On Saturday, July 6th the Fredericton Region Museum opened “The New England Planters at Maugerville / Sheffield 1763 – 2013” Exhibition. The exhibit celebrates the 250th anniversary of Maugerville by showcasing the lives of the early settlers at Maugerville and Sheffield, starting with the New England Planters, the arrival of the Loyalists, and the later division of the region into Maugerville and Sheffield.
The area has a diverse history, influenced by groups such as the New England Planters, the Loyalists, the Irish, and the Dutch. Through more than two centuries of conflict, cooperation, and community-building, these groups shaped the history of one of New Brunswick’s earliest English settlements.
Local pride and community spirit has led the Maugerville community to preserve and protect its heritage over the last 250 years. The exhibit underlines the importance of Maugerville in New Brunswick history. As the exhibit’s curator Robert McNeil notes, the names of Maugerville’s founding families “are spread around our province and beyond. Their origins have largely been forgotten except for the family genealogies of those who have researched their descendants.” Rooted in local history, this exhibit helps to bring the heritage of these families to life, celebrating a key piece of New Brunswick’s history that would be lost without this local support.
A part of our local history, this piece in the Maugerville 250th Anniversary acts as a key event in the celebration of the history of New Brunswick. The exhibit features agricultural implements and photographs touching on the foundational history of the region. McNeil notes, “On the 250th anniversary of their [the Planters] settlement in Maugerville, it is necessary for us to recognize their contributions to the province as the first English farming settlement on the St. John River.”
The exhibit is semi-permanent and will be on display for five years. The Fredericton Region Museum would like to thank the York Sunbury Historical Society Exhibits Committee and the Johnson Avenue Senior’s Group for their help in preparing the exhibition.