Life In Dorchester
If you like knowing your neighbours, being close to nature and just far enough away from city life, you'll like Dorchester. People look out for you here, yet there's lots of private space. You're a short drive away from cosmopolitan cities, yet natural beauty surrounds you. And every fall, we host one of the world's natural wonders when up to a million shorebirds flock to our beaches.
Ron Corbett photo
It's hard to imagine a better location. We're just 15 minutes west of Sackville and the highly-acclaimed Mount Allison University. We're only 20 minutes east of Moncton and an exciting cultural scene.
Dorchester offers the best of both worlds. Make it yours.
The Village of Dorchester is nestled among forested hills skirting the eastern banks of the Memramcook River at the head of the Bay of Fundy. It is a place where Canada's Fathers of Confederation attended afternoon tea parties, where native Canadians found an abundance of game and where shipbuilders, stone masons and stevedores carved a living from rich natural resources.
Dorchester's original residents were Micmacs. Today, these First Nations people operate the Fort Folly Reserve, one of the most successful reserves in Eastern Canada where employment rates are almost 100 per cent. Native-run businesses range from dog breeding and blueberry harvesting to Internet technology companies.
The first non-native settlers were Acadians who arrived from Nova Scotia in 1691, but were later victims of the Acadian Expulsion of 1755. By the 1770s, many Yorkshiremen had settled in what later became "The Shiretown of Westmorland County" and the British Redcoats were claiming lands throughout the eastern British colony.
Dorchester soon became one of the ten custom ports of entry in the province and shipbuilding became one of the chief means of employment. The most famous of the region's builders of wooden ships were the Hickman, Palmer and Chapman families. Hay from the Tantramar Marshes and locally quarried stone, passed through Dorchester en route to overseas markets and to cities along the northeastern coast of the United States.
Home of E.B. Chandler, Father of Confederation.
Father of Confederation, Edward Barron Chandler, made use of the area's sandstone to build his Georgian mansion, which is now known as the Rocklynn. Just a stone's throw away is the home of his law-clerk, Sir Albert J. Smith, who is said to have delayed Confederation by 15 months.
Mr. Chandler became Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. Mr Smith became Premier in 1865, and three other Dorchester natives went on to hold that position. Other famous statesmen from the Village include former MLA and Canada's first Acadian judge, Sir Pierre A. Landry and the Honourable William Botsford, former Speaker of the House.
The achievements of its people have always been a source of pride for the community. Long since steamships, then railroads and now, transport trucks, replaced sailing ships, Dorchester has stood the test of time. It is a community that has always thrived on its rich architectural heritage, its exciting natural beauty and the spirit, commitment and passion of its residents.