History, Nature, Progress.. in Harmony.. in Rexton

Village History


 

Between 1787 and 1810, following the Expulsion of the Acadians, most of the French settlers were allowed to reclaim and settle on their original sites along the mouth of the Richibucto River. Communities such as Richibouctou-Village are the result of this re-settlement. When the English, Scottish and Irish settlers arrived, they had to take up residence further along the Richibucto River.

John Jardine is credited with founding the Village of Rexton when he first built here in 1825. Rexton was originally named Kingston but in 1901, the “King” was replaced with “Rex”, its Latin equivalent. John Jardine was typical of the first settlers from Scotland. Many of these first pioneers were from Annan, Galloway and other parts of the shires of Dumfries and Kircudbright.
Breaktime in one of the local sawmills circa. 1945

Breaktime in one of the local sawmills circa. 1945

The abundance of white pine led to the establishment of a substantial milling operation and eventually a shipbuilding industry second only to Saint John’s.Rexton is also the birthplace of Andrew Bonar Law. Bonar Law was the only prime minister of Great Britain to have been born outside the British Isles.
Main Street, looking south onto bridge

Main Street, looking south onto bridge

On November 9, 1966, Rexton was incorporated as a Village by the Municipalities Act of the Province of New Brunswick. Lowell Cail became the first mayor. As of the 1996 census, Rexton’s population had reached 908.
Brait Corner

Brait Corner

The Village of Rexton Seal

The seal of the Village of Rexton emphasizes the rich history of Rexton as well as the present. At the close of the American Revolution, several Loyalist refugees received land grants along the Richibucto River. By 1790, the abundance of timbers and easy access to the Atlantic Ocean made Rexton, (then Kingston), a natural site for a thriving timber and shipbuilding industry.

The cairn on the left of the crest is in honour of Bonar Law. The right of the crest represents the religious diversity of the community and its agricultural base. The background shows the bridge that joins the two sides of the village by spanning the Richibucto River, represented by the water at the bottom of the crest.
The Village of Rexton Seal

The Village of Rexton Seal