Discover Plaster Rock, New Brunswick: A Blend of History and Tourism
The Historical Journey of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
Plaster Rock, a former village in Victoria County, New Brunswick, is now part of the village of Tobique Valley. The first settlers of Plaster Rock were Hezekiah Day and his two brothers, who arrived in 1881. The village was incorporated as the Village of Plaster Rock on November 9, 1966. The name "Plaster Rock" was given by Hezekiah Day, inspired by the hill on the other side of the Tobique River, which is made up of gypsum, or plaster.
The second settlers, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Ridgewell, arrived in 1882, followed by David Roulston and his family. The town, primarily English, is historically a logging and lumbering community. Known as the Gateway to Mount Carleton Provincial Park, Plaster Rock serves as the hub of business, commerce, banking, grocery shopping, and religious and sport gatherings for the surrounding hamlets and homes of the Tobique River region.
Plaster Rock, New Brunswick: A Community Hub
The Tobique River, which originates from Nictau Lake at Mt. Carleton Provincial Park, flows through the tiny communities of Nictau, Riley Brook, Oxbow, Plaster Rock, Arthurette, Red Rapids, and finally empties into the Saint John River above Perth-Andover. The Tobique First Nations Reserve is located where the Tobique and Saint John Rivers converge.
The town boasts six churches, including a Catholic Church, an Anglican Church, a Free-will Baptist Church, a United Baptist Church, a United Church of Canada, and a Pentecostal Church. The Pentecostal Church, with a congregation of approximately 400 members, also operates its own private school, the only other school in the village aside from the village's Public Junior and High Schools.
Celebrating Sports and Culture in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
Plaster Rock is renowned as the home of the World Pond Hockey Championships, an annual event held in February on Roulston Lake. The event attracts 120 teams from around the world. In 2016, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky attended the event, and Budweiser introduced its 20-metre goal-light as it began its journey across Canada, eventually reaching the North Pole.
In June, the village hosts "Fiddlers on The Tobique," a large event that attracts tourists and visitors from all over the world. The event features approximately 1300 canoes floating on the waters, accompanied by fiddlers playing Maritime music.
Plaster Rock, New Brunswick: A Modern Village
On 1 January 2023, Plaster Rock annexed all or part of three local service districts to form the new village of Tobique Valley. Despite the change, the community's name remains in official use. Plaster Rock receives a rebroadcasting signal of CIKX-FM, heard at the frequency of 88.3 MHz.
The 2014 Derailment Incident in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
On January 7, 2014, a significant incident occurred when 17 cars of a 122-car train derailed near Plaster Rock, causing a massive fireball. The petroleum products, originating from Western Canada, were destined for the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. Fortunately, no one was injured during the blaze, but about 150 people were evacuated.
Demographics of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Plaster Rock had a population of 1,002 living in 476 of its 515 total private dwellings, a change of -2.1% from its 2016 population of 1,023. With a land area of 3.01 km2 (1.16 sq mi), it had a population density of 332.9/km2 (862.2/sq mi) in 2021.