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History

Loggieville

loggiville house

By Doug Underhill

The village of Loggieville like most Miramichi communities has an interesting history. It was first known as Black Brook with the first store opening in the area sometime between 1809 and 1813 according to historian Dale MacRae. From that, the community continued to grow. James Fraser and Carlyle W. W. Stymiest in their history of the village titled Loggieville on the Miramichi (published in 1964) record that by then the village had grown to 850 people.

They describe Loggieville as "nestled close to the south side of the Miramichi River, thirteen miles below where the two branches unite." They note that the river is a mile wide with a depth of 60 feet at some places at Loggieville.

One of the first English speaking settlers was John Murdoch, a name that is still prominent today, especially with champion fiddler Matilda Murdoch.

By 1840 Loggieville was coming into its own. It had escaped the Great Miramichi Fire of 1825 and helped in the relief effort to other communities along the river. It saw its first school in 1832 and a lumbering operation in 1833, an industry that will be prominent in its development.

MacRae notes that "by 1835 two Williston brothers built the first major sawmill" and by "1849 Alexander Fraser purchased the mill. It was this man who was known as Gallopin Fraser due to his constant running back and forth between the mill and wharf on horseback to oversee the operations. This mill was destroyed by fire in 1855."

The mill was rebuilt the next year and then went through several owners throughout the years until close to the turn of the century.

In the 1870s the Loggie brothers began another industry that was closely involved with fishing. A&R Loggie who began a door to door. They then began to export fish products along with general merchandising. MacRae notes that "as their business grew so did the village."

They sent their products to Toronto, Montreal and Quebec and became well known across eastern Canada and New England. They eventually expanded their business to other communities such as Dalhousie Junction, Campbellton, Tracadie, Richibucto, Escuminac to name a few.

Because of their influence and the employment they created the village name of Black Brook was changed to "Loggieville" in 1895. The Loggies had a telephone connection to Chatham and even brought the railway to the village. This brought tourism and the construction of the Terminal Hotel in 1904.

James Fraser and Carlyle Stymiest quote a letter by Reverend W. W. Lodge who described Loggieville as follows:

"One of the most delightful places in Gods beautiful world to spend a summer holiday is to be found at Loggieville, at the mouth of the Miramichi River , the terminus of the Eastern Canadian Railway. There is no place like it for persons who for a few weeks or months wish to recruit their lost energy of body or mind, or who desire quiet, pleasure and enjoyment." He also noted that the Loggies ran "a can and box making factory" which canned berries and fish. For many years the "Eagle Brand" symbol was painted on a the side of one of the factories and was a hall mark of the community.

Gradually, the industries dropped off and Loggieville began a gradual decline. It still has its two churches, the St. Andrews Roman Catholic and the Knox United Church. The Knox United Church still stands after its corner stone was laid in September, 1903 and the church dedicated in May of 1904.

In the 1960s through the turn of the century, Loggieville was a hot bed for softball. The Loggieville Bisons and the "Dust Bowl" were known across Canada and as a team went to the NB Hall of Fame. There were many individual inductees as well.

On the female side, Wendy Dealy was selected the NB Sports Hall of fame for softball.

Over the years Loggieville was the site of a ferry service connecting it to Gordons Wharf on the north side. Loggieville had its own school, post office, Rec Center, stores and businesses.

Loggieville still is a very picturesque village that graces the banks of the Miramichi. It became part of the City of Miramichi on January 1, 1995.

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