By Pearl MacD.Atkins., printed in the Amherst
Citizen, dated Saturday, January 4, 1986.
(The late Pearl MacD.Atkins, a long time resident of Tidnish
Bridge wrote this story back in 1956. Mrs. Atkins, a one time
correspondent of the Amherst Daily News, passed away early in
October, but her historical writings will always be remembered.)
This text is also available in printable Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft
Word and Rich Text files on the Tidnish Bridge index
(From the Citizen, dated Saturday, January 4, 1986.)
community of Tidnish Bridge lies between Upper Tidnish, N.B.,
and Lower Tidnish, N.S. To the north is the bay (Verte) and
Tidnish Head. South is the area of Tidnish River, so called
from the river winding in from the bay, whose north bank, from
its mouth to the bridge, serves a part of the provincial boundary.
It has a
unique situation, as it lies partly in each of the town provinces,
but this division has little effect on the ordinary operation
of it's affairs and in most cases, it carries on as if it were
situated wholly in one or the other. As for instance, children
from the New Brunswick part attend, the Nova Scotia elementary
school on the Tyndal Road, while Nova Scotia pupils pass through
a portion of New Brusnwick in order to reach it. Residents of
the Nova Scotian half attend and help support the only church,
which is on the New Brunswick side.
To the passerby,
it is apparently a farming community, but, with a few exceptions,
farming is only carried on as a small sideline, or not at all.
Most of the male residents are engaged in other businesses and
occupations and many commute daily to their employment in Amherst
many other places in this country, the name Tidnish is of Indian
origin, said to signify "A Paddle". Occasionally it
is confused with the Prince Edward Island place name of Tignish,
and mail addressed to "Tin-dish", has been received
the coming of the first white settlers, a large Mic Mac Indian
encampment was at Tidnish Head, near what is now Jackson's Point
where the summer home of Lorne Coates is located, and remained
there for years after. However, after buying the hatchet with
such great ceremony in Halifax in 1764, the MicMacs had ceased
to be openly hostile towards the white and were no longer to
be feared. Besides this camp, the burial place of all the Indians
of this area was also at Tidnish Head.
time of the first white settlement of the locality is uncertain,
but it is thought to have been about 1880. It was made by Charles
Chappell. His great-great-grandfather had emigrated from England
to New England in 1634. His father, and grandfather, Eliphalet
and Jabez Chappell came from New London, Conn., to the Baie
Verte region in 1763. (Presumably on Governor Lawrence's proclamations
after the expulsion of the Acadians). There they were granted
land and there Charles was born. His mother had been a Miss
Sohmers, of one of the families of Pennsylvanian Dutch, who
were the early settlers of the Moncton area. He was one of a
family of ten children whose numerous descendents and their
connections form such a large percentage of the population of
Baie Verte and surrouding areas today. "The Chappells were
a prominent family there for years and had a good record"
is noted in old accounts of the vicinity, preserved in Fredericton.
day, near the beginning of the last century, young Charles Chappell
came across the water from Baie Verte and rowed his boat into
the Tidnish river, which then ran through unbroken forest. Landing,
he blazed his way up through hemlock trees so huge that he could
barely pass between them, until he came to the top of the slope
and the site presently occupied by his great grandson, Fred
N. Chappell, which he eventually purchased. Here he felled trees
and built himself a log cabin, somewhat to the left of the present
large house, which was not built until about 1835 and is now
the oldest house in the community. From seed carried in his
pockets, Charles planted his first grain patch. Later, he built
a dam and water powered saw-mill in a creek to the rear of the
homestead, where boards were sawn to build a small frame house
to replace the log cabin; and also for at least a dozen of the
first houses of subsequent settlers, the frames all being hand-hewn.
1809, Charles Chappell was granted a tract of land, comprising
some 300 acres, which including what he was settled on, gave
him 350 acres. This grant embraced all the land along the lower
part of the river, and extended to, and also included what is
now the late Frank Bugley property and some of the present W.G.
