Come Explore the 1903 Diary of Benjamin T. Carter (1844-1922) - Opening Windows to our Past Series Continues - Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm

The Albert County Museum is excited to host our second of five "Opening Windows to Our Past" Diary Explorations, Thursday, June 30 at 7:30 pm. Taking place the last Thursday of every month, the "Opening Windows to Our Past" Series, is going to explore some of the many diaries in the museum's collection. It's a walk through the past as told by the very people who lived it! 

Our next diary was written by Benjamin T. Carter (1844-1922). Here is a brief biography as written by Zachary A. Tingley, a student guide at the museum. 

It was 1861 in Hopewell Cape Albert County, a young clerk was aiding patrons as they inquired about his father’s masonry work. This young man was Benjamin T. Carter (1844-1922), the son of Christopher and Barbra Carter. Benjamin was baptized at St. John’s Anglican Church in Rustico, Prince Edward Island on 16 March 1845. His family moved to Albert County between 1851 and 1861, the exact timing remains unclear. Nevertheless, in the 1850’s Christopher Carter moved his family to Hopewell Cape in search of work as a stone mason.

Benjamin’s experiences in Hopewell Cape helped shape him into a successful master mariner and community steward. His position in the community allowed him to form intimate relationships with the Bennett family in Hopewell Cape, and this only augmented his status within the community.

Benjamin was first married to a Julia A. Dickson (1850-1870), it was with his first wife that he had his first two, and only, children Charles and Lillian. After Julia died in 1870 Benjamin was left a widower with two children, this was not an ideal situation to be in during the mid-1800s. As a result, Benjamin married again in 1872, his second wife was Althea M. Bennett (1836-1906). Althea was the sister of Henry J. Bennett, R. B. Bennett’s father. The reasons for Althea’s death remain unclear; however, what is clear is that it took some time before Benjamin was ready to marry again. Yet in 1911, Benjamin was married again to his third and last wife Jessie McNaughton. She remained his wife until his death in 1922.

Not much is presently know about Capt. Benjamin Carter’s time as a sea captain; however, Benjamin did receive his captain’s certificate in 1895 in Saint John, New Brunswick. His diaries seem to reveal more about his life as a farmer and community leader in Hopewell Cape rather than as a Captain on the high seas. Capt. Benjamin T. Carter was a father, farmer, captain, husband, and even a sheriff. Capt. Benjamin Carter currently is resting in the Jonah Cemetery in Dawson Settlement, New Brunswick with his first wife Alice.

Come on out Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm and find out what he has to say!

The Next Opening Windows to Our Past Series is:

Thursday, July 28 @ 7:30pm

Thursday, August 25 @ 7:30pm

Thursday, September 29 @ 7:30pm

Opening Windows to Our Past - This Thursday 7:30pm - Come Explore the Diaries of the ACM

The Albert County Museum is excited to host our first of five "Opening Windows to Our Past" Diary Explorations, Thursday, May 26 at 7:30 pm. Taking place the last Thursday of every month, the "Opening Windows to Our Past" Series, is going to explore some of the many diaries in the museum's collection. It's going to be a walk through the past as told by the very people who lived it! 

The first diary to be explored belonged to Emeline Stevens and was recently discovered in the museums collection at last year's Mystery Box Talks. Emeline was the third child of James Stevens and Eleanor Steeves who lived in the small farming community of Memel, NB.

The diary begins on August 20, 1882 and is a fascinating look at daily life in rural Albert County. It records many of the daily routines and activities a young lady working on a farm in the 1880's did. One of the highlights of the diary is the recording of one of the major events to happen in September 1882, so come and hear what she has to say!

The Opening Windows to Our Past Series is:

Thursday, May 26 @ 7:30pm

Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm

Thursday, July 28 @ 7:30pm

Thursday, August 25 @ 7:30pm

Thursday, September 29 @ 7:30pm




3 Days Left to Vote on the Ten People of Albert County That Everyone Should Know About?!


There are 3 days left to vote on the 10 people of Albert County that everyone should know about.  Last Chance to make your voice heard!

The 10 people that receive the most votes will be featured in a new exhibit at the Albert County Museum. Voting will close March 4, 2016.


  • Richard Bedford Bennett, 1st Viscount Bennett, PC KC (3 July 1870 – 26 June 1947) was a Canadian lawyer, businessman, politician, and philanthropist. He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Canada from 7 August 1930, to 23 October 1935, during the worst of the Great Depression years. Following his defeat as prime minister, Bennett moved to England, and was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Bennett.

