Nackawic, New Brunswick Canada

Discover Nackawic, New Brunswick: A Blend of History and Modernity

Nestled on the east bank of the Saint John River, approximately 65 km west of the city of Fredericton, lies the former town of Nackawic, New Brunswick. Known for its rich history and vibrant community, Nackawic, derived from the Malecite Nelgwaweegek, meaning "straight stream," is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

The Historical Journey of Nackawic, New Brunswick

The history of Nackawic dates back to 1784 when the area was first settled by the United Empire Loyalists. These settlers were primarily families of soldiers who had fought with His Majesty's Regiment of Queen's Rangers during the American Revolutionary War.

Originally known as Otis, the development of the town began in the late 1960s. The town was built to accommodate those displaced by the construction of the Mactaquac Dam. The pulp mill, which provided employment opportunities for these displaced persons, was constructed between 1967 and 1970.

Nackawic was officially incorporated as a town in 1976. However, on 1 January 2023, Nackawic amalgamated with the village of Millville and parts of four local service districts to form the new incorporated rural community of Nackawic-Millville. Despite the amalgamation, the community's name remains in official use.

The Pulp Mill Saga of Nackawic, New Brunswick

The town's largest employer, from 1970 until September 14, 2004, was St. Anne Nackawic Pulp Company Ltd., founded by Karl F. Landegger. The mill, which manufactured high-quality, photographic grade kraft pulp, was a significant contributor to the local economy.

However, the mill faced numerous challenges, including increasing energy, material, and labor costs, new competition from overseas mills, and the rapid increase in the value of the Canadian dollar. The rise in the use of digital cameras and the resulting decline in the use of photographic paper also reduced the demand for the mill's product.

The mill closed on September 14, 2004, and its owners declared bankruptcy the following day, putting 406 people out of work. The mill's closure had a significant impact on the local economy and the lives of its employees.

Despite these challenges, the mill reopened on January 16, 2006, under the AV Nackawic banner, following a partnership between Tembec and the Aditya Birla Group of India. Today, the mill is operating splendidly, with the new owners making a significant capital investment at the Nackawic facility.

The 2014 Municipal Building Fire in Nackawic, New Brunswick

On July 21, 2014, a man drove his pickup truck into the municipal building, which housed the town hall and the fire hall. The man was arrested by the RCMP. The incident caused significant damage to the departments' trucks, estimated to be $1.5 million.

Demographics of Nackawic, New Brunswick

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Nackawic had a population of 962 living in 428 of its 451 total private dwellings, a change of 2.2% from its 2016 population of 941. The town has a diverse population, with 80.0% English only, 0.5% bilingual (English & French), 19.0% French only, and 0.5% other language users.

Attractions in Nackawic, New Brunswick

Nackawic is home to the World's Largest Axe, a testament to the town's rich history and its connection to the pulp and paper industry. This unique attraction is a must-see for anyone visiting Nackawic, New Brunswick.