History of Bonar Law Common

The development and operation of the Bonar Law Historical Site is one of cooperation from all levels of government, combined with a strong community pride in the site. From the very beginning of the development in 1974, this site has received strong support from the community and surrounding area. It has become a community-gathering site for local festivals and celebrations.

Provincially this is a very rich part of New Brunswick’s history and has a very important story to tell. Since the opening of this site in 1984, it has attracted many visitors from Europe, United States, and various parts of Canada.

Locally, this site has become a very significant part of the region and Rexton. This provincial designated historical site has developed into more than a historical site. The main purpose of this site is to celebrate the life of Andrew Bonar Law, the only person born outside of Great Britain to become Prime Minister of Great Britain. This site represents a period of the region’s history. It is one of very few sites that represents and acknowledges this part of the county’s culture and history.

Following 10 years of restoration, the joint effort of the Village of Rexton, the Province of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada opened in 1984. Since 1984 the Village of Rexton has partnered with the Province of New Brunswick in the operation of the site in one manner or another.

In 1995, eleven years after the opening, the Federal Government, Province of New Brunswick and the Village of Rexton partnered again with the addition of the interpretive-welcome center building. It was at this time that the Richibucto River Museum was moved to this site as well as the Bonar Law Cairn.

In 2002, the Province of New Brunswick and the Village of Rexton signed an official management contract. This consisted of one, 12-month contract and one 36 month with the contract to end in March 2006.

On December 10, 2007, the Province of New Brunswick and the Village of Rexton signed an official lease of the property along with a future management /funding assistance agreement. The lease is a 25 year lease based one 10 year contract and 3, five year renewals for a total 25 year period.

This short introduction brings us to 2009. Once again the Province of New Brunswick and the Village of Rexton has partnered to expand the site and take it to the next level. The intent of the new development is to increase both visitor traffic for the Bonar Law Common and increase local use and awareness. As you will see this is proposed by developing further historic value through a “walk through time” trail as well as creating a festival and games area.

Chronology of Land Ownership
Bonar Law Historical Site

1787
 
Powell and family settled in the area of present day Rexton.
 
Nov. - 1805
 
Solomon Powell and 15 others receive official government grants of land. Israel and Solomon Powell, Jr. obtained 275 acres of the grant.
 
May 14,1815
 
Israel Powell sells his lower half (137 ½ acres) to Thomas Powell for £50.
 
Jan. 01,1844
 
Thomas Powell sells his 170 acres to Robert Powell, farmer, for £200
 
Jan. 13, 1844
 
Robert Powell sells a mortgage on the property to David Wark, merchant, for £150.
 
Nov. 12,1849
 
Robert Powell sells land to David Wark for £600.
 
Jan. 30, 1850
 
David Wark sells 22 acres to Reverend James Law for £250.
 
Feb. 9, 1881
 
Reverend James Law sells the farm to Robert Law for $ 2,000.
 
Dec. 29, 1887
 
Robert Law sells the farm to Martin Lanigan, Mill Owner, for $ 1,000.
 
May 5, 1890
 
Martin Lanigan sells the farm to Andrew Bonar Law , of Glasgow for $ 700.
 
May 5, 1898
 
Andrew Bonar Law transfers a lease to Alice Law for $ 50. a year for a five year period.
 
May 21, 1918
 
Laws sells the farm to Jonathan Hudson at a Public Auction for $ 2,850.
 
June 10, 1935
 
Jonathan Hudson sells the farm to Ralph Hudson for $ 2,850.
 
Dec. 1971
 
Ownership of farm transferred to Ralph Hudson’s widow, Frances Hudson.
 
1974
 
Frances Hudson sold the farm to the Province of New Brunswick.
 
1974 to 1984
 
It took many projects and a period of 10 years to restore as original. It also took a joint effort from the Village of Rexton, Province of New Brunswick and the Federal Government.
 
1984
 
The Bonar Law Historic Site is opened. The Village of Rexton assisted in the management of the Site until 2000. In 2000 the province decided to do all management of the site.
 
1995-96
 
In partnership with the Federal Government and the Province of New Brunswick, the Village of Rexton assisted and managed the construction of a $ 300,000.00 Interpretive Building on this site. It was at this time that the Richibucto River Museum was moved to this site as well as the Bonar Law Cairn.
 
2002
 
Province of New Brunswick and the Village of Rexton signed an official management contract. This consisted of one, 12-month contract and one 36 month contract to end in March 2006.
 
Dec. 2007
 
Province of New Brunswick and the Village of Rexton signed an official lease of the property along with a future management/funding assistance agreement. The lease is 25 year lease based one 10 year with 3 x 5 year renewals.
 
YouTubeVisit the Village of Rexton website
From past festivals and events

Have a look at our videos
Farmers Golf

Extreme Croquet

More Fun Stuff
Visit the village of Rexton website

Take a look

Facebook Page
Click to view our sponsors
Powered by GirvanMedia