  • Myrtle 'Molly' Kool (February 23, 1916 – February 25, 2009) was a Canadian-born American sea captain. She is recognized as being North America's first registered female sea captain or ship master.

  • William Henry Steeves (May 20, 1814 - December 9, 1873) was a merchant, lumberman, politician and Father of Canadian Confederation.

  • Lt Col. Cyrus Peck -  VC, DSO & Bar (26 April 1871 – 27 September 1956) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Peck was one of the seven Canadians to be awarded the Victoria Cross for their actions on one single day, 2 September 1918, for actions across the 30 km long Drocourt-Quéant Line near Arras, France. Peck was also the only VC winner to be a sitting member of Parliment.

  • John Smith - Founder of Albert County John Smith, 2nd, settled at Shepody, Albert County. He was a member of the New Brunswick Legislature, and Justice of the Peace.

  • Reid Bros (3) Architects- Were Canadian architects, who founded the California architectural firm, Reid & Reid. Born in Harvey, New Brunswick to William J. Reid and Lucinda Robinson. They were James W. Reid (1851-1943), Merritt J. Reid (1855-1932), and Watson Elkinah Reid (1858-1944) Notable buildings are the Hotel del Coronado, the Riverside-Albert Consolidated School, the Albert County Court House and Victoria Manor (home of Lt. Gov AR McClelan).

  • Pierre Thibodeau - Born in 1631 in Poitre, France, Pierre Thibodeau lived on a farm as a child. He moved to Acadia as a young man when he was offered a piece of land in a Seigneury. In 1698, at the age of 67, he left Port Royal to found a new settlement at Shepody.

  • Gaius Samuel Turner (August 12, 1838 – April 25, 1892[1]) was a businessman and political figure in New Brunswick, Canada. He represented Albert County in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1879 to 1892 as a Liberal-Conservative. He was born and educated in Albert County, New Brunswick, the son of Isaac Turner and Elizabeth Colpitts. In 1876, he married Lucy E. Stiles. He was a justice of the peace. Turner was a ship builder in Harvey, New Brunswick, and also was a director for the Albert Railway. He was named to the province's Executive Council in 1883 but resigned later that year. He died in office at Fredericton at the age of 53 after a long illness.

  • Judson Arthur Cleveland was possibly the most outstanding citizen of Alma for his role in holding the community in place as his saw mill ran despite tiresome bad economic times, providing livelihoods so that families might remain. He was a long-standing champion of Community on the County Council as a warden and councilor. Judson Arthur Cleveland, son of David Cleveland and Mary (Martin), was born 25 Nov. 1867. He married Ella Jane Keirstead Sept. 19, 1900. Judson died 6 Nov. 1951.

  • Mary Majka - Born in Poland in 1925 (d.2014) to a Czechoslovakian countess and a Polish school principal,  It was in New Brunswick that she would finally feel at home and it was there that Mary would begin her life’s work, saving wildlife environments, preserving historic sites, and educating Canadians about the natural world.

  • Abner Reid McClelan (January 4, 1831 – January 30, 1917) was a Canadian senator and the tenth Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.Born in Riverside-Albert, New Brunswick, the son of Peter McClelan and Lucy (Robinson) McLelan, he was educated at Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy in Sackville, (now Mount Allison University). He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in 1854 and served until confederation in 1867 when he was called to theSenate of Canada for the senatorial division of New Brunswick. A Liberal, he resigned in 1896 when he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. He served until 1902. McClelan died in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1917.

  • William Andrew Cecil Bennett PC OC (September 6, 1900 – February 23, 1979) was the 25th Premier of the Canadian province of British Columbia. With just over 20 years in office, Bennett was and remains the longest-serving premier in British Columbia history. He was usually referred to as W.A.C. Bennett, although some referred to him either affectionately or mockingly as "Wacky" Bennett.

  • William James Lewis (September 23, 1830 – June 22, 1910) was a physician and political figure in New Brunswick, Canada. He represented Albert County in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1879 to 1896 and Albert in the Canadian House of Commons from 1896 to 1904 as an Independent and then Liberal member.

  • Charles Joseph Osman (April 15, 1851 – 1922) was a businessman and political figure in New Brunswick, Canada. He represented Albert County in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1897 to 1908 as aLiberal member. He was born in England, was educated in Hertfordshire and later emigrated to New Brunswick. Osman married Laura E. Tomkins. He was the manager of a plaster mill and quarries at Hillsborough. He was first elected in an 1897 by-election held after William James Lewis was elected to the Canadian House of Commons. Osman served as speaker from 1907 to 1908.

