Scotch Colony Architecture [draft post]

The History, Character, & Architecture of Kincardine, Bon Accord, Upper Kintore & Lower Kintore

by L. Darlene Morton
April 1975 (unpublished manuscript; Published electronically 2023)

[This web version is under construction. Here’s a link to photos of the complete document: images of Darlene Morton’s original typed document including all illustrations, drawings of interior layouts, and original photographs of the buildings]


I wish to thank my mother, Kathleen Morton for providing me with most of the information about Kincardine, my father, Lloyd Morton for the transportation, Jim Barclay for the information about Upper and Lower Kintore, and Katherine Warman for that of Bon Accord.

Also I would like to thank all of the people of the Colony who were so helpful, my aunt, Ruby Phillips for the use of her camera, my brother-in-law, Charlie Cameron for taking some of the pictures, the Provincial Archives for developing some, and Vera Guitard for typing the project.

Potato harvests in Kincardine – Andrew Ellis, Mary Chapman, & Annie Ellis.

History of the Scotch Colony

Scotch Colony lot map (see also Crown Land Grant Map Viewer for a slightly different version)

The Free Grants Act of 1872 passed by the New Brunswick government, provided for the settlement of some of the Crown Lands of New Brunswick through the granting of free tracts of land to any individual or groups of immigrants who agreed to the provisions of the Act.

In order to ensure clearance and development of the land for farming, strict conditions accompanied the granting of each lot of land.

Read more: Scotch Colony Architecture [draft post]

Within a month of his arrival, each settler had to begin chopping the trees and clearing the land; within a year, he had to build a house and cultivate at least three acres of land; within three years he had to have at least ten acres under cultivation; and had to live on the land continuously for the next three years.

The colonists of the settlements of Kincardine and Kintore accepted these conditions and in 1873 and 1874 left their homes in Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire, Scotland to establish a “Scotch Colony” in Victoria County, New Brunswick.

The first group of colonists, dissatisfied with the lack of available land, and the limited opportunities for themselves and their children in Scotland, departed for Canada on April 26, 1873.

The movement was under the direction of Captain William Brown of the Anchor Line of Steamers, Stonehaven, Scotland who devised the plan of emigration and formed an Emigrant Association. 2

This was not an original idea, as the previous year, a similar group had travelled from Denmark to Victoria County, New Brunswick, and formed a similar settlement by the name of New Denmark, The same year that the Danish settlement took place, Captain Brown travelled to New Brunswick, examining possible sites, and finally decided upon Victoria County. The provincial government approved his recommendations that a 50,000 acre section between the Tobique River and the Carleton-Victoria County line should be surveyed in 100 acre lots, and reserved for the Scottish settlement. A government road was also to be constructed and two acres of each lot of land were to be cut and burned in preparation for the arrival of the settlers, the next spring. 3

The party of emigrants travelled from Aberdeen to Glasgow by a special train where they boarded the “Castalia” which transported them across the Atlantic to Saint John, where they landed on May 10, 1873.4

 They then travelled from Saint John to Fredericton on board “The David Weston” and from Fredericton to Kilburn on board the “Ida Whittier”, arriving in Kilburn on May 14, 1873. Very little had been done to the land in preparation for them. The specified two acres on each lot had been cleared, but not burned.

Some log cabins had been erected, so accomodation was shared until all others had built their own shelters.

The largest obstacle faced by the settlers however, was the foot of snow which still covered the ground, While the first group of immigrants were establishing themselves on their land, plans were made for another group to settle in the same area in the communities of Kintore and Upper Kintore, This time, the enterprise was under the direction of the Immigrant Agent, George Troup.

The group was transported from Scotland aboard another steamer of the Anchor Line, “The Sidonian”. They left Scotland on April 30, 1874, and landed at Saint John, on May 14. They then went by train to Woodstock and from Woodstock to the Tobique River aboard the river boat, “The City of Fredericton’, They landed there on May 16, 1874.5

Like those who had arrived the year before, each unmarried man over eighteen years old or a married couple with less than two children under eighteen, received a 100 acre lot of land. Married persons with two or more children under the age of eighteen received 200 acre lots. Much had been learned from the experience of the past year, and more preparations had been made for the second group of colonists.

The first few years in the Colony were very hard times.

The people had to work to earn money to buy food, at the same time preparing the land so that they could grow their own.

Many left the Colony as they were not suited for hard work. Some went back to Scotland or to find employment in Fredericton, Saint John or Woodstock. Those who stayed must have been very strong and very determined in order to continue on in spite of the forests, lack of animals or farm implements, the high hills and the very rocky soil.

Some of the settlers over the first few winters, as well as clearing their own land in preparation for spring cultivation, also worked at different farms and businesses in Victoria and Carleton Counties, on the construction of the New Brunswick Railway and on the construction of roads in the Colony.6

When The Honorable B. R. Stevenson, Surveyor General of New Brunswick visited the Colony in 1874, he found that the settlers in just a year and a half had cleared a very large amount of land and, since arrival, had two very good crops. The second group of settlers also all had log houses completed before winter. Oats was the first staple crop grown, and provided the main food for the settlers over the first few years. These oats were ground into meal by a Mr. Armstrong who was given government assistance in establishing his grist mill.7

The following is a partial list of the passengers on the “Castalla” who stayed in Kincardine, in the Stonehaven settlement, (now simply known as Kincardine), and their occupations.

