The location was first settled in 1784 by ACADIANS who had either avoided the deportation or who had since returned, followed shortly thereafter by English-speaking settlers. In 1849 the provincial government established a lazaretto (hospital for contagious disease, in this case leprosy) at Tracadie, the first such institution in Canada. The lazaretto is now a museum. During the 19th century, economic activity in the area centered primarily on the wood industry. Both the Big and Little Tracadie rivers were used to carry timber to Tracadie mill sites or to the shipyards of the Miramichi.
The present-day economy is based chiefly on tourism, farming and fishing. Tracadie-Sheila also serves as a commercial centre for the many neighbouring villages. The International Francophone Festival is held there each June. Val Comeau Provincial Park, 8 km south of the town, is popular for birdwatching and for its beach.
Author ALLEN DOIRON
Links to Other Sites
Endemic Leprosy in 19th Century New Brunswick
An article about the outbreak of leprosy in the Acadian Population of New Brunswick during the 19th century. From the University of Western Ontario Medical Journal. A PDF file.
The Leprosy of Tracadie
An online multimedia exhibit about the history of the lazaretto of Tracadie. A Virtual Museum of Canada website.
Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce
The website for the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce (APCC), formerly the Maritime Board of Trade. Formed in 1896, this organization promotes and supports business and economic development in Atlantic Canada. Click on "Chambers" for links to local Chambers of Commerce.
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