Preserving history since 1874
While started informally in 1874, the New Brunswick Historical Society started its formal existence on April 6, 1882, when the Legislature passed a statute constituting the Society “for the purpose of promoting Historical and Scientific research and collecting, preserving and publishing all Historical and other facts and discoveries relating to the History of this Province or elsewhere”. It was the first such society dedicated to the history of the Province.
On September 29th, 1874, a meeting was held at the Mechanics’ Institute in Saint John for the purpose of forming a Historical Society for the Province of New Brunswick. The society would collect documents relating to the early history of the province from the settlement by the French and those from Massachusetts and preserve them, as well as publishing collections. Unfortunately, the society had barely started when the Great Saint John Fire of 1877 took most of the original records, with the exception of some books in the possession of the society’s president, Joseph W. Lawrence. In 1883, the centennial of the province occurred which caused a renewed interest to be taken in the society with many new members joining and older ones taking a more active part. Meetings were held, musical performances were given for the purposes of raising funds to plant trees in the public squares and to rejuvenate the tombstones in the old burial ground while copying their inscriptions.
Over the past century and a half, the Society has continued to evolve but remains dedicated to the goals set for it in 1882.
Today, the Society has three main focuses:
- Operating Loyalist House, a 19th century House museum in the heart of Saint John, New Brunswick;
- Holding a speakers’ series to deliver presentations on historical topics to the general public; and
- The publication of historical research or other news of interest to those with an interest in history.
President: Kathy Wilson
Treasurer: Greg Marquis
Emma Mae Weisseneder
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