Discover Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick: A Blend of History, Industry, and Festivities
The Historical Journey of Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick
Saint-Quentin, a town nestled in the Restigouche region of the Appalachian Mountains in northern New Brunswick, Canada, has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. The town's establishment is closely tied to the construction of the Restigouche and Western Railway Company's railway line in 1897, which connected Campbellton and St-Léonard, two towns in northwestern New Brunswick.
In 1909, Simon Gallant, an Acadian blacksmith, settled his family near Five Fingers, marking the beginning of the town's population. Around the same time, authorities were concerned about the emigration of Québec families to the United States and Western Canada. To counter this, Msgr. Joseph Arthur Melanson, a prominent settler and missionary in Saint-Quentin Parish, initiated a large colonization program. He encouraged Acadien and Québécois families to settle along the newly built train line in the fertile Restigouche region.
The village of Anderson Siding, later renamed Saint-Quentin in 1919, was officially founded in 1910. The town's name commemorates the Canadian victory in the French town of Saint-Quentin during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. Over the years, Saint-Quentin has grown and developed, becoming a district in 1947, a village in 1966, and a town in 1992.
Demographics of Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick
As of the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Saint-Quentin had a population of 2,141, a slight decrease from its 2016 population of 2,194. The town, with a land area of 4.24 km2, had a population density of 505.0/km2 in 2021. The majority of the population speaks French, reflecting the town's Acadian and Québécois roots.
Industry in Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick
Saint-Quentin's economy is primarily driven by the logging industry, with two sawmills, Groupe Savoie and North American Forest Products, being the town's largest employers. Agriculture also plays a significant role in the local economy, with livestock, potatoes, grain, and hay being the main products. The town is also known for its maple syrup production, with over 35 commercial maple plantations and 25 traditional sugar shacks in the area.
Tourism and Festivals in Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick
Saint-Quentin is not just about history and industry; it's also a place of celebration and fun. Since 1984, the town has hosted the Festival Western, the largest Western-themed festival in New Brunswick. The festival includes a rodeo, a parade, fireworks, children's activities, and the "Pow-Pow", a flea market and gathering of local musicians and performers.
The town also hosts the Festival de l'Érable (Maple Festival) each spring, which includes tours of maple sugarbushes, shacks, and refineries, as well as a market selling maple products. In addition, a Winter Carnival is held in February, featuring winter-themed activities.
Exploring Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick: The Old Railway Station and Other Activities
The old railway station, reconstructed in its original location in 2005, now serves as a tourist centre, the offices of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Festival Western. The former train tracks have been transformed into a trail for walking, bicycling, and riding all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. Golfing at the local golf course and riding ATVs and snowmobiles are also popular activities in Saint-Quentin.