Children’s campfire may have caused blaze

Edited from the Saint Croix Courier Week of Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1987

ST. STEPHEN – A fire that destroyed 40 acres of forest at Bald Hill on Todd’s Point last Thursday is still smoldering, and 17 men and two water tankers are standing by to douse hot spots. RCMP are investigating the origin of the blaze. It is believed a children’s improperly doused campfire was the cause of the fire. District Forest Ranger Benton Woodard said the blaze drew fire departments from a wide area of the county. In addition to the Department of Natural Resources firefighting equipment, there was help from the City of Calais, the Town of St. Stephen, Oak Bay, Moores Mills, Rollingdam, Elmsville and other volunteer departments. The fire was fanned by 15 – 20 kph winds from the northwest, and there was concern at one point that it would jump the Todd’s Point Road and endanger a number of cottages. Some residents started moving out valuables as the flames drew to within a few hundred yards of their homes, but stopped when the flames had passed by.

Truck route’s path is changed

Charlotte West MLA Leland McGaw says Transportation Minister Robert McCready has advised him the proposed route for the industrial road is going to be changed. McGaw said the truck route, partly built now from Church Street to the Five Corners, will not be lining up with Route 3 just above the St. Stephen High School as was planned. McGaw said the Department of Transportation found the land that would have to be purchased was too highly priced. But the Conservative MLA, vying for his sixth term in the Legislature in the upcoming election, said McCready couldn’t tell him what the alternative route will be. “I guess there’ll have to be more survey work done.”

Will we be skiing for Christmas?

OAK HILL – There may be skiing at McGaw Hill by Christmas, according to Charlotte West MLA Leland McGaw. Wil-Com Ltd. of Fredericton has been awarded a $78,900 contract for construction of a maintenance building at the hill. The building will be used as a work area for park staff and for storage and maintenance of equipment, such as a ski-dozer, used to groom the hill. Work on the building will begin soon and is scheduled for completion by the end of November. Wil-Com submitted the lowest of five bids on the tender. Tenders are presently being received for a 3,000 square foot lodge for the hill and the government plans to award the contract by the end of September, McGaw said. “Hopefully there will be skiing by the holidays at Christmas,” McGaw said. Four or five runs should be in operation, depending on snowfall, and the T-bar, capable of carrying 1,200 skiers an hour, should be operational, he said.

Prize winners

Prize winners in the 10th annual North American Sardine Packing Championships at Blacks Harbour Saturday were Cathy McKinley, first prize winner of $250 after packing 110 cans with no rejects; Carolyn Breau, winner of the $150 second prize for packing 101 cans in 10 minutes with two cans rejected by the judges; and Marilyn Blanchard, third prize winner of $100 for packing 99 cans with three rejects. Ten participated in the championships, seven from Connors Brothers plant in Black Harbour and three from the Connors Plant in Back Bay.

60 YEARS AGO – 1957

St. Croix has new customs building

A smart new Customs and Immigration building will greet travelers crossing the border at McAdam and Vanceboro, Maine. According to statistics, 16,224 cars and 500 commercial vehicles used this port of entry in one month this summer. The building is built on poured concrete slabs and of frame construction faced with brick and has a protective canopy extending out from all four sides.

Win five trophies

Wilsonia Golden Flash, a golden retriever owned by Gilbert Wilson of St. Stephen won the best of breed silver trophy at two dog shows at the Fredericton Kennel Club and placed second in the sporting group, with 52 dogs in competition. At the New Brunswick Kennel Club, held at Saint John, he won best of breed trophy for two shows and also won the Lieut. Gov. D.L. MacLaren, PC, engraved silver tray for the best New Brunswick breed dog in the show.

High scholarship

The nurses scholarship offered by the Women’s Institutes of Charlotte County, District No. 10, has been awarded to Miss Eleanor Jean Johnson of 63 Cemetery Road, St. Stephen.

90 YEARS AGO – 1927

The St. Stephen Exhibition will open its nineteenth annual event here next Tuesday, Sept. 13, with better prospects than ever before for a banner exhibition. All that is now required to make the show the greatest in its history is a little co-operation on the part of the weather man. Never before in the eighteen years have plans been laid and so much work done and enthusiasm shown as this year and the exhibition, which will open its gates here Sept. 13, already gives promise of exceeding all previous records in many respects. The brass band of Van Arnam’s Minstrels discoursed sweet music along the streets Monday and gave a pleasing performance in the St. Croix Opera House before a large audience in the evening.

120 YEARS AGO – 1897

On Sunday forenoon last, at about the church hour, fire was discovered in the barn of Howard Spearin, near the residence of Dr. Black, Bog Brook. The fire department were helpless to render much aid as the barn was beyond the reach of any hydrant. The St. Stephen steamer Wellington was finally borrowed and hauled to the burning building, and rendered good service in saving other buildings nearby. The barn was destroyed, besides two tons of hay, two pungs, one harness, mowing machine and two plows. The barn was insured for $500 and there was $200 on the hay and grain.