first families came from the Channel Islands , and England , or were United Empire Loyalists
. The ones from Channel Islands were the Paints, Brouards, Baillieuls,, from England came the Philpotts, and after the American Revolution came the Embrees and the
Reynolds and from Ireland came the Hennessarys
Eventually we have quite a multicultural group here. One of the first families was the
Port Hawkesbury, or as it was known then, Ship
Harbour, was surveyed and streets and lots laid out in 1789. One hundred
years later it became a town with a population of 658 people, and somewhere in that time changed it name to Port Hawkesbury.
the early 1800’s shipbuilding, fishing establishments, stores and services were well under way and thriving. A great many of the pioneers of Hawkesbury sailed the seven seas in their own vessels, before the
application of steam-power took the wind out of their sails. But they made hay while the sun shone, and the most of them returned
to the land well prepared for the winter. In the early 1900’s the town’s main industries suffer
from fires and also a changing market when the ship building went from wooden boats to steel. About this time the railroad
came into play in the area and put a lot of people to work and also kept our stores and services going.
The next boom the town seen was in the 1960’s with the opening of a pulp mill and
later an oil refinery, a heavy water plant, a power generating plant and a gypsum exporting terminal. All these industries
were not located in the town but the town had to provide all the services and house all the incoming people, which saw the
population grow to over 5000 people