An engraving, map and artifact portrayed together in one image to illustrate the theme of this module, a strategic location.

As the 19th century began, the Tantramar dykelands represented the richest agricultural lands of the Maritimes. The wagons, sleighs and carriages needed to grow this rural economy spawned one of Canada's longest operating pre-industrial factories.

Leslie Van Patter
Paul Bogaard, Adèle Hempel
18-19th Century
Sackville, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.


The Campbell Carriage Factory operated for 100 years on the verge of the vast Tantramar marshlands that separate New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, beginning around 1850. 

Why at that time?...why in this place? 

In the decades leading up to 1850 these marshlands afforded the best agricultural lands anywhere throughout the Maritimes.1 They were already being farmed by Acadian settlers as early as the 1670s, and by the early 1700s the village of “Tintimarre” had sprung up at the site where the Campbells later established their carriage factory.2 But the Acadians had no more need for a “factory” to provide carts and sleds, than the First Nations had before them.

The tides of the Bay of Fundy, as high as anywhere in the world, had been depositing for millennia the rich, brown silt which lies tens of meters deep within the Tantramar. The vast saltmarshes created were without equal across North America.3 So rich a resource supported generations of native people, whose artifacts are found today around the perimeter of this unique area, just beyond the reach of the highest tides.  The A Read More
The Campbell Carriage Factory operated for 100 years on the verge of the vast Tantramar marshlands that separate New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, beginning around 1850. 

Why at that time?...why in this place? 

In the decades leading up to 1850 these marshlands afforded the best agricultural lands anywhere throughout the Maritimes.1 They were already being farmed by Acadian settlers as early as the 1670s, and by the early 1700s the village of “Tintimarre” had sprung up at the site where the Campbells later established their carriage factory.2 But the Acadians had no more need for a “factory” to provide carts and sleds, than the First Nations had before them.

The tides of the Bay of Fundy, as high as anywhere in the world, had been depositing for millennia the rich, brown silt which lies tens of meters deep within the Tantramar. The vast saltmarshes created were without equal across North America.3 So rich a resource supported generations of native people, whose artifacts are found today around the perimeter of this unique area, just beyond the reach of the highest tides.  The Acadians shortened the tide's reach, and that's where our story begins.
1  Wynn, G.  Timber Colony: A Historical Geography of Early Nineteenth Century New Brunswick. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981. 71; and Wynn, G., “Late Eighteenth-Century Agriculture on the Bay of Fundy Marshlands,” in Buckner & Frank, eds., The Acadiensis Reader: Volume 1 – Atlantic Canada Before Confederation. Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1985. 44-53.

2  Surette, Paul. Atlas of te Acadian Settlement of the Beaubassin: 1660 to 1755 -- Tintamarre and Le Lac. Sackville: Tantramar Heritage Trust, 2004.  98-118.

3  Atlantic Geological Society.  2001. The Last Billion Years: A Geological History of the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Halifax:  Nimbus, 2001. 193, 201-202.

© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.

Featuring the Tantramar dyked lands as the context which spawned the Campbell Carriage Factory

Play this animation to zoom in on our location, and see how the tides of Fundy are the "making" of the Tantramar.

This animation zooms in from satellite images of the Earth, to North America, to the Bay of Fundy, to the Tantramar marshes at the head of the Bay. “High tide” is shown filling the marshland (“pre-dyking”), and then with “Acadian dyking” is transformed into “Reclaimed land.” A star settles into the exact location of Mi’maq encampment, Acadian settlement and the later British settlement which spawns the Campbell Carriage Factory.

Tantramar Interactive Inc.
Paul Bogaard, Leslie Van Patter, Adèle Hempel
18-19th Century
Sackville, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.


Just north of the star, which appears at the conclusion of the preceding animation, the Mi'kmaq had established a major village.  They had already devised ways to transport people and their goods in both summer and winter... with no need for a factory.

In summer it was the well-known canoe designed to rely upon waterways long before there were roads.  We still use this aboriginal invention, when eager to get away from roads and railways.  In winter, they developed the simple sled we still call a toboggan and some version of this device  has been used ever since.1  We still call these by their Mi'kmaq name... and this may be where we get our name for a pung as well.
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The following images, online, help us recapture this inheritance:
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mikmaq/?section=image&page=&id=89&period=&region=
Read More
Just north of the star, which appears at the conclusion of the preceding animation, the Mi'kmaq had established a major village.  They had already devised ways to transport people and their goods in both summer and winter... with no need for a factory.

