Bloomfield & Norton

11. Bloomfield Treasures Antiques

#310 Route 121 - Cusack Quilt 1900 pattern

Bloomfield Treasures represents one family’s passion for local history. Carolyn Hawthorne opened the store in 2004, offering a wide selection of ‘treasures’ from furniture and collectibles to stained glass windows collected from the local area. Carolyn is part of the Cusack family. Her mother, Ruby, is a local historian renown for her writings on area history. The quilt block pattern is taken from a quilt created by a Cusack ancestor in the early 1900s which is still treasured by the family today.

Situated across the road is the "Old Kirk" cemetery, part of the first Presbyterian church in Kings County. The oldest stone dates to January 1840. One stone is that of Rev. Andrew Donald, the "walking parson". It is said that if he could not get a seat on a coach he would walk from Moncton to Hampton in twenty-four hours and arrive in time to conduct morning service.

12. Christ Church Anglican & Hall

#41 Bloomfield Station Road - Diamond Star Pattern

Bloomfield was established by Loyalist settlers in 1782, including Captain Simon Baxter, a remarkable character who survived incredible hardships and persecution during the American Revolution. While fighting for the British, he was captured, imprisoned and tortured by American soldiers; he carried bayonet scars to his death. Baxter managed to survive the war and settled along the scenic Kennebecasis River in Bloomfield and began a new life. In 1797 he deeded 2-1/2 acres of his land grant to the church for the sum of 5 shillings: “for and in consideration of the love, goodwill, and attachment to the Church of England as established by Law, and for the purpose of erecting a house of Public Worship of Almighty God.” Church plans were still underway in 1804 when Simon and his wife passed away – they would never see the long hoped for church realized. They were buried together near the large rock close to their own house. In 1811 Christ Church was erected, and was consecrated on July 18, 1826 by the Right Reverend John Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia.  The building originally stood on the opposite side of the road – where the graveyard is situated. In 1838 John C. Hayes donated a piece of land across the road and the building was relocated to its present site. The move was accomplished by Isaac Raymond who placed the building on rollers and moved the structure using 13 yokes of oxen. Once in its new location the tower was added to the structure. The church has served its community ever since, celebrating significant anniversaries in 1911, 1936, 1961 and in 2011. It has been a beacon of light for many and as such, is fittingly represented by the quilt pattern, Diamond Star.

Robert M. Raymond Memorial Hall

In 1939, land was donated for a church hall by E. A. Schofield. The Robert M. Raymond Memorial Hall was built and it continues to serve the community for special celebrations and community events.

Bloomfield Creek Covered Bridge

Originally the Bloomfield Station Road went from the Post Road past the West end of Big Rock Cemetery, then veered left over a stone causeway, cutting the Creek in two, then East along the riverbank to just below the steel bridge, then fording the river down to the sandbar, and from there up to the present road. This was originally a toll road, and the toll-house was on the hill just below the Robert M. Raymond Memorial Hall. The original Creek Bridge was an open truss bridge, and the present Covered Bridge is 45 m (146 ft.) in length and was built in 1917 with the Howe Truss design.

13. The Barn in Bloomfield

#569 Route 121 - Tree of Life pattern

Brent Rourke, wood artisan and cabinetmaker, makes his home here alongside The Barn in Bloomfield wood working shop, wholesale and retail business. The property originally belonged to Warren Titus (born March 11, 1872), the son of Gilbert Titus. Warren Titus, like so many in this area of Kings County, originally worked for the huge lumber and match manufacturing firm, G&G Flewwelling, of Hampton. After several years there, Warren left G & G Flewwelling Co. to devote his time to farming and lumbering on this site. He and his wife, Grace Fairweather of Norton, were married in December 17, 1901 and moved to this site on April 11, 1902. The barn is a fascinating sample of its day. The English or yankee style building was prefabricated with numbered joints over 100 years ago. The three bay barn was constructed using mortise and tenon joinery (timber frame). From the early days the original barn and home were adapted to the changing needs of the owners, most recently to accommodate the needs of Brent and Susan Rourke’s family and business, but the home and barn continue to retain their historic integrity.

