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This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
The Cotton Mill and Employees Houses at Marysville, York County, New Brunswick
H. W. Beecher Smith
About 1930, 20th century
Silver print
12.6 x 17.4 cm
William Francis Ganong Collection
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum

Keys to History:

Cotton manufacturing began in Marysville, NB, in 1885. The immense factory stretched along the eastern bank of the Nashwaak River just outside of the capital, Fredericton. Alexander "Boss" Gibson (1819-1913) created the quintessential company town around his cotton mill, supplying employment but also housing, schools, churches and stores for his workers. In 1913, Joseph Dolphins took charge of the Marysville Cotton Mill on behalf of Canadian Cottons Limited, Montreal.

During the 1930s Depression, Dolphins provided lots of land for his employees to use as garden plots, to supplement their diets. At a time when the company collected fees for all of its services, Dolphins never collected the rent on the garden plots.


A "company town" is usually built around one industry, with the company building and owning workers' houses, schools, shops and other amenities.


Marysville is located on the north side of the city of Fredericton, along the Nashwaak River.


The mill stopped producing textiles in the 1970s and, following extensive renovations, became a modern government office complex.


Marysville is named for Alexander Gibson's wife, Mary.

© Musée McCord Museum