History

Village of Sussex Corner History

The earliest inhabitants of the area were members of the Mic Mac tribe of the great Algonquin family. A Paleo-Indian site at Debert, Nova Scotia, indicates that these people moved into the area shortly after de-glaciation. They were undoubtedly attracted by the abundant food supply in the forest and rivers. Evidence from the Debert site, and Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, indicates the presence of caribou; fish were also abundant. Old Indian burial grounds were found at the mouth of Millstream, near Apohaqui and at the location of the Lower Ward’s Creek School House. Indian people continued to live in the area until the early 1800’s.

Although Sussex Vale constituted part of the territory that was more or less under French jurisdiction from around 1650 to the capture of Fort Beauséjour by the English in June of 1755, there is no evidence of any French (Acadian) settlements in the Sussex Vale area. The reason that Acadian settlers apparently were not attracted to the Kennebecasis and Trout Creek valleys was probably related to the fact that they preferred draining the fertile marshes along the head of the Bay of Fundy rather than creating farmland by removing the forest. The Acadians had great expertise in dyke building and draining the land using the so-called “aboiteaux”. The aboiteaux were wooden locks built in the dykes that allowed the land to drain (by gravity) during low tide and that closed (by pressure of the water) during high tide.

The Acadians were very successful in the type of marsh agriculture and produced considerable amounts of surplus food. Although not officially permitted by the French authorities, the surplus food was traded for manufactured goods in Massachusetts. Sussex Vale constituted part of this trading route, which extended from Beaubassin, in the Isthmus of Chenecto, via the Petitcodiac, Anagance and Kennebecasis rivers to Saint John. CLICK HERE for the Full Sussex Corner History

Pilot James Wade

A resident of Sussex Corner who brought honour is James Wade, born in England in 1909, the son of Mr and Mrs. Robert Wade. He attended the Village Elementary School and graduated from Sussex High in 1928. 

A pioneer in the early days of flying, he was a bush pilot in the North and he served during the Second World War as a ferry pilot flying military planes to Greenland. Also, he pioneered private plane flying and was K.C. Irving’s personal pilot for several years. He was best known for his many mercy and rescue flights. Before 1943 one could read of airmen rushing serum through the night skies to a critically ill patient, or airmen braving angry weather hurrying a passenger to the bedside of a dying mother or wife, but even among such illustrations, the following feat of Jimmy Wade in Greenland stands out like a brilliant light. CLICK HERE for James Wade's Full Story

Hugh McMonagle

An outstanding character of the late 1800s was Hugh McMonagle. He was born of Irish parents, and first saw the light of day in the home now occupied by Lloyd Hunt in Dutch Valley. He became the proprietor of the wellknown McMonagle Inn, which still stands at the cross-roads and is now used as a residence. At the Inn, accommodation for travelers by stage coach and horseback was supplied. Liquor also flowed freely at a 30-foot bar served by four bartenders at times. McMonagle also managed a racetrack of one-half mile, at that time the fastest in North America, and to which horses came from as far as Kentucky.

Hugh McMonagle, a colourful figure who influenced the history of our province in the field of sport, especially in horse racing. He came from a family of strong Irish heritage, and perhaps it was the Irish love of thoroughbred horses that first aroused his interest. He was born in Hillsborough, Albert County, and later moved to Sussex Corner. He was married twice – to twin sisters, Margaret and Mary Roach. His family to both wives were William, James, Hugh, Jr., Walter and a daughter. CLICK HERE for Hugh McMonagle's Full Story