In summer it was the well-known canoe designed to rely upon waterways long before there were roads.  We still use this aboriginal invention, when eager to get away from roads and railways.  In winter, they developed the simple sled we still call a toboggan and some version of this device  has been used ever since.1  We still call these by their Mi'kmaq name... and this may be where we get our name for a pung as well.
.
.
The following images, online, help us recapture this inheritance:
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mikmaq/?section=image&page=&id=89&period=&region=
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mikmaq/?section=image&page=&id=213&period=1850&region=


Diane Mitchell's story

When talking with Diane Mitchell about permission to use the recording of tepaqan  [see below]  from the Mi’gmaq-Mi’kmaq Online Talking Dictionary site (http://www.mikmaqonline.org), she offered this story:
“With reference to "pung", my mother used to refer to a horse drawn winter sleigh as pangeji'j, the "-ji'j" added on to the end of a Mi'gmaq word indicates a diminutive, so a small horse-drawn winter sleigh. My mother’s name is Mali Mise'l (Mary Mitchell in English), and she is from Listuguj. Because my mother was born in 1910, when she was young, horse drawn vehicles were the norm. I have always wondered whether it was an English term with a Mi'gmaw ending added or a very old Mi'gmaq word.”

In an early study2  ...Pung is listed as an:
"old New England [and Canadian Maritimes] term for a rude sort of sleigh, an oblong box made of boards placed on runners, used for drawing loads on snow by horses...an abbreviation of an older term, in all probability a corruption of toboggan."

Both the Mi'qmaq toboggan and the pung Europeans derived from it are delightfully illustrated for us in this c. 1845 painting by Kreighoff:
https://www.heffel.com/New/Auction/Big_Image_E.aspx?LotID=13998&ImageID=18568&Main=1&Size=550
1 Whitehead, Ruth Holmes and Harold McGee. The Micmac: How Their Ancestors Lived Five Hundred Years Ago.  Halifax:  Nimbus Publishing, 1983.  38-40.

2  Chamberlain, Alexander F., "Algonkian Words in American English: A Study in the Contact of the White Man and the Indian."  The Journal of American Folklore, Vol.15, No.59 (1902): 240-267.

© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.

The word “toboggan” spoken in Mi’kmaq, by a native speaker, and then the sentence: Have you ever owned an old toboggan?

Play this video to hear the sound of "toboggan" spoken by a Mi'kmaq speaker in his native tongue.

The word “toboggan” spoken in Mi’kmaq, by a native speaker, and then the full sentence: "Have you ever owned an old toboggan?"

Leslie Van Patter, Bryson Gilbert
Diane Mitchell, Mi'gmaq-Mi'kmaq Online, Paul Bogaard, Adèle Hempel
19th Century
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.


The reach of the tides was what the Acadians learned to control.

With a combined technology of building dykes out of the marsh’s own rich clay and native grasses, and carefully constructing aboideau which drained the fresh water runoff, the Acadians garnered more agriculturally productive land than they could use ... without clearing any forest beyond their upland farm yards. 
[see: http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/museum/tour/aboiteau.htm]

Look again at the star which spins into place at the end of the animation... it is the location of the largest of the Acadian villages on this vast marshland.1  And “Tintimarre” was situated here at the "height of tide" where powerful tidal influence was greatly diminished.
The reach of the tides was what the Acadians learned to control.

With a combined technology of building dykes out of the marsh’s own rich clay and native grasses, and carefully constructing aboideau which drained the fresh water runoff, the Acadians garnered more agriculturally productive land than they could use ... without clearing any forest beyond their upland farm yards. 
[see: http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/museum/tour/aboiteau.htm]

Look again at the star which spins into place at the end of the animation... it is the location of the largest of the Acadian villages on this vast marshland.1  And “Tintimarre” was situated here at the "height of tide" where powerful tidal influence was greatly diminished.
1  Surette, Paul. Atlas of te Acadian Settlement of the Beaubassin: 1660 to 1755 -- Tintamarre and Le Lac. Sackville: Tantramar Heritage Trust, 2005. 98-140.
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.

19th century engraving of a river running through marshland, showing cattle crossing a bridge and haying in the background.

Dyking the Tantramar marshland provided the 18th century Acadian settlers with productive farmland. They harvested hay, a variety of crops, and especially cattle! As with their Mi'kmaq friends, they had little need for factories to provide carts, pungs or boats.

Picturesque Canada
Leslie Van Patter, Paul Bogaard, Adèle Hempel
18th Century
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.