  • Sir George Robert Parkin - Organizing Secretary for Rhodes Scholarship. Born at Parkindale near Salisbury, New Brunswick, he was a graduate from the University of New Brunswick. From 1867 to 1871, he taught at the Bathurst Grammar School. From 1872 to 1889, he was the headmaster of the Fredericton Collegiate School, where the poets Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, and Francis Shermancame under his influence. He attended the University of Oxford in 1873–1874. From 1895 to 1902, he was the headmaster of Upper Canada College. He was the organizing secretary of the Rhodes Trust (1902–1922) and the Toronto Round Table Group (1910–1922). Lord Milner was an ardent admirer of Parkin's imperial ideas. He was the author of Imperial Federation: The Problem of National Unity (1892) and a school textbook, Round the Empire. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1898 and Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours for his work with the Rhodes Trust. His daughter Alice married Canadian businessman and diplomat Vincent Massey, who would become governor general of Canada shortly after Alice's death in 1950.He was the maternal grandfather of the philosopher George Grant.

  • Harold A. Terris Spitfire pilot ww2/MLA was a military pilot, civil servant, and politician in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada. During World War II, Harold Terris served overseas as a Spitfire pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the War, he worked as a civil servant for the province of New Brunswick. In 1987 he was the successfulLiberal Party candidate for the riding of Albert, defeating incumbent Malcolm MacLeod. Terris chose not to seek reelection in 1991.

  • Malcolm Noble "Mac" MacLeod (born 8 February 1928) was a Canadian politician. Born in Moncton, he served as a longtime member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick representing the electoral district of Albert from 1970 to his defeat in 1987 when his Progressive Conservatives lost every seat in the legislature. He was the second longest serving Minister of Agriculture in New Brunswick, serving as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 1974 to 1985. He served as Minister of Natural Resources and Energyfrom 1985 until the defeat of his government in 1987. Following the election he served as interim leader of the PC Party until the election of Barbara Baird in 1989.

  • Judge Albert Watson Bennett was born in Hopewell Cape in 1864.He attended school there and went on to study law in Dorchester. He was admitted to the bar of New Brunswick in 1885 and practiced in the town of Sackville. Several years later he was appointed to the County Court of Westmorland and Kent. Throughout his career he saw many different life situations and witnessed the inequality of health services. When he retired in 1945 he began to seriously consider the state of healthcare in this region. He decided to make a difference by contributing towards creating equally accessible medical treatment for every one. He did this through making a large bequest to the Albert County Hospital. Upon his death in 1963, his estate went to his wife and it was not until she passed away in 1973 that the contribution was bequeathed to the hospital in the amount of $232,000. The following year the fund had accumulated to $359,286.63 with interest. Many improvements, equipment purchases, scholarships and educational opportunities have been made in the spirit of Judge Albert Bennett's vision of improved and quality healthcare for the residents of Albert County through the Bennett and Albert County Health Care Foundation Inc. (formerly the Bennett and Albert County Hospital Foundation).

  • Alexander Rogers (February 12, 1842 – July 2, 1933) was a merchant and political figure in New Brunswick, Canada. He represented Albert County in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1875 to 1878 and Albert in the Canadian House of Commons from 1878 to 1882 as a Liberal member. He was born in Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick, the son of William Rogers and Eliza Loughead, and was educated at Mount Allison College. In 1866, Rogers married Bessie Moore. His election to the provincial assembly was appealed twice but Rogers won the by-elections which followed each time. He died at Hopewell Hill at the age of 91.

  • John Wallace (November 18, 1812 – January 1, 1896) was a New Brunswick farmer and political figure. He represented Albert in the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal member from 1867 to 1878 and then from 1883 to 1887 as a Liberal and then as a Liberal-Conservative. He was born in Hillsborough, New Brunswick in 1812, the son of James Wallace and Catherine Copp, and grew up there. His grandparents had come to New Brunswick from Donegal in northern Ireland. Wallace was president of the Albert Agricultural Society and also a justice of the peace. Besides operating a large farm, he also owned a sawmill and was a director of the Albert Southern Railway. Wallace was originally a Liberal. After his election in 1882 was appealed, he was elected again in an 1883 by-election after running as a Liberal-Conservative.He was married three times: to Eleanor Russell in 1846, to Cynthia Foss in 1859 and to Charlotte Stackford in 1872.

  • Harry Orliff Downey (May 9, 1897 – April 17, 1974) was a fox rancher and political figure in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada. He represented Albert in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1931 to 1952 as a Liberal member. He was born in Curryville, New Brunswick, the son of Oscar E. Downey and Rose E. Matthews. Downey was speaker for the provincial assembly from 1944 to 1952.

