Beaubears Island and the War of 1812 – Celebrating Canada’s Parks Day

Local ladies hop on Sipu for a canoe ride to Beaubears Island

Each year on the third Saturday of July, the Canadian Parks Council invites national, provincial, territorial, and local parks and historic sites across Canada to showcase their best assets. For the past few years, the Friends of Beaubears Island have worked in partnership with the Heritage Zone, the Department of Culture, Tourism and Healthy Living, and Parks Canada to make each Parks Day bigger and better than the last. In 2008 and 2009, Parks Canada joined the Interpretive Centre staff in offering free voyageur canoe rides in the Miramichi River. In 2010, the Friends of Beaubears Island acquired their own voyageur canoe, Sipu, and traveled from Metepenagiag to Beaubears Island with guests from the community and from Parks Canada in two voyageur canoes. The day-long journey connected two National Historic Sites and allowed guests to have an authentic historical and natural experience on the Miramichi. In 2011, the voyageur canoes transported visitors across the river and back in time to Beaubears Island as it was in 1840. Visitors met Joseph Russell, John and John James Fraser, and a myriad of other characters as they brought the once thriving shipbuilding community back to life.

In 2012, the Friends of Beaubears Island have chosen to highlight Beaubears Island’s connection to the War of 1812. Although most of the war’s battles were fought in Upper Canada and on the Atlantic, James Fraser’s shipyard on Beaubears Island was heavily influenced by the war’s events and the Frasers and their employees became heavily involved in the Northumberland County Militia. On July 21, 2012, the Friends of Beaubears Island invite Miramichiers and visitors alike to visit Beaubears Island and experience it as it was on July 21, 1812.


  • free admission to the Beaubears Island Interpretive Centre
  • musical entertainment in Bicentennial Park
  • refreshments sold by The Sausage Man
  • $2 canoe rides to Beaubears Island
  • $5 boat rides to Beaubears Island
  • theatrical re-enactment of Beaubears Island as it was in 1812

Spend a few minutes or the entire afternoon visiting and exploring Beaubears Island. From 12 pm  to 4 pm, help us celebrate Boishébert National Historic Site of Canada and the Beaubears Island Shipbuilding National Historic Site of Canada, J. Leonard O’Brien Memorial in honour of Canada’s Parks Day.