The Village of Hillsborough is in Albert County. It is situated on a hill overlooking the Petitcodiac River near the intersection of Route 910 and Route 114. Hillsborough is the largest settlement in Hillsborough Parish.
Originally established around 1700 as “Blanchard’s Village” by Acadian farmers, they lived here for sixty years, building dykes that are still in use. Before the Great Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, the area was almost 100% French. Now, few Acadians live there, though there are several Acadian settlements on the opposite bank of the Petitcodiac River, such as Pre d’en Haut.
On September 4, 1755, the Battle of Petitcodiac was fought near Hillsborough. After the capture of Fort Beausejour during the Seven Years’ War, in an attempt to gain control over the region, the British sent a punitive expedition consisting of two companies of British colonial troops into the Petitcodiac River Valley to destroy the Acadian settlements located there. While the main body finished their operation on the eastern bank, a detachment was dispatched to the western bank. When the detachment under Major Joseph Frye approached Blanchard’s Village, located near where Hillsborough now stands, it encountered French forces under the command of Captain Charles Deschamps de Boishébert and was driven off with heavy losses. The site is marked by a National Historic Sites and Monument plaque.
In 1766, a group of settlers arrived in the area led by Matthias Somers, Michael Lutz, Jacob Trietz (Trites), Charles Jones, and Heinrich Stieff (Steeves). Heinrich Steeves had seven sons and the name Steeves is still common among residents.
The most important of the minerals mined in Albert County was gypsum. By the 1930’s Albert County produced eighty percent of the total output of gypsum in the Province. The gypsum mined in Albert County was considered to be some of the finest quality gypsum in the world. The Albert Manufacturing Company operated from 1854 until 1980.
During this time the company operated a gypsum mine, four quarries, a private railway, and a plaster mill.
When opened in 1854 the plaster mill was the largest in Canada. From this mill, high grade gypsum was manufactured into plaster and shipped to markets all over of the world. The mill also produced lower quality grey and pink gypsum.
Hillsborough is a prime destination for the outdoor enthusiast. The marshes and wetlands offer excellent bird watching opportunities. Trail systems throughout the wetlands and abandoned quarry properties provide residents and visitors a natural setting for a leisurely walk. The young at heart can enjoy the challenge of a fast-paced mountain bike tour through diverse and picturesque trails.
More things to do: explore the Gray Brook Marsh Wildlife Habitat & Walking Trails, play a round of golf, see the site where the Hillsborough Mastadon was discovered in 1936, one of the best preserved and most complete ever discovered. (remains now located in the NB Museum in Saint John, NB), the New Brunswick Railway Museum featuring a VOODOO Aircraft-CF 101 Voodoo Fighter Jet and the William Henry Steeves House Museum. Lots to see in Hillsborough.
Click on a thumbnail to see historic Hillsborough properties.
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