January 29, 2023


Marysville Cotton Mill

Marysville Cotton Mill

Lumberman, railway entrepreneur, and industrialist, Alexander Gibson (1818-1913) moved from Lepreau, Charlotte County, to the Fredericton area in 1862, when he purchased mill and timber properties on the Nashwaak River from Robert Rankin, Francis Ferguson, and Allan Gilmour. Ten years later he had acquired 30,000 acres of crown land on the upper Nashwaak River, along with 93,000 acres of forest land from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company and other properties.

Alexander “Boss” Gibson

By this time, he had also helped establish the village of Marysville, where he later constructed a cotton mill. Construction began on the Marysville Cotton Mill in the spring of 1883. Completed in 1885, the mill functioned into the mid-20th century. In the late 1800’s Gibson ran a grist and flour mill by water power, as he did his sawmills. 

Marysville Cotton Mill 1889
Marysville Cotton Mill 1889

Marysville Cotton Mill

Convinced of the economic value of railways, Gibson became a director of the Fredericton Railway Company; a founding member and a financier of the New Brunswick Railway; involved with Jabez Bunting Snowball with the revival of the Northern and Western Railway Company of New Brunswick; and associated with the Fredericton and Saint Mary’s Railway Bridge Company.

First Railway Flanger
The first railway “flanger” used in the world which was invented by a black Frederictonian, John Hamilton. In the photo, Alexander Gibson (L) and F. B. Edgecombe (R). The second Exhibition Palace is in the background. (Photo from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Taylor Collection)

In 1899, the Alexander Gibson Railway and Manufacturing Company acquired an additional 28,000 acres from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company. 

Marysville Place

The Government of New Brunswick now occupies this building knows as Marysville Place. Its located at 20 McGloin Street in Marysville. 

Black & White photos from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick by an unknown photographer.

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