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Photograph to the left is a Stern-Wheeler leaving Andover heading off to Florenceville. The Photograph to the right is the Stern-Wheeler docked at Florenceville formally know as Buttermilk Creek which was settled in 1832, as a peaceful little farming community tucked into the hills of theUpper St. John River Valley By 1855, the Crimean War had been raging for two years and the name Florence Nightingale was on everybody's lips.

The Lieutenant-Governor of the time, L.A. Wilmont, renamed Buttermilk Creek in the famous nurse's honour and Florenceville, N.B. was born.

Photograph to the right is of Buttermilk Creek taken in 1920. A special thanks to Scott Ring for this photograph.

The earliest settlers to come to Florenceville were Loyalists who had originally emigrated from Britain to New England in the 1630's and 1640's, turning to the east coast of Canada in the 1780's as political refugees.

Like so much of early New Brunswick, farming and lumbering were the mainstays of Florenceville which had a shingle mill, grits mill and a general store. Shingles were carted to the St. John by wagon to be loaded onto rafts for transport up and down the river. Later, river boats were used and one of those Stern Wheelers was called Florenceville.

The East side of the community for a long time was called Buckwheat Flat, not the favoured side of the river on which to live according to the mavens of the time who, of course, lived on west side at Buttermilk Creek on the By-Way which now leads to the community of Centreville N.B. shown below in this Photograph taken in 1910..

The story of Elizabeth Hopkins, who spent her declining years in Carleton County, is one of an adventurous life. She was a Loyalist, wounded twice, planned the escape of her husband and 22 deserting American solders, thrice marred, the mother of 18 sons and four daughters, known in the 104th Regiment as Mammy Hopkins and was granted in 1816, a pension of 100 pounds a year.

Local tradition has it that Florenceville's early name of Buttermilk Creek was derived from the Maliseet m'loxsiseebooksis meaning 'white like milk brook'. There was, then, a small stream on the west bank of the St. John River at Florenceville which churned up whitish water resembling buttermilk.


Most recent revision October 22, 2002
Alton Morrell

-Contributed by Emelie Hubert, with reference to Alan Rayburn, Toponymy study 2: Geographical names of New Brunswick, 1975: and Lorena Green at the Andrew and Laura McCain Library in Florenceville. Also, the New Brunswick Telegraph and Scott Ring