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The History of St Martins


The first electrical power palnt installed in the village was owned and operated by J.A. Vaughan and Son. It was later taken over by the New Brunswick Power Commission. J.A. Vaughan & Son also owned and operated the first service station and tearoom, and were instrumental in establishing the first direct bus line service between St Martins and Saint John. This bus line used to provide six trips daily but was found unprofitable. One of the J.A. Vaughan & Son buses still provides transportation for school children.

In 1946 another service station was built at Hodsmythe's Corner. This was owned and operated by John Boyer and Ralph McIntyre. In 1949 Boyer and McIntyre sold out to Ward Brown. In the same year the garage was completely destroyed by fire. The land was later purchased by Herbert Holland who erected another service station on the site. This was subsequently sold to Donald Clayton who now operates a Texaco Station and Lunchroom there.

The paving of the highway from St Martins to Saint John was first commenced in 1939, the year of the outbreak of World War II. It was discontinued until after the war when operations were resumed and the paving completed in 1950. During the years 1962 and 1963 the road was rebuilt and is paved as far as Quinn's Hill. During the year 1950 several new bridges were constructed on both the Shore Road and the Middle Road to Saint John, and hydo was installed throughout the Black River and Middle Road area.

During both World Wars, St Martins played a noble part in sending many of her young men overseas. Several paid the supreme sacrifice, among them: Manning Vaughan, Henry Branscombe, Charles McCumber. World War II, Clyde Osbourne, Harley Lewis, Eldon MacDonald Clarence Flewelling, Ronald McKee.

Many of the citizens contributed their blood during the Blood Donations Campaigns of World War II.

The Red Cross Society, organized during World War I, has been very active in sending supplies and money to the Dominion Red Cross Society. The wing of the 'Sea Breeze Inn' was purchased and moved nearer to the road and is now the Red Cross workroom.

A branch of the Canadian Legion B.E.S.I. was formed after World War II with Captain John S. Boyer as its first President. The meetings were held in the Agricultural Hall until the Legion Memorial Hall was erected on the present school property, the land being donated by the ratepayers of School District #2. This hall was in solemn tribute to the veterans of both wars and is widely used as a community centre.

A Doctor's residence was purchased by the Municipality of the City and County of Saint John, through the Parish Councillors. This was to be used as the residence of the practising physician. After the departure of Dr. Wm. Cooper, the councillors were unable to enlist the services of a full-time doctor, so Dr. Johnson and Dr. Yang, who practised in East Saint John, were hired to hold office hours in part of the building for two days each week. The rest of the building was rented to the school principal.

Vaughan Villa was aquired by Miss Florence McNamara, renovated and equipped for a convalescent home, and the medical supervision of the resident physician, Dr. C.H. Oake. It was officially opened in November 1950 under the name of Vaughan Villa Sanitarium. This proved unsuccessful and it was later operated as a tourist home. In 1959 it was sold to Mrs Reese who has been gradually landscaping and renovating it. At the present time it is a summer residence with future plans to have it used as an apartment house. 9