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Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
1873



ST. JOHN, a city and seaport of New Brunswick, the commercial metropolis of the province, and capital of the co. of St. John, is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a river of its own name, on a rocky peninsula projecting into the harbor, 190 miles N.W. of Halifax, via Annapolis, or 276 miles, via Intercolonial railway, and 761 miles S.E. of Montreal. Lat. 45° 14 6' N., lon. 66° 3' 30' W. (Partridge Island light.)

The city is regularly laid out and well built It stands on a declivity, and when approach d from the sea has an imposing appearance. The whole of the elevated portion of the city consists of solid rock, which, for the purpose of forming tolerable streets, has had in some places to be excavated to a depth of 30 and 40 feet.

The buildings are chiefly of brick and Stone, and many of the public edifices have an elegant appearance. The principal ones are St. Mary's Cathedral, (R.C.,) Lunatic Asylum, City Hospital, Court House and Gaol, Marine Hospital, Penitentiary, Alms House, Male Orphan Asylum, Academy of Music, Dramatic Lyceum, Mechanics' Institute, Skating Rink, and the Barracks.

There are 34 places of worship in St. John, viz: Church of England 8; Roman Catholic 3; Presbyterian 7; Wesleyan Methodist6; Bapust9; Congregational 1.

The educational institutions comprise a grammar school, a Madras school, and a number of public and private schools.

St. John has a number of religious and charitable societies, a public library, 2 banks and 2 branch banks, 1 savings bank, an efficient fire brigade, fire alarm telegraph, 4 daily and several weekly newspapers, and a number of first class hotels.

The thriving suburb of Carleton, on the opposite side of the harbor, is included within the city corporation.

The harbor of St. John is capacious, safe and never obstructed by ice. Its entrance, about 2 miles S. of the city, is protected by Partridge Island, on which are a quarantine hospital and a lighthouse, the lantern 166 feet above the level of the sea. The passage W. of the island has in it 10 feet of water, that to the E. 16 feet, and abreast of the city there are from 8 to 22 fathoms; both sides of the entrance are com-posed of sharp rocks, which become dry at low water. About J of a mile N. off a lighthouse is a vertical beacon, fixed on the edge of a rocky ledge which forms the W. side of the channel and has deep water close to it. On the E. side of the channel, below the town, a breakwater has been constructed to intercept the violence of the waves, occasioned by southerly gales. The entrance of the River St. John into the harbor, about ¾ miles above the city, is through a rocky gorge, 90 yards wide and 400 yards long, occasioning very remarkable falls. The ordinary rise of the tide in the harbor is 21 feet; at the vernal equinox it rises 25 feet. At low water, the waters of the river are about 12 feet higher than those of the harbor, at high water the waters of the harbor are 5 feet higher than those of the river, hence the phenomena of a fall outwards and inwards at every tide. Above the falls the tide seldom rises more than 4 fret. When the waters of the harbor and river are on a level vessels can pass the falls, and this can be effected only during a period of 15 or 20 minutes au each ebb and flow of the tide At times of great freshets, occasioned by the sudden melting of the snow, the tides do not rise to the level of the river, and consequently it is not possible for vessels to ascend the fall. The depth of the fall is about 17 feet. Spanning the rocky gorge, about 100 feet above low water, is a magnificent suspension bridge 640 feet in length. Number of dwellings in St. John in 1872, 3,479.

St. John is the entrepot of a wide extent of country, abounding in agricultural resources, minerals and valuable timber. Is admirable situation at the mouth of one of the largest rivers in North America, with a harbor open all the year round, with regular steam communication with all the main ports of Nova Scotia, and the northern por-tion of the United States, with first class railways running from it in every direction, with extensive maritime and manufacturing interests, ensures the certainty of its becoming a city of the greatest commercial importance.

St. John has manufactories of iron castings, steam engines, machinery, edge tools, nails, cotton and woolen goods, boots and shoes, leather, wooden ware, soap and candles, carriages, locomotives, agricultural implements, lumber, paper, sugar boxes, &c. Its most important branch of industry, however, is shipbuilding. The number of vessels built in 1872 was 74 (tons 28,914).

