Settlement Plan of River John and Vicinity
The year, 1841. The original, prepared by Deputy Surveyor John Gauld and drawn on cotton with ox gall ink, shows the area from Seafoam to Tatamagouche indicating land grants and their owners. The Plan of the Settlement of River John and Vicinity, much like a map, has an interesting story to tell and is now able to share it with others as the community of River John welcomed this important piece of history to the Janice Murray Gill Memorial Library.
Of interest to genealogists, local historians, and anyone interested in the early settlement of River John and area, The Plan of the Settlement of River John and Vicinity was originally in possession of Clifford Carruthers until his passing, then put up for auction in the 1980’s. Worried this rare piece of Nova Scotian history would end its days in a private collection, community member Janice Murray Gill quickly contacted nine others in the local area, who pooled their funds and purchased the piece for over $1,500.
After being housed for several years in the local community museum, it was given to the River John Community Access Program (CAP) Society for safekeeping. Working with the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, and with River John CAP funds, the Plan was sent to Zwickers Art Gallery in Halifax to be reframed to museum standards. While in Halifax, the Public Archives of Nova Scotia made a digital scan for the library as well.
The Plan of the Settlement of River John and Vicinity is now back home and will be permanently displayed in the public library in River John. The River John CAP Society hosted an unveiling on Friday March 24th,2017.
Reproductions of the Plan are available for purchase at the River John Library.
Cost of the prints are:
- 24 x 14 $35.95
- 36 X 20 $49.95
River John has a long and interesting history. Agriculture and fishing are strong in River John and surrounding area but there was a time when it was home to a booming shipbuilding industry. Read about this fascinating part of River John's past at the Wooden Ships of River John website. We have also created a website about the American Lobster where you can find out about this creature and the fishing industry which is an important aspect of life in River John.
Cemeteries of River John online at NovaStory
The book Salem United Church River John, Nova Scotia An Historical Account of the Congregation 1808-1990 written by Dr. Ella (Watt) Sangster has also been digitized and is available to read online at NovaStory.
Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library have several items in their collection relating to River John and it's history. Visit here to see a list of resources.