DISCOVER ST. ARTHUR AREA
The Acadian people are those great families whose ancestors, as uprooted and subject to threshing, have not completely delivered the grain, but rather produced a bountiful and stronger harvest than ever before.
After having prepared a settlement plan during the winter of 1931, and in response to the growing need to give a home to the many parishioners seeking property, the Rev. Father Ernest Maheux obtains from Fredericton the grant of seventy-five (75) lots to be cleared on new lands southeast of Val d'Amours. The official opening of this new township nicknamed Christopher Brook Settlement is November 21, 1932, by the Rev. Father Ernest Maheux. That morning, seventy-five (75) men present themselves to give the first blow of ax to clear lots in order to settle there. In a letter received on January 30, 1933, the Bishop of Chatham, Patrice-Alexandre Chiasson asked Father Maheux to give the legal name of Saint-Arthur to this young colony, in memory of Jean Thorne, known as Arthur by his Christian name, Benedictine of Glastonbury, beatified in 1895.
A small chapel, built by James Daigle and some workers, was founded in 1934 in Saint-Arthur to accommodate parishioners who had to walk more than ten miles to attend the church of Val d'Amours. In the year 1939, no less than 100 families were established in Saint-Arthur. The small chapel also serves as a school during the week. Unfortunately, it will fall prey to the flames on New Year's Eve in 1944. While waiting for a church to be built, parishioners gather at the old "Cook-house". It is in 1941 that Mr. Oscar Bélanger acquires the wood mill abandoned by Paradis et Frères because of a lack of wood. The mill provides employment to the men of the parish and the region. In 1974, after major renovations, the mill became one of the most functional in the region with 150 employees, including woodcutters. On July 18, 1948, the blessing of the new church of Our Lady of Fatima took place and fifty-nine (59) young people received the sacrament of Confirmation. Within ten years, a new community post office opens before the close of 1958.
In 1966, the residents of Saint-Arthur mobilized and built an ice rink. Mr. Hector Pitre spent countless hours volunteering to organize teams and tournaments bringing life to the community. In return, the community dedicated the arena in his name in recognition for all his devoted service. In 1972, the rink was destroyed by fire, residents mobilized rebuilding a new rink that same year. The new rink will serve as the base for the construction of the recreation center, which officially opened on Sunday, December 4, 1977. The center, judiciously managed and actively attended by members, citizens and people throughout the region, proved to be extremely lucrative. Much to the great despair of the population, another tragedy strikes on March 2014 that will shake the entire community for several years. The center is completely destroyed by fire. Even today, the reconstruction file is at the heart of the discussions and the community is hopeful to see its center in operation and flourishing once again.
A fire brigade was formed in March 1979 with the fire station officially inaugurated three months later in June. At the time ,the district of Saint-Arthur had a population of 1,100 people. In October 1987, 115 students were deprived of their classes following a violent fire that destroyed the elementary school of Saint-Arthur. Classes were resumed at the community center, the fire station, the arena, and the senior club while waiting for the new school to be built. This new school was inaugurated on Sunday, November 25, 1990. The parish was gaining momentum and life was getting organized, with another blow suddenly coming in 2007. The mill, having been deprived of its wood allowance, was forced to close leaving 65 persons affected.
Aligning itself with Val d'Amours in the project to merge the LSD with Atholville, the community of Saint-Arthur has taken the necessary steps to amalgamate with the other two localities and become a full member of the Village of Atholville.