David Burns – Carpenter
Charles W. Chapman Sr.
David Low – Farmer
Henry Duthie – Farmer
James MeNichol – Currier
William McKenzie – Farmer
Alex Lawson -Farmer
Charles Chapman Jr.- Farmer
William Mann-Farmer
James Hutchison-Farmer
Alex Mackie – Farmer
Arthur Robertson – Currier
William Duncan – Spinner
David Logan – Farmer
William McConnell – Farmer
John Grant – Farmer
Alex Hunter – Farmer
David Edwards – Farmer
David Logan – Servent
Robert McIntosh – Farmer
Alexander Matheson – Farmer
William L. McPhail – Farmer
John Johnson
William Paterson – Farmer
William Bain – Farmer
Donald Fraser – Farmer
Charles Stratton – Farmer
John McRobert – Farmer
John Adam – Farmer
James Findlater – Farmer
James Cocker – Merchant
Alexander Cocker – Farmer
Andrew Ellis – Joiner
James Adam – Farmer
Alex Paterson – Farmer

Ploughing – Kincardine – Andrew Ellis.

Those who emigrated to the Kincardine settlement had a variety of trades, but of those who stayed, most were farmers. However, everyone had to learn a little about everything, not just his own trade, in order to survive.

Similarly, in the Kintore settlements, the farmers proved to be the greatest in number of all occupations. In Scotland, everyone had his own trade, and a community was interdependent.

In Canada, however, almost all of those who lived in the country had to grow at least enough food for themselves.

The industry of the settlers who stayed in the Colony is evidenced by the large increase in production in both Stonehaven and Kintore, from 1874 to 1875. The following summaries of statistics of the Kincardine Colony of the years 1874 and 1875 indicate the marked increase in growth of the Colony, as well as the actual kind of agriculture carried out.

Summary of Statistics of Kincardine Colony – 1874
Number of souls248370618
Do. Acres located and occupied93001360022900
Do. do. chopped1821-24866681-2
Do. do. cropped2141793-83933-8
Do. Houses occupied4865113
Do. Barns392750
Do. Horses8816
Do. Cows393776
Do. Oxen61016
Do. Sheep729
Do. Swine402161
Number of young cattle161632
Do. Bushels of Oats & Wheat368115375218
Do. do. Potatoes336719455312
Do. do. Buckwheat43296528
Do. do. Turnips206411303194
Estimated Value of Crop$3,886.00$2,330.00$6,216.00
Do. do. Stock$1,926.00$2,043.00$3,969.00
Do. do. Buildings Occupied$5,250.00$7,220.00$12,470.00
Do. do. Clearings$4,980.00$3,929.00$8,909.00
Do. Total Value of Crop, Stock, Buildings & Clearings$16,042.00$15,522.00
Do. do. do. Do. in whole Colony$31,564.00
Summary of Statistics of Kincardine Colony – 1875
Number of souls255379634
Do. Acres located and occupied970063424400
Do. do. chopped182.514700427
Do. do. cropped388.5244.5829.25
Do. Houses occupied51440.75123
Do. Barns397276
Do. Horses163729
Do. Cows5468122
Do. Oxen21921
Do. Sheep12416
Do. Swine271946
Number of young cattle344276
Do. Bushels of Oats & Wheat440043388738
Do. do. Potatoes378643158101
Do. do. Buckwheat10625061568
Do. do. Turnips250518624367
Estimated Value of Crop$4,424.70$4,738.50$9,163.20
Do. do. Stock$2,392.00$3,307.00$5,799.00
Do. do. Buildings Occupied$6,485.00$9,570.00$16,055.00
Do. do. Clearings$7,724.00$9,092.00$16,816.00
Do. Total Value of Crop, Stock, Buildings & Clearings$21,125.70$26,707.50
Do. do. do. Do. in whole Colony$47,833.20

The Agricultural Society established at this time with Robert Stewart as its president promoted co-operation among farmers within the Colony, and also with those of the surrounding area.

As the Colony became more established people had more time to devote to their trades rather than confining their activities just to subsistance farming. Donald Fraser and John Drum set up the first lumber mill in Bonaccord; a business which was later moved to Muniac, River de Chute, Fredericton, Plaster Rock, and Edmundston.

The following is a list of tradesmen who learned their trade in Scotland or from their fathers, after arrival in the Colony.

