Petit-Rocher, a village situated on Chaleur Bay and 20 km northwest of Bathurst, was established in 1797 by Acadian settlers. With 92% of its residents being Francophone, the village’s name, derived from French, refers to a small rock off a headland that helps create a cove for the village.
Initially settled by displaced Acadians in 1755, the village underwent various name changes over time: Little Roche from 1850 to 1854, Madisco until 1870, and finally Petit Rocher. The hyphenated form, Petit-Rocher, was adopted in 2009. Some historical maps use alternative names like Petite Roche (1812) and Sainte Roque or Little Russia (1827). In the region, most anglophones pronounce the name as Petty Roche.
In 1797, Charles Doucet, Jean Boudreau, and Pierre Laplante left Nepisiguit (now Bathurst) to establish a new settlement. They relied on farming, logging, and fishing for their livelihood. The inshore fishery and fish processing were the mainstays of the local economy until the 1960s.
More recently, a zinc mine and paper mill in Bathurst and a smelter in Belledune have provided additional employment opportunities for Petit-Rocher residents. The Mines and Minerals Interpretation Centre of New Brunswick is also located in the village.
Petit-Rocher offers hotel accommodations, restaurants, and a beautiful public park with beach access. Visitors can also enjoy a recreational park, beach, picnic facilities, and games.
Each year on August 15, the village hosts the Rendez-vous Acadian to celebrate Acadian Day.
Click on a thumbnail to see more photos of Petit-Rocher.
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