Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
|• Mayor||Alexis Fenner|
|• Land||3.09 km2 (1.19 sq mi)|
|• Density||367.9/km2 (953/sq mi)|
|• Pop 2006-2011||1.3%|
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||ADT (UTC-3)|
Plaster Rock’s first settlers were Hezekiah Day and his two brothers, who arrived in 1881. Plaster Rock was incorporated as the Village of Plaster Rock on November 9, 1966. Hezekiah Day gave Plaster Rock its name based on the hill on the other side of the Tobique River – the rock is made up of gypsum, or plaster.
The second settlers, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Ridgewell, arrived in 1882. The third settler was a gentleman named David Roulston and his family. The first true native of Plaster Rock was Gideon Day.
Primarily English, the town is historically a logging and lumbering community. Known as the Gateway to Mount Carleton Provincial Park, the community is the source of business, commerce, banking, grocery shopping, and religious and sport gatherings for the surrounding hamlets and homes of the Tobique River region. The Tobique River, which has its source Nictau Lake at Mt. Carleton Provincial Park, flows through the tiny communities of Nictau, Riley Brook, Oxbow, Plaster Rock, Arthurette, Red Rapids, and empties into the Saint John River above Perth-Andover.
The Tobique First Nations Reserve is located where the Tobique and Saint John Rivers come together. The town has 6 churches, namely a Catholic Church, an Anglican Church, a Free-will Baptist Church, a United Baptist Church, a United Church of Canada, and a Pentecostal Church. The average congregation is 20-45 members of the first 5 churches, with the Pentecost church being an exception with a congregation of approximately 400 members, who are in part from the village of Plaster Rock, but mostly from the surrounding region of Victoria County.
The Pentecostal Church also has its own private school, the only other school in the village aside from the village`s Public Junior and High Schools. The Family Worship Centre, the name of the Pentecostal sect, has been the site of controversy since it first established roots nearly 90 years ago.
Plaster Rock is home of the World Pond Hockey Championships, which take place annually in February on Roulston Lake, featuring 120 teams from around the world. In 2016 Wayne Gretzky attended the event and Budweiser introduced its 20-metre goal-light as it began its trek across Canada and eventually to the North Pole.
In June, Fiddlers on The Tobique is a large event attracting tourists and visitors from all over the world as they put approximately 1300 canoes into the waters and float accompanied by fiddlers and their Maritime music.
January 2014 Derailment of HAZMAT Train
On January 7, 2014, 17 cars of a 122-car train derailed and caused a huge fireball near Plaster Rock. The petroleum products originated in Western Canada and were destined for the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, because in the wake of the Lac Megantic derailment the MM&A line through Lac Megantic can no longer be used to transport dangerous goods. As a result, Irving Oil uses the CN line from Montreal through Quebec City that crosses over the bridge to the South shore through Rimouski and Matane and then through Plaster Rock to Saint John. Nobody was injured during the blaze but about 150 people were evacuated.
- 2011 Statistics Canada Census Profile: Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
- "New Mayor in Plaster Rock Ready to Prove Herself". K93 News. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "History of Plaster Rock". plasterrockvillage.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- Krashinsky, Susan (2 February 2016). "Labatt doubles down as Canadians embrace Bud Red Light program". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "Wayne Gretzky and Budweiser Light Up The World Pond Hockey Championships". CNW Group Ltd. CNW. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- G+M: "New Brunswick train derailment fire renews questions of oil-by-rail’s dangers" 8 Jan 2014
- G+M: "Train carrying oil and propane still burning after derailment in New Brunswick" 8 Jan 2014