Meductic, York County NB

Meductic is a small village located about 20 km south of Woodstock on Highway 2 on the south side of Eel River, where Eel River empties into the St. John River. Meductic was originally called Eel River. The Lower Meductic Cemetery contains many graves moved from other cemeteries flooded by the construction of the Mactaquac Hydro Dam.

Meductic is the home to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cymbals. Founded in 1981, SABIAN Cymbals has developed a worldwide reputation for the quality of its products.

The following is a poem about Meductic written in 1976-77 by Clyde S. Dickinson, of R.R. #1, Woodstock NB


When memory keeps me company
As at home alone I sit
Old homes and buainens places
Across my vision flit.
The camera is on location
In a little country town
Eel River was its early name
A centre of Renown,
White horses switched their foamy tails
As tumbling waters came
To join the St. John River here
And give the town it's name.
East of this stream a flat extends
More than a mile in length
With half that width at its widest part
Hill bound to give it strength.
And shield it from the wintry blast
That sometimes sweeps N.B.
It makes a scene without compare
For artist eyes to see.
From East to West we are moving now
And at this Eastern door
A farmstead looms upon the scene
Owned by one Frederick Moore.
We're now back to the nineties
The Stage coach era's done
But many a relic of its tine
Has not yet been withdrawn.
For standing here just on our right
Four yellow walls enfold
A hostel to give needed rest
To traveller brave and bold
Its usefulness has passed away
No more the coaches rule
A Pedagogue comes here to dwell
And teach the village school.
I see him yet so stern and tall
And straight as sapling pine
He disciplined the village boys,
And kept the girls in line.
Peter Girdwood wes his name.
A bully learned to fear
Many students gained renown
From what he taught them here.
Across the way in fertile field
Where the Moore farm buildings set
Although the barns, have gone away
The house is standing yet.
Many owners since its day
Have claimed it for their home
Free distant lands with varied names
Adventuring, they have come.
Now as I write - who'd ever thought
This farm where Moore once reigned,
A lumber king and farmer too
Such state of fame attained
To boast a Cymbal factory?
The largest in the land.
To supply fine brassy music
A must for any band.
But now the camera's moving
And just blank land appears
Two farm widths greet my vision
Thus it was for many years.
But here I pause, I strain my ears
I'm sure I hear it well --
The object of my stopping --
Now its cause to you I'll tell:
"Hello: Sport fans." Tis the shout
From the TV's newsy mouth
And we get a dose of professional sport
From the East, West, North and South
But here is no gamblers' sporting news
No professional rules or plays
But pure, old-fashioned skating
In those former winter days.
In those old days when winter thaws
Sent the water tumbling down
From the high surrounding hills
To join the St. John.
It found the water courses filled
With grass and ice and snow,
It spread itself upon these fields
With no other place to go.
The North wind blew its icy breath
Congealed it where it lay.
Sheet of crystal, clear as glass
With no entrance fee to pay.
The moon is shining, silver bright.
The stars are twinkling cold.
A bonfire breaks upon the scene
A pleasure to behold.
Here man and maiden, young and bold
And some with hear turned grey.
Turn out to try their speed and skill
On the blades of the former day.
No skates like we know, adorned the feet
Of either man or maid.
For they all had a wooden base
And a blacksmith turned the blade.
Bound to the toe with a leather strap
A screw held the heel in place.
Some made short for fancy set
And some made long to race.
But no matter the style or strapping tight,
They all came here for fun.
No rules were here to dim the sport
or penalize anyone.
Some skated alone, and some in pairs
Crosshanded they aped o'er the ice.
Some played tricks to make a laugh
But the general deportment was nice.
No hockey games were on the sport
Most times wae Fox and Geese.
When mostly every one would join
The Old Fox was slippery as grease.
Sometimes it would be a quieter game
And was known as hunt the Squirrel.
The sexes divided and each took a side
And the boy had to capture his girl.
Across the road a building sets
'Neath poplar tree and Birch.
The village people held worship here
Twas the Old Free Baptist Church.
Just up the street, not very far
So stately grand and tall.
A building arose, that in my youth
Was known as Grosvenor Hall,
A school room filled its nether part
Where I once chanced to sit.
With comrades of my age and class
To fret our minds a bit.
The upper flat had many roles
To fit the social life.
There were many concerts and pie socials
And debates in pleasant strife.
The first man I remember
That called the next house home.
Was my father's brother Isaac
Then to Allan Dow's we come.
I sat upon my Grandma's lap
In the next house standing near,
And asked her in my childish way
"Was this house always here?"
"NO, no, my child, it was a school
That was down below the church,
But your Grandpa had it moved up here
We haven't changed it much."
A tannery once stood on this spot
And leather here was tanned.
But times have changed here very much
And you scarcely know the land.
Across the street a building stood
The oldest in the town.
It was built by British soldiers
This is memory handed down.
'Twas a barracks so they told me,
I believe it must be true.
I just mention it in psassing
As my camera travels through.
In my time Theophilis Edwards
Had made his residence here.
He was a shoe maker by trade
In that far distant year.
Let's stop now for a look up street
E'er I finish pp my song,
And view the wooden sidewalks
With the lamp posts strewed along.
In the twilight dimming shadows
Is a man with ladder seen
As he comes to fill the lamp bowls
From his can of kerosene.
Soon the lamp is glowing fiercely,
And the street is bright and clear.
There is quiet filled with pleasure
Over every household here.
From Edward's, now on up the street
Two hundred feet or more
A millinary shop arose
And across the street, a store.
Edward's also owns this place
It formerly was his shop.
But factories took his trade away
And brought it to a stop.
Behind this store on the river bank
On ground both flat and fair
Majestic in its setting
A house was then built there.
The end of town, I must remark
Was built upon the land
Owned by Abraham Marsten
And his house was near at hand.
Across the street from Edwards' store
We, another residence see.
Portentious in its building
In its yard a Maple tree.
Before I came upon the scene
So older folk declare,
A Dr. Welling built the house
And displayed his 'shingle' there.
But when I come along the street
With memories camera now
A Rev. Steeves lived in the front
In the rear lived Milan Dow.
Beyond this house, well off the street
In setting quite alone.
Isaac Marsten built his house
On a base of Granite stone.
He and Abraham Junior
Built a store across the street.
Close by was a road to the ferry
Just above, Doc. Turner to meet.
Directly across from the Doctor's
It's empty, no need to stop.
But at one time, housed quite a business
James Gibson's Harness Shop.
Very close, just a highway above it
His residence also we see,
He had gone West e'er I came here,
Geo. Olts' residence it came to be.
Trees lined the street by the next house
And a picket fence bounded its zones.
The house, the barn, the garden
Was owned by one, David Jones.
G. P. Oits has just set up business
Taken over from Esquire Asa Dow,
In a building, just next to Jones'
Brother Dave, partners up with him now.
Next, and the last for some distance
Is seen on this side of the street
A blacksmith shop that was also Jones'
But now Ed Higgins we meet.
Going back across the street above Turner's
We will find Bertram Colpitts living here.
Ed Higgins lives in the next one.
Then a building just starting to rear
Became the home of Fredrick Mooer's, sister
Where she choked to death on some food.
Became later the Wesleyan Parsonage
Secure and sedately, it stood.
We are coming now to a stately place
Known well on our history's page.
A hostlery much esteemed by men
Who travelled in this age.
Still can I see its swinging sign
In the yard, its sparkling well.
Its stables and its carriage sheds

