has held numerous fundraisers in support of various projects and continue to give back to their community. Some of the organizations that have received financial support through the department include Muscular Dystrophy, the Moncton Burn Unit, Moncton Kiwanis Club, scholarships for students at Salisbury Regional, Elgin Women’s Institute, Canadian Association for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, and Salisbury Bicentennial Boy Scout Camp.

In 1974, this volunteer department was initially made up of 18 members and answered 29 calls from April 1974 until the end of that year. At this time, the department only responded to fire-related calls. In 2024, the department consists of 29 members and now responds to all emergency, rescue calls. This includes fires, motor vehicle accidents, and medical calls, in addition to serving as a mutual aid Department for surrounding areas. In 2022, they responded to a total of 206 calls – only 38 of which being fire-related. Salisbury Fire Rescue continues to be a volunteer department dedicated to providing fire protection and rescue services for the citizens and property located in the Town of Salisbury, as well as surrounding mutual aid areas.

Judson Foster

1860-1937

Judson Foster was born in 1860 as the son of an Irish father and a Scottish mother. He lived in St. Martin’s and Saint John before settling in Salisbury. When Foster was 15, he was injured in an accident at a match factory in Hampton, which resulted in the amputation of one arm above the elbow.

He married Alice Wilmot, a daughter of S.S. Wilmot, and together had four children.

Judson owned and operated a store in Salisbury on Telegraph Street (later called Front Street, and now known as Horsman Street) where the Lions Club Villa sits today. He was also a police magistrate and held court in the upstairs of his store. His brother Edward helped run the store and they sold many goods, including agriculture products such as fertilizers and insecticides. He was also a notary public, displaying a sign in his window that advertised Marriage Licenses Issued Here.

Judson Foster owned many properties in Salisbury, in addition to his store on Telegraph Street. He owned land at the eastern end of Kay Street, where he pastured his cattle (this included the land that is now to be the location of the new firehall); the triangular property on Bleakney Road (between that road and the Albert rail line served as a ball field at one time); the lot that the first Legion was on (about where the Wee College is now); and the lot where the Masonic Lodge – of which he was a member – is situated.

That eastern end of Kay St. was most often referred to as “Jud’s Road.” He travelled that way from his home to his store building and back, often carrying the money from his business.

Source: Jonathan Crosby, relative

J. David O’Blenis, L Gen (Ret’d) CMM, CD

1940-2018

Growing up in Salisbury, David O’Blenis found his passion early in life. Salisbury, being one of 231 locations across Canada selected to be a part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, started O’Blenis’ passion for flying and led him to a successful aviation career.

As soon as he was eligible, O’Blenis joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. From this, he earned a flight scholarship and in six weeks, just days before his 17th birthday, got his private pilot’s license. Being too young to join the Air Force, David was accepted into the ROTP program to study engineering at the University of New Brunswick. Following his education, and being eligible to enlist, he was posted to Winnipeg when he was selected as air crew.

Following a leave of absence, O’Blenis returned to serve as navigator on the Argus aircraft in Greenwood and received permission to cross-train to pilot.

When posted to Bagotville, O’Blenis flew the CF101 with 425 Squadron and commanded 410 Sqaudron. As CFI and flight examiner at the base flying club, he compiled his earnings and provided flight scholarships to deserving airmen and instructed cadets in his spare time.

He served as the Fighter Group Commander in North Bay and in 1995, retired as Deputy Commander of NORAD in Colorado Springs. He went on to leadership roles in the defense industry, namely Allied Signal, Honeywell, Raytheon Canada, and Allen Vanguard.

David had a true passion for flying and enjoyed sharing his passion through instructing. Always eager to help instruct cadets, he never lost sight of where he started and continued to share his passion well into his retirement.

Source: Obituary transcript, 2018

Victuare Village

The Victuare Village site commemorates the largest Acadian village on the Petitcodiac River in 1758 and is recognized for the Acadian Settlements that were here during the Seven Years War.

