1989.108.495 | S. Jagoe, A. Calhoun and S. MacDonald at Peter Emberley Monument with Miramichi Folksong Festival Wreath, St. Joachim's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Boiestown, New Brunswick

 
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S. Jagoe, A. Calhoun and S. MacDonald at Peter Emberley Monument with Miramichi Folksong Festival Wreath, St. Joachim's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Boiestown, New Brunswick
Dupuis Studio
1963, 20th century
20.6 x 25.4 cm
Gift of Dr. Louise Manny Estate
1989.108.495
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Along with the winter cold, lumberjacks had to deal with the day-to-day dangers of work in the woods. Peter Emberley, a young logger from Prince Edward Island, was killed while loading logs onto a sled near Boiestown, New Brunswick in 1882. His workmate that day, John Calhoun, carried Emberley to a nearby farmhouse where the dying man spoke deliriously of home and his loving mother. He was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Boiestown close to the Southwest Miramichi River in a raging blizzard so intense that the local priest could not get to the gravesite.

Calhoun later wrote the ballad "Peter Emberley," which became a favourite along the river and the lumber camps of New Brunswick.

Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    Branches broken in storms and accidentally dislodged during cutting or skidding were called "widow makers."

  • Where

    Boiestown is located on the Southwest Miramichi River in central New Brunswick.

  • When

    In August 1963, a priest was present for a graveside ceremony for Emberley..

  • Who

    Lumberjacks considered it unlucky to sing "Peter Emberley" in the woods.