I exit the highway and take the scenic Saint John river road, past the little Temple stallion that rears up on the lawn of someone’s home.
The Benton Road sign comes into view and I follow it for about 12 kilometers, where the pavement ends. Cautiously I swerve around potholes, and slosh through patches where the snow has drifted and hasn’t melted completely yet. I find a fella walking along the road. I pull over and put my window down. “Excuse me, do you know where the Benton covered bridge is?” He shakes his head. Maybe I have the name of it wrong. I rephrase my question. “Is there a covered bridge somewhere on this road?”
” I don’t think so” he says.
I muddle his words over as I keep going. Lots of covered bridges have been dismantled, some are way off in the woods out of service and sometimes I just have wrong location. I make a deal with myself: I’ll go another five minutes. If I don’t find it, I will turn around. Within two bends of the road I see the bridge. That fella must walk short distances. How could he not know this bridge is here?
I backtrack to highway 165. This area was an important trading post and village to the Maliseet people. When the Mactaquac Dam was built the area was flooded. A cairn that marked the spot was moved to Fort Meductic Road. A national historic site plaque is supposed to be here; unfortunately, the stone remains but the plaque is missing. I can’t say whether it is removed every winter or if it has been vandalized. The snow is still quite deep so I can’t see if the cairn is still there. I come away disappointed. Please see my post METEPENAGIAG HERITAGE PARK. NB. It has more national historic site dedications to the our Mi’kmaq first nations- indigenous to the Atlantic Canada.
I continue on Hwy 165, past Maliseet Trail to Hay Falls, N.B. No vehicles are parked out front of the trail today. It looks icy now that the snow has melted and refrozen. A little further down the road, I come to the Anglican church. I pull over onto the shoulder and debate roaming around the cemetery. This is where George Frederick Clark is buried but with so much snow still covering the ground, looking for graves is futile. I resume my course into town. I will go see his former home instead. (photo from Google)
I park in the lot at the police station and walk up the road to 812 Main. It is a provincial historic site but no plaque adorns the house that I can see. I mentioned him in my post The Last Fatal Duel. New Maryland, NB. The pistols supposedly used in that duel were found among the collection of artifacts he had acquired throughout his life.
Since I am working on seeing all the national historic sites in New Brunswick. I can check The Connell House off my list too. It was built in 1839 and is the listed as one of the oldest buildings in New Brunswick. The former residence of Charles Connell, a prominent businessman and politician who is best known as a postmaster, he was on a Canadian stamp in 1860. The house is now the home to the Carleton County Historic Society.
More provincial historic sites to visit: the L.P. Fisher Library, the armoury and the Carleton County court house and gaol. I won’t bore you with the facts of the case, but the jail was the location of the last hanging that took place in New Brunswick. I rest my face up against the chain-link fence surrounding the back yard. I see no signs of hangings – just like at the court house in Saint John: The Rest of the Story, nothing remains of the gallows that was here. So I am off to do some hiking.
The Saint John River meanders through the town. When I was here in February, snowmobilers were laying down tracks across its frozen surface, but break-up has begun and the ice is receding northward. I come across this out-of-place headstone at the side of the river. It is dedicated to Andrew and David Stitt I can’t help but wonder if they are remembered here for losing their lives to the river.
The breeze is chilly and the boardwalk is still snow-covered. I set my sights on hiking to Upham Brook Falls. Within ten minutes of leaving the downtown core, I am at the starting point to a small trail leading down the bank toward the stream. I place a foot on top of the snow crust and sink beyond the rim of my boot. Punching through, I notice the trail is made up of deer tracks. They are obviously lighter on their feet than I am; my boots are filled with snow and my socks will be soaked. I plunk to my bottom and slide down the bank to the base of some trees and I give them a good shove to test if they are secure. The stream is running swiftly and it is undermining the banks. It is a pretty place.
I love the falls, but photos of deer beside them would have been excellent; Maybe next time With my hike complete and the day running out, I head back on the highway for home. I know I will be back, because it is on the way to so many wonderful places in my province. Until next time, happy travels from Maritime Mac.
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