History of Amherst
The original Town of Amherst was established in 1764, two miles west of its present location following the Expulsion of the Acadians. New England settlers were invited to settle many communities along the shores of the Bay of Fundy . One of these settlements grew to become The Town of Amherst. A grist mill and tannery were built over a mile to the east of the settlement. The community gradually moved closer to them so that by 1850 Amherst was located where you find it today.
By 1880 the railway had been built and it was the political will to promote Canadian industry. This policy guaranteed a market for products and assisted in the growth of the town. Due to the importance of the railroad, Amherst’s first industries were built near the station and some of the buildings are still in use today. Some well known manufacturers were: Amherst Boot and Shoe Company, Christies Trunk and Baggage Company, Hewson Woolen Mills, Rhodes Curry Company, and the Amherst Piano Company.
In 1908 the manufacturing output of Amherst’s industries was not exceeded by any center in the Maritime Provinces, and the term “Busy Amherst” was well deserved. Many of the fine old buildings along Victoria Street are considered industrial artifacts because they were constructed during a period of tremendous industry growth. Local contractors employed local craftsmen, who used local materials. Notice the emphasis on sandstone and brick, both locally produced and delightful detail which reflects the skilled craftsmanship prevalent in the 19th century