Although it is difficult to determine the exact location and limits of this site, it would probably have extended from McNaughton Brook to beyond River Road; and from the Petitcodiac River to beyond Main Street in Salisbury. This is documented by British Major George Scott in his maps as he was forcefully removing Acadian families from the Upper Petitcodiac in 1758.

The village appears to have been composed of approximately 10 homesteads, settled in about 1751, and was reportedly the largest Acadian village along the Petitcodiac upstream of Beausoleil Village, modern day Allison. (See Beausoleil Village). The Victuare Village is reportedly named after Joseph Broussard’s son, Victor Gregoire Broussard.

Source: Parks Canada, 2010

Jaques Tavern

Located on the same site as Victuare Village there once stood a family farm and tavern on the land of the Jaques.

John Jaques was the son of Yorkshireman Joseph Jaques, who had a land grant in Little River. The Jaques family, having left England in 1774, was amongst the first English settlers in the Salisbury area. The John Jaques Tavern opened in 1809 as a lodging place for travelling officials. This location was ideal, as there was no other place to rest between Dorchester and Sussex.

The farm and land were sold in 1835 to another Yorkshire man – John Parkin – father to Sir George Parkin (see George Parkin).

Darien Ingraham

Darien was a local boy from Nixon who earned his early education in Salisbury. Leaving school after completing grade eight, Darien went to to go work for Eaton’s. Most likely dyslexic and finding public education frustrating, he worked his way through the Eaton’s mailroom to a small engine repair shop acquiring math and hands-on skills to eventually begin his own plumbing and repair business in 1970.

For the past 50 years, he has plumbed the Salisbury area, night and day, responding to farmers, schools, local organizations, and several members of the community. The web of relationships he made between members of the community in his trade is astounding.

Darien always tried to repair before needing to replace equipment, keeping his prices affordable to his customer. He was very well known for good service at very fair prices. Darien could also be counted on for a phone consultation, giving the customer the first chance to repair their own problem. When asked how the customer could repay his kindness, Darien would often say “send me a quarter in the mail,” meaning he wasn’t expecting payment, but he was always delighted when someone took him up on his request. Former customers often express how much they appreciated his skill, knowledge, and customer service. Friendly and interested in genealogy, customers were also often engaged in conversations with Darien about his memories of their family, to their delight. Customers would often call Darien and ask him to tell them more information about their chat they’d had earlier on the job. Darien could tell stories upon stories, linking families and events to a surname or even the property owned by the customer.

His career certainly has been a significant contribution to the History of Salisbury.

Source: Krista Ingraham-Cote (daughter)

Masonic Lodge

This building was constructed in Salisbury in 1930 as a Masonic Hall. Although, the organization had been around since 1858 and was one of the earliest organizations in Salisbury (only predated by the Baptist and United churches). The Salisbury Lodge was formed on August 3, 1858.

The winding staircase in the Salisbury Lodge is divided into three stairs, a landing, five stairs, a landing, and seven stairs. Three, five and seven are very important, as they represent the steps in Freemasonry.

It is said that the Master Masons back in the 17th Century were Sea Captains. This is why the corners on the second floor ceiling are rounded and the windows are round – it makes it look like an upside-down ship. Although this may be a myth, it makes for a great story.

Dr. Theodore (Ted) Atkinson

1934-2010

Although his career only began in Salisbury, many residents have fond memories of Dr. Atkinson and were devoted to his practice. Atkinson went on to accomplish many great things during his career, but will always have a place in Salisbury history.

Born in Moncton in 1934, Ted Atkinson completed his early education at Humphrey School and Moncton High School. Following graduation, he continued his education at the University of New Brunswick where he earned a Bachelor of Science and received his medical degree from Dalhousie University in 1962. From then, Dr. Atkinson would start his career of nearly 40 years.