MacGlashen land. Today, there is estimated to be over a score
of homes and several summer cottages on that acreage. In 1821,
300 acres on Goose River (Linden) were also granted to Charles
Chappell, but nothing seems known of this by now.
Two of Charles'
five brothers also settled here, but later, James' land was
further up the river, and his home was built on the present
Atkins' property, below the cemetery.
In 1825, Eliphalet (Liffy) Chappell, the younger brother, was
granted 200 acres at Tidnish river, between land granted to
James, and the Amherst Township boundary. As their children
grew up, it is likely all this land was appotioned to them as
at one time it is said that almost every house in the ccommunity
was occupied by a Chappell family.
settler, was Abraham Horton, who came from New York to Baie
Verte, in 1783, and later had 500 acres surveyed for him at
Upper Tidnish. In 1820, his widow asked for renewal of warrant
and grant for this land, on which she had tenants. One of these,
Daniel Holmes, together with Samuel Holsted, Jr., had land surveyed
for themselves. None of these names are known here today.
Chappell married Miss Eleanor Thompson, and in the period, 1803-27,
his family of 12 children was born. Of these, one son, William
Burton, remained at the old homestead and raised his family
there. His son, Burton, in turn, did likewise. The latter was
the father of Fred N. Chappell, George M. and Claude Chappell
and Mrs. Harry Davidson, all now living in the community. Great-grandchildren
of the first Burton, now living here, are J. Burton, Aubrey,
Carl, Keith and Audrey Chappell; William MacGlashen, and his
sister, Mrs. George B. Fullerton; Sherman Davidson, and his
sister, Mrs. Murray Fullerton. Children of all these, who have
them comprise the sixth generation, while those of J. Burton's
daughter, Mrs. Roger Chapman, are the seventh in direct line,
born in this country.
daughter, Melinda married Thompson Brundage. Their son was the
father of Mrs. R.B. Davidson, whose son Norman, and daughter,
Mrs. Otis Baxter, who live here, also are great-great-grandchildren.
Another daughter, Mary Thompson Chappell, married James MacKay.
Their son, Ephraim, was the father of the late James W. MacKay,
so that his son, Neil, is yet another great-great-grandson.
Many other descendents of these three, live elesewhere, as do
also those of the rest of Charles' family. Inter-marriages with
other families has put Chappell blood in the viens of a good
number of present-day residents with other names.
were many Indians around the country during the early pioneer
days. Although not war-like, they were sometimes sly and treacherous,
and delighted in pestering the settlers by setting fire to their
log "Snake" fences and perpetrating other similar
tricks, since scalping had "gone out". Charles Chappell,
who was said to have worn his hair in shoulder-length curls,
once has a set-to with the chief, who indicated during the scuffle
that he had not quite lost the old urge or his touch with a
scalplock, by getting a firm hold of Mr. Chappell's and exclaiming
gloatingly what a "heap fine scalp" it would make!
However, the latter managed to break clear before the chief's
urge overcame him. On the whole, the two seem to have got on
fairly well, as they often went goose and duck shooting together
along the shore.
(From the Citizen, dated Saturday, January 11,
pioneers had plenty of hard work and hardship, few conveniences,
and no doctors or hospitals, in emergencies, but they seem to
have taken everything in their stride. As an example of the
fortitude and nonchalance with which they faced the vicissitudes
of life in those earlier days, there is the story of the old-time
Chappell, who, while employed in the woods, had the misfortune
to break a leg. It was a clean break between knee and ankle,
so his compansions set it by pulling on his shoulders and foot
until the broken bones fitted together. Next, with wool from
the sheepskins used to sit on while teaming, the limb was well
padded and wrapped. Then the hoops were removed from a barrel,
the staves bound around the wooly dressing and the job of the
imprompt surgeons was completed. Nothing daunted by his mishap,
the patient announced that he was "still good for teaming,"
he was assisted to mount his load, and continued from where
he had been interrupted. The broken bone knitted perfectly and
he never lost a day!
