Saturday, March 22, 2014

St. John River

 The St. John River flows from Maine to the Bay of Fundy

On September 12, 2013, the St. John River was named a Canadian Heritage River by the Canadian Heritage Rivers system, a joint federal-provincial-territorial body which  gives national recognition to Canadian rivers of extraordinary natural, cultural and recreational significance.

 St. John River, Fredericton

The importance of the St. John was recognized by Canada Post on August 10,  1993 when it issued  a commemorative stamp featuring the St. John River as part of the Canada River stamp set:

 Canada Post provided this description of the St. John river and commemorative stamp in Canada's Stamps Details, No. 11, 1993, p. 8-9:
This important waterway, discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1604, originates in the state of Maine and travels a circuitous 663 kilometre route before emptying into the Bay of Fundy at the famous Reversing Falls - the phenomenon that takes place twice daily when the Fundy tides force the river water to back upstream. In its upper reaches the St. John forms the Main-New Brunswick border, then swings almost due south to Woodstock, east to Fredericton and Oromocto, and then southward to the city of St. John, before completing its seaward course. Champlain's discovery of the river coincided with the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist, hence the river's name. Historically, the river has been important, first as home to the Acadians and later to British settlers from New England, as well as United Empire Loyalists. Canada Post Corporation's commemorative stamp portrays a pastoral scene on the lower river, and in the foreground, white lillies, an endangered species.

Steamboat Transport

From 1816 to 1945, steamboats navigated the St. John River.

Steamboat on the St. John

The cover below was sent by steamboat  from Fredericton to Victoria Corner, N.B., in 1884. The month is indistinct in the Fredericton postmark, but ends in a "Y" - probably May or July. There was no receiver postmark  probably because the addressee, James W. Boyer, was the Victoria Corner postmaster (1874 to 1899).

Manuscript notation : "Steam Boat"

Victoria Corner is located on the west bank of the St. John River about 120 km upriver from Fredericton. In 1898 Victoria Corner had 1 post office, 1 store, 1 shoe factory and tannery, 2 churches and a population of 250: formerly called Bowyers Corner for Charles Bowyer, who was an early settler here.

View of St. John River, Victoria Corner present day


The St. John River Society

The Road to Canada - Nomination Document for
the St. John River, New Brunswick 

The St. John River Heritage Corridor

 St. John River Officially Designated to CHRS