New Brunswick Black History Society


Coloured People's Association (CPA)

Coloured People’s Association (CPA)

The CPA (Coloured People’s Association) was an organization started by Black Saint Johners for Black Saint Johners to have a place of their own to host weddings, dances, and other events. At the time many White-owned venues would not allow Blacks to use their venues for such events. This building, owned by Nick Skinner, was located on Main Street in Saint John where the Lord Beaverbrook is now located.

End Second Hand Furniture

End Second Hand Furniture & Skinners Stove Hospital

Halifax-native Nicodemus Skinner was one of only two Black merchants operating businesses in Saint John in 1921. These businesses – End Second Hand Furniture and Skinners Stove Hospital – were located at 257-259 City Road. 

Joseph Seale

Joseph Seale

Joseph Seale came to Saint John in 1922 from Barbados. By 1940 Mr. Seale had established a successful wholesale fish business in Saint John. His business served most of the Maritimes and other parts of the world, including the United States, Barbados, and Jamaica. At his plants, located in Saint John and Nova Scotia, fish were kept in cold storage and were fresh, salted and smoked in the smokehouse. The fish were then shipped to various buyers. Seale was known to be a shrewd businessman and a man of great integrity.

John Seale followed in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps by starting a contract trucking business, Seale Trucking. John was also a hard-nosed businessman who demanded respect from the people he worked with. Being a person of colour during John’s time in the trucking industry was not easy. He had to work very hard at breaking some of the barriers, but his solid work ethic and determination led to success. John soon won large contracts from very important customers, including the City of Saint John.

John’s motto is, “You must always expect to win the contract”.

McIntyre Trucking

McIntyre’s Trucking

McIntyre’s Trucking was founded by Clarence & Olive McIntyre in 1968. Their son Bob McIntyre joined his parents in 1975 and they chose to change their name to C.W. McIntyre & Son. After the passing of Clarence on April 23, 1990 the business was passed down to Bob and his family, who continue to run the business today as McIntyre’s Moving & Storage.

Ralph's Action Center

Ralph’s Action Centre

Owner and operator of an Esso Service Station from 1975 to 1980, Ralph Thomas operated three service bays and employed six people at Ralph’s Action Centre (Home of the Action Rabbit!) on Manawagonish Road, in Saint John, N.B. 

Robert Skinner

Robert Skinner, Denturist

Robert Skinner is the son of the late Clifford (Nick) Skinner. The Skinner family has owned and operated businesses within the City of Saint John for many years.

Sidney Nash

Sidney Nash

Sidney Nash owned and operated a garage with gas pumps before WWII. It was located in Lakeville Corner, N.B. He was married to Amy Holmes (Nash). After the passing of Sidney, the garage was left to his son Earl, who eventually removed the pumps. The garage is now owned by Earl’s son Brian Nash. 

The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke Restaurant

In 1976 David Peters opened Saint John’s first elegant dining room, combining excellent food with exquisite surroundings. The Iron Duke on Leinster Street was the forerunner of today’s heritage inns.

The restaurant, built in 1878 as a home for Andrew J. Armstrong, offered both the charm and beauty of Victorian architecture along with the specialty of the house, Creole cuisine. The location even had the ghostly image of a young girl’s face on the metal basement door.

The Iron Duke Restaurant made 1978’s “Where To Eat In Canada” restaurant guide.

The Royal Salon

The Royal Salon

The Royal Salon, located at 18 Charlotte Street, was owned and operated by Cornelius Sparrow. He was an ex-slave from Virginia who arrived in Saint John in 1851. He opened his first saloon in 1862, a restaurant that specialized in local fruits and vegetables that also offered a ladies and gentleman’s hair salon.