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NB Hauntings: Partridge Island

Updated on September 25, 2017

Partridge Island

A clear view of Partridge Island
A clear view of Partridge Island | Source

Location:

Partridge Island is a small Island located in the Bay of Fundy, just off the coast of Saint John, New Brunswick. Although it is called an Island, it is not truly one. Due to a Breakwater that runs to the main land.

The Breakwater is natural and very dangerous to try to hike over.

Even some professional hikers have had to be rescued from the Breakwater.

Aside from that, traveling to Partridge Island by Breakwater or boat is prohibited and trespassers could be prosecuted.

A map of Partridge Island with proposed plans of a tourist park.
A map of Partridge Island with proposed plans of a tourist park. | Source

A Piece Cut Out:

Many years ago, beavers were very large, much larger than they are today. One day the beavers had built a large dam across the Reversing Falls. The natives were not very impressed that the beavers had built this dam.

One day the beavers built a large dam across the Reversing Falls. The natives were not impressed that the beavers had built this dam. They knew it would cause problems.

They gathered together and discussed the situation. The natives agreed that they would prefer not to rely on the god Glooscap. However, the falls were dangerous and unpredictable. After attempting to fight the large beavers themselves, and accomplishing nothing but getting wet, they decided they had no choice but to call on Glooscap.

However, the falls were dangerous and unpredictable. After attempting to fight the large beavers themselves, and accomplishing nothing but getting wet, they decided they had no choice but to call on Glooscap.

Loon was Glooscap's messenger, so the men made their request to Loon who wailed across the water. Within minutes, Glooscap came riding toward them on the back of a whale.

"Why did you call me?" He asked.

The natives told him about the beavers, the dam and how it would cause problems for the tribe.

Glooscap walked out into the water and swung his massive club and smashed the dam to bits.

As he did a piece flew and landed in the bay. From that moment on the natives called it: Quak'm'kagan'ik which means: " A piece cut out".

It was Partridge Island.

It's All Just Science

Volcanic eruption, ash filled sky.
Volcanic eruption, ash filled sky. | Source

Volcanic Ash Deposit

The Island is actually, over three hundred million years old and is nothing more than a volcanic ash deposit that foliage, trees, and birds decided to occupy.

A History

Partridge Island's Celtic Cross Monument.
Partridge Island's Celtic Cross Monument. | Source

Early Discovery

In the 1600's Samuel de Champlain landed on the Island and was amazed by the amount of ruffled grouse that inhabited the heavily wooded Island. He found it only fitting to name it: Île aux Perdrix (Island of the Partridges)

Acadians set up a small base on the island but it was not until the Loyalists arrival in 1783, forming the city, did they see potential in the Island.

The city of Saint John decided that Partridge Island would be used for three things.

  • A Navigational Spot
  • A Military Base
  • A Quarantine Station

The island's lighthouse was constructed by 1791.

Guiding ships in the harbor was one of the most important purposes of the Island.



A picture of the lighthouse located on Partridge Island
A picture of the lighthouse located on Partridge Island | Source

The Quarantine Station

The Quarantine Station was set up as a way to isolate epidemics like cholera, typhus, smallpox, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and measles, away from the healthy on the main land.

Partridge Island was one of three Quarantine Stations in New Brunswick.

Over the years, many people, mainly immigrants passed through the Island and were treated with kerosene showers and hot water showers.

Still, even with Partridge Island some of the epidemics still reached the city of Saint John.

Usually, at this time, the disease would cause several hundreds of deaths, each time.

Eventually, a hospital was built on the Island to better serve the ill.


A view of the mysterious Partridge Island on a clear day
A view of the mysterious Partridge Island on a clear day | Source

The Great Famine

When the potato famine hit Ireland, a lot of immigrants came to New Brunswick and were sent to Partridge Island first. They were kept under observation for a while as they were weak from starvation and their immune systems were down, the city feared they'd contract a horrible disease and more than not they did. While some were carrying the disease before they'd left Irland. There were so many that became sick, there wasn't enough room at the Partridge Island hospital and some of the people were cared for and died, outside.

A painting of the Irish immigrants dying on Partridge Island
A painting of the Irish immigrants dying on Partridge Island | Source

Mass Burials

The Island was already over run and hospital's full, but in 1847 things got even worse. The crops in Ireland failed completely, and more immigrants came in hoards. 600 people died on that Island in the summer alone, and some immigrants shortly after they reached the mainland.

Even the doctors were getting sick. One of them, Dr, James Collins, lost his life that summer and the other two doctors on the Island nearly did as well.

The Island has about six graveyards, all different faiths. Where the dead would be usually buried. However, when all the doctors were sick that summer, 40 bodies were buried in a mass grave.


The Celtic Crosses

The Celtic Cross at Reed's Point, line's up perfectly, with the Celtic Cross on Partridge Island.
The Celtic Cross at Reed's Point, line's up perfectly, with the Celtic Cross on Partridge Island. | Source

The Celtic Cross was constructed over one of the six graveyards on Partridge Island. It's purpose is to honor the Irish who lost their lives on the Island. Because visitation to the island is prohibitted, a second smaller cross sits at Reed's Point in Saint John, it is angled specifically so that the crosses align perfectly with each other.

The Island did house the Jewish during World War II, and a small fishing village had made perminent homes on the island for a while.

Rumors of Hauntings

The Entrance to the Partridge Island Tunnels
The Entrance to the Partridge Island Tunnels | Source

Because of the Islands dark past, there have been rumors and reports of the Island being haunted.

People who have snuck over to Partridge Island have reported hearing cries, and moans as well as battles going on somewhere on the island. People on the mainland have mentioned odd lights coming from the Island that isn't the lighthouse.

Because no one is allowed over there, it's really hard to tell for sure if the island is haunted. Yet, with the past that dark, you would think it would have to be.

If the city of Saint John make it happen than soon people might actually be able to visit the Island with out fear of prosecution.

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