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  Woodstock, NB E7M 2E8
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Woodstock became the first incorporated town in the province of New Brunswick on May 1, 1856, but its history extends to at least one full century before this date. Along with the most of the rest of the St. John River Valley, Woodstock was settled primarily by Loyalists in the late 1700s.

The upper limit of Loyalist grants were distributed to Col. DeLancey’s 1st Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, among them Jacob Smith, who first traveled up the river from Kingsclear in 1784 to claim a 700 acre grant at the mouth of the Meduxnekeag and St. John River; however, the countless flint tools and various other stone artifacts discovered in the area are indisputable proof that it was occupied by Indians long before the Loyalist’s arrival.

By the turn of the century, Captain Smith and his son Richard owned most of the land that would later constitute the town of Woodstock. The area was at that time divided into three small settlements.

The Upper Corner (Hardscrabble), the Creek Village, and Bedell’s Cove (Lower Woodstock).  With the creation of Carleton County in 1832, Upper Woodstock was designated the shire town, thanks in large part to a sizable donation of land by Col. Richard Ketchum, to whom the community also owes the moniker “Hardscrabble”, a term he used to describe the hard fought battle to gain this honour. At this point it looked as though this area would constitute the town of Woodstock; however, the Creek Village had begun to gain momentum in 1827, with the construction of the first bridge across the Meduxnekeag and by the turn of the century it had superseded Upper Woodstock and stolen Shire town honours.

A new court house was built on Main Street to accompany the recently relocated jail, replacing the impressive Georgian structure in Hardscrabble and punctuating the Creek Village’s rise to prominence.

The Old County Court House, meticulously restored by the Carleton County Historical Society from the brink of collapse, following half a century of misuse as a horse barn, stands in its original location in Upper Woodstock, a stirring reminder of the area’s former status as the town’s centre.

After Richard Smith’s death in 1833, his widow Judith Morehouse Smith inherited all of his Woodstock property. According to the stipulations of his will, she was only allowed to sell enough of the land to pay his debts and funeral expenses. To circumvent this restriction, Judith granted a number of leases for 999 year terms; as a result, there were still quite a few Woodstock homes in lease-hold toward the end of the twentieth century.

Woodstock’s first mayor, appointed in 1856, was Lewis P. Fisher, a young attorney of Loyalist lineage who held office for 24 years until his voluntary retirement. Woodstock owes a tremendous debt to its first mayor. Apart from his years of loyal service to the town, Fisher also bequeathed his magnificent house for the purpose of a hospital, and funded posthumously the L.P. Fisher Library and the first Vocational and Agricultural School in New Brunswick.

In earlier times, houses and businesses faced each of the town’s water-fronts, as the rivers were the lifeblood of Woodstock’s economy. Running through the middle of town, the Meduxnekeag supplied power for gristmills and sawmills, while later industrial activity included tanneries, carriage factories, foundries, and a woolen factory. It was not until the railroad was introduced to the area that buildings tended to face roads and streets rather than the water.

Woodstock’s progress suffered numerous setbacks in the form of several vicious fires that ravaged the heart of its downtown sector between 1860 and 1861. As a result, much of downtown was rebuilt in the brick that remains today.

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