early settlers of the area must have fared well in the matter
of meat and drink. Caribou and moose were everywhere; large
numbers of brant; geese and ducks frequented the bay waters,
and, to quote from old accounts, "All drank good rum in
those days." Bears seem to have been plentiful and a great
nuisance - people were always chasing them away with clubs,
forks or anything else at hand.
there were no roads whatever and for sometime after, merely
wood paths. Long distance travelling was on horseback, with
necessities carried in saddle bags; or by water. When a family
of M. Elmons moved from Jolicure to Tidnish in 1801 they came
over the bay ice. It must have been a mild season, as old records
say there was no ice outside the bay-shore and they picked clams
all winter. Their nearest down-shore neighbors were at River
Philip. Three years later, the 13-year-old boy and his 11-year-old
sister took a bag of grain on a hand-sled "to Mr. Trueman's
Mill," to be ground. This would be Point de Bute, as the
mill at Truemanville was non-existant before 1817. Some people
went to Prince Edward Island to have grain ground and to get
supplies. Later, produce was taken to Halifax and sold and supplies
brought. And there was a certain amount of trade with Newfoundland.
sawmill on the Tidnish River, was a water-powered one, built
sometime during the first part of the 19th century, by an English
mill-wright by the name of John Toby, who operated it along
with James Costin. This mill was situated on that part of the
river below the house on the farm now owned by Thomas Mosley.
Here Messrs. Toby and Costin carried on until, falling on troublous
time, the mill property was sold to a young man who appeared
on the River about then --- William Doyle. He had left his native
Ireland rather hurriedly, sometime previously, because, according
to tradition, he had so far forgotten himself as to slap the
face of the village priest, while engaged in an altercation
with him. This was a most serious offence in those days, so
young Doyle lost no time in going home for money and a fast
horse to take him to the nearest port, where he embarked for
this country. After acquiring the mill and land, he continued
where the previous owners had left off. He built the house now
owned by Thomas Mosley, married a Miss Beecham and raised a
family. Years later, while on a trip to Britain, his ship was
wrecked and he was drowned. By a strange coincidence, his body
was washed ashore near his Irish home and was found and cared
for by a nephew of the very priest whom he had once slapped.
Thus he returned to the old sod.
Doyle's sons carried on the lumbering business for some years,
modernizing and enlarging the mill as time went by, until around
the last decade of the century, they sold their timberlands
to other interests, and were done with sawing. One son, William,
married the foster daughter of John R. Chappell, a son of Charles
Chappell's brother Eliphalet, who had the property now owned
by Duncan A. MacDougall. Mr. Chappell also had a mill, situated
on near by land.
farm was near that of the original Doyles, and he had over 800
acres covering a large section of the Tyndal forests. Later,
his son, John, carried on a large lumbering business on this
land. His mill was situated up the river where Mrs. Charles
Mosley lives, and her house and outbuilding were once the living
quarters and other buildings connected with the Costin mill.
About 60 years ago, a disastrous forest fire swept over a wide
area of the Tyndal woods. Later, Mr. Costin sold the property
and mills to David Jackson, retired from lumbering and built
and moved to the house at the corner of the Tyndal Road, now
owned and occupied by his daughter, Mrs. J.W. MacKay, and her
son Neil and wife. Incidentally, Mrs. MacKay has an old 1842
surveyors's map made for her grandfather, James Costin, showing
the Tidnish River and the position and dimensions of land granted
to him and aalso to her maternal great-grandfather, James Chappell
and to John Toby. A relic of Mr. Toby, his old sawfiling chair,
is in the possession of V.E. Goodwin, of Baie Verte.
1900, the old Costin place was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Gorveatte,
of Lornville, who raised a large family and remained there until
their deaths. Mrs. Gorveatte kept a post-office for many years.