The Old Aberdeen Hotel.
Brown, built the building, next above
A merchant to become.
But an itchy foot soon changed his mind.
And sent him afar to roam
As we are passing by here now
In eighteen ninety-six
One Cyrus Farnham opens shop
For old watches and clocks to fix.
A tailor shop where suits and coats
Were by measure, tailor made.
Macray, the first to practice here
Sold A. J. Best his trade,
The street just here takes a furious drop
Where in winter the coasting sled
Made slippery the fallen snow
The fleecy clouds had shed.
Now here's a flat, before we meet
Eel River's smothered roar.
Which ends by a carriage factory
Run by Elisha Moore.
He has a blacksmith shop here too,
He sold to a man named, Doan
Each had their residence here
But now they all are gone
I'ts here we meet a branching road
And a V-shaped turn we take
Toward Canterbury and the hinterland.
Now the Mecca is Skiff Lake.
A hand dug well and barn I see
But when I regain again
The level of the village
That lies these roads between.
Fronting on both reserved, apart
Are Hot house scenes galore.
The residence, the hay scales
And Grosvenor's Grocery Store.
A change just now has taken place
As some things sometimes will.
Elisha Moore runs the business now
As my memory lingers still,
On banana trees and tropical plants
That Grosvenor here has brought.
He was one of England's rich men
That Canada's love had caught.
Proceeding, now on this back road
As it was labelled then.
A house upon my left appears
That has many owners seen.
Abraham Marsten, Junior
Was the first to sojourn here.
And next we see a farmer's barn
With meadow spreading near.
Across the road, upon a hill,
Another house appears,
This was the Marsten homestead
All down through many years.
Next cones the Grosvenor homestead
Where the old man tried his hand
To bring in a bit of England
To this new Canadian land.
Ezekiel Marsten's place comes next
His house is on a hill.
His farm land's where we skated
His descendants, live there still.
But now the village boundaries
Will turn us back once more.
To seek Eel river's frontage
Where we have been before.
It seemed that Nature picked a spot
On a level with the town
High above the roaring river
Where the hillside settled down,
To make as fine a building site
As any in the lend
With pine trees and pure water,
And a scenery rich and grand.
A man by the name of Stanton
My forbearers told to me
First built a hoe upon this spot
The stream to oversee.
And had a dam built arose its course
To furnish power to run
A needed sam and grist mill
In this country just begun.
After Asa Dow took over
And changed it round a hit
Placed the saw mill over cross the stream
As I remember it.
A wooden bridge above the dam
Gave access to the North.
And also by a graded road
To the Old Stern Wheeler's wharf.
The northern bank was very steep
But half way up its face
A narrow flat broke its incline
An excellent building place,
A man of British ancistry
Debec was the name he bore
Was first to build upon this spot
Way back in days of Yore.
I stood on this spot in younger days
And marked the scene across
Of the buildings on the either bank
Where the pine trees branches tossed.
And a stairway down to the road below
Two poles the top adorns
One of thim bore upon the top
A set of oxen's horns.
This first was quite domestic
But the other wild life meant.
For on its top thrown to the sky
Was an Elk's head ornament.
Time has caused meny changes here
As passing ages will.
Asa Dow grew gray with age
And was forced to close the mill.
But Fred Moore took it up for him
Went further up the river,
Built a much, more, modern one
That could better goods deliver.
It was a model for its time
But soon it had its day.
Now those buildings, dam and business
Have long since, passed away.
We now have reached the limit
Of Eel River, long ago
And we pass to Fact from Fancy
To the Meductic that we know
It got the name in ninety-six
Because another town,
Far away in Gloucester County
Was by Eel river known.
And just to keep things from confusion
In the postal service then,
We were changed into Meductic,
By the Civil Service Men.