He began his general practice in Salisbury, and over the next eight years, he established a large and devoted patient clientele. He moved to Moncton in 1969 and retired with one of the largest practices in the province in 1999. Despite his many obligations and volunteer work, he still managed to make house calls throughout his professional years and frequently made social visits to his former patients until the time of his death.

During this time, Dr. Atkinson furthered his career through many avenues. In 1970, he became a preceptor for the Department of Family Medicine of Dalhousie University and in 1982 became a Resident Supervisor. In 1997, the Dalhousie University established The Ted Atkinson Residency Supervisor Award and named Ted the first recipient.

He was an examiner for the Family Medicine Certification Examinations in Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax beginning in 1977 and until his retirement. Ted was also a founding Director of The World Organization of Family Physicians and was one of five Canadian physicians selected to be a member.

He was named a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (FCFP) in 1987, awarded Senior Membership in the Canadian Medical Association in 1999, and is a Life Member of the CCFP.

In 2005, he received the prestigious Dr. Garfield Moffatt Medal for “tremendous contribution to the community at large for service to his patients and to the medical community.” In 2008, Ted was presented with the Service Medal of The Order of The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem the Priory of Canada for his many years of service with St. John’s Ambulance.

In addition to his busy practice, he served as Medical Director of the K.E. Spencer Home, Medical Officer of the Canadian Forces Base Moncton, Medical Officer of the Moncton Police Department, District Surgeon for Saint John Ambulance, and attending doctor for the local boxing club (FISTS) until his death in 2010.

Source: Obituary transcript, 2010

River Glade Speedway/Motocross Track

The Speedway was formed in 1964 by Ernie McLean as a passion project derived from his love of racing. Achieving his mechanics license in 1957 in Ontario, Ernie has been involved in racing since then. When the desire to return to his home in New Brunswick hit, Ernie went about starting up the first stock car racing track here after buying an old farmhouse near River Glade (on the site of the present River Glade Speedway.)

Finally, on August 22, 1964, the first race at the new facility was run and it was an “immediate hit.” The track was only dirt at this time and posts and cables served as fencing. In 1965, the track was paved, (making it the first paved track in the Maritimes), installed lights, built grandstands, built canteens, built a tower, washrooms, ticket booths, and put a guardrail around the track.

In 1976, a group of six Motocross enthusiastic bikers known as the Westmorland Cycle Club approached Ernie McLean about running Motocross races behind his Speedway. This Idea sparked much interest by Ernie and as he stated, “We will make this the racing corner of New Brunswick.” Westmorland Cycle Club held their inaugural race on October 2, 1977. The Westmorland Cycle Club name was changed to River Glade Motocross in 1987 when a new group of moto enthusiasts took it over.

Under the new owner’s dedication and hard work, the River Glade Moto-cross Track has become one of the oldest and best known on the Canadian Pro National Circuit and continues to host regional races as well as riding schools and other motorcycle related events.

Source: Gordon Close, Salisbury 250 Committee member

Mark Constantine

1937-1967

Hailing from Monteagle, Mark Constantine enlisted in the Air Force on March 3, 1957. As an instructor of the Sabre Transition Unit of the RCAF, Constantine was a member of the CFB Chatham division. He was also a member of the STU Centennial Sabre Team, which performed at airshows across Canada.

On July 27, 1967, Constantine was on a full card air test following a maintenance check. Nineteen minutes after take-off, he transmitted that his aircraft was in a spin at 15,000 feet (4,572 metres) over water and he was bailing out. Eight minutes later, the pilot was seen in his parachute landing in the water and disappeared shortly thereafter. Efforts to retrieve the aircraft and body were unsuccessful. The cause of the spin remains a mystery.

Flight Lieutenant Mark Constantine was awarded the Special Service Medal (NATO). There is a window dedicated to F/L Mark Constantine at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Salisbury.

Salisbury Lions Club

The Lions Club was formed in 1917 by a Chicago businessman in response to the rapid social changes and industrialization following the First World War. Quickly expanding across the U.S., the Lions Club became an international organization in 1920 when the first Canadian Club was established. The mission of Lions International is to empower and strengthen communities through humanitarian service and grants that impact lives globally and encourage peace and international understanding.

The Salisbury Lions Club became a Chartered Club on August 10, 1953. The Charter members include Dana Alward, Stewart Lewis, Herbert Steeves, Nelson Alward, Austin Mullins, Weldon Steeves, Roy Beckwith, Edwin Mullins, Dr. Brent Stewart, Arnold Bleakney, Leo Murray, Harris Tait, Aldin Colpitts, Garnet O’Blenis, Curtis Taylor, Thomas Glenn, Brad O’Blenis, Frank Taylor, Dale Hopper, Edward Sentell, Percy Waddy, James Innes, and Lorne Wortman.

The Salisbury Lions Club has been an integral part of community development and has been the leading force behind many facilities and projects that are still used today. This includes an outdoor rink, the Salisbury Lions Pool, and the Lions/Community Building. The Lions Hall also acted as the first Fire Station, housing Salisbury’s first fire truck in 1974.

The Lions Club continues to be fiercely dedicated to its community, often giving back to the community, empowering youth, and supporting local organizations.

Conrad Bleakney

1917-2011

A true outdoorsman and lover of hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling, Conrad spent his life dedicated to improving and protecting both the environment and his country.

A Veteran of World War II, Conrad served throughout continental Europe with the Canadian Infantry Training Corps.  Connie retired as a Protective Officer with the Department of Fisheries.

During his career as the Protection Officer, Conrad never had the goal of arresting anybody; rather, he was more concerned with protecting the salmon in the river. For years, he advocated for removal of the causeway, consulted with, and guided the people who were stocking the rivers.

Conrad was also involved in the development of the Local Improvement District in the late 1940s, which led to the incorporation of the Village of Salisbury in 1967. He served terms on Salisbury Village Council, Greater Moncton Town Planning and the local School Board, and was a former member of Branch 31, Royal Canadian Legion, and the Salisbury Lions Club.  A longtime member of Salisbury Baptist Church, he served on many Boards and offices throughout the years.

Conrad Bleakney was incredibly active in the development of our community and was a passionate advocate for our sustainability.

Victor Lewis

1909-2004

Salisbury-born Victor Lewis was an avid sportsman and spent most of his life following this passion. Leading him to numerous awards and accolades, Victor’s athleticism and determination should be recognized and commemorated.

Victor Lewis is known for his athletic skills in sports such as baseball, curling and golf, and has earned respect in each of these avenues. He pitched two no-hitters, won two Moncton Golf Club championships in the ’60s, and a mixed title with his wife, Ruth, in 1950. In curling, he has won several awards, including two City of Moncton mixed victories with his wife.

Victor was inducted to the New Brunswick Baseball Hall of Fame, Moncton Wall of Fame, and the Salisbury Big Stop Wall of Fame for Baseball, Curling, and Golf. He was a member of the MCA and was Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Moncton Golf and Country Club and he was Past President of the Maritime Senior Golf Association. Lewis was also a former Club Champion of Miramichi Golf and Country Club and he had won the Maritime Senior Golf Title.

Vic’s passion for athletics led him to achieve great things in each of his chosen sports and will be remembered by his inductions into halls of fame across the province.

Source: City of Moncton Sports Wall of Fame, 1990

Trueman Townsend (T.T.) Wilson

1934-2019

As an impactful leader in Salisbury’s history, T.T. Wilson’s legacy is found and carried on by numerous organizations and community development efforts.

T.T. Wilson moved to Salisbury to teach Industrial Arts after receiving his teaching certificate. Striving to better himself and his career, he continued his education at Bradley University in Illinois where he received a Bachelor of Science. He went on to earn his master’s degree with a specialty in Metallurgy from the University of Wisconsin.

