Base Gagetown Community History Association Newsletter


ISSUE 8 FALL 2001                                                                    


I would like to dedicate this newsletter to three members of the Armstrongs Corner committee who passed away this year.  They were active with the gathering of information and will be missed greatly.  They are Thomas Anderson, Vincent Laskey and Mildred Queen.  Mildred (Howe) Queen, my mother, was the reason I became involved with the Base Gagetown Community Association.


Others who passed away this past year from the area were:

Lowell Kennedy

Nellie (Smith) Kennedy

Agnes Teresa (McAloon) McCann

James Russell  McKinney

Ralph Patrick Murray


Our condolences to all the families.


A Rembrance Day service will be held at the New Jerusalem Cenotaph on November 11th.  A reception follows the service hosted by CFB Gagetown.   It was advised by CFB Gagetown personnel that only military members with proper ID card will be able to access the training area via Range Control at Oromocto.  All civilians must go through Hampstead, Blue Mountain or Petersville gates.  No picture ID card will be required at these three area gates.


There will be a business meeting for BGCHA in the afternoon at 1:30 pm at the Queenstown Community Hall with their community supper at 4PM sponsored by the LOBA Lodge.


An information meeting was held for various levels of government, businesses and all people interested in the 2003 reunion in Fredericton on October 10th to give an outline of the association’s goals.


The plan is to have the reunion at the Queens County Fair grounds in Gagetown.  There will be displays of memorabilia and information that has been collected on the history of the area. 


Publications will be made of community and family histories that is currently being collected and transcribed.  The decision was made each community committee would be responsible for publishing the information of their individual areas


The following is a tentative schedule for the 2003 program.


Friday, August 1st – PM Registration

                                 Some facilities open

Saturday                -  AM Registration

                                         Official Opening

                                          Possible unveiling of memorial monument

                               - PM   Registration

                                          All facilities open


Sunday                    -PM Ecumenical Church Service

                                        Gospel Concert

                                        Bus Tours of Base Gagetown area

Monday                   - Closing Ceremony

                                   Possible bus tours of Base Gagetown area



tc \l2 "UPDATE ON FUNDRAISINGOnce again, we had a very successful fundraiser holding a benefit jamboree in Sussex in May.


The draw of the tickets sold on the Alaska cruise was held at the jamboree.  The winner of the cruise was Carolyn Glenn and the $1,000.00 second price went to Chris Acker.


In August, we participated at the Sussex Flea Market.


In September, we had an information booth at the Queens County Fair held in Gagetown.  The booth attracted a great many people.  The old photos and other items from the Base Gagetown area interested many.


At this time, a special thanks to all volunteers who made the above activities possible and successful.  Without the help of these dedicated members, it would be impossible to achieve the level of success of the above efforts.


A committee has been set up to look into the possibility of having a memorial monument erected dedicated to the families that once lived in the Base Gagetown area communities.







Submitted by Sadie E. (Howe) McCracken

tc \l3 "Submitted by Sadie E. (Howe) McCracken

The Armstrongs Corner Hall was situated on a lot of land donated by William F. Woods, a part of lot number 25, originally granted to Robert McKim, and lot number 8, originally granted to William H Lyon, located in the parish of Petersville, County of Queens, N.B. Here, the Gagetown Road and the Back Road met, with Mitchells (Harry Lyon) Road meeting the Back Road a few yards away. The hall faced the Gagetown Road and Merritt Bridge, which crossed the Nerepis Stream


The hall was rectangular in shape with a gable roof and decorative architecture under the eaves. The front had a small vestibule with double panel doors and a round window. Above this was a tall narrow window and along the sides were several double sash windows. The walls were painted white with a blue-gray trim. The building was dedicated to be used for religious services of the Church of England, Presbyterian and Methodist (later United) Churches.

Inside the building it had hardwood flooring, and wainscoting and sheathing on the walls and ceiling. A wood burning cast iron stove provided heat when needed. There were long benches with turned dowels and arm rests plus hardwood chairs. At the front, the organ sat on the right side, a desk or table on the left, and on either side, a few steps led to the stage where a pulpit and upholstered chairs sat. On the back wall was a Memorial for two boys of the community who were killed in World War 1, namely William Smith and Kenneth Woods, as well as a plaque designating that a Temperance Group once met here. From the stage two doors opened to a back room. Brass oil lamps hung from the ceiling and along the side walls and stage were bracket oil lamps with reflectors.


Regular Church Services were held on Sunday at 3 p.m., with the ministers coming from Welsford. In the nineteen-thirties, the United Church minister was the Rev. Christopher Graham; the Church of England, the Rev. R.E.J. Brittain. Mrs. Audrey Francis and Mrs. Eva Hasson were the regular organists.

Sunday school was held before the church service. Mrs. Annic (Bill) Lyon was the superintendent about this time. Sometimes her daughter Ethel played the organ. Later, Mrs. Annie Mitchell, her daughter Eva, and son Everett, very devoted people, walked several miles each Sunday, whatever the weather, to hold Sunday school.



The hall was also used as a community hall where many activities were carried out.   To mention a few - there would be variety concerts of dialogues, recitations and songs. The young people had special gatherings. No dancing was allowed but with Audrey Francis at the organ, there could be lively games. Elections were always held there with voters coming from Welsford, Clones, Dunn's Corner, Olinville and the areas in between. Many came early in the morning by horse and wagon, staying all day until the polls closed, having meals at Max Charlton's or Perce Howe's. A day of crowds and excitement! The winners went home happy, the losers with sad faces.


On this property, at the left of the hall, was a large wagon shed, built of large timbers with archways in the front of several stalls, where the horses and wagons were kept during activities. The Armstrongs Corner School sat just above it,

A sad ending in 1953, the Armstrongs Corner Hall along with the farms and dwellings were taken over by the Camp Gagetown Training Area. I understand the money derived from the sale of the building was donated to the Protestant Orphanage in Saint John, N.B.