Beaubears Island Historic Panel, New Brunswick, Canada (2005)

Left to Right: George Pattison, President of the Saint-John New Brunswick Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kim Wilson, Chair of the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, Gilles Laplante President of Friends Of Beaubears Island, Joyce LeBlanc, Research and designer, Carole Loiselle, Field Unit Superintendent Parks Canada, Fred Woods, executive director of the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, and Rob Galliah, piper. Photo courtesy Joyce LeBlanc
Left to Right: George Pattison, President of the Saint-John New Brunswick Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kim Wilson, Chair of the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, Gilles Laplante President of Friends Of Beaubears Island, Joyce LeBlanc, Research and designer, Carole Loiselle, Field Unit Superintendent Parks Canada, Fred Woods, executive director of the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, and Rob Galliah, piper.Photo courtesy Joyce LeBlanc.  ______________________________ 

On October 15, 2005, the Foundation aided in the dedication of an historic panel detailing the unique history of Beaubears Island and its connection to church history. MHSF worked with Parks Canada to create the historic panel.

The island was owned between 1837 and 1850 by Joseph Russell, a shipbuilder, who joined the Church between 1840 and 1841. Russell was likely the main contributor in paying off debts incurred by the Saints at Winter Quarters and he presided over a small branch of the Church on Beaubears Island. Russell had a tomb built in which seven of his children are interred. Additionally, one of his ships, Zion’s Hope, was offered to the British Mission to help bring Saints to America who were emigrating to Zion.

After selling the island in 1850, the Russells went to England and while there aided Lorenzo Snow in paying for his mission to Italy. He also contributed 75% of the capital necessary to create the Deseret Manufacturing Company whose objective was to extract sugar from sugar beets for the use of the Saints. The capital helped to purchase machinery and seeds and transport it to the Salt Lake Valley. The sugar mill was eventually built in the Salt Lake City area and is still known as Sugarhouse.

Russell died in 1855 in Salt Lake City, a faithful member of the Church, having given freely most of his wealth to help support the Church. It is estimated that he gave the equivalent of $1,700,000 of present day dollars to the Church. For additional information about Joseph Russell, please refer to Joseph Russell, Miramichi Shipbuilder and Mormon Financier by Grant Nielsen.

The panel created at Beaubears Island. Photo courtesy Joyce LeBlanc
The panel created at Beaubears Island.
Photo courtesy Joyce LeBlanc    ______________________________________________________________

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Articles & Resources

Plaque dedicated in honor of convert Joseph Russell

Published in: Church News
Publication Date: October 22, 2005

Published October 22, 2005. Reprinted with permission from the LDS Church News published by the Deseret Morning News.

Plaque dedicated in honor of convert Joseph Russell

MIRAMICHI, NEW BRUNSWICK

An early convert to the Church in this area was praised as a master shipbuilder and exemplary resident both of the United States and Canada when a plaque was dedicated in his honor Oct. 16.

The plaque placement honoring Joseph Russell was a project organized by Parks Canada in Kouchibouguac National Park, The Friends of Beaubears Island, Inc. in Miramichi City, the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, the Church, and the city of Miramichi.

President George Pattison of the Saint John New Brunswick State dedicated the maker honoring Brother Russell for his contribution to the Church and his involvement as the main shareholder in Deseret Manufacturing Co., which produced sugar from sugar beets, an enterprise that established Sugar House, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

The Mormon Historic Sites Foundation develops historic sites in various locales that are of interest to the Church. It’s Web site is mormonhistoricsites.org.