Saint John 1877-1980
DescriptionIn its 225 years of existence, Saint John has undergone numerous transformations to become the city it is today. In 1783, an influx of American settlers resulted in upwards of 16,000 residents, and
by 1867, the city was the fourth largest in Canada. The most catastrophic fire in the city's history came in 1877, resulting in the loss of some 1,600 homes and businesses. Many of the structures were
rebuilt and are still standing today, contributing to the city's Victorian character. By the 1950s, historic structures began to disappear in the name of progress, and a huge urban renewal development was
carried out in the 1960s. Saint John: 1877-1980 highlights the many changes the city has seen over the years, through photographs of its neighbourhoods, play places, tourist attractions, and residents.
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About the Author
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: River Valley News
In 1877, Saint John experienced the most catastrophic fire in the city's history that resulted in the loss of over 1,600 homes and businesses. Although many of the structures that were rebuilt still stand today, the 1950s brought urban renewal development to the city and some historic buildings disappeared.
In a new book called Saint John: 1877-1980 by renown west side author David Goss, vintage photographs highlight the many changes the city has seen over the years. The book features never before seen vintage photographs from both public and private collections. The reader gets a behind the scenes look at what was going on in the city streets. Most of the photos were given to Goss over the years by people who found them in their scrap books and albums. Goss says it's amazing how many people are sitting on valuable pictures and heritage items and don't realize their significance. He says it's important they be placed in the archives or museum so they don't get thrown away. Once Goss uses a photo for an article or in a book he makes sure it goes to the archives.
Goss says putting this book together was like a treasure hunt. People supplied him with a photo and he had to fill in the blanks. "It's really like a giant scrap book of peoples collections and I filled in the stories," says Goss. He received a lot of help in that area from Saint John historian Harold Wright. In fact Goss dedicated the book to him.
David Goss, a Saint John native, has had an interest in history since a very young age. While employed in the recreation field with the city, he began a program of community walks in 1978, where he shared stories of the heritage of the city. The series has been in continuous operation since then. Goss has also authored a dozen books and thousands of articles about Saint John and New Brunswick. He's working on another book this winter about provincial curiosities that should come out in 2011.
Saint John: 1877 - 1980 is available in local book stores including Guardian Drugs in Grand Bay-Westfield and Coles in Lancaster Mall. It sells for $24.99.