Donald Fraser Sr – Bon Accord
John Drum – Bon Accord

Joe Stevenson – Bon Accord
Will Duncan – Bon Accord
George W. Barclay Sr. – Upper Kintore
William Bissett – Upper Kintore
Archibald Winters – Gladstone
William Phillips – Upper Kintore
James Paul – South Tilley

Peter MacPhail – Bon Accord
John Milne – Upper Kintore
John Connon – Upper Kintore

James Aitken – Bon Accord
George Malcolm – Kintore
William Paul – Kincardine, later Muniac
Peter Anderson – Upper Kintore

Alexander Cocker – Bon Accord
James Cocker – Bon Accord
James Farquhar – Upper Kintore
Richard Gendall – Upper Kintore
William Coutts – Upper Kintore
Andrew Ellis – Kincardine
John Ellis – Kincardine

Alex Adams – Bon Accord
John Sheriffs Sr. – Bon Accord
William Christie – Upper Kintore

William MacConnell Jr. – Bon Accord

Andrew Phillips Sr. – Upper Kintore

William McConnell Sr. – Bon Accord
John McLellan – Kintore

Thomas Watt – Kintore

James W. Barclay Sr. – Upper Kintore

Alex Martin – Upper Kintore
William Smith – Kintore
Alexander W. McPhail – Bon Accord

J. B. Adams – Bon Accord
Robert Watson Sr. – Upper Kintore

William McPhail – Bon Accord

Alex (Sandy) Matheson – Kincardine

James Hutcheon – Bon Accord

Dr. Cowan Moffatt – Kilburn


The people of the Colony in its early years were generally industrious and religious. “We have noted their faithfulness in religious observance, their love of hard work and integrity in business, and their fondness of dancing and socials. We could sum up their character in the phrase ‘Presbyterian rectitude’ — sometimes self-righteous, but rarely hypocritical.”12

When the settlement scheme was still only in its planning stages, a resolution was made to admit only those of “… good character and fitness.” into the Colony.13

It was also discerned and decreed in a full meeting of the Colonists on board the S. S. Castalia, May 8, 1873, that within the Colony NO TAVERN BE ALLOWED, and that no intoxicating liquor be sold. This decision is the first great act of the united and organized colony, and is bequeathed in trust to their descendants and successors for ever

The Colony was and still is centered around the church and the activities connected with it. The first church was made of logs and was situated on lot number 33 in Kincardine.

The priorities of the settlers are apparent in the buildings which were first erected in the Colony. Four school houses were completed and opened in 1877 in Upper and Lower Kintore. Stonehaven, (Kincardine) and Upper Stonehaven (Bon Accord).

Also in 1877, the church of Kincardine was finished, having been built by James Cocker and James Farquhar. These two enterprises were under the direction of Rev. Peter Melville for whom the church was named.15 Sunday Schools were first held in private homes, in the log church, and then in the new churches and schools. Funds were raised for the church through basket socials and concerts and the four communities joined together each year in the Sunday School Picnic, and the Christmas Tree. As a centre for the social activities of the Colony, three community halls were built – the first, 1888 – 1893 in Bon Accord; the second in Upper Kintore in 1902 and the third in Kincardine in 1905. This last one burned in 1909 and was replaced in 1911 by a new Burns Hall built by John Ellis. In general the people of the Colony were very poor, but this fact did not hinder their social activities and work in the church.

“Somehow, no one felt they were poor.” 16

Footnotes (for entire document)

1 “The Free Grants Act 1872″ from the Journals of House of Assembly of New Brunswick, 1875.

2 The United Church of Canada, A History of the Scotch Colony, Victoria County, New Brunswick, 1873-1969. p. 9

3 Ibid., p. 11.

4 The Story of 1873 (Seventy-fifth anniversary pamphlet), 1848, p. 12

5  History of Scotch Colony, p. 16.

6 Hon. B. R. Sevenson, Surveyor General, Report Immigration to New Brunswick for the year ending Dec. 31, 1875 from Journals of House of Assembly of New Brunswick 1875 (Saint Stephen:  The Saint Croix Printing and Publishing Co., 1876), pp. 7 and 11.

7 Ibid., p. 14.

8 Ibid., p.p. 24-26. and The Story of 1873, p.p. 14-20

9 Journals of House of Assembly 1875, p.p. 32-33.

10 Journals of House of Assembly 1876, p.p. 46-47.

11 History as the Scotch Colony, p.p. 93-95.

12 Ibid., р. 131.

13 Ibid., p. 13.

14 Ibid., p. 19.

15 Ibid., p. 24.

16 Ibid., p. 103.

17 Regulations of the Board of Education”, from The Common Schools Act of New Brunswick (Fredericton: G. E. Fenety, 1871), p.p. 7-10.


The Journals of the House of Assembly, New Brunswick, 1875 and 1876.

“The Regulations of the Board of Education”,  from The Common Schools Act of New Brunswick. Fredericton:   G. E. Fenety, 1871.

The Story of 1823 (75th Anniversary Pamphlet), 1871.

The United Church of Canada. The History of the Scotch Colony, Victoria County, Victoria County, New Brunswick, 1873-1969. Published 1969.

[a link to images of Darlene Morton’s original typed document including all illustrations, drawings of interior layouts, and original photographs of the buildings]

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