SPRINGFIELD (GNB) – As part of Black History Month, a recently replaced bridge in Springfield Parish has been renamed to commemorate the life of Charlotte Watson and to recognize the contribution she made to New Brunswick’s history.

“An essential part of building vibrant communities is celebrating the life of residents like Charlotte Watson and honouring their contribution,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “A bridge is an important piece of infrastructure, and in this case, it also symbolizes a connection to remembering our province’s Black history.”

Watson, born and raised in Springfield, was the daughter of a former slave who arrived in New Brunswick following the War of 1812 along with other Black settlers. Known for her community involvement, her passing in 1918 marked the end of the early