Zealand, New Brunswick
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The area was named New Zealand by Gould Crouse, whose Loyalist father Philip, born in Zealand in the Netherlands, came to New Brunswick from North Carolina after the American Revolution. Settlers of Keswick Valley included the surnames Alieen (Allen), Brouwer (Brewer), Kraus (Crouse), Jansen (Hanson), Jurkse (Yerxa) and Lauren (Lawrence), just to name a few.
Early Postal Service
The first official post office in the community called New Zealand was operated by Thomas Woodworth.
He operated this former way office from July 1, 1868, until his resignation on October 24, 1871. Newly married Darius E. Brewer took over, continuing the post office duties until 1885. Rev. Peter O. Rees took over from Mr. Brewer on August 1, 1885, as the new name for the post office changed from New Zealand to Zealand Station. Mr. Rees maintained this position until April 4, 1899. The final change came in 1961, after several postmasters, when the post office name was officially shortened to Zealand.
The system was initially built to narrow gauge, however this was changed to standard gauge in the 1880s. Stations became established as access points to local communities along the route. Sometimes these community access points were quite a distance from the established community centers. Cardigan Station, at what is now called Burtts Corner, was established to serve Cardigan, some 16 kilometres distant. Heading northwest from Burtts Corner, the line encountered Lawrence Station followed by Zealand Station. Continuing in a northwesterly direction were Burnside Station, Burt Lake Station, Millville Station, etc., all the way to New Burg Station upstream from Woodstock.
The center of the New Zealand community was about one kilometer from the railroad station that served it. The locals that worked for the New Brunswick Railway as section men named the access point Zealand Station. This was readily accepted by the railway, followed almost immediately by the centre of the community shifting toward the economic and social center growing around the railway station. In short order the community became known as Zealand Station.
After 1961, and with the dwindling influence of the railway, the community name became more widely accepted as Zealand.
The community has several sand and gravel quarries serving cement companies. The surrounding forest and rivers offer potential for outdoor recreation and eco-tourism. The community is one of the first rural communities in the province to be wired for broadband Internet.
Following the decision by Canadian Pacific Railway to abandon its line through Zealand in 1993, the rail corridor has been converted to a recreational trail and is also part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
- "Zealand". Where is Home? New Brunswick Communities Past and Present. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Library and Archives Canada (2006). "Post Offices and Postmasters". Retrieved Oct. 11, 2006.
- University of New Brunswick (2004). "New Brunswick Railway". Retrieved Oct. 12, 2006.
- University of New Brunswick (2004). New Brunswick Railway . Retrieved Oct. 12, 2006.
- Crouse, R. Crouse Family History, Second Edition Rogue Publishing, 2000.
- Tracy, John C. "John C. Tracy Book" Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, 1927-1932.
- 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 Douglas and Bright Parish Census Records.
- Zealand Historical Society, Holdings, Zealand, New Brunswick, Canada.
- Crouse Loyalist Cemetery, Zealand, York Co., New Brunswick, Canada
- Parish of Queensbury, Bright and Douglas Anglican Church Records
- Library and Archives Canada