Chipman’s History


Chipman is an incorporated Village in central New Brunswick and was first settled in the early 19th century.


Named after Ward Chipman, Jr. (1787-1851), a Chief Justice of New Brunswick from 1834 to 1851, Chipman was founded in 1835, and was made up of portions of the older parishes of Brunswick and Canning.


Earlier settlements upriver at Gaspereau, and downriver at The Range, existed prior to 1820, consisting of local settlers and Maine businessmen who established the first sawmills on the Salmon and Gaspereau Rivers. Immigration to the Chipman area escalated rapidly in the 1820s through the 1850s, with the large majority of new arrivals hailing from the northern counties of Ireland, in particular: DonegalLondonderry, and Tyrone.


The rapidly growing lumbering and sawmill industries were the primary impetus for this growth, which continued through most of the 19th century. The Parish of Chipman quickly became prominent because of its large population in comparison with the surrounding parishes, aided by the lure of employment from the burgeoning lumber mills, the coming of the railways, the development of the coal mining industry, and later in the 1930s, the establishment of L.E. Shaw's brick and tile plant.


This diverse mix of industries, transportation infrastructure and resources propelled growth in the Chipman area for much of the 20th century, however, the loss of coal mining and the manufacturing base related to local clay resources, began a trend of decline and population loss towards the end of the last century.


Founded and built as a place of industry, Chipman today is a community very much focused on forestry. While the coal mining and brickmaking industries have disappeared, the village is home to J.D. Irving Limited’s (JDI) head office for the central New Brunswick Woodlands Region and the Grand Lake Timber sawmill, one of the largest and most modern in Canada.


Despite the presence of this major industry, Chipman continues to experience a shift in its demographic profile like most other rural communities in New Brunswick.


The village had a population of 1,104 as of the 2016 Canada Census, however, recent efforts to increase our workforce through new immigration has resulted in new families moving to Chipman and the current pandemic is fueling a resurgence in housing demand and interest as potential newcomers consider Chipman’s lifestyle over more hectic urban environments.