New Brunswick

We have to start with an apology to New Brunswick for the limited coverage compared to other Canadian Provinces. Our first journey through the largest Maritime Province was on the return path from Prince Edward Edward Island to Nova Scotia and we were running short of time in poor weather. So, no opportunity to visit the giant lobster at Shediac, the Acadian Historic Village or the vast inland woodlands, instead we had to keep close to the direct route and photo opportunities were few. In 2013 we sneaked into New Brunswick over the bridge from  Maine to have a quick look at Campobello Island, but we have yet to tour the rest of the Province.


River Heritage Inn, Port Elgin

One refreshing aspect of all of the Maritime Provinces that we visited was the lack of ubiquitous chain hotels and motels. We stayed mainly in historic B&Bs and occasionally in small local chain hotels and in all the quality was exceptionally good. We didn’t have an opportunity to stay in New Brunswick, but the River Heritage Inn at Port Elgin is an example of a B&B in an historic house built in 1882 on the banks  of the Gaspareau River, seen here with a touch of fall foliage.

House & fall foliage in Port Elgin

After making our way along the coast in heavy rain, the bad weather began to lift as we reached Port Elgin. The French  established a settlement called Baie Verte here in 1690 then after the British took over in 1755 the Acadians were  expelled and English, Scots and Irish settlers moved in. The picture shows a typical house in Port Elgin surrounded by fall foliage. We found the fall foliage in the to be Maritimes  less extensive than in New England, with patches of intense colour rather than a riotous carpet of red and yellow.

Confederation Bridge from Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick

Once upon a time, Prince Edward Island was truly an island. But the fact that the shortest distance between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island is 12.9 kilometres (8 miles) and the sea around there freezes in winter proved no deterrent to the bridge builders. The Confederation Bridge opened in 1997 at a cost of C$1000m. It takes 12 minutes to drive across, and on the day we crossed it the visibility was extremely poor and the traffic very light. It was a very eery sensation driving along a road suspended in the air that seemed to come from nowhere and go nowhere.

Confederation Bridge from from Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick, Canada
River Heritage Inn, Port Elgin, NB, Canada
House & fall foliage in Port Elgin, NB, Canada

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- The little we saw of New Brunswick was pleasant rural countryside.
- The Roosevelt Cottage on Campobello Island is well worth a visit.
- We haven’t yet seen enough of New Brunswick to find any negatives.
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At the moment we have only one page on New Brunswick.

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Stairs to East Quoddy (Head Harbour) Lighthouse, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada
Roosevelt Cottage, Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada
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Stairs to East Quoddy (Head Harbour) Lighthouse, Campobello Island

Campobello Island is at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay in the extreme south of New Brunswick. It has no road connection to the rest of Canada, but a bridge connects it to Maine in the USA. Hence we visited the island during a tour of New England causing quite a stir at immegration in both directions who were clearly only used to dealing with US and Canadian citizens. In 1866  around 700 Fenians gathered on the US shore of the narrows separating the island from Maine with the intention of seizing the island from Britain. British forces were quickly on the scene to frustrate their ambitions, but the incident encouraged New Brunswick to join with the other British colonies to form the Dominion of Canada. East Quoddy (or Head Harbour) Lighthouse was built in 1829  on a small, rocky islet, located off the northern tip of the island. It is accessible by land only at or near low tide, the the steps visible in this picture forming part of the route. Passamaquoddy Bay opens into the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tidal range in the world. There are signs warning that the tide rises by 1.5 metres (5 feet) per hour and that you can be stranded for up to 8 hours.


Roosevelt Cottage, Campobello Island

This house designed by Willard T. Sears was built in 1897 for Mrs Hartman Kuhn of Boston, Massachusetts. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s parents built a cottage next door and Mrs Kuhn got to know Franklin and Eleanor when they spent the summer in his mother’s cottage. When Mrs Kuhn died in 1909 her will offered the house, furnishings and the surrounding land to FDR’s mother Sara for $5,000. Sara purchased the house and gave it to Franklin and Eleanor. It became their summer cottage and in 1915 FDR added a new wing to provide additional space for their growing family. The cottage was very comfortable, but it had no electricity, mains water supply or telephone. It was while staying here in 1921 that Roosevelt fell ill and at the age of 39 he was diagnosed with polio. Despite suffering from paralysis from the waist down, FDR went on to be elected the 32nd President of the USA, serving four terms between 1933 and his death in 1945. As President, Roosevelt could only make fleeting visits to his beloved cottage, but Eleanor continued to spend summers there with their children. After Eleanor died in 1962, the family deeded the cottage jointly to the governments of Canada and the USA. The two countries jointly fund and administer Roosevelt Campobello International Park which has preserved the cottage as it would have been around 1920. Click Tab 2 to see the Dining Room of the cottage.



© Mike  Elsden 1981 - 2023

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