Newcastle, NB, an urban community of the city of MIRAMICHI, is located below the juncture of the northwestern and southwestern branches of the MIRAMICHI RIVER. The shire town of Northumberland County from 1786 to 1967, it was probably named for Thomas Pelham-Holles, duke of Newcastle and prime minister of England.
Two Scots, William Davidson and John Cort, settled the area in 1765, drawn by the potential of the salmon fishery. They were followed by some LOYALISTS and many Scottish and Irish immigrants.
In 1825 a great fire devastated the Miramichi area and laid waste Newcastle and nearby DOUGLASTOWN. Only 12 of Newcastle's 260 buildings escaped the flames. The fire put an end to the masting industry, but shipbuilding, the fisheries and lumbering became significant industries afterwards, and the latter 2 are still important.
Newcastle is a busy port, exporting wood pulp and wood products. Newcastle was incorporated as a town in 1899 and it retained this status until 1 January 1995 when it, along with Douglastown, CHATHAM and 19 other communities, amalgamated to form the city of Miramichi. The town's most famous "son" was Max AITKEN, later Lord Beaverbrook, who later became the province's greatest benefactor.