After her passing, the property was sold and the ancient house
large mills have been situated here and there; in other times,
including one operated by John Read and son, back on the present
property of Duncan MacDougall, on the Green Road, where part
of the saw may still be seen. In pioneer days, a small stationary
water-mill on any convenient brook, was found on most homesteads
for the sawin of the all-surrouding trees into boards to build
the new homes. After portable steam mills fell into disuse.
Later still came the present types, that have sawn large cuts
here in recent years. Last year more than a million feet were
sawn by G.B. Fullerton while his mill was set up on it's home
that has changed considerably is the wage-rate. In the long
gone days, mill-owners rose at daylight, worked in the mill
until breakfast, from then until dinner and from dinner until
supper. After this, they returned to their work until dark.
All this for the munificent sum of "$13 and found"
per month. But what a lot that money could buy compared to now!
late David Jackson of Amherst Head, arrived here in 1894 and
set up a sawmill below where his son, Earle Jackson now lives.
His intent was to stay on a short while, but he remained to
make this his permanent home. Along with the mills and private
wharf, Mr. Jackson also operated a store during the boom years
and did a large business. The two store buildings were removed
several years ago to be made into houses, elsewhere. The Costin
mills, sites and timberland in the Tyndal woods were later purchased
by Mr. Jackson and added to his business. The first part of
the large Jackson house, was originally the employees boarding
house. It was added to later, when the family decided to remain,
and then need arose to accommodate more boarders, including
seamen, who put up there while their vessels were loading.
It was finally increased to it's present size with nine bedrooms
above and other below. At one time, fifty-odd men were accomodated.
later years of the 19th centruy, and the opening ones of the
20th, extensive lumber exporting to Europe and Newfoundland
was carried out from the area. It has been estimated that between
five and six million feet were loaded aboard vessels and taken
away each year, during the shipping era. Logs cut in the forests
of the upper reaches of the river, were floated down to the
mills along its course, or on to Jackson's Mills at it's mouth.
The lumber was made up into rafts, towed out and loaded onto
barques anchored off in the bay. These vessels were mostly of
European registry, mainly Norwegian. As they were loaded, they
were moved farther out to deeper water. Mrs. Earle Jackson recalls
counting 29 of them in the bay at onetime --- a beautiful sight,
with their white willowing sails, which are not seen today.
The 50-odd years since have banished all shipping and cargo
vessels from the bay. The long government wharf gradually went
down, from disuse and neglect. An agitation was started some
years ago to have it re-built, but there being now no real necessity
for it, this was not done.
(From the Citizen , dated Saturday, January 18,
October, 1888, began the building of the famous marine railway
across the Chignecto isthmus, and the several years during which
this work was carried on, were stirring ones, bringing plenty
of ready cash and excitement to this area. As this was before
much mechanization of labour, hundreds of Italian navvies were
brought in by the various contractors and men and carts from
Quebec. A great many local men were employes also. Many buildings
sprang up, including hotels, stores, warehouses and other places
of business, most of which are gone now. Rum shops were everywhere
-- no less than three are said to have been located between
what are now Atkins' and Davidson's corners, alone. Much brawling
went on, especially after paydays, and during one wild night
of it a man was killed on the River Road, and his body thrown
in the water. It was later recovered, but the one responsible
for the killing was never punished for the deed, as he vanished
immediately and was never found.
visitors, as well as people on business and company officials,
were constantly travelling here, and all these had to be provided
with over-night, or longer, accommodations for themselves, and
often for their horses, too, so everyone in a position to do
so kept boarders and stabled horses. The Italian labourers had
their own camp in a wide hollow adjacent to the railroad back
of the original Chappell home. Early each morning, the smoke
from their many breakfast fires would hang over this low area,
so that afterwards the spot was known locally as "Smokey
Hollow." These Italians, a superstitious lot, were extremely
fond of very young veal. One evening at dusk, a man who was
gifted as a ventriloquist, while crosssing a field, noticed
several Italians stealthly approaching a stable nearby. Guessing
their intention to be the theft of a new born calf he knew to
be in there, he "threw" his voice. As the calf was
laid hold of, it seemingly begged its abductors not to kill
it. This so startled the would-be calf thieves, that they let
go their hold on it and took to their heels, to the great amusement
of the ventriloquist.
north-eastern terminal of the Ship Railway was at Tidnish. The
great dock was strongly built of huge, squared stones and heavy
piles. A brick building stood near it, to house the machinery
for hoisting, and rails were laid on the roadbed.
