Portrait of the Town

At the beginning of the XVIIIth century, the MicMac Indians identified the territory of our municipality as “Gesgapegiag”, meaning “rivers forming a large body of water and whose current becomes very strong”, in reference to our magnificent salmon rivers, the Grand Cascapedia and the Little Cascapedia, both well-known in Canada and the United States.

Toponym of New Richmond

In a document concerning the municipalities of Quebec, the Commission de toponymie du Québec affirms that the name of Richmond was given to our municipality in honour of Charles Lennox, the 4th Duke of Richmond, Governor-in-Chief of British North America in 1818. However, in 1994, the Commission wrote that the previous statement is unacceptable as the Township of New Richmond was surveyed in 1786. The Commission added : “The name is likely borrowed from English toponymy of Surrey or the American colonies at the time”. The document also mentions : the New Richmond countryside is similar to certain locations in Scotland, the homeland of many pioneers. In fact, the construction of recessed habitations, far away from roads, farms spread out on hillsides, alleys with large trees and the profusion of green spaces, resemble Scotland.

On July 1, 1855, the government of Lower Canada officially recognized the municipality of New Richmond, along with many other in Quebec, via an act that is still used as the basis for the recognition of municipalities. On December 13, 1969, New Richmond obtained its “town” status.

The population of New Richmond

From the outset, the specific geographical attributes influenced the cultural development of the multi-ethnic population of New Richmond. The first inhabitants were the Acadians. There were 38. In 1760, a few soldiers from Wolfe’s army settled in New Richmond. In 1784, the Loyalists arrived in large numbers, followed by the Scots, the Irish and Jerseyans, making the municipality Anglophone. The population of New Richmond today is 80% Francophone and 20% Anglophone and the total number of inhabitants is 3 846.

Considering the diversity of the population, New Richmond has several religious denominations.

An industrial Town

In 1833, William Cuthbert, a native of Scotland settled in New Richmond since 1812, constructed his first sawmill and a second in 1846. During the same period, he built many boats in his shipyard.

At that time, New Richmond became an industrial town with several sawmills and more importantly, with the establishment of the Consolidated Bathurst pulp and paper mill in 1965. This mill, closed in 2005 and now dismantled, marked the history of the Town.

A commercial Town

As a result, New Richmond become the commercial center of the Bay of Chaleurs in 1965. In fact, there are more than 200 places of business that deal with our local and regional population, and increasingly, with the province of Quebec and the rest of Canada.