Kings Landing Historical Settlement, situated 37 km west of Fredericton, was established in the late 1960s as a protective measure against the risk of flood damage to numerous historical buildings in the Saint John River valley. The flood threat emerged due to the construction of the Mactaquac Dam.
Today, this settlement displays over 70 carefully preserved and reconstructed structures that include homes, farmhouses, a sash and door factory, a gristmill, a sawmill, a general store, two schools, and several artisans’ workshops. These structures depict a typical New Brunswick community from the 19th and 20th centuries. To enrich the visitor experience, the site continues to add new buildings and facilities.
The open-air museum provides two primary experiences: the exhibits housed in the Welcome Building and the village exploration. The exhibits, with a collection of over 70,000 historical artifacts, give a glimpse of the architectural heritage and day-to-day life of New Brunswickers of yesteryears.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement is a premier living history site in Canada that showcases the social history of the Saint John River society during the 19th century. Unlike other locations that concentrate on specific years or decades, Kings Landing depicts the society’s development from its Loyalist origins to the late Victorian period. The site is accessible to visitors from June to mid-October but also organizes special events during the off-season, such as “Maple, the First Taste of Spring” and “Christmas in the Valley”.
Kings Landing was developed in the late 1960s to safeguard buildings threatened by the construction of a hydro-electric dam, which increased the water level of the St. John River by over 150 feet. The history portrayed is based on real families, and each home’s research was painstakingly thorough.
In 1783, 15,000 United Empire Loyalists were allocated land along the river according to their rank in the British army, making them among the region’s earliest settlers.
Kings Landing participates in a program to breed livestock, vegetables, fruit, and flowers reminiscent of the 19th century, some of which are nearly extinct today.
Each home and trade area at Kings Landing is restored to a different time period, offering a chance to observe changes in clothing styles, technology, cooking utensils, home architecture, amenities like water, and more.
Animals played a crucial role in daily life. Examples include the dog-powered butter churn at the Joslin Farm, the horse-powered saw near the Lint barn, and the ox team.
The name “Kings Landing Historical Settlement” pays tribute to the Kings American Dragoons, a loyalist regiment during the American Revolution, and “Landing”, which signifies a wharf or stopping point for boats.
Kings Landing operates as a Crown Corporation of the Province of New Brunswick, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and is managed by a Board of Directors.
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