Moncton, NB, incorporated as a city in 1890, population 71 889 (2016c), 69 074 (2011c), 64 128 (2006c), is the largest city in New Brunswick. The City of Moncton is situated in eastern New Brunswick on a bend of the Petitcodiac River. The Greater Moncton region (pop 126 424 [2006c]), area 2177.23 km2) includes the rapidly growing city of Dieppe and the town of Riverview. The city's first settlers were Acadians who settled at what they called Le Coude, or "the elbow." These Acadian settlers were rounded up for deportation in 1755. In 1766 settlers of German origin arrived from Pennsylvania and called their community The Bend. The modern name, first used in the 1860s, honours Robert Monckton, a British commander who was lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia during the time of the deportations. Today, almost one-third of the population claims French as a mother tongue; the remainder is English speaking.
Moncton's early prosperity was intimately linked to shipbuilding. The turning point in its economic history was the establishment of a shipyard by George and Joseph Salter in 1849. By 1850 the shipping trade had become important enough that Moncton was made a port of entry. The town was incorporated in 1855 with Joseph Salter as its first mayor, and that same year the first bank, the Westmorland Bank, was established. The decline of wooden ships wreaked disaster on Moncton. The bank collapsed and Moncton lost its status as an incorporated town in 1862. The beginnings of a new era, however, came with the railway, especially in the post-Confederation period when Moncton became the headquarters of the shops for the Intercolonial Railway (1871) and a booming railway centre. This development led to reincorporation as a town in 1875.
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