Outside of his career, Wilson was one of the first Officers at the Salisbury Air Cadet Squadron when it was first developed and would spend his summers in Greenwood as a result. When the Village of Salisbury became incorporated in 1967, T.T. served as the first Mayor. During his time, he was instrumental in the organization of the Salisbury Fire Department in 1973 and served as Fire Chief until 1976. His commitment to his community was further exemplified in being a long-standing member of the Salisbury Lions Club, serving as president from 1983-84.

Trueman’s dedication to Salisbury was unlike any other, as he actively strived to better himself and his community. His hobbies, in addition to his knowledge and skills, were vast; he often shared these assets generously with those he loved.

Source: Obituary transcript, 2019

Ruth Jackson

1925-2020

Born in a time before women stepped into recognized leadership roles, Ruth Jackson was a trail blazer for girls and women in her community. Spending her life teaching and giving back to her community, Ruth can be remembered as a fearless leader.

Ruth Jackson had a long and fulfilling teaching career, teaching for almost 43 years. During her career, she went on to become one of the first female principles in the Moncton area. Jackson was also elected as a Councilor of the Salisbury Village Council, eventually becoming Mayor of Salisbury for 12 years as the first (and only) female Mayor.

Following her retirement, Ruth continued to be dedicated to helping children in the classroom and spent several years tutoring students at Salisbury Elementary School. She could also be found volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society, the Salisbury Legion, Salvation Army, and often gave generously to SPOT in Petitcodiac.

A leader for many with a generous spirit, Ruth Jackson lived a life dedicated to bettering her students and community.

Source: Obituary transcript, 2020

Rose Horsman

1933-2008

An advocate for Salisbury education and a member of numerous educational and community groups, Rose Horsman had a deep influence on the educational development of our community.

Rose served as a school trustee for 18 years and was Chair of the school board. She spent her life advocating for educational enhancement within the community and served on committees and groups to help achieve this. She served on the New Brunswick School Trustee Executive Committee, the Home and School, Association Block Parents, Women’s Institute, and the New Brunswick Conservative Party.

The Blue School, currently known as the Salisbury Boys and Girls Club, is officially named the Rose Horsman Building in her honor to recognize her commitment.

Beausoleil Village

Following the attack on Fort Beausejour, a group of Acadians fled to seek shelter along the Petitcodiac River. Joseph Broussard led them to this location and continued to be their leader as they navigated the deportation of their people (see Joseph Broussard (Beausoleil)).

Before the Deportation of the Acadians in 1755, the families along the Petitcodiac River were mainly located South of Turtle Creek (Riverview) and the Bend (Moncton). When British Major George Scott completed the forceful removal of the French families, in 1758 the remaining Acadians had mostly moved further upriver beyond the Bend. On a copy of Major Scott’s expedition map on the encampments along the River, Beausoleil Village is shown as a large settlement on the north side of the Petitcodiac River – present day Allison.

It is said that this area was originally settled in 1735. At the time the expedition map was created, Joseph Broussard (Beausoleil) and his family were living at this village (1758).

Source: Parks Canada, 2010

R.A. Brown

1866-1931

Station Master at the Salisbury station in the early 1900s, R.A. Brown can be thanked for the introduction of the silver fox industry to Salisbury, which led the community to years of economic success and fame.

The European and North American Railway, which was officially opened for travel between Pointe-du-Chene (Shediac) and Saint John in August 1860, was the first railway in New Brunswick. The Salisbury station became one of the busiest on the entire line; by 1870, Salisbury had the fourth highest volume shipped on this line. This railway service was transferred to Intercolonial Railway in 1872 and has been operated by Canadian National Railway since 1918. The Salisbury and Albert Railroad was opened in 1877 to link the intercolonial Railway with Albert County communities and to bring material resources, agriculture, and lumber products to markets.