  • Claude D. Taylor (September 13, 1911 – 1970) was a real estate agent and political figure in New Brunswick. He represented Albert in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1952 until his death in 1970 as a Progressive Conservative member. He was born in Edgetts Landing, Albert County, New Brunswick, the son of Douglas Taylor and Bernice Steeves, and was educated at the provincial normal school in Fredericton and at Mount Allison University. In 1938, he married Winnifred Way. Taylor served in the province's Executive Council as Minister of Education and Municipal Affairs from 1952 to 1954 and Minister of Education from 1954 to 1960. Taylor was also a public school teacher for 13 years. Claude D. Taylor School (an elementary school in Riverview, New Brunswick) is named in his honour.

  • Heinrich Stief (son of Augustin Stief and Anna Barbara Worner) was born 12 Dec., 1718 in Sirchingen, Wurttemberg, and died between 1778 and 1780 in Hillsborough, Albert Co., New Brunswick. He married Regina Stahleker Feb 25, 1745 in Münsingen, Wurttemberg. The couple are the progenitors of upwards of 250,000 descendants around the world.

  • Fred Colpitts (1887-1963) a keenly community minded citizen, spearheaded the breeding of Black, Silver and Platinum foxes in North America. Born in 1887 at Little River, Fred Colpitts spent only a few years at the small country school, then moved to Salsibury. In 1913 he bought three Black foxes and from this small beginning he developed the largest ranch in the British Empire.Through selection and inbreeding, Fred developed the Platinum fox. This breed gained world recognition and attracted visitors from many countries. His Platinum foxes received top sales figures in Montreal, New York and London. One matched pair sold for $5,000.00, winning the highest awards at many major shows across Canada. In 1927 he bought an Alberta dairy farm and moved the registered Holstein herd East. The herd still continues today as the "Little River Holsteins". He was also a founding member of the New Brunswick Branch Holstein-Friesian Association.Colpitts was also a well known lumberman, and during World War II he employed hundreds of men in cutting pitprops for the British Ministry of Supply. Colpitts represented his county as a member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1930 to 1939. Colpitts was also instrumental in having Fundy National Park located in Albert County.

Origin of the Species

A group of history minded people from all over Albert County met in Alma to form a group called the Albert County Historical Society.  The Albert County Historical Society was incorporated as a Non-profit organization in New Brunswick in 1957.  The Society held regular meetings to decide how to best preserve the history of the county.  They decided to establish a museum and chose a building in Hillsborough to look at.  A short time later an opportunity arose in the shiretown of Hopewell Cape.  The County Council had recently built a new Municipal Office building so the former offices were now surplus.  It so happened that the President of the Historical Society, Judson Cleveland, was also a member of the County Council.  Arrangements were made for the Historical Society to lease the former Records Office for use as a museum.

Pye Store, Tax Office and Records Office in Hopewell Cape

Pye Store, Tax Office and Records Office in Hopewell Cape

The Historical Society began collecting artefacts in 1960 to be on display in the museum.  After some modifications were made to the Records Office, including removal of the stone wall between the two sections of the vault, the Albert County Museum was opened to the public in 1962.

Later that year, after an act of council to exhume the body of Thomas F. Collins was completed, the Albert County Gaol was sold to the Society for use as a permanent museum.  Modifications were made to open up the Gaolkeeper’s apartment rooms for use as galleries as well as upgrades to the electrical service.  When the museum opened for the season in 1965, it was in the Gaol.

All County Councils were dissolved in December 1966 and all assets became the property of the province of New Brunswick.  In 1972 the Albert County Court House was sold to the Historical Society and opened to the public as part of the museum in 1975.  The County Records Office, Tax Office and the Carriage Shed associated with them was also sold to the Historical Society in 1972 in the same transaction as the Court House, but these other buildings were only used as storage.

The Historical Society saw the growing need for space to properly display and interpret the industrial aspects of the county so they obtained funding over the first few years of the 1980’s to build the Exhibition Hall.  It was built in three stages with the last piece completed in 1983.

In 2003, the boards of directors for the Hopewell Cape Community Hall and the Silver Jubilee Lodge & Library both decided to merge with the Historical Society in the hope of being able to preserve the buildings.

After several years of effort the Historical Society was finally able to secure funding for an entire site redevelopment in 2007.  Over the next 3 years the $1.4 Million project saw all of the buildings refurbished.  In 2010 the revitalized Albert County Museum was officially opened.  It now consists of eight buildings featuring 22 themed galleries that tell the stories of “The People of the Tides” – the human and industrial history of Albert County.