As is generally
known, this fantastic undertaking failed, from lack of further
financial backing, just short of completion and fell into ruin.
The last crumbling remains of the powerhouse were knocked down
and the bricks taken away some 20-odd years ago, while the dock
stones were all "bulldozed" out and trucked to Cape
Tormentine at the time the new dock for Prince Edward Island
ferry, M.V. Abegweit, was under construction, and used therein.
All that remains of the Ship Railway is the high rail-bed, now
heavily overgrown, and the fine arched stone culvert, just above
the bridge. This was built so that the course of the river might
be diverted through it, thus allowing the regular channel to
be filled in to form a part of the railbed. The specially cut
stones for it were imported from Britain, and men from there
engineered the job. It is a picturesque subject for artists,
and they may be seen, from time to time, with easels set up
on the roadside by their parked cars, busily sketching it. Several
roads leading into the woods off the Tyndal Road are still known
by the names of the contractors who used them to transport materials
in to the railroad, such as the Kennedy and Cook roads.
C. Ketchum, the remarkable promoter of the Ship Railway, is
remembered in the little Anglican Church, that he had built
at the head of the road leading down to the dock, with its stained
glass window to his memory. And also by his summer home, overlooking
the docksite, which was left to the church for the use of its
clergymen who conduct Sunday services in the little church during
the summers. The old-fashioned ginger-bread style house once
stood well back, amid beautiful cultivated grounds, but the
bank has gradually fallen away in front, and trees and bushes
are now crowding it from the rear. It was in the attic of this
house that the Ketchum plans and working models for the Ship
Railway were discovered by chance, several years ago, and were
then obtained for the Fort Beausejour Museum.
Mr. Ketchum died soon after the failure of his great project
and his remains were laid in a cement vault in the garden, but
later removed to Sackville, N.B.
A local lady,
Mrs. Earl Jackson has several interesting relics of the Ketchums--some
lovely old English silver and pewter dishes, given to her by
Mrs. Ketchum, and a chest made from the Ketchum drafting table
on which all the Ship Railway plans were drawn. It was of a
solid, heavy hardwood and also came from England. it was given
to Mrs. Jackson's father, the late Jacob Baxter, who made the
industry, begun in the closing decades of the last century,
was Chappell Brothers, woodworking plant and saw mills, where
a large number of men were employed for years in the manufacture
of various articles of furniture and builder's supplies, as
well as the sawing of lumber. The plant buildings were on the
river bank below the present home of Harry Davidson, and included
the factory and mill, as well as a large cookhouse. A long boarding
house, a store and post office were some of the buildings on
the opposite side of the road. The late William Davidson, father
of Harry Davidson, was shop foreman for years.
Chappell brothers, William, James, George and Renwick, were
sons of Lucius Chappell (who had the property on the hill above
now owned by Mrs. A. Wood, of Moncton) and grandsons of the
pioneer James. A fifth brother, Lucius Jr., remained on the
home place. George and William lived in the houses now owned
by W.P. and W.R. Strang, while the present home of Harry Davidson
belonged to James.
During a slack period here, a building boom began in Windsor
(N.S.) and the woodworking machinery and business was transferred
there, but only remained there a short time, when it moved to
Sydney, where it has greatly increased and is now a most important
the remaining sawmills were sold to Moses Chapman and Charles
Read. The empty factory was later torn down by C.J. Silliker
and taken away. The last of the original Chappell Brothers,
Renwick, died at Sydney in 1953, aged 89, and his remains were
brought here and interred in the old family plot.
