A VAN HORNE LINK
Campbellton, New Brunswick, and Cross Point, Québec
are seperated by the Restigouche River and joined by the Van Horne Bridge
Charly Van Horne who was Minister for Restigouche West in the late 1950's
was one of many who had promised to get a bridge built in their political campaign
but he was the one who got the job done.
He used a bit of a trick to get it done but at least we have our bridge. Mr Van Horne wrote
to Ottawa and invited the Premier and MP's to visit and see for themselves how badly
an intercolonial bridge was needed. They finally wrote back and asked for a date which
would be convenient for him. Being the smart man he was Mr. Van Horne thought things over
and invited them to come visit on July 26th.
July 26th being Ste Anne's Day here, there were people from all over the province who came
to attend the ceremonies in Ristigouche so when the dignitaries arrived to the ferry crossing
there were long lines waiting at the slip. Surprised, they asked Mr Van Horne "Is it always this busy" ? And Mr Van Horne answered "You should see it on Sundays"!
And that is how the bridge came to be built.
Before this bridge was built, in 1961, people of the area
used a ferry to cross the river in the summer time and the ice in the
winter. The very first ferry if you can call it that, left Campbellton for Cross Point
in 1855 and it was nothing but a scow-like boat which was rowed by 5 men
and Mr Albert Verge was one of them (in charge), it took passengers only.
A few years later, it was a small scow which would take a few horses and buggies across along with passengers
Mr Christie Keane (Kaine)
was the operator of the second ferry and his boat had a motor which turned
paddle wheels. (document dated 1873)
The third ferry was the "Frances"
and it had for operators, Howe Taylor and John A. Macdonald
this would have to be between 1873 and 1903
Taylor and MacDonald purchased a new ferry which was in operation from 1903 til 1908 and that was called the "Bella".(If anyone has a picture of this ferry I'd much appreciate a copy. This one is "thought" to be it.)
In 1915 the "Elsie MacDonald" was doing the job.
Sometimes between 1915 or so and 1940 when Captain Romeo Allard put the Romeo and Juliette to work, a few businessmen went into the ferry business, including: John Quinn, Eugene Morin, Frank Champoux, and Charles Lacroix.
And of course there was the
Then there was
Romeo and Juliette
owned and operated by Captain Romeo Allard, it was the last ferry used between Campbellton and Cross Point.
In the winter time, the ice would be their only way to get across.
Of course there was a road which was kept clean on the ice where cars and snowmobiles could pass. In order not to lose their way while traveling
at nite and to know where the road was for those doing the upkeep
the road had to be "bushed" , or trees had to be placed on either side
of the road the lenght of the road from Cross Point to Campbellton
Men got paid $2.00 (probably a month) to do this and here is a copy
of a document of payment to Mr Francis Marchie (Murchie) for $2.00
for "bushing the ice" dated Dec. 20/1876
Bushing The Ice Receipt
A copy of a Petition written by James Quinn, Ferryman
This page was designed by Irene Doyle 1998
Undated March 2000