Nicole Somers, Maire
Jocelyne Querry Bossé, Maire suppléante conseillère
Marie-Josée Thériault, Conseillère
Martine Côté, Conseillère
Bertrand LeClerc, Conseiller
History of Saint-Quentin
In 1897, the Restigouche and Western Railway Company decided to build a railway to link Campbellton to Saint Leonard. As work on the railway progressed, the workers moved deeper and deeper into the forest. In 1909, they reached the Five Finger and Simon Gallant, an Acadian working as a blacksmith, decided to settle his family close to a creek where he had found his cow. At the same time, a number of Quebecois families were leaving their parish to settle in the United States or Western Canada, and authorities observed with concern the dwindling of their province’s population. In response, His Lordship Joseph Arthur Melanson, the greatest colonizer and missionary of the parish of Saint Quentin, originally called Anderson Siding, launched an ambitious colonization project. He emphasized the value of an agricultural career and invited Acadian and Quebecois families to come and settle in Restigouche County along the railway – where the land, as well as being fertile, bordered on Quebec and Madawaska.
It was thus that Anderson Siding was founded in 1910, with the first mass being celebrated in Simon Gallant’s log cabin. The parish’s origins being both Quebecois and Acadian, and 99% of its population being francophone, the village deserved a name reflecting this unique character. Thus, in 1919, Anderson Siding was renamed Saint-Quentin in memory of the Canadian victory over the Germans in the Battle of the Somme in Saint-Quentin, France, during the First World War.
The parish’s first chapel was built in 1911, the post office in 1912, the first school in 1913, the church in 1918 and Hotel-Dieu-Saint-Joseph hospital in 1947. At first, the settlers lived solely off the land and the forest. However, as the years passed, the village grew and the quality and diversity of its business and services evolved to match those of other small towns in New Brunswick. Saint-Quentin was thus incorporated as a district in 1947, as a village in 1996, and was proclaimed a Town in 1992. Considered a dynamic and growing town, Saint-Quentin currently has a population of almost 4000, 99.9% of whom are francophones, and who continue to pursue the work undertaken by the town’s first settlers.
Thank you, Mr. Gallant and His Lordship Melanson!
1919 - Fire at the Chouinard residence
Winter 1911-1912 Anderson Siding
A chapel built in 1911.
Anderson in 1926
First grand church built in 1916-1917, and detroyed by a fire in 1944.
To better understand the origin of the village’s name, we must first understand the events which took place in Saint-Quentin, France, during the First World War (1914 – 1918).
BATTLE OF THE SOMME…A BIT OF HISTORY:
When Great Britain joined the First World War that had pitched France against Germany, the Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden, decided to contribute Canadian troops, who then had to undergo intensive training in England. Already recognized for their strength, courage and valour, the Canadian soldiers upheld this reputation through their astounding victory in Saint-Quentin, France. During the battle (the Battle of the Somme), which lasted from July 1st to November 19th, 1916, almost 400 000 British soldiers died, including a number of Canadians, along with 200 000 French and 300 000 German troops.
IMPACT OF THE WAR ON THE VILLAGE OF ANDERSON SIDING:
When the news arrived in 1918 that the war was over, the village rejoiced. The signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918 was a great blessing for the village population, who joyfully celebrated the restoration of peace in the company of the soldiers present. According to the testimony of those still alive today, it was shortly after this event that the local authorities considered renaming their community. Two principal motivations underlay the decision to change the village’s original patronymic: first, the village was 99% francophone, and merited a name to reflect this fact; moreover, the
Canadian victory over the Germans in Saint-Quentin, France (Battle of the Somme – November 19, 1916 – WWI 1914-1918), in which numerous Canadians had participated, profoundly inspired the local authorities and the founding priest of the parish, His Grace Eudore Martin, to commemorate this victory and the loss of Canadian soldiers.
This is why the place once called Anderson Siding officially adopted the name of Saint-Quentin. The decision taken in 1919 regarding the name of our town carries great symbolism and sentimental value.