(From the Citizen, dated Saturday, January 25,
have contributed greatly to the economic welfare of Tidnish
Bridge and vicinity. It is likely that fishing for domestic
needs was done since pioneer days, but somewhere during the
early 90's, smelt fishing for sale, was begun. The little fish
were packed and shipped to American markets and the returns
from them, were a dependable and important source of income
to many until the last few years, when for some obscure reason,
the runs have gradually slackened off to practically nothing.
a plant was set up on the river by the late Arthur Davidson,
for the smoking and drying of herring, which came up in great
schools. He operated it until about 1901, then leased it to
a man from Grand Manan, eventually selling out to Harry Inglis,
of the same place. About 1916, Mr. Inglis sold the plant to
four local men, Walter Davidson, George M. Chappell, Frank F.
Chapman and Morey Strang, after which it was known as "The
Little Four." After the mysterious disappearance of the
herring from the waters of the vicinity, the buildings stood
idle until they were all sold and moved away, with the exception
of a large drying shed, which finally fell down.
1912, the late R.B. Davidson built a much larger plant at the
mouth of the river, which did a tremendous buisness. This plant
had its own wharf, where vast numbers of herring were unloaded
from the fishing boats, and after processing, were loaded on
vessels for export, mostly to the West Indies. Between 10,000
and 12,000 cases were shipped each year. Fishing was done with
weirs. At the height of the season, 25-30 men were employed
some from Grand Manan -- besides local youths, who picked up
spending money in the summers by "stringing fish"
at the factory (putting the fish on the rods in the drying sheds).
Rollo Irving had a "Shook" mill, which was kept busy
turning out materials for the fish boxes. After the herring
ceased to run here, they were brought in from Magdalen Islands
for a time and processed here. Eventually that was discontinues
and the building stood idle until some years ago, when they
were purchased, along with the site by the Amherst Rotary Club,
and re-modeled as a summer camp for under-privileged children.
schooners were built many years ago at a place up the river
known as "The Shipyard" -- a spot below Percy Helm's
home, now overgrown by woods. Hugh Davidson, grandfather of
William H. and Edwin Davidson also built vessels on the river
below Murray Fullerton's present residence. Incidentally all
fresh water for use on shipping vessels leaving local waters,
and others calling here, was procurred from the well on this
place as it was said to preserve its thirst-quenching properties
at high temperatures much better than any other.
years ago, large scows were built up near Chappell Brothers'
mill to be taken to the Miramichi to use in moving a bridge
there. In more recent times, large motorized craft, for fishing
and pleasure were turned out by Fred Chappell, until his boat-factory
was burnt, along with a large completed craft in 1946 when he
went into other business.
of every size and shape, from flimsy little beach shacks to
large substantial summer homes, have sprung up so fast and in
such large numbers, of late years, both around the bay and up
the river, that it is difficult for even the older residents
to recall when the first ones were built. Back somewhere in
the 1890's, the Thirteen Club, composed of thirteen prominent
Amherst men, had a club house at Tidnish Head, to which they
were want to repair for relaxation and salt breezes and to amuse
themselves with horse racing on a private track, now bush-grown.
The present road leading to Lorne Coates' cottage is a part
of this old track. The horses were stabled nearby, at the barn
of Netis Chappell, now dead for many years.
years ago, there were no more than a half-dozen cottages at
Jackson's Point. Today, there are scores of them and more are
building each year. The spot became popular during World War
II, and has become increasingly more so since. The continued
establishing of summer resorts along these shores, is bringing
an ever-enlarging stream of traffic over these roads during
the warm weather, especially on Sundays, when the dust raised
by passing cars, averaging two each minute, obscures the sun,
and one wonders how large shore colonies must be before they
rate a paved road.
