Old St. Andrews



Journalism in St. Andrews



St. Andrews had seven newspapers between 1818 and 1919 but there wasn't really much of what could be called local news until about 1840. Before that, news came from the Canadas and England; aside from business ads, it would be hard to tell from these little weeklies that there were any people in St. Andrews at all. Of these seven papers, only the Herald, Standard, Pilot, and Beacon survive. The Courant, Gazette and Provincialist are no longer in existence, and only a few issues of the Herald are left. The Herald is mostly ads but with enough local news to paint a cameo portrait of the town in the early part of the 19th century. The Standard was the longest-lived of all the local papers: it was published continuously between 1833 and 1880 and concluded with a moving farewell by Adam Smith, the venerable journalist and editor of that press. The Herald was the first local newspaper to show an interest in local events. The Pilot was a short-lived newspaper of high quality, published between 1878 and 1888 and contained much lively reportage on local happenings. The best of all the St. Andrews papers, in terms of variety of reportage, literary skill, humour and color, was the St. Andrews Beacon, published by a former Saint John Globe man by the name of Robert E. Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong's local career was almost exactly coincident with the life of the first Algonquin Hotel, constructed in 1888 and burned in 1914. When Mr. Armstrong left St. Andrews the town lost one of its most colorful personages, certainly its best newspaperman. His successor at the Beacon helm, Wallace Broad, continued the paper until 1919, at which point St. Andrews ceased publication of newspapers. I include a page on the St. Croix Courier as well, which was published in St. Stephen but between 1933 and 1951 featured an excelled St. Andrews column by the title of "Shiretown Items." The writer was Frederick Worrell, local dentist, mayor, alderman, ornithologist, chess master, amateur astronomer, leader of the town band, athlete, and talented writer on local events. After a long period of darkness following the last newspaper in 1919, St. Andrews comes alive again in his columns.