When New Brunswick became a Province in the
year 1773, immigrants came from different countries. England encourage
immigration from England, Scotland and Ireland, by offering grants of land and
small sums of money. Large numbers of Irish sons and daughters became enthused
and left the homelands to seek homes in this new world.
have been the peaceful waters of the Nerepis, or rhe beautiful sunset on
the faraway hills that lured these brave people to blaze a trail through
the woods along the Nerepis. Such names as Hogan, Malone, Breen, Kelly,
Garrity and Hurley drew lots of land, side by side in the wilderness. For
a time, they walked to Saint John for their needs. Later they cut a trail
for ox-teams, which were often left at the mouth of the Nerepis, and a
row-boat taken to Saint John for their meager supplies.
In 1830, the Government built
a road to Fredericton, and this being the widest road in the Province,
was named the Broad Road. A large house, called Government House, was built
on a bluff overlooking what was later known as Queens Brook. This, known
as Halfway House, was a stopping place for the first stage coach in 1876
between the two town, Saint John and Fredericton.
The Irish village had grown
to the extent that a church was built in 1837; serviced by a priest from
Fredericton, After the famine in Ireland in 1847, other immigmts came to
New Brunswick's shores, with the names Brophy, O'Neill, Finnigm, O'Donnell,
McCarthy, Barry, Muldoon, Kelly, Connors, etc. So great was the increase
population that the Bishop of Sant John created this settlement into a
parish in 1860, giving it the name of Petersville.
A few yards from this church,
a larger one was built in 1863. Rev. Luke O'Regan was the first priest.
He lived only six years and was succeeded by Father Farrell who laboured
there for many years. This church, unfortunately was blown down by the
Saxby Gale in 1869 - 1 temporary one was built in 1885 and stood overlooking
large fields, a landmark until destroyed by fire in 1933.
Going back to the stage coach
days, in 1856, Roderick 0"Donnell took over Government House as a home.
It was still a stop for the stage as the stage carried the mail and a Port
Office was oppened there. Many weary travellers were given the hospitality
of a true Irish home.
Soldiers travelling through
on Snowshoes, (possibly the 62nd battalion), rested there, sleeping in
the third story with a sentry standing guard. In Later years fairs were
held there, bringing the people together socially as well as in later years
exhiniting their stock and produce. In fact, down through the years it
was looked upon as an open house.
About six miles further another
hotel opened, known as Malone's Hotel. The stage left mail their also,
and released and took on passengers.