Background

Welcome to the FCIC site

Forest City is a tiny hamlet straddling the Canada/US border in Southwest New Brunswick. Although the present population is less than ten, it boasted around 2000 citizens in 1880 with a grist mill, lumber mill, tannery, several general stores, two churches - Methodist and Baptist - two schools, a hotel and probably a still or two. During its early settlement years, there were also two cemeteries, one on either side of the border. For reasons lost in the mists of time, the two burial sites were combined as one on the Canadian side to become known as the Forest City International Cemetery. Flags of both countries fly over the entrance.

On July 26, 1969, Truman Parker and John Lawry reported they had researched the background of the Cemetery in Fredericton at the Registry Office, Crown Grants Office, and the office of Municipal Affairs. They established the north and east boundaries by a deed from Edward Davidson to Lewis Dyer for the land north of the cemetery. Davidson bought the Land from Silas Watson who had bought it from Wellington Bartlett. The land eventually passed to Wallace Knox and then to Ray and Barb Kierstead. The south line of the cemetery is established by a deed from Bartlett to George Gould dated May 5, 1894 which also referred to a Forest City Plot Plan by Patrick Curren in 1863 and one by John Gardener in 1865. Neither of these plans are available as the registry only goes back to 1892.

Records at the Crown Grants Office indicate most of Forest City, NB was granted by King William to Abner and Stephen Hill in 1832. Parker and Lawry did not attempt to trace the transfer of lands between 1832 and 1894 due to the scope of the undertaking.
The earliest stone found in the cemetery is dated 1869 from which the assumption may be made that sometime between 1832 and 1869 someone set aside this piece of land to be used as a burying ground. Lawry and Parker were of the opinion that to hire a lawyer ($15 per hour at the current rate) to examine the transactions to clearly establish the origin of the cemetery did not seem worth the price for the information gained.

Residents apparently took a lackadaisical approach to record keeping for nothing has ever surfaced regarding a list of burials. Other than notes in a few diaries, or in a journal by a minister, the only record is the tombstones. And many of these have disappeared over the past 100 years through neglect and the effects of the weather.

On June 7, 1967, a group of 22 interested citizens of Forest City, NB and Forest City, ME, met at the home of Helen Hamilton to organize the Forest City Cemetery Association. Waldo Brooks was elected Chairman, Evelyn Lawry, Sec/treas along with Truman Parker, Maurice Cropley and Katherine Lake as a standing committee. Annual dues were set at $5.00 (husband and wife). 135 letters were sent out to which 78 people responded with acceptance of membership along with their annual dues; some for more than a year. The new association closed 1967 with all bills paid and a balance of $136--all from dues.

From the records, it seems the Association slowly declined from mid-80s until 2000 or so when Truman Parker seemed to be the only active member. in 2003, a group of concerned people formed the Forest City International Cemetery Association (FCICA) to preserve the cemetery as well as bring a semblance of order to its administration and is still functioning in 2014. It is an ongoing task.

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