schoolhouse was situated on the Green Road, at the flat hollow
opposite the present home of Russell Chappell. Church services
were held there, also. The road, at one time, went up the riverbank
past where Mrs. R. Bugley now lives, coming out near the school
on the Green Road. Records are vague, but it would seem that
with the establishing of the Chappell Brothers' industry on
the Tyndal Road and the resultant building up of that vicinity,
it was deemed advisable to have the seat of learning more conveniently
located. At any rate, a new school house was built; that is,
the one now in use and the old one used as a hall until its
destruction by fire. The site was known for years after as "The
Old Hall" lot. One teacher taught all grades, from primary
through to high school, until the building of the Amherst Regional
High School. Since then, only the elementary grades are taught
(From the Citizen, dated Saturday, February 1,
1897, the first telephone line went through coming out the Tyndal
Road and going as far as Northport. A telephone each at Chappell
Brother's and David Jackson's were the only one for a long time.
Two others on the line, one at Tidnish, one at Northport. Others
were installed later. In time, the part of the line from the
Tyndal Road to the now vacant MacKay place on the river Road,
went down, but a few years ago, a line was run from the latter
place across the fields to the main road. After that, the N.B.
Telephone Co. ran a party line down from the Baie Verte to Davidson's
Corner and a short distance up the Tyndal Road.
well-known general store owned and operated by William H. Davidson,
is the only one here but is one of the best appearing and equipped
of its type, in the country. The first store on the site was
opened in the 1880's, by Mr. Davidson's father, the late Arthur
Davidson, who operated it until 1921, when he sold out to Edgar
Fillmore of East Amherst with R.E. Davidson as manager. It ran
from June until October of that year, when it caught fire and
burned. It was re-built and operated under different managers
for some years, later becoming vacant. The present owner returned
from the United States in 1934 and re-opened it and has carried
The late Calvin Strang opened a store in 1879 and ran it until
his death, when his family carried on until 1918-19, when they
closed it permanently. Mr. Strang's home was opposite the church-hall,
now owned by Allan MacGregor. The large store building, near
the house, was torn down a few years ago. During the building
of the Ship Railway the company ran a large store for its employees,
located back of the original Chappell house. It was managed
by Arthur Avard, now spending his retirement at Tidnish. A number
of other stores have been here through the years. Mr. and Mrs.
Robert Jones operated one, until they sold their property to
Silas Woodworth, about 1945. A Mr. Amos had a store in this
same house fifty years ago. And, a post office was there until
rural mail delivery routes were established early in the 1920s.
At the time the church at Lower Tidnish was built, local people
contributed towards it, and attended it. but for many years
now, church services have been held in the building here, originally
erected for use as a Temperance Lodge hall. It formerly sat
on the roadside, but was moved back to where it stands now.
Later, a kitchen was added to the rear. It has been kept up,
furnished and cared for by church funds, societies and donations,
and used mainly as a church, and is now known as the church
hall. The congregation is ministered to, at present, by Rev.
R.L. Bacon, of the Port Elgin - Baie Verte - Tidnish Bridge
United Church Charge of Moncton Presbytery. At one time, a clergyman
living at Shemogue, N.B., would drive in a buggy from there,
conducting services at several churches along the way, as far
as Northport, here included.
In early days most families buried their dead in small, private
burial plots near their homes. There is that of the Doyles,
on Thomas Mosley's farm, of the Strang's, on Garnet Mason's
and another on Mrs. Morey Strang's, to mention several. Riverside
Cemetery, located on the river bank at the back of the Atkins'
property, was originally the Chappell family burying ground,
as the headstones in the older section attest, some dating back
more than a hundred years. Later, others were allowed burial
there. Then John Costin gave additional land to enlarge it.
In 1936, it was incorporated at the Riverside Cemetery Company.
By 1948, more land was purchased to increase its size, and the
whole newly fenced. It is reached by a private right-of-way
from the road.
1948, the Canada Electric Co. put their powerlines through here
and a new era began.
In conclusion, a brief mention of several names associated with
the life and industry of the community for seventy-five years
and longer, may be of interest.
