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About Us



The Village of Doaktown is situated almost in the middle of Route 8 (The Miramichi River Route) which cuts diagonally through the center of New Brunswick and is one of the oldest numbered routes in the Province.  Approximately 45 minutes to the southwest is the City of Fredericton, the Provincial Capital, while 45 minutes to the northeast is the City of Miramichi.  Using Route 126, we are about two hours away from the City of Moncton and about 2½ hours from the City of Saint John.  With the exception of the City of Miramichi, all of these urban centres boast international airports and all – with no exceptions — have major health care facilities.   Route 8 and its companion roadways are in good condition, traffic is comparatively light, and the scenery is always enjoyable.

Doaktown itself is relatively small – in fact, based on the 2006 Census figures, the Village population is less than 1,000.  However, our workforce and customer base relies very heavily on the residents of the surrounding communities who are linked with us not only by Route 8 but also by the clear blue waters of the Miramichi River which is never far away.  Be it Astle, Boiestown, Porter Cove, Parker Ridge, Holtville, New Bandon, McNamee, Ludlow, Carroll’s Crossing, Bettsburg, Nelson Hollow, Storeytown, Hazelton, Blissfield, or Blackville — we are all Miramichiers, and proud of it!

The lumber industry has been our primary source of revenue since the early 1800s although our other natural resources – the River, its salmon, the wildlife and our spectacular scenery – have made this area a year-round tourist destination.  For a small rural community, we offer a surprising array of services and amenities, and given our long history of welcoming “sports” to share in our River, you’ll find us friendly and eager to welcome you too.


DOAKTOWN – THE BEGINNING

The first substantiated record of settlement in this part of the Southwest Miramichi begins with the arrival of a United Empire Loyalist, Ephraim Betts (b. circa 1730), and his associates in the years following the American Revolution.  Betts had been a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion of DeLancy’s Regiment but when the war ended in 1783, he settled in Fredericton where he found employment as a tanner, cordwainer and jailer for York County.  In 1795, he and five other men petitioned the Crown for a substantial portion of land between the Nashwaak Portage and the Etienne or Cain’s River at what came to be known as Betts Settlement.  Ephraim moved his family there about 1799 and officially registered the settlement — the first official allocation of land on the Upper Southwest Miramichi — on June 20, 1809. By that time, there were 60 families living in the area, all of whom regarded Betts as their leader, as well they might, given that during the course of his life on the Miramichi, Ephraim served as Overseer of the Poor, Overseer of the Fisheries, Commissioner of Roads, and Justice of the Peace.  He also maintained his interest in military life and was made a lieutenant in a company consisting of men residing in the upper district of the Southwest Miramichi.  In 1809 he was promoted to captain in the 1st Battalion of Northumberland County militia, and was a major when he retired in 1813.  A sword said to have belonged to Ephraim Betts is on display at the Doak Provincial Heritage Site .

By 1816 Betts and his immediate family were experiencing serious financial difficulties and while it is not known when or where he died, property originally owned by him was certainly for sale by 1825 when the area’s second citizen of note arrived from Scotland by way of Blackville.  Robert Doak (b. April 4, 1785) had been born in Ochiltree, Ayshire, the son of Agnes (Duncan) and Robert Doak, Senior.  In 1808, he married Jane Kirkland and in 1815 when he was only 30, he and his family arrived on the Miramichi where he worked for several years as an innkeeper.  In 1818, however, his elder brother James and his family joined Robert on the Miramichi.  The brothers formed a partnership with Alexander MacLaggan who was operating a sawmill in Blackville.  In the early 1820s, while continuing their partnership with MacLaggan, the Doak brothers moved twenty miles up river where their father, Robert Doak, Senior, had recently settled.  Here in what was to become known as “Doaktown,” they acquired a considerable amount of property (some of it from the family of Ephraim Betts) and established  water-powered carding and grist mills, a sawmill, an oat mill, and an extensive farming operation.

Robert Doak, rather than his elder brother James, became the settlement’s leading citizen, serving not only as the community’s largest employer but also as a School Trustee, Town Clerk, Clerk of the Market and Justice of the Peace.  Such was his prominence that he became known far and wide as “Squire” Doak.

Ephraim Betts and Robert Doak are only two of the multitude of people who have left their imprint on the history of this community.  Check Village Timeline for an overview of other families who helped settle this area and whose descendants continue to live here today.


About Doaktown

The village of Doaktown is located in the heart of the Miramichi, along the Miramichi River. The famous Miramichi River is one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world, in both past and present day. Not only is the Southwest Miramichi River among the top 10 cleanest rivers in the world, it is home to the elusive Atlantic salmon that has tempted the skill of men for centuries. Doaktown's history is both colourful and diverse, changing with time and industry. Home to the Atlantic Salmon Museum, the Doak Historic Site, the Old Mill Pond Golf Club, and numerous fishing and outdoor adventure experiences.

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Village of Doaktown

Address: 8 Miramichi Street, Doaktown, NB, Canada, E9C 1C8

Phone: 506-365-7970

Fax: 506-365-7111

Email: info@doaktown.ca

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