Sackville, New Brunswick Canada

Discover Sackville, New Brunswick: A Blend of History and Tourism

Sackville, New Brunswick, a former town in southeastern Canada, is a treasure trove of history and culture. Once a town until 2023, it is now part of the larger town of Tantramar. Sackville is home to Mount Allison University, Canada's top undergraduate liberal arts university. The economy, once reliant on agriculture, shipbuilding, and manufacturing, is now driven by the university and tourism.

The Rich History of Sackville, New Brunswick

Pre-European History of Sackville, New Brunswick

Sackville is located in the Mi’kmaq district of Siknikt, which roughly comprised Cumberland, Westmorland, and part of Albert counties. The Mi’kmaq settlement, Goesomaligeg, was on Fort Beausejour Ridge and Tatamalg or Tantama, on the Sackville Ridge. Many regional toponyms are Mi’kmaq including Tidnish, Minudie, Missaguash River, Aboushagan Road, Midgic, Memramcook, and Shemogue.

Sackville, New Brunswick during the French Colony (1670s-1755)

The first Acadians arrived in Sackville in the early 1670s, expanding from their base at Port Royal. The Acadians built a system of dykes and sluices that allowed them to cultivate the marshes. The settlements were connected by trails and separated by marsh, with a seaport at Westcock providing a link to Port Royal.

British Conquest and Resettlement in Sackville, New Brunswick

The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 ceded Acadia to England, leading to ongoing skirmishes until the French were defeated at the Battle of Beausejour in 1755. This marked the beginning of the expulsion of the Acadians. The British repopulated the colony with the New England Planters, who were invited and encouraged with land grants.

Industrialization and Shipbuilding in Sackville, New Brunswick

By the 1830s, tanneries, leather goods factories, carriage factories, and blacksmith shops were active around Morice Mill Pond. The development of shipyards on the Tantramar River followed the establishment of Mount Allison University in 1839. Shipbuilding and coastal trading thrived between 1824 and 1872.

The Railway Era in Sackville, New Brunswick

The Intercolonial Railway project in 1872 changed the Sackville area forever. The railway resulted in the commercial and business centre of Sackville being relocated from the mill district at Silver Lake to the current town centre, closer to the railway line.

Recent History of Sackville, New Brunswick

On 1 January 2023, Sackville amalgamated with the village of Dorchester and parts of three local service districts to form the new town of Tantramar. In November of 2022, Sackville received the accreditation of being named an international wetland city under the Ramsar Convention, the first in North America.

Geography of Sackville, New Brunswick

Sackville is on the Isthmus of Chignecto, which connects the Nova Scotia peninsula with North America. It is on the Tantramar River, which empties into Chignecto Bay, a sub-basin of the Bay of Fundy. Sackville is surrounded by the Tantramar Marshes, an important stopover for migrating birds.

Infrastructure in Sackville, New Brunswick

The earliest post road followed the route of the present day High Marsh Road. The Trans-Canada Highway ran straight through the town until a bypass was built in 1962. CN Rail's mainline between Halifax and Montreal runs through Sackville, parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway.

Demographics of Sackville, New Brunswick

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Sackville had a population of 6,099 living in 2,689 of its 3,047 total private dwellings, a change of 14.4% from its 2016 population of 5,331.

Arts and Culture in Sackville, New Brunswick

Sackville is home to the oldest university art gallery in Canada, the Owens Art Gallery. Live Bait Theatre provides theatre and other live performances. The Sackville Arts Wall celebrates the achievements of Sackville artists who have made significant contributions to the fields of Literary Arts, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts.

Landmarks in Sackville, New Brunswick

Sackville boasts a 50m-long covered bridge, built in 1916, which spans the Tantramar River on the High Marsh Road. Other landmarks include the Georgian house Cranewood, the Swan Pond, Campbell Carriage Factory, Captain George Anderson House, and The Cube, the tallest building in Sackville.

Sackville Public Library, New Brunswick

Sackville opened a public library in 1984 which has since been accessible to the entire town of Tantramar. The library is a part of the system of New Brunswick Public Libraries.

Selected Bibliography on Sackville, New Brunswick

For those interested in delving deeper into the history of Sackville, New Brunswick, books such as "At The Crossroads: A History of Sackville, New Brunswick" by William B. Hamilton and "The Struggle for Sackville: The British Resettlement of Chignecto 1755-1770" by Amy Fox & Paul Bogaard are recommended.