DISCOVER ATHOLVILLE 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.
Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and natural bodies of fresh and salt water, the Village of Atholville is nestled in a beautiful area of northern New Brunswick. Atholville was built on the south shore of the Restigouche River, and faces the province of Quebec. In the early days of colonization, the area was already inhabited by a large Mi’kmaq community. Nicolas Denys, a French explorer whom the Mi’kmaq nicknamed "Great Beard", actively participated in the colonization of Acadia and the community in particular. At that time, Atholville was part of the Northern Uplands Ecoregion and was nicknamed "Tjikog.” Beginning in 1690, the village experienced a slowdown in growth, with the Indians leaving Tjikog, in 1750 to move to “Camps” which were reserves (Ste-Anne de Restigouche), located on the other side of the river. In 1773, Tjikog became the property of a London merchant and the village was renamed “Old Mission Point / Pointe à la Mission.” In 1812, Robert Ferguson was largely responsible for the development by building a general store that would bear the name of “Athol House”, after the place of his birth “Blair Athol”, in Scotland. Pointe à la Mission would become, according to the archives, “Athol.”
Athol House became a major business center in the district, with forestry, fishing, agriculture and shipyards contributing to an important economic development. In 1896, Athol House became Atholville, and the establishment of Shives Lumber and Fraser companies secured a successful industrial future from the beginning of the 20th century. The hundred people residing in the village in 1901, helped to shape the history of the village. The parish was founded in 1913 with the name of “Shives Athol”, given during the 20th century, officially becoming “Atholville” as requested by the MP for Restigouche-Madawaska, Pius Michaud, in a letter sent to the Abbot Comeau June 15, 1922. The village of Atholville was incorporated as a municipality in 1966. Thereafter, the municipality experienced significant growth, coupled with the emergence of many services in the community. A municipal library opened in 1967, the Sugarloaf Provincial park in 1972, the Sugarloaf shopping center in 1974, an outdoor pool in 1975, along with a water and games park and several other facilities. Today, Atholville is on the rebound after a period of economic slowdown. One can feel a wind of prosperity blowing over the region, much to the delight of its inhabitants. To ensure the vitality, health and sustainability of a strong community, Atholville achieved a major tour de force on February 13, 2015, and voted to reunite their village with the local service districts of St-Arthur, and Val d'Amours.
From this new municipality of Atholville, three neighborhoods are born with close ties when it comes to culture, history, and diversity. This gesture, by the population of the three neighborhoods of Atholville, is both bold and courageous, and constitutes a momentum to stand out as a municipality. Rallying the strengths of nearly 4,000 citizens, the municipality of Atholville increased its representation, and became more efficient with a greater fiscal capacity. In 2016, motivated by the positive spin-offs of this group, energized by the civic commitment, and eager to respond to this eloquent gesture on their part, the city council adopted a crucial mandate. That is to build a major economic and community development plan, thus establishing the strategic direction of the new municipality and setting priorities for the coming years.
The participation of the citizens is at the heart of the mandate, as they will be the contributors to this project. Public consultations will be organized and allow a large number of citizens to make their voices heard. Their aspirations, needs and realities will be taken into consideration and will feed into the development plan. It is the culmination of this exercise that the board will move forward, setting in the process short- and long-term priorities. Two main axes widely valued by the population, community life, and sustainable economic development, will be an integral part of a realistic and proactive plan of action. From then on, the municipal council and the administration will work hand in hand to promote the development of the new born municipality.