History of Millidgeville and The Moorings
The Moorings of Millidgevillle is a property rich in history and surrounded by natural beauty.
Until the 1950's Millidgeville referred to the area starting at the south end of the Millidgeville Airport, just North of Boar's Head Road. Airport you ask? Yes, Saint John's airport was in Millidgeville until our new airport was built on Loch Lomond Road in the early 1950's. The former airport was located between the present Daniel Avenue, Millidge Avenue, Boars Head Road and the present Air Canada Call Centre on Woodward Avenue. Many Saint John residents learned how to drive on the abandoned runways of the old airport before any houses were built there.
Millidgeville was the departure point for the side wheeler ferry boat that left the end of Millidge Avenue next to the yacht club and crossed to Summerville, Bayswater and Kennebecasis Island. A paddlewheel ferry operated right up until 1955. Roy Giggey who operated the store next to the yacht club in those days had a bus with which he serviced Millidgeville before Millidge Avenue was paved in the mid 1950's.
Grenville Ring had a boat shop on Manners Sutton Road where he built smaller boats. His son Bob Ring and his grandson Geodie have continued in Gren's footsteps to this day and have a boat haul out and marine repair facility near the end of Millidge Avenue.
Millidgeville saw a complete transformation in the mid 1950's after the Airport shut down. Houses were built on the former runways. Kennebecasis Drive was constructed and homes were built on the hillsides surrounding the Village where none had existed before. Millidgeville also transformed from a mix of boat related businesses and summer homes to a mainly residential community of upscale homes. Manners Sutton Road for one has seen the number of homes on it doubled in the past thirty years with upscale infill houses being built along the water's edge.
The lands where the Moorings of Millidgeville subdivision stands were once a thriving shipyard and a sawmill. Thomas Millidge Jr., whose father was a Loyalist of the same name, settled in Nova Scotia, and later came across the Bay of Fundy to do business. Thomas Millidge, Sr. was involved in owning or being a Director of several major businesses in Saint John, including the Bank of New Brunswick which was later amalgamated into the Bank of Nova Scotia. His son was the shipbuilder.
The subdivision property was first known as the Thomas Millidge Shipyard and later as the Kennebecasis Shipyard. Over 30 large ocean going sailing vessels were built here in the mid 1800's.
During this time, the basin area bounded by the surrounding hills was named after Mr. Millidge and the area became Millidgeville. A Post Office and a School were established during this time. There was a one-room schoolhouse on Manners Sutton Road right up until the 1950's.
One ship built at the Millidge Shipyard in the mid 1800's still exists today. The Egeria, built on this land is in the Falkland Islands being used as a warehouse in Port Stanley. Local historian Harold Wright visited the Egeria with a delegation from the New Brunswick Museum a few years ago and documented her history.
Following the Millidge shipyard, the Edward Jewett family bought the property and established a large sawmill on it, the hand laid stone foundation of which is still visible at the North end of the property. Jewetts had five sawmills at the time, one in South Bay, one in the Narrows, one at Lands End, one at Drury Cove and the one here. This was the largest of the Jewett Mills.
There were close to a dozen mill workers' houses on the property at the time of the sawmill's operation and Millidgeville was a closely-knit community, primarily of mill workers. Following the closure of the sawmill, the Jewett descendants sold the land to the Holder family who later re-established a boat building business known as The Blue Peter Boat Works. Don Holder and later his father Col. Gordon Holder in conjunction with the boat building business, located on the foundation of the Jewett's Sawmill, operated a marine railway along with two boat houses to store the boats inside in winter.
The Blue Peter was well frequented by the residents of Millidgeville looking at the boats in summer or at Mrs. (Edith) Holder's beautiful flower gardens. The boats stored for winter in the sheds were lost in a disastrous fire in February 1982.
Sandy Robertson, a long time Millidgeville resident, acquired the first of the Moorings of Millidgeville property in 1983 and has been carefully developing the land since then. Ground was broken in October 1983.
Since then, a new street with rolled curbs, sidewalk and underground wiring has been constructed along with a new sewage lift station. The future of the Moorings of Millidgeville looks bright with folks like you building beautiful homes on this property. Select your lot, pick your designer and then pick your builder to make your dream home a reality! Please contact us if you would like to visit the site with us or get more information.