Minto | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Minto, NB, incorporated as a village in1962, population 2505 (2011c), 2681 (2006c). It is located 56 km north of Fredericton in the Minto coalfields.

Minto, NB, incorporated as a village in 1962, population 2505 (2011c), 2681 (2006c). The Village of Minto was named for the eighth governor general of Canada, the earl of MINTO, in 1904 when the construction of the railway opened the area. It is located 56 km north of Fredericton in the Minto coalfields.

The first COAL mines in Canada operated here, with coal being shipped to Boston in 1639, but it was not until 1825 that coal was mined on an ongoing basis. Because the seams of coals are near the surface, mechanical mining was not introduced until 1905. Underground mining was carried out from 1930 to 1971, but with most of the coal about 8 m below the surface, strip mining is more economical and is the only method employed today. Labour problems and a strike in 1937 were resolved the following year by new provincial legislation. Today coal from the area fuels the thermal electric-power generating plant at Grand Lake.

For New Brunswick, the village has unusually cosmopolitan ethnic origins. In 1916, one mining company with 200 employees reported that only 40 were native English speakers; the remainder were European immigrants. Many of the descendants of these miners remain in the community today. During World War II an INTERNMENT camp was operated southwest of Minto. It first housed Jewish refugees (1940-41) and then German and Italian prisoners of war (1941-45). The New Brunswick Internment Museum in Minto displays artifacts from the camp.

The village's other industries produce wood products such as hockey sticks, baseball bats, kitchen cabinets and fibreglass products. A recycling plant manufactures a number of industrial products from automobile tires.