Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
|Founded by||Hezekiah Day|
|• Mayor||Alexis Fenner|
Located on the Tobique River, the village was founded in 1881 by Hezekiah Day and named for the gypsum found in the area, which is heated to produce plaster. The cliffs across the river from the Tobique Valley High School expose the red "plaster rock". The major industry in Plaster Rock is a sawmill owned by Twin Rivers Paper Company.
Primarily English, the town is historically a logging and lumbering community. Known as the Gateway to Mount Carleton Provincial Park, the community is the source of business, commerce, banking, grocery shopping, and religious and sport gatherings for the surrounding hamlets and homes of the Tobique River region. The Tobique River, which has its source Nictau Lake at Mt. Carleton Provincial Park, flows through the tiny communities of Nictau, Riley Brook, Oxbow, Plaster Rock, Arthurette, Red Rapids, and empties into the St. John River above Perth-Andover.
The Tobique First Nations Reserve is located where the Tobique and St. John Rivers come together. The town has 6 churches, namely a Catholic Church, an Anglican Church, a Free-will Baptist Church, a United Baptist Church, a United Church of Canada, and a Pentecostal Church. The average congregation is 20-45 members of the first 5 churches, with the Pentecost church being an exception with a congregation of approx. 400 members, who are in part from the village of PR, but mostly from the surrounding region of Victoria County.
The Pentecostal Church also has its own private school, the only other school in the village aside from the village`s Public Junior and High Schools. The Family Worship Centre, the name of the Pentecostal sect, has been the site of controversy since it first established roots nearly 90 years ago. Plaster Rock is home of the World Pond Hockey Championships, which take place annually in February on Roulston Lake. In June, Fiddlers on The Tobique is a large event attracting tourists and visitors from all over the world as they put approx. 1300 canoes into the waters and float accompanied by fiddlers and their Maritime music.
On January 7, 2014, 17 cars of a 122-car train derailed and caused a huge fireball near Plaster Rock. The petroleum products originated in Western Canada and were destined for the Irving Oil Refinery in St. John,2 because in the wake of the Lac Megantic derailment the MM&A line through Lac Megantic can no longer be used to transport dangerous goods. As a result, Irving Oil uses the CN line from Montreal through Quebec City that crosses over the bridge to the South shore through Rimouski and Matane and then through Plaster Rock to St. John. Nobody was injured during the blaze but about 150 people were evacuated.3
- "New Mayor in Plaster Rock Ready to Prove Herself". K93 News. 5/18/2012. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- G+M: "New Brunswick train derailment fire renews questions of oil-by-rail’s dangers" 8 Jan 2014
- G+M: "Train carrying oil and propane still burning after derailment in New Brunswick" 8 Jan 2014
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