Newport was erected as a township on July 4, 1801. The
first settlers had a hard time in the beginning, the crops
were not as good
as expected at that time and around 1815 many of the
inhabitants left the township.
After 1820 some of the
old settlers returned and
around 1830, shortly after the first school was started and
new roads and bridges were built, new settlers began to
On the 1st of July 1855, took place the Erection of the
United Townships of Newport, Ditton, Chesham, Clinton and
1870 settlement progressed rapidly for a while. On
March 20, 1875, the township of Newport became a separate
municipality once again.
The first houses were made of logs, many of them with
no convieniences. Generally one room, one window, and
in some cases, no
floor. Some log houses were sheathed with boards, had
floors, were partitioned and shingled. Coupled with
this was often a scanty larder,
depending on game for food. The men had to walk miles
through the forest to the nearest grist-mill and carry flour
home on their back.
Fruits were plentiful. These menfolk were nearly all
good hunters, while some made hunting and trapping a
Lumbering and farming were the principal occupations
in the township. The industries of the township
were saw, grist,
clapboard and shingle mills installed on the North
River. A large part of the east end of the
township was still well timbered. The west
end was nearly all settled, with good farms and
Many of the first settlers in Island Brook were of
Irish descent, mostly Protestant but others were
In the records and archives, we can also see many
names of Scottish and English origins
amongst the inhabitants at that time, like many
townships around that have been populated the same
way. Others seem to have emigrated from
other regions of Québec or United States.
In the early days, Island Brook was a busy little
community with several businesses operating.
Farmers came in from outlying areas to attend church
on Sundays and do business on week days.
After hard beginnings, the soil was finally very
productive and crops gave large returns.
Potatoes were especially prolific.
A very popular drink in those times was potato
whiskey, which was nearly as free as water, and was
upon as a nourishing drink.
time passed, bigger, warmer and better houses and other
buildings were constructed. The settlers were community
were always willing to assist their neighbours when one of
them needed to build a barn, so
there would be a barn-raising bee when neighbours would
gather to help.
In the Spring when the water was high, there was a
wood was floated downstream from where it was cut to as far
as the Pulp & Paper Mill in East-Angus.
There was many different businesses in Newport at that time
too : A
Cheese Factory, Maple Sugar Producers, General Stores,
Blacksmiths, Woodworking Shops, Stone Mason, Tinsmith,
Cobbler and Harness Shop,
etc. Many of those businesses are long gone now but
new ones established in the municipality since then.
History repeats itself strangely in 2003 when the
township of Newport is united to Cookshire-Eaton,
only to gain back its autonomy in 2006.
This time the government will refuse to Newport the
title of township, so from now on it is officially
called the Municipality of Newport.
Today, the hamlets that compose the municipality of
Newport are Island Brook, Randboro, Lawrence Colony
The existing Town Hall in the hamlet of Island Brook
is there since 1872.