The number of arrivals at St. John in 1872 was 1,562 (tons 420,800). and the clearances 1,527 (tons 456,967 ) Total value of imports $57,534,099; export; $3,650,181; viz., products of the forest $2,007,831; of the fisheries $138,843; of the mines $27,182; animals and their products $75,544; agricultural products $21,235; and manufactures $536,672, of which sugar boxes represent $508,753.

Between 600 and 900 men are yearly engaged in the fisheries in the harbor of St. John. Salmon, shad, herrings, alewives, halibut and haddock are taken in large quantities.

The streets of St. John are lighted with gas, and the city is well supplied with water from a lake 4 miles in rear of the city.

The railway system of New Brunswick centers at St. John. The great Intercolonial connects the City with Nova Scotia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the European and North American railway (consolidated) connects it with the United States. The head offices of the former are at Moncton and of the latter at Bangor, Me.

Although settlements have been made in Acadia for many years no mention is made of St. John until 1604 when the French explorer, Champlain, pilot of an expedition commanded by M. de Monts, after coasting along the shores of Nova Scotia, crossed the Bay of Fundy, a id discovered the magnificent river, which he named St. John. At that time it was called by the Aborigines, Ouangondy. No settlement was made until 1635, when a French nobleman named Charles St. Etienne, Lord of Latour, commenced the erection of a pallisade fort opposite Navy Island, in the harbor of St. John. De la Latour, having been appointed Lieutenant General, lived here for a long time with a large number of retainers and soldiers, and traded in furs with the Indians. But, having fallen into disfavor with the French King, was ordered to surrender his fort and commission; this he refused to do, and an expedition under the command of one D'Aulnay Charnisay, was sent out in 1643 to eject him. D'Aulnay blockaded the fort, but Latour, having got assistance of men and ships from Governor Winthrop, of Boston, drove his fleet back to Port Royal (now Annapolis, N.S.), where a number of his vessels were driven ashore and destroyed. Again, in 1645, D'Aulnay attacked the fort, and Latour, being absent with a number of his men, his lady took command, and defended it with so much skill and perseverance that the fleet was compelled to withdraw. Having received reinforcements, D'Aulnay shortly afterwards returned, and again attacked the fort by land. After three days spent in several unsuccessful attacks, a Swiss sentry, who had been bribed, betrayed the garrison, and allowed the enemies to scale the walls. Madame Latour personally headed her little band of fifty men, and heroically attacked the invaders; but seeing how hopeless was success, she consented to terms of peace, afforded by D'Aulnay, if she would surrender the fort. He, immediately upon getting possession, disregarded all the conditions agreed to, hung the whole garrison, and compelled this noble woman, with a rope around her neck, to witness the execution; she, a few days afterwards, died of a broken heart. In 1650, Latour re-turned to St. John, and received from the widow of D'Aulnay ,who had died in the meantime, the possession of his old fort. In 1653 they were married, and he once more held peaceable control of his former lands as well as those of his deceased rival. In 1654 an expedition was sent by Oliver Cromwell from England, which captured Acadia from the French, and Latour was once more deprived of his property and possession. In 1657, Acadia was ceded to France by the treaty of Breda, but no settlement of importance was made until the year 1749, when a fort was built at the mouth of the Nerepis river, about 10 miles from the city of St. John. In 1745, the French were again driven out by the English; and in 1758, a garrison was established at St. John, under the command of Colonel Moncton. In 1764, the first English settlers came to New Brunswick, but no permanent settlement was made until 1783, whe i the Royalists arrived and founded the present city of St. John. It was created a town by Royal Charter in 1785.

St. John (city and county) returns 3 members to the House of Commons and 6 to the Provincial Legislature. Pop. of city in 1861, 27,317; in 1871, 28,805.

Lovell's gazetteer of British North America; J. Lovell; Montreal, 1873

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Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada