. A Brief Introduction to the Village of McAdam and Neighbours
These notes will be expanded in other sections as time and material permits
McAdam [Village] is 40 miles SW of Fredericton. (The following is an expanded version of the information found in Fellows, Robert F. COMMUNITY PLACE NAMES IN NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA. It has been rearranged to follow the date sequence, and words added to make proper sentences. The hyper links will take you to and expanded version of historical interest.)
It was called City Camp about 1850 for large number of lumber camps: and in 1869 McAdam was a station on the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway.
It was known by the Post Office name of McAdam Junction from 1870 to 1940 which in 1898 was a port of entry, a junction on the Canadian Pacific Railway and a village with 4 stores, 2 hotels, 1 church and a population of 550:
The Post Office became know as merely McAdam from 1940 onward, and was incorporated as a village in 1966.
The Post Office of St. Croix (1870-1957) was 5 miles west of village centre, and in 1898 was just a siding on the Canadian Pacific Railway and a farming settlement with 1 store, 1 church and a population of 100:
Not a great deal is known about the time period when it was know as City Camp. It is probable that not too many inhabitants of its earliest days were interested in recording its history. These days seem to have been populated with lumbermen, whose daily concern was with hard work to make a living, and what free time was available seems to have been used for other pursuits. It is also probable that many of its earliest citizens, like most working class of the world in that day, could not read or write.McAdam Junction
It is believed it derived that name because of the many lumbering camps in the vicinity. It being the supplier of necessities, and I can well imagine with what humor the men spoke of it as the "City."
In an Essay Written in 1934 by Miss Ella C. Boone (see below) she writes: "There was also a logging camp known as City Camp built by Thomas Newcomb, located where the Orange Hall is at present." This differs from the version put forth, that it was the lumber camps of John McAdam, who started the area.
I have searched the Hutchison's Directory for 1865-1866, and can find no listings for this area under any name. It is possible that the following pattern of development took place.
The recorders for Hutchison's Directory may not even have known there were people in residence between the areas of Harvey or Canterbury and the US border, if indeed there were. Lumber camps in the earlier times were run on a part yearly bases. Men went "into the woods" at a given time of year - usually fall, and came out again at a given time - usually spring after the log drives. So there may never have been a year round settlement before the rail lines came through the area.
Men often traveled a long way to join these camps, most often family men, to earn some ready cash to aid in building up their farms at home. They were a long way from home, living and working conditions were rough, and there was little to occupy their "free time." At time there were also men there whose only aim was to live from day to day, with no clear aim in life. This group of men would work hard, drink hard, and generally give camps a bad name. (See here**)
Gradually things gave way to a more permanent form of residents, families came with the men, and a community was born that compared with most industrial based communities in the world of its day. Schools, churches, and other amenities were established to make City Camp into a family based community, and the old lumber camp image faded away.
Thus could have been born "The City of Camps" or Camp City.
"When Odbur Stannix came to McAdam, then known as City Camp, (as told by his daughter, Mrs. Vera Fisher) there were only a few log houses and one store kept by Jimmy Haddock who stocked everything a settler would need from a needle to a plough.
When one needed an article not in stock on Jimmy's shelves, he just hopped on a section hand car and pumped his way over to Vanceboro, which was a much larger Village at that time." (p.18)At this point it is only conjecture as to how and why City Camp became McAdam Junction. The question is probably correctly answered in Ganong's MONOGRAPHS ON N.B. #1-7 1895-1906 It was not uncommon for places to receive their names in this way.McAdam
The why, was probably just as simple. As mentioned above, City Camp in its earliest days was probably a rather a "rough" area, and as families moved in there was a growing conversion to a family oriented community. In an effort to get rid of the image of its past, the citizens probably decided, either consciously or unconsciously, to get rid of the old name, and use one with more respectability. Looking back in history, from today's perspective, we can give credit and honour to these pioneers of City Camp, as probably those in its nearer times could not.
On page 14 of The History of McAdam we find an item taken from CANADA DIRECTORY for 1871 - PROVINCE OF NEW BRUNSWICK found in the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB. It reads:The Junction of the "European and North America Railway" and "New Brunswick and Canada Railway" situated in the Parish of Prince William*, County of York. Connections are made here for Fredericton, Saint John, St. Andrews, Woodstock, Houlton, Maine; and when the European road is completed, to Mattawamkeag, all points in the United States, and Canada.
*(NOTE cbb: McAdam was in Pr. William Parish before the formation of McAdam Parish. The term Road means Railroad.)