R.A. Brown was the station agent in Salisbury in the early 1900s. Station agents would be largely responsible for mass communication since communication, at one point, was dependent on the railway. He would be responsible for selling tickets, handling express and freight shipments, and telegrams, as well as managing the train crews. As a result, he was held in high regard.

In 1914, a woman by the name of Mrs. Tuplin had boarded the wrong train and ended up in Salisbury by accident. The Tuplin family was from Prince Edward Island and was a leading force in the fox farming industry at the time. Offering Mrs. Tuplin hospitality in the small town, Brown had the chance to chat with her and learn about the riches that come from industry. Intrigued by the fortune to come, R.A. Brown purchased the first pair of silver foxes in Salisbury, thus leading the community to economic success.

Source: George Taylor, 1984

Austin Claude Taylor

1893-1965

A.C. Taylor earned his way to a successful career, mixing all aspects of his professional life. From being a farmer and a merchant, in addition to a political figure, Taylor would eventually become the Minister of Agriculture, earning him a seat at the Senate of Canada.

Born in Salisbury, A.C. Taylor spent his early years working on a farm, as many did in the rural community. Taylor quickly got in to politics, appointed to the Executive Council as the Minister of Agriculture. He served two Premiers from 1935 to 1952.

From 1954 to 1956, Austin Taylor was the leader of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick. On January 3, 1957, Taylor was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minster Louis St. Laurent as the representative for Westmorland. He served in the Senate until his death in 1965.

Source: Parliament of Canada

St. John Ambulance Brigade

In 1973, the same year the volunteer Salisbury Fire Rescue Department was established, the St. John Ambulance local brigade began operating a volunteer ambulance service under the umbrella of the Havelock St. John Ambulance Division. Until 2007, when Ambulance New Brunswick assumed a centralized role for ambulance services province-wide, the community was served by St. John Ambulance.

While no longer operating as a volunteer ambulance service, the local brigade continued to offer first-aid, volunteer at events, and serve the region and community. In 2024, the Salisbury Division was recognized as the Town’s Volunteer Organization of the Year to recognize the dissolution of the local division the same year.

Before Havelock Division of St. John Ambulance in 1962, the closest ambulance services to Salisbury were Sussex and Moncton. By the time the Salisbury Division began being organized in 1972 before coming into service in 1973, the cost for an ambulance to get to Salisbury was about $65.00. The year the first ambulance was received by the Salisbury Division (1973), they had 42 calls.

By 1974, the Salisbury Division branched off from Havelock and formed its own independent division. The calls for service were responded to at the Jordan Memorial Home and then relayed to the Volunteers. The Division was funded mostly by the Village of Salisbury, with the Province of New Brunswick contributing operating funding as well.

Ron Hoar was a catalyst for the service(s) in both Salisbury and Havelock (that was the umbrella for Salisbury at its inception). Hoar taught the first-aid courses to the initial volunteers and his wife, Merna, was Officer in Charge when the section began operating in the Spring of 1973. The first members were: Carol Horsman (who replaced Merna Hoar as Acting Section Officer by the end of 1973), Nursing Office Vivian Steeves, Transport Sergeant Darrell Davis, Gerry Paradowski, David Hatt, Eugene Kierstead, Ardith and Merna Hoar, Ron Steeves, Nelson Baxter, Evelyn McCormick, Irene Wortman, Bliss Reeder, Carl Steeves, John Alward, and Shelia Cochrane.

Source: George Taylor, 1984

Petitcodiac River

Informally known as “the Chocolate River,” the Petitcodiac River stretches 79 kilometres and covers Westmorland County, Albert County, and Kings County. The river was vital to the survival of early settlers and plays an important role today as an ecosystem.

Originally named Pet-Kout-Koy-ek (meaning “the river that bends like a bow”), Indigenous settlers were the first to set up camps along the river – long before the first European settlers.

