The village of Douglastown, now part of the City of
Miramichi, has an interesting history. It was part of a 100,000 acre grant given to two Scots named William Davidson and John
Cort in 1765. Like most Miramichi communities it too grew out of the logging and lumbering industry.
In 1812 Alexander
Rankin and James Gilmour came to the area and set up a lumbering industry. Their firm Rankin and Gilmour Company worked out
of what today is still known as the Rankin House.
The village was initially known as Gretna Green, but following the
Miramichi Fire of 1825, Rankin invited the Lieutenant-Governor Sir Howard Douglas to come to Miramichi to inspect the damage.
The community was thus renamed Douglastown in his honour. In recent times the elementary school in the community has honoured
the original name by calling itself Gretna Green.
Rankin also built the stone Seamens Hospital and later through the
Hutchisons his house was given to the village as an elementary school. Today it is a museum.
Following Rankin was
one of his company men named Richard Hutchison continued the lumbering industry. He erected what eventually came to be known
locally as the "Seven Sisters" and "Two Brothers." He also built a number of sailing ships namely them consecutively from
"A" to "B" to "C" onward. He eventually sold his company to his son Richard who built the first electric light plant in 1890
and a huge stone mansion today owned by the Asoyuf family.
Douglastown continued to grow incorporating into a village
in 1966. It had a marina, Northumberland Square Mall, several fast food outlets and restaurants, a bowling alley, seniors
complex, a race track for cars, a volunteer fire department, village hall, churches, post office and businesses. Douglastown
became part of the new City of Miramichi in 1995.