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The History of St Martins


St Martins, situated on the Bay of Fundy, thirty miles east of Saint John, is one of the prettiest villages of the Maritime Provinces. One of the nicest features of St Martins is its beach, which is semi-circular in shape and extends for a distance of three miles. This beach, which consists of fine gravel and sand, slopes gradually down to the flats where clams can be found at low tide. The beach affords excellent bathing opportunities and is considered the finest and handsomest of the Bay of Fundy.

On either side of the harbour is a headland jutting out into the Bay. The one on the West is known as 'Quaco Head' and has a lighthouse and a fog alarm, and the Eastern one is called 'McCumber's Head'. Two breakwaters have been built to protect the natural creek. On the west breakwater is a red beacon light to assist vessels when entering the creek. In 1908 the lighthouse and end of the breakwater was washed away in a heavy storm. When the breakwater was rebuilt it was extended to nearly twice its former length and a new and larger breakwater was built on the western extremity. In the spring of 1915, during a severe storm, the breakwater was undermined, but this damage was repaired the following summer. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 washed out the eastern end of the breakwater which was rebuilt to about three quarters of its original length the following year. Another severe storm in 1962 undermined the harbour breakwater. This was repaired and equipped with electric lights in 1963.

St Martins is built at the foot of a low range of hills and is close to the waterfront. During severe storms the water occassionally surounds, or enters, some of the buildings.

The climate is very healthy and in the past years, St Martins has become a summer resort for tourists and many summer cottages and tourist cabins have been built along the shore. No where can such excellent sporting opportunities be obtained. Within a few miles of the village salmon fishing facilities are at Salmon River, only ten miles away. Fishing trips to Quaco Ledges where Pollock and Cod abound are enjoyed by many sportsmen. The forests contain deer, moose, bear, and smaller game animals, while ducks are plentiful along the shore. many places near the village afford splendid picnic and camping grounds. At one of these, known as 'Gifford's Pond', is a natural phenomenon, the salt water of the Bay being separated from the fresh water of the lake, by only a rocky beach.

In later years the village has rightly been named : 'ST MARTINS BY THE SEA'.