When the British and French fought for control of this region in the 1750s, the battle which “turned the tide” flared up just across the marsh from this location. When the smoke cleared, and the British decided to clear out the Acadian settlers as well – they truly suffered a grand dérangement – there were New Englanders and Yorkshire settlers eager to take advantage of these fertile, dyked farmlands. Like the Acadians before them, they raised a variety of crops, but gained their wealth from cattle. Over the decades they extended the dykes, drained several remaining lakes, and discovered that the hay which grew without further cultivation was an even more valuable export. 1

In these, the early decades of the 1800s, rose the need for a factory which could supply more sophisticated wagons and sleighs, and eventually, affordable carriages.
When the British and French fought for control of this region in the 1750s, the battle which “turned the tide” flared up just across the marsh from this location. When the smoke cleared, and the British decided to clear out the Acadian settlers as well – they truly suffered a grand dérangement – there were New Englanders and Yorkshire settlers eager to take advantage of these fertile, dyked farmlands. Like the Acadians before them, they raised a variety of crops, but gained their wealth from cattle. Over the decades they extended the dykes, drained several remaining lakes, and discovered that the hay which grew without further cultivation was an even more valuable export. 1

In these, the early decades of the 1800s, rose the need for a factory which could supply more sophisticated wagons and sleighs, and eventually, affordable carriages.
1  William Hamilton. At the Crossroads: A History of Sackville new Brunswick. Gaspereau Press, 2004. 19-88.
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.

Another 19th century engraving, this one depicting haying on the vast Tantramar marshes, requiring specialized wagons.

Through the 19th century the Tantramar was increasingly given over to the production of hay. It spawned the need for specially designed hay wagons as could only be built in a local carriage factory.

Picturesque Canada
Leslie Van Patter, Paul Bogaard, Adèle Hempel
18-19th Century
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.


The constant complaint as late as 1800 was that the roads were impossible for wheeled vehicles beyond very local use. By 1850, however, there were both highways and byways, coaches regularly carried both passengers and mail, and there was increasing demand for carriages, fancy cutters in winter and specially designed haywagons on the Tantramar.

As early as 1820 the first carriages were imported into the area, and by the 1830s we see the first indications of carriages being made in local mills and woodworking shops.  Ronald Campbell was learning the trade in the 1820s and 1830s, lists himself as a “carriage maker of Sackville” by 1840, and in the early 1850s he had begun a carriage-making business with his son, George.  Together, they refurbished a building which had been built as tannery in the mid-1840s.  Their business records are on-going beginning in 1853, and they have title to their new establishment by 1855.  That star spinning into place in the previous animation marks the spot!

Beginning with two Campbells, employment grew to at least nine (and occasionally twelve) near the end of the 1800s, and then diminished again t Read More
The constant complaint as late as 1800 was that the roads were impossible for wheeled vehicles beyond very local use. By 1850, however, there were both highways and byways, coaches regularly carried both passengers and mail, and there was increasing demand for carriages, fancy cutters in winter and specially designed haywagons on the Tantramar.

As early as 1820 the first carriages were imported into the area, and by the 1830s we see the first indications of carriages being made in local mills and woodworking shops.  Ronald Campbell was learning the trade in the 1820s and 1830s, lists himself as a “carriage maker of Sackville” by 1840, and in the early 1850s he had begun a carriage-making business with his son, George.  Together, they refurbished a building which had been built as tannery in the mid-1840s.  Their business records are on-going beginning in 1853, and they have title to their new establishment by 1855.  That star spinning into place in the previous animation marks the spot!

Beginning with two Campbells, employment grew to at least nine (and occasionally twelve) near the end of the 1800s, and then diminished again through the 20th century until the last two employees drew their last wages in 1951, leaving everything where it sat!  The last decade was spent primarily making repairs. There was no longer a need for specially-designed haywagons, carriages were long since replaced by cars, and the last vehicle built and sold was a type of sleigh still being called a “pung.” Once snowploughs began keeping the roads cleared, even this need passed.

© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.

This final image captures the front of the Campbell Carriage Factory as it appears, today, following considerable renovation.

Originally built as a tannery at the middle of the 1840s, by 1855 this building had been converted into what would become Canada's longest operating carriage factory.

Paul Bogaard
Leslie Van Patter, Adèle Hempel
19th Century
Sackville, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2007, Tantramar Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The “On the Tantramar” Learning Object is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives:

• Locate and learn about the Tantramar region of the Maritimes;

• Explore themes in Canadian history and the cultural heritage of the Mi’kmaq, Acadian and British settlers in this area;

• Establish links between these peoples’ cultural heritage, and how they met their need for transportation;

• Learn about an important period in Canadian history, when the Acadians applied their skills at dyking the marshlands of l’Acadie;

• Discuss and analyze the development of agriculture and of roads and their combined impact on transportation;

• Research, identify, and describe the factors that motivated the shift from shop to factory to meet these growing transportation needs.

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