Joseph Irvin emigrated from Northern Ireland, presumably around
1815, and settled first at Point de Bute, where he and a partner
kept a store at a spot known as "Irvins' Corner" in
the early. Soon after marrying Miss Ann Tingley, Mr. Irvin moved
to Upper Tidnish and spent the rest of his life at farming.
He had seven sons and three daughters. A son, Joseph, a sea-captain,
married Margaret MacKay, a granddaughter of Charles Chappell,
and they were the parents of Roll Irvin, who passed away several
years ago at the old home. Another son Charles lived at the
foot of the lane to Irvin's Point, where James Helm now lives.
It is said that the original house was near here and burned.
Another son lived further up the lane, where only a few remains
of the buildings are in evidence. Capt. Joseph Irvin had his
house on the road from Tidnish to Baie Verte, as did his brother
Edwin, the father of Robert Irvin, who was the last of the name
here, until he sold his farm to Otis Barnes of Sackville, several
years ago and now lives with his niece, Miss Amelia Goodwin,
1820, Mr. and Mrs. William Davidson, ancestors of the local
people of that name, emigrated from Dumfries, in Scotland. It
is not certain where they settled first, but it is understood
that they were on the Miramichi, at the time of the Great Fire
in 1825, as tradition says that Mrs. Davidson stood for hours
in the water, holding her baby's head above the surface, while
the fire raged. The name is still in that area. Some of the
family later came to Baie Verte and then here, but exactly when,
is not known. The family was considered a most intelligent one.
They always named the eldest sons, William, a custom that dated
back for many generations. Harry Davidson and his family; the
family of the late Arthur Davidson; and Norman Davidson, are
The ancestors of the Strangs came from Prince Edward Island
to the Baie Verte region many years ago, and settled there.
Several families moved to Tidnish later. The local Strangs,
represented at present by Ernest Strang and Mrs. Bertha (Strang)
Davidson, are descendants of Daniel Goodwin, the first English-speaking
man in Baie Verte, and of the pioneer Chappells of that place.
later changed to Bugley, emigrated from Ireland, in the fore
part of the 19th centruy and according to tradition was granted
land reaching from that of the Chappells down through Lower
Tidnish, where he settled. Later members of his family came
here to live. Nearly all this family have been natural-born
fiddlers and consequently, always in demand at local dances.
Charles Bugley, Mrs. Lorne Kirby and Mrs. Leonard Lowther are
great-grandchildren of Thomas Bugley, or "Bagley".
Helm was a later arrived coming here in the 1870's from Rocky
Point, P.E.I. His father had emigrated from England to Newfoundland,
leaving there in 1822 for the Island. James Helm, a man of considerable
means, brought all his goods and stock over by schooner to Tidnish.
On arrival in the Bay, everything was transferred to rowboats,
but the horses and cattle, which were thrown overboard and swam
ashore. Mr. Helm had purchased the former home of the pioneer,
James Chappell, and he hauled his possessions there directly
on landing. He was the grandfather of John, James and Percy
Helm, and Mrs. Sadie Smith and Mrs. F.N. Chappell, now living
here. After his death, the house, probably the oldest one here
at that time, was occupied for awhile, by his son, Joseph, then
became vacant. It fell into ruin, and was torn down leaving
only the large, deep cellar to be seen there today.
Much more could be written of the history of this vicinity,
but this should suffice to show that it has had a very colorful
and busy past. Now there is one more big thing to look forward
to -- the Chignecto Canal! One of several possible lines for
it was surveyed through Tidnish Bridge some years ago. Pessimistically
inclined folk say we will never see it, but -- we can dream,
The writer is indebted for much useful materials
for the foregoing article to members of the Chappell, Davidson
and Helm families; Mr. and Mrs. Earle Jackson and Mrs. Marion
MacKay of Tidnish Bridge; and to Messrs. E.P. and E. Goodwin,
Baie Verte, as well as the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and