Men worked with horses and carts to build roads in the Scotch Colony. This photo from ca. 1890’s in Kincardine, New Brunswick is from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and can also be seen here on the group page of Old Photos of Victoria County, NB.
Some road building bits:
Burnum Annand and Charles Chapman were injured when blasting the road at Duncan’s Rock in August 1873. Burnum was severely injured and died about a year later, leaving his wife and baby son. He was the Colony’s first casualty and was buried in an unmarked grave. Chapman recovered from his injuries. (Duncan A. MacPhail. New Kincardineshire: An Intimate History of the Early Years of a Scottish Settlement in New Brunswick Fredericton, New Brunswick: Centennial Print & Litho LTD, 1977, 33)
Thomas T. Watt was a representative for the government, advising people about available lots and grants for roads and houses (MacPhail 108).
William Duncan was a weaver and knew little about farming. His daughter Barbara told her children that when her father looked at the stoney ground and towering trees that had been assigned to him, he went out behind the log cabin and cried. He had only $9 in his pocket so he was glad to have a job working on the roads for $1 a day.
(Gerry Campbell. Everett & George Cumming Family History Privately published, 2008)
From a letter written by James Edward’s brother, David Edwards, to the newspaper Montrose Review: “Owing to the bad season, the Government have only got about half the houses ready, and only part of the stipulated portion of the land cleared. They have, however, done everything possible to make provision for those emigrants who are homeless. The military tents have been brought from Fredericton and abundance of food has been afforded. They have every man and boy, who will work, employed on the roads, and every available joiner has been secured for the completion of the remainder of the houses. . . There are four windows in my house, which, as far as I have experience it, is comfortable, and has a well-shingled roof. . .”
(Lucille H. Campey. With Axe and Bible: The Scottish Pioneers of New Brunswick, 1784-1874 Dundurn Press Ltd., 2007, 125)
Alexander Hunter (in a letter home to Scotland): “The potato crop was good—60 bushels. The oats crop had been good. . . I worked on the road till the month of October when it was stopped, and in my odd time managed to clear about three acres. After the road stopped most of the men went to work on the railway now I course of construction. The snow commenced to lie on the ground on the 10th of November, and since then I have chopped down about 5 acres of wood, which, with the Government chopping, makes 9 acres. . . . the railway work has commenced within a mile or two of colony, only about 30 men being presently employed . . . the wages paid is 5s. per day . . . In conclusion, I may state that, so far as we can know this is a very healthy country . . .” (Campey 126).
David Taylor is horrified by the arrival upriver: “The people that came out are leaving by the dozen, and I expect that before the summer is over they will all have vanished. Part of the colonists arrived here on Monday and the other part on Tuesday evening and since that time their luggage has been lying about on the river bank, and all is disorder and confusion. There is only a road constructed for about 6 miles out, and the houses beyond that are not yet built. Several families are crowded together in one house, while a good many are lodged in tents on the bank of the river” (Campey 125).
Peter Melville Clark had seasonal employment with the government road crew, the local lumber mill, and guided “up Tobique” during the fall whitetail season.
(Cari Grierson, ed. Scotch Colony Hearts and Hearths: Stories and recipes from residents and descendants of the Scotch Colony of New Brunswick 1873 Scotch Colony, New Brunswick: Anniversary Committee, 2013)