The uncompleted section of the European and North American Road lying between St. Croix and Mattawamkeag, a distance of about 50 miles, is being rapidly pushed forward and expected to be open for traffic in the fall of 1871. This will give Saint John direct rail communications with the chief cities in the Dominion of Canada and the United States.
The proposed extension of the New Brunswick Railway to Riviere du Loup, if undertaken, will render this an important station. It will add much to the prosperity, not only to the two companies, but to the rich sections of the country through which it will pass.
Western Union Telegraph Company has an office here.
Distance from St. John, 82 miles; fare, $2.45
- from Fredericton, 60 miles; fare, $1.85
- from St. Andrews, 43 miles; fare, $1.25
- from St. Stephen, 35 miles; fare, $1.25
- from Woodstock, 51 miles;
- from Riviere du Loup, 231 miles;
- Mail - triweekly.
Population - about 400.
The rail line from Saint John to St. Croix was officially opened to travel, and the name still appeared as "City Camp", while in 1870 the post office, James Haddock as Post Master, its cancellation stamp reading, McAdam Junction. (p. 8 & 25)
McAdam Junction had grown by 1871, to the above mentioned 400, mostly railway workers and their families. The following is a summary from "Some Information Taken From an Essay Written in 1934 by Miss Ella C. Boone." found on pages 19 & 20, of the History of McAdam. (She refers back to a time period prior to 1890)
There were twenty-six dwelling houses, two stores run by Mr. Baskin and Mr. Bronell respectively, a small building with a room in front used for a Post Office. The rear section used for a meat shop was owned and occupied by the late James Green. A Cobbler Shop was run by John Lannon. These were all constructed in the immediate area, near the site of the present store of Lister and Embleton*. (Just across the railway track, about at the site of the tunnel built in 1935, backing onto what is now Rose or Highland Ave.)
Between the North and East Railroad tracks, about where the tunnel is now, was the Hotel called the "Junction House". About twenty feet from this building on the west end was the Station. Near this was the Telegraph Office.
Most men were employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway Co. with the exception of the Store Keepers, three Customs Officers, and a gentleman by the name of J. Sullivan.
The site of the old lumber camps was near where the residence of Thomas Clifford now stands. (*now Clifford St, McAdam)
There was also a logging camp known as City Camp built by Thomas Newcomb, located where the Orange Hall is at present.
A Hotel was built in 1904 called "City Camp."
The only school at this time was a small building, at present occupied by Mr. Trimble.
The old "Union" and "Catholic" were the only churches at this time. (p.19)
The next ten years were without much progress, then in 1900 the beautiful gray granite station was built, and traffic became heavier, and more workers moved into the village with their families.
She goes on to state that in the past few years the Harvey Road, which was a path through the wilderness, had been made into one of New Brunswick's main highways. So here we see that the railroad must have been their chief connection to other areas of NB, well into the beginning of the 1900's.
"McAdam was famous as a Village without a road. When a road was eventually being built through the woods to Vanceboro, there were few men available to work on it. (In 1885 p.18)
Mr. Stannix told him that the Railway Employees would work their day for the railroad and take lanterns and work for a time each night on the road.
The original road went by where the hospital now stands, through what is now the cemetery, and along by Steve DeWitt's farm. It followed along the edge of the hill to the Woodstock Crossing, then back around the swamp to St. Croix and crossed the river near Fraser Mason's home." (p.21)On December 16, 1941, the name "McAdam Junction" was changed to "McAdam" when the Cancellation Stamp at the Post Office which had read "McAdam Junction" for many years was changed to "McAdam." The alteration is the result of a resolution drafted by Rev. D.H. Maitland, pastor of the Baptist Church, and forwarded to Mr. E.R. Ingraham, District Postal Superintendent. He pointed out that the sign on the Post Office reads "McAdam" and that the Canadian Pacific Railway, Bank, Schools, and Churches do not use the word "Junction." (p.12)St. Croix
McAdam became an incorporated village in 1966, with a mayor and council.The book relates that St. Croix became a part of McAdam when McAdam was a township. (p.17)
It is a small village on the Canadian side of the Canada-US Border, about 6 miles from McAdam. It was established in 1868, and seems to have grown primarily from the fact that many of its population was employed in a Tannery just across the St. Croix River, in Vanceboro, Maine. In 1871 it was the terminus of the New Brunswick Division of the European and North American Railway, but soon the extension to Mattawamkeag was expected to be opened. The fare from McAdam (6 miles) was 18 cents, and from Saint John (88 miles) fare was $2.60. They had mail - triweekly.