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Retrieval Number: 7740/2/6/7
Plan of West Body Marsh District No. 3, drawn by C.E. Hiram Read, 1895.
Mount Allison University Archives, Harper family fonds.
May be reproduced only with permission of Mount Allison University Archives.

This highly-detailed map shows the landholding pattern of this part of the marsh, confirming the fragmented nature of property ownership with its origins in the 1761 cadastral survey. While the sizes of holdings range between half an acre to thirty acres, the vast majority are between 10 and 15 acres. And while some are squared-off parcels, others are narrow strips. All parcels were apparently accessible from the network of marsh roads displayed in green on the map. The distribution of ownership is diverse; while there are certainly some owners who have larger holdings, the 130 parcels of land represent a cross section of Sackville residents, a legacy of the 1761 cadastre. There is little evidence of consolidation of property in this map (and even one instance of apparent further sub-division). Note, however, that the names of prominent members of nineteenth century Sackville’s business community are preserved in the marsh road names (Crane, Ogden, Read and Cogswell). This map would have been used to assess taxes for work directed by the Commissioners of Sewers and is therefore a useful indicator of the difficulties of carrying out collective action in support of marsh agriculture. In an era of horse or oxen-drawn farm implements and individually-worked lots, the small fragmented holdings of the West Body of marsh provided an important counterpart to the wood lots and town lots of many Sackville inhabitants. With increasing intensification of marshland agriculture and rapid mechanization of farm equipment in the early twentieth century, these small lots were an obvious impediment to increased production.

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