Base Gagetown Community

History Association Newsletter



ISSUE 9 WINTER 2002                              tc \l1 "ISSUE 9 WINTER 2002                              P O  BOX 3351,  STA B, FREDERICTON NB E3A 5H1



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

Inez G. Pevlin

Gerald J. Murphy


Our condolences to all the families.


You will find a membership application form, which can be used for renewal as well as new memberships.  The mailing label on your envelope will show your membership status above your name.  The first two digits are for the year, for example, 00 for 2000, and the last two digits are for membership type -- 10 for single and 20 for family.  If there is a middle digit, it would be the month of renewal.  The association depends on membership revenue to finance our general expenses and would encourage those who have not renewed recently and non-members to use the attached membership form.


Also, we are getting down to the wire and if you have not already done so, please forward addresses of people you think would be interested in receiving general information on the 2003 activities.



We are looking for people who have computers and are willing to volunteer their time for data input as well.


Our next meeting will be held at the WI Hall in Jemseg on March 16th with a storm date for March 23rd beginning at 2:00 PM.


A Remembrance Day service was held at the New Jerusalem Cenotaph on November 11th.  A reception follows the service hosted by CFB Gagetown.  There was a business meeting for BGCHA 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.  There were attendees from the Queens County Fair Association, Base Gagetown, the Provincial Archives, Gagetown Chamber of Commerce, the Queens County Museum & Historical Society, as well as Andy Scott, Member of Parliament.


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


As well, a general publication on all communities will be undertaken with the Queens County Historical Society & Museum.  A committee has been set up to work on this publication and anyone interested in participating, can contact David McKinney or myself,

Mary Queen for further information.


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

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.


We are looking into the possibility of producing a calendar with photos of the Base Gagetown communities in the coming year.  Therefore, if anyone has photos that could be used, we would love to have a copy.  You can send them to our P.O. Box or bring them to a meeting.


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.




At the executive meeting held in Queenstown last November, the committee presented a proposal to erect a granite monument at the Queens County Courthouse in Gagetown.  This would be to remember the people and the area expropriated for the establishment of Camp Gagetown in 1953.

At this meeting, a suggestion was made to look into another possible structure and this has

been done.  The following proposals will be submitted and discussed at the next executive meeting being held on March 25th.




This monument would be obtained from Nelson Monuments of Sussex, New Brunswick and the granite stone would be obtained from the Hampstead area, which is, of course,                                  

Text Box:


The monument would consist of one large stone measuring 7 to 8 feet long by 4 feet high and 2 feet thick.  It would have a map of the area engraved in the center showing existing communities and roads at the time of expropriation.


The cost estimate for the monument, concrete base, site preparation, moving and the set up would be approximately $11,000.00.



Cost estimates –


Monument (Hampstead granite)            - $ 7,000.00

Concrete Base                                        -       2,000.00

Site preparation                             -    1,500.00

Moving & Setup                             -       500.00


Total                                            - $11,000.00



Financing of the project would be accomplished through the sale of engraved bricks that would create a walkway of sorts to the monument.  Doubts about the bricks were expressed with regard to durability.  In addition, unless the bricks were imbedded in concrete, they could easily be removed.  Cleaning the bricks on a regular basis would also be necessary.






This proposal involves the erection of a structure similar to those used by the Trans Canada Trails Foundation.  The photo is one that is located at the end of the old railroad bridge in Fredericton.


Text Box:

 This design is from Inlay Creations Inc of Haggersville, Ontario.  At the Fredericton site, there are three structures on a concrete slab with a roof.  We would require one structure measuring approximately 8 feet by 6 feet supported by two concrete pillars.  The face would consist of 9 separate panels measuring 30 inches by 21 inches by ˝ inch thick mounted on a concrete wall to hold them in place.


Rough cost estimates:


1 map panel                                                                                             - $   850.00

1 dedication panel                                                                             -      650.00

3 name panels (Each will hold 544 names                                                -   2,500.00

3 memorial panels (Each panel will hold 5 memorials in 3 inch squares -   2,000.00

1 corporate donation panel                                                                        -      600.00

Total cost of engraved panels                                                                    -$ 6,600.00


Estimated cost of concrete base, frame and pillars                                    -$ 8,300.00


Total Estimated Cost                                                           -$     15,000.00


Inlay Creations guarantee the panels for 10 years.  They are supposed to be UV stable and will not peel fade or blister.


It is not clear what the long-term durability is, and if major maintenance is required in say 20-30 years, this could create a problem.


Financing of the structure probably could be achieved by selling memorials, names and corporate donations.


It is not clear at this time whether the Queens County Historical Association would approve this structure.




Another option would be to only erect the stone as per Proposal 1 without the walkway.  This could be done through donations only.  The stone would have the map of the area along with a dedication.


The Monument Committee will be looking at other possibilities and may have more information for the spring meeting.  If any of the readers have helpful ideas or suggestions, please write to Bill Brittain, 1649 Main Street, Hampton, N.B. E5N 6H2 or telephone at

(506) 832-3914.                      




tc \l2 "ARMSTRONGS CORNER HALLSubmitted 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.