Five Rivers, the municipality, formed by the Local Governance Reform in 2023, is enriched and informed by the long histories of the surrounding areas that make up the new entity. The former Village of Rexton and the unincorporated areas of Harcourt, Weldford and Richibucto parish, each have a story to contribute to the next chapter.
The reason behind our name, Five Rivers, is because there are five rivers that surround the heart of our community: Richibucto River, Molus River, Coal Branch River, Bass River, St. Nicholas River.
Found in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick is this photo of a cadastral map that shows the basic features of Harcourt such as the boundaries, lot number, and grantee’s name for land granted by the province. These maps are cumulative, showing all grants regardless of date.
- Harcourt was first called Weldford and in 1869 when the railway was constructed. It was in 1894 when Harcourt was first given its name.
- In 1871, Harcourt had a population of 150
- in 1898 Harcourt was a station on the Intercolonial Railway and a farming and lumbering settlement with 7 stores, 2 hotels, 1 tannery, 1 sawmill, 1 hemlock bark extract factory, 1 carriage factory, 3 churches and a population of 250.
To discover more about Harcourt’s rich history, visit Provincial Archives of New Brunswick’s website.
These included the town of Richibucto, the village of Rexton, the Indian Island 28 Indian reserve, and the local service districts of Cap-de-Richibouctou, Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, and the parish of Richibucto. As a result of the reform, Richibucto and an adjacent area to the west became part of Beaurivage. Rexton and the majority of the parish’s local service district were incorporated into Five Rivers.
- Richibucto Parish was initially a component of Weldford Parish until 1835. Subsequently, it joined Saint-Louis Parish until 1855, at which point it attained independent status as a separate entity.
Village of Rexton
Located along the Richibucto River, the village was initially home to the Mi’kmaq First Nations people, many of whom have continued to live in the nearby Elsipogtog First Nation, previously known as the Big Cove Band. Acadian pioneers settled in the surrounding region during the 18th century, establishing communities in Bouctouche, Miramichi, and Richibucto Village.
- Rexton was originally known as The Yard, and was established by John Jardine in 1825. John Jardine was credited with founding the settlement.
- In 1850, The Yard was then renamed to Kingston. Then in 1866, Kingston was mostly a farming, fishing and lumbering village with approximately 80 resident families
- In 1904, Kingston was renamed to Rexton and had now 1 post office, 3 hotels, 1 sawmill, 3 churches and a population of 800
- Rexton was then the birthplace of Andrew Bonar-Law (1858-1923), the first prime minister of Great Britain (1922) born in Canada.
Weldford represents a civil parish located in Kent County, New Brunswick, Canada. In terms of governance, it is divided among the localities of Five Rivers and Nouvelle-Arcadie, both of which are part of the Kent Regional Service Commission
- Weldford Parish was named in 1835 after John W. Weldon and John P. Ford who were Members of the Legislative Assembly for Kent County at the time.