The 18th century brought thousands of Acadians to the area who would call the Petitcodiac River home. Much like the Indigenous settlers, the river provided a way of transportation and food which was vital to their survival. The marshland promoted nutrient-rich soil, which was helpful for crops and additional food supply. Several maps (see Beausoleil Village & Victuare Village) display the river as the centre point and indicate each Acadian settlement along the banks.

Today, the Petitcodiac River continues to be an important ecosystem and houses several species of animals and plants. Many initiatives are being taken to preserve the wildlife and restore traditionally important species and their habitats. A good example of this would be Fort Folly Habitat Recovery and their efforts towards preserving the critically endangered inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon. Since 2001, the FFHR team has been involved in several recovery actions and continue to strive towards preserving the species and their habitats.

Source: Fort Folly Habitat Recovery, 2017

Ron Tait

1930-2011

Ron “Doggie” Tait was a well-known community volunteer, athlete, and elected official in Salisbury.

A proud lifelong resident of Salisbury, Ron was a member of the Salisbury Baptist Church and served as both a member of Village Council (as of 1980-1986) and later Mayor (1986-1992) of the Village of Salisbury.

Ron was an avid baseball player, having been inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame on three occasions, with one of his plaques recognizing him as the “Gentleman Ball Player.” Ron played softball across the Maritimes, including for teams such as the Salisbury Flyers and the Moncton Viponds, the first fastball team from Atlantic Canada to win a game in the National Championships.

The Salisbury Flyers, the name that the community still bears for its baseball association, is derived from the late Ron Tait and his brother, Gerald. The name Flyers originated in 1946 when Ron and his brother Gerald (Giant) Tait were phoning in a game score to the Moncton newspapers. The journalist wanted to know if there was a name other than “the Salisbury softball team.” In light of the 22-game winning streak that ended in winning the provincial title at the time, Ron’s brother Gerald responded with “well, we’re really flying.”

Source: Obituary transcript, 2011

Joseph (Joe) Knockwood

1939-2023

Joseph Knockwood was a former Chief of Fort Folly First Nation, but leaves a lasting legacy of environmental activism, including the Fort Folly Habitat Recovery Salmon Program that continues along the Petitcodiac River near Highland Park today.

Knockwood was Chief of Fort Folly First Nation from 1997 to 2003 and again from 2005 to 2013. He had a vision for removing the Petitcodiac River causeway near Riverview, which led to Fort Folly’s efforts to restore the endangered Atlantic Salmon to the Petitcodiac River.

Among many accolades of his environmental and Indigenous advocacy, Joe was awarded the Petitcodiac River Award by Petitcodiac Riverkeeper in 2013. This award recognizes individuals, businesses, groups or government agencies that have made a significant contribution towards protecting, promoting, or restoring the Petitcodiac River ecosystem.

The Fort Folly Habitat Recovery Petitcodiac River Restoration Project continues to track the progress of restoration efforts in the Petitcodiac through a fish trap located at Salisbury’s Highland Park. In the 2023 Annual Report, the 14th year of their monitoring program, 4,201 fish were caught (the traps are placed in May and are monitored for the full season). Of these, 3,887 were gaspereau. The report also highlighted that the tidal amplitude increased significantly (measured at the Salisbury Train Trestle) and was 57 centimetres higher in 2023 than in 2022. In 2023, a noticeable number of juvenile salmon were seen in the River, seeking out adults that Fort Folly Habitat Recovery released in 2022. Increased juvenile salmon show indications that stocking programs are showing progress and increase the likelihood of having salmon spawn in the River, thereby increasing their likelihood of survival compared to if they were to spawn at sea and attempt to make it back to the River.

Joe Knockwood’s legacy continues to show present-day partnerships between Fort Folly, Fort Folly Habitat Recovery, and the Town of Salisbury. Future generations will continue to benefit from a more robust eco-system along the Petitcodiac with thanks to environmental activism of the late Joe Knockwood.

Source: CBC, 2024