Town of Saint-Quentin
Meaning of the Town's Logo
In spring, it gives us its sap, which is transformed into syrup and sugar. In winter as in summer, it provides us with wood, the strength and resistance of which ascribe to it a thousand uses. In autumn, its majestic foliage warms our hearts with its vibrant colours.
Toexpress the new visual identity of the Town of Saint Quentin, the tree is adorned with the maple leaf.
The Maple is one of the noblest broad-leafed trees. A tree of many qualities and virtues, the maple stands straight, strong, solid, free and majestic. Its stature allows it to face storms without fear. Its roots, deep and well anchored in the ground, remind us of our ancestors, the brave pioneers of Saint Quentin.
The Maple is omnipresent in Saint Quentin, found equally in the forest and on the private lands of its cultivators. The generous Maple offers us the best of itself throughout the seasons.
On the logo, you will notice that the base of the tree rests on a line, in places thin, in places thick, which represents our region’s high plateaus. The Saint Quentin Maple is depicted in forest and light green – the colours of the tree in summer, when it reaches the peak of its strength.
Saint-Quentin : incorporée en 1966
Population : 3 584 residents
Town hall : 10, Deschênes Street
Geographic location : North of NB, Route 17, Restigouche County,Appalaches Region
Near towns: North: Kedgwick (17 km), Campbellton (100 km); East: Bathurst
(140 km); South : St-Léonard (68 km)
Mother tongue : French
Exploitations : Forestry (Groupe Savoie, North American Forest Products Ltd.),
Maple Sugar (30 sugar camps), agriculture (10 farms)
Commerces/industries : 200 businesses in services and 60 industrial companies
Fire department : Claude Labrie, Chief fireman; 24 firemen; 4 trucks, 2 emergency units
Schools : Elementary (Mgr-Martin) : Kindergarden to 6th grade; High School (Polyvalente A.-J.-Savoie) : 7th grade to twelve grade – More than 550 students
Financial institutions: : National Bank and Caisse populaire La Vallée de l'Érable (Credit Union).
Municipal library with internet access
Hospital : Hôtel Dieu St-Joseph (12 beds) – since 1947, managed by the Regional Health Authorities A – Hospitalisation, clinics, ambulances and emergencies, doctors' offices and the Foundation Romaric-Boulay offices.
General health: Private medical clinics, optometrists, dentists, physiotherapists, denturologists and others –Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy
Seniors residence: Résidence Mgr-Melanson (42 beds)
Ambulance : NB Ambulance, managed by Maurice Doucette
Police : RCMP (7 and 3 municipals)
For emergency: Planning committee composed of 14 members along with Suzanne Coulombe as coordinator.
Radio stations: CFJU (90,1) local, CJEM (92,7) Edmundston and CFAI (101,1) Grand Falls
Volunteers : "Regroupement des organismes communautaires (ROC)"
Tourists infrastructures : Old Train Station Tourist Centre, Cultural Center (arena), Montcalm Theater, Golf Club, Mount Carleton Provincial Park, NB Trail, Restigouche River and Kedgwick,
Airports : St-Léonard, Charlo and Bathurst (regional airports)
1909 - Forestry Workers
Saint-Quentin was originally carved out of virgin forest. Since1878, forestry companies have been felling our trees for export. The booming forest industry attracted lumberjacks to the newly accessible lands. In 1913, His Lordship Melanson wrote:
“The primary industry of Restigouche country at this time is lumber. Our forests (…) contain the most valuable and faultless wood on both local and foreign markets. (…)”
It was not long before several mills opened in Anderson, employing approximately thirty men. In the early days of colonisation, the income from cutting timber proved indispensable in allowing the colonists to develop their properties. The forest industry has always had two sides – harvesting (forestry companies and colonists) and manufacturing (mills, lumber, airplane propellers, shipbuilding, etc.).
Between 1910 and 1971, approximately 64 sawmills were opened in the Saint-Quentin-Kedgwick region (23 between 1921 and 1930). Most of these mills cut more than a million square feet of wood each year.
