New Brunswick Black History Society

Name Changes

A page from the 1878 York County Atlas
The Sign for Burgess Brook
Burgess Brook formerly Negro Brook as it flows from Bull Lake fredericton
Corankapone Lake
Harriet ORee Road
Hodges Point Break Water-Saint John (W)
Hodges Point in West Saint John
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NBBHS

Name Changes

In 2015, the New Brunswick Black History Society (NBBHS) compiled a list of racist place names in the province, to work with the provincial government to rename them. These names had been in effect since European settlement and included such titles as “Negro Point” and “N****r Brook” (see map below). The province and the NBBHS began making those changes in 2017. The following images show some of the changes achieved by the partnership.

The name of the former Negro Brook Road, near Sussex, served as a reminder of a less racially progressive time in New Brunswick history.

In 2016, through the efforts of New Brunswick Black History Society President Ralph Thomas, and local resident Susan Tyler, the province renamed Negro Brook Road to Harriet O’Ree Road. 

The new name honours O’Ree, a black resident of the area, according to the 1851 West Sussex census.

(L-R) New Brunswick Black History Society (NBBHS) President Ralph Thomas, historian Peter Lohnes and NBBHS Co-Founder David Peters stand beside the former Negro Lake in Grand Bay-Westfield. In 2017, the province changed the lake’s name to Corankapone Lake in honour of Richard Corankapone, an ex-slave from the United States who bought his own freedom and eventually settled in the area in 1783. This name change is the result of an ongoing partnership between the province and the NBBHS.

 

A page from the 1878 York County, NB atlas showing the original name of the former Negro Brook.

The sign for Burgess Brook (formerly Negro Brook).

Burgess Brook (formerly Negro Brook) as it flows from Bull Lake

Through the efforts of a provincial-NBBHS partnership–and with the permission of the current landowners, the Lawson family–the former Negro Brook was renamed Burgess Brook in 2019. The new name honours American-born Ezra Burgess, who, according to local legend, provided necessities to local Black families in the area in the 1800s.

West Saint John’s former Negro Point was renamed Hodges Point in 2017 to honour labour and civil rights leader Frederick Douglas Hodges. Among his many accomplishments, Saint John-native Hodges, a descendant of Black Loyalists from New York, was the first African-Canadian president of the Saint John District Labour Council, from 1964-1975.

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