Marysville Cotton Mill

Marysville Place

Marysville Cotton Mill

Alexander Gibson (1818-1913), an industrial magnate known for his work in the lumber industry and railway entrepreneurship, relocated from Lepreau, Charlotte County, to the Fredericton region in 1862. During this time, he purchased mill and timber estates on the Nashwaak River from Robert Rankin, Francis Ferguson, and Allan Gilmour. A decade later, his portfolio included 30,000 acres of crown land on the upper Nashwaak River and an additional 93,000 acres of forested territory bought from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company, along with other properties.

Alexander “Boss” Gibson

Gibson played a key role in establishing the village of Marysville, where he would later build a cotton mill. The construction of the Marysville Cotton Mill started in the spring of 1883 and was completed by 1885. The mill remained operational until the mid-20th century. During the late 19th century, Gibson also operated a grist and flour mill using hydropower, a technique he employed in his sawmills.

Marysville Cotton Mill 1889
Marysville Cotton Mill 1889

Marysville Cotton Mill

Believing in the economic significance of railways, Gibson took up various roles in the industry. He served as a director of the Fredericton Railway Company and a founding member and financier of the New Brunswick Railway. He collaborated with Jabez Bunting Snowball in rejuvenating the Northern and Western Railway Company of New Brunswick and was involved 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 further expanded its land ownership, acquiring an additional 28,000 acres from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company.

Marysville Place

Today, the Government of New Brunswick operates out of the Marysville Place, the former Marysville Cotton Mill building, which is 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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