Forestry activities continue in the region today, but the product is now value-added thanks to the establishment of large-scale sawmills. Forestry operations and the sawmills together employ the majority of the region’s workers. While Saint-Quentin continues to be held up as a model of agricultural success, agriculture has always gone hand-in-hand with the lumber industry, and has been greatly overtaken by it.
Groupe Savoie Inc. and North American Forest Products Ltd. are currently the two principal forestry companies in the region. Both have a turnover of over $40 million and employ almost 500 people each.
Pat Jean's Mill at Jardine Brook 1923
North American Forest Products Ltd.
Groupe Savoie Inc.
A load of hay in those days
Flour Mill belonging to Mr. Jean-Baptiste Chouinard
Photo of a contemporary agriculture field.
First sugar shack located in Jardine Brook
From the very start, Saint Quentin had an agricultural vocation. As soon as spring arrived, the first colonists begin to clear our rich land. Thanks to these hardworking colonists, it took only a quarter century for prosperity to take hold in this part of the country. In 1911, 127 lots had been assigned and most of them occupied, amounting to over 500 acres of cleared land, more than half of which was cultivated. A number of settlers cultivated half of their land. The real farmers, meanwhile, sought to develop their land as quickly as possible so that they could dedicate themselves entirely to farming and earn a living through it.
The establishment of a flour mill in 1933 helped farmers turn their raw products (wheat) into household goods. In 1940, the Cooperative was founded; eight years later (1948), it was divided into two departments – the buttery (established in1920 by Mr. Jean-Baptiste Rioux, and specialising in butter-hay-oats) and the shop. During this period, Saint Quentin was renowned for its production of high-quality butter. In the 1970s, agriculture in our region underwent a transformation: a number of small farms were bought up and amalgamated for large-scale production.
Since 1985, agricultural businesses have become larger and specialised in one or two sectors. Furthermore, the methods of agricultural exploitation have changed significantly owing to mechanisation; long gone are the days of horseor cattle-drawn ploughs and iron-wheeled tractors!
Unlike in the forties and fifties, which were characterized by a multitude of small-scale, family-oriented livestock breeders, today’s agricultural production is principally focused on milk products, cereals and potatoes, as well as the raising of livestock. Production is now dominated by farms of 100 milk cows or more. The livestock population numbers roughly 4000 heads, divided among a dozen farms. The region’s annual worth is almost eleven million dollars. In 2005, 11 000 of a possible 15 000 acres of land were cultivated; of these 11 000 acres, 7000 were used for cereals, 1500 for potatoes and the remainder for fodder crops to feed the livestock. There are currently approximately twenty farmers in Saint Quentin, including the owners of two of New Brunswick’s largest familial agricultural estates.
While the maple industry has been present in Saint-Quentin since the beginning of colonisation, it is only in recent years that it has flourished to become an important pillar of the local economy.
In previous times, maple groves were used for personal and family needs. Near the end of March the sugar season arrived and, wearing light snowshoes, the maple farmers tapped the trees. Originally, the cut was made using the corner of an axe, and the water from the maple was collected in bark containers and boiled in a large cauldron. To transport the maple water to the cabin, the sugar producers attached a cedar barrel to a sled. A frosty night, followed by a sunny day provided the best conditions for ensuring a good flow, and April’s warm days brought with them bounteous amounts of sugar. As time passed, the equipment used to boil the maple water gradually evolved: metal, then plastic, boilers were installed, followed, finally, by a network of tubes to collect the water from the trees.
The most productive maples are sugar maples, red maples and gold maples. During the sugar season, an average tree produces between 35 and 50 litres of sap, which makes 1 to 1.5 litres of syrup.
The maple provides a number of assets of great value to Saint-Quentin. A source of valuable wood products, it is of exceptional commercial significance to the region. As well, the maple both nourishes the maple sugar industry and contributes to the beauty of the landscape. There are currently more than 10 302 acres of maples being exploited by approximately twenty maple farmers. The owners of the maple groves tap 1 500 000 trees each year. A cooperative organisation, The Maple Syrup Producers of New Brunswick Cooperative Inc., has even developed its own brand name, Restigouche, and established a bottling plant for its products.