Dorchester, New Brunswick Canada

Discover Dorchester, New Brunswick: A Blend of History and Scenic Beauty

Dorchester, New Brunswick, a former village in Westmorland County, Canada, is a place of rich history and natural beauty. Named after Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, an 18th-century Governor-General of the old Province of Quebec, Dorchester was once a village before its amalgamation with the town of Tantramar in 2023. Nestled on the eastern side of the mouth of the lush Memramcook River valley, Dorchester is an English-speaking community adjacent to French-speaking Acadian areas.

The Historical Journey of Dorchester, New Brunswick

Dorchester, the shire town of the county, is home to several historic homes and civic buildings, most of which were built by local lawyer and Master Builder, John Francis Teed. In the 19th century, Dorchester and neighbouring Dorchester Island were significant shipbuilding centres, housing numerous master mariners during the Golden Age of Sail.

The construction of the Intercolonial Railway between Halifax and Rivière-du-Loup in 1872 transformed Dorchester from a stagecoach centre and busy ship port to a railway hub. The Dorchester Light and Fire Company, founded in 1911, is now known as the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department. Despite the unfortunate arson attack in 1965 that destroyed the village courthouse, the community spirit remained unbroken, with the courthouse safe now housed in the village hall.

Dorchester was also home to Edward Barron Chandler, a father of confederation, whose home, Chandler House (or Rocklynn), is now a nationally recognized historic property.

Dorchester, New Brunswick: A Snapshot of Demographics

As per the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Dorchester had a population of 906 living in 207 of its 221 total private dwellings. This marked a change of -17.3% from its 2016 population of 1,096. With a land area of 5.71 km2 (2.20 sq mi), Dorchester had a population density of 158.7/km2 (411.0/sq mi) in 2021.

Transportation in Dorchester, New Brunswick

Although Dorchester is situated on the CN Rail main line between Halifax and Montreal, it no longer has a passenger station. Travellers have to entrain/detrain in Sackville or Moncton. The nearest airport is the Greater Moncton International Airport, a 40 km drive in Dieppe.

Fun Facts about Dorchester, New Brunswick

Dorchester has been fictionalized in Douglas How's humorous book Blow Up the Trumpet in the New Moon (1993). The song Dorchester by Matt Minglewood is about the Dorchester Penitentiary. Dorchester is also home to the world's largest sandpiper. The Bell Inn Restaurant, one of New Brunswick's oldest surviving stone buildings, built between 1811 and 1821, is featured in the book of Where To Eat In Canada. The Dorchester Jail was the location of the last double hanging in New Brunswick in September 1936.