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This Week in New Brunswick History!

January 15, 1757Charles Deschamps de Boishébert arrives on the Miramichi River, where he establishes a refugee camp for Acadians fleeing the Deportation.
January 16, 1865Joseph Cunard, Miramichi shipbuilder and one of the founding brothers of the Cunard steamship line, dies in Liverpool (England).
January 5, 1911The Miramichi Fish and Game Club hold its dinner meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
February 20, 1863Twenty-two-year-old Timothy Hegarty, of Miramichi, is promoted to Sergeant of the 6th Battery, Maine Light Artillery, in the American Civil War.
February 28, 1825Scholar and doctor, Joseph Gueguen (Goguen) dies in Cocagne. Having endured the Deportation as a refugee on the Miramichi, Gueguen became one of the founding settlers of Cocagne.
April 27, 1858Michael Whelan (the “Poet of the Renous”) is born in Renous to Irish immigrant parents. At the age of 20, he takes up writing and becomes a well known folk poet all along the Miramichi.
April 28, 1783William Davidson of the Miramichi is elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to represent Sunbury County (all of New Brunswick).
April 3, 1852The death of Alexander Rankin marks the end of the era of the great lumber baron duels on the Miramichi. Rankin and his rival from the south bank, Joseph Cunard, fought for control of the thriving timber industry in the area.
May 10, 1937Michael Whelan, the “Poet of the Renous”, dies in Chatham. A well known folk poet who extolled the beauties of the Miramichi, Whelan dies in poverty and is buried in a pauper’s grave.
May 22, 1820The Executive Council authorizes £125 for a mail courier between Fredericton and the Miramichi and an additional £50 for the courier from Miramichi to Nepisiguit (Bathurst).
May 22, 1958The Honourable Joseph Leonard O’Brien, of Nelson (Miramichi), is appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.
June 11, 1843Father William Dollard, of Fredericton, is consecrated the first Bishop of New Brunswick. Born in Ballytarina (Ireland), Dollard came to the mission on the Miramichi in 1823 and was later appointed to Fredericton in 1836.
June 17, 1790William Davidson, shipbuilder, lumber baron, and founder of the first English-speaking settlement on the Miramichi, dies and is buried within sight of Beaubear's Island.
June 19, 1959The worst storm disaster ever to hit the Gulf of St. Lawrence occurs off the coast of Escuminac on Miramichi Bay. The unexpected storm strikes with sudden severity, creating 60 ft waves, and claiming the lives of 35 salmon fishermen from the region.
June 22, 1847The “Miramichi Gleaner” reports 350 people quarantined on Middle Island near Chatham, suffering from typhus.
June 25, 1761Mi’kmaq of Shediac, Pokemouche and Miramichi agree to the 1760 Treaty of Peace and Friendship, as a renewal of the agreements of 1725 and 1749 – re-affirming Mi’kmaq hunting and fishing rights.
June 3, 1847The Irish immigrant ship “Looshtauk” reaches Middle Island, on the Miramichi, with all but two of its passengers sick with typhus. Having departed Liverpool with 467 passengers bound for Quebec, 146 died while crossing the Atlantic.
July 17, 1843Miramichi's "fighting election" occurs as clashes between the Joseph Cunard and Alexander Rankin factions break out around polling stations. Troops are sent to maintain order after one person dies and others claim their lives had been threatened.
July 19, 1844New Brunswick's first lazaretto opens on Sheldrake Island in Miramichi Bay. With little support, the leper colony is a failure, and discontent becomes widespread. The facility is closed in 1849 and residents are moved to new accommodations at Tracadie.
July 2, 1534After exploring the coast of Kouchibouguac, Jacques Cartier discovers a “baye en triangle” (Miramichi Bay) and proceeds onward, passing the night in the lee of Miscou Island.
August 29, 1758General James Wolfe departs Louisbourg to destroy Acadian fishing camps and settlements along the Northumberland Strait, from Miramichi north into the Gaspé region.
September 12, 200014 Burnt Church and Miramichi Bay Mi’kmaq lobster fishers are arrested and their boats seized for fishing out of season, despite a Supreme Court of Canada ruling giving Mi’kmaq unrestricted fishing rights.
September 19, 1825The Great Miramichi Fire begins - the largest fire ever recorded in the Maritimes. One fifth of New Brunswick, or about 9,656 square kms, burns - from the Northwest Miramichi to the outskirts of Fredericton.
September 3, 1958The first Miramichi Folksong Festival takes place in Newcastle. Founded by Louise Manny, the Festival continues to be the longest running festival of its kind in Canada.
October 30, 1827An earthquake occurs in the Miramichi region.
October 31, 1765William Davidson and John Cort, founders of the first British settlement on the Miramichi, receive a 100,000 acre township grant that includes large sections of both sides of the Miramichi River.
October 7, 1825End of the Great Miramichi Fire - 15,000 persons are left homeless throughout central New Brunswick. Newcastle, Douglastown, Moorfield, Bartibog, Nappan, Black River, Oromocto River and surrounding areas are almost totally destroyed.
November 10, 1847Panic breaks out in Chatham and throughout the Miramichi as Joseph Cunard declares bankruptcy, throwing hundreds of men out of work.
November 3, 1991Allan Legere is convicted of four counts of first-degree murder in the torture and beating deaths of three women and a priest, during a reign of terror on the Miramichi, after his 1989 jail break.
November 30, 1812Alexander Rankin and James Gilmour arrive on the Miramichi aboard the brig “Mary”, from Glasgow (Scotland). At Gretna Green (Douglastown), they establish the firm of Gilmour, Rankin & Co., becoming one of the largest timber-exporters in the region.

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Heritage Branch, Wellness, Culture & Sport
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