This respect for the past can be seen in Brent Rourke’s own creations. Brent's love of the simple shaker style, and the craftsmanship of those early designs, led him to try his hand at bending wood in the fashion of the Shakers. The result was very successful and led to an internationally-acclaimed home based business. The Shaker inspired designs are built to last, and intended to be handed down generation to generation. They are a modern embodiment of the long-standing tradition of woodworking in Kings County. One of the symbols associated with the Shakers is the “Tree of Life”, an important Shaker symbol with its branches that reach into the sky, and roots deep in the earth, signifying the link between heaven & earth, uniting above and below.

14. Me & the Mrs Antiques & Collectibles

#218 Route 124, Norton - Windmill pattern

Please note: This location is now closed, but you can still view the quilt block.

Me & the Mrs Antiques and Collectibles is a great new addition to Norton! The shop inhabits one of the many period buildings that make up Norton’s ‘Main Street’. Inside this historic spot you will find treasures from the past and modern favorites for any budget. Stop in for a visit, then make a stop at the nearby Moosehorn Creek Covered Bridge, built in 1915.  Enjoy a peaceful stop in this quaint New Brunswick village!

15. Hall Brothers

#308 Route 124, Norton - Crossroads pattern

Welcome to the Norton crossroads!  Since its settlement by Loyalists in the late 1780s, Norton has found itself at the crossroads for generations of travelers. That’s why this quilt block pattern – Crossroads – is such an appropriate selection. In earlier years, the river was the highway to this village. Durham boats and canoes were used to carry people and goods up river. Before a bridge was constructed, the river was forded at the shallows; or travelers could employ Ruth Stark, a local woman who ferried passengers across the Kennebecasis. People wishing to cross would ring a bell alerting Ruth at her nearby home; she would come and row them across the river for a small fee. In 1835 stagecoaches began traveling through Norton and its reputation as the crossroads truly began. Travelers and mail were routed through the village on their way to all parts of southern New Brunswick; and locally grown produce from area farms were carried to larger markets by these same roadways. The routes to so many different destinations intersected here that they were marked by a series of finger shaped signs at the crossroads. For this reason, through much of its early history, the village of Norton was known as the “Fingerboard.”. In 1859 the European & North American Railroad came, joining Saint John to Shediac and the village became officially known as Norton. In 1888 Norton became the terminal of the New Brunswick Coal & Railroad that went from Norton to Chipman and Minto. With the arrival of this branch line great growth came with rails, bridges and station buildings constructed and several hotels. Many stores sprang up making Norton a shopping destination – a special train called the “Cannonball” ran on Saturdays just to bring crowds of shoppers to Norton!

The heart of this community still centers around agriculture and benefits from being a rural community that is so well connected to larger urban areas. Hall Brothers are a key player in this scene, providing modern farming equipment to a new generation. Their business sits prominently here at the crossroads – a fitting spot for connecting Norton’s past & future.

16. Sherwood Farm

#18 Scovil Road, Norton - Album variation pattern

The Sherwood family, like this barn, has long been a fixture of the community. The Sherwoods were early settlers and farmed here for many years. The barn is a product of that long history, with an original section that dates to 1900, and other sections that were added or rebuilt over many years to meet the farm’s changing needs, such as the middle section that was last modified in 1941. 

In addition to farming, Sherwoods are known for the family owned and operated funeral business that they have managed for over 90 years.  Like the family barn, changes have come to this business over time. Recently, the business left the family when it was sold to a member of the Sherwood's team. The business name remains the same, however, continuing a long standing tradition of service to the community.

17. MacDonald Farm

#317 O'Neill Road, Searsville - Scottish Thistle pattern

From Ardersier, Scotland to Searsville, New Brunswick: “Our earlier ancestors stayed close to their origins.  It took a different kind of courage and faith to pull up stakes and start a new life in some other part of the world.”

After her husband James passed, Annie MacKenzie MacDonald, with her four sons, followed her daughter, Mary to New Brunswick in 1913.  After a couple of years working on farms locally, David the oldest son, purchased the dairy farm on O’Neill Road on September 30, 1915.  He married Verna MacAuley in 1919 and they had eight children.  David’s son, Ronald and wife Enid, took over the farm in 1958 and then their son Malcolm and wife Elaine forming Clearland Holsteins in 1989 and now with their son, Scott since 2008. Over the years, the MacDonald’s cleared land and increased the herd of prize winning registered Holsteins in preparation for the next or fifth generation. 

The Scottish Thistle Barn Quilt was painted by the art class of Belleisle Regional High School in 2015 for the farm's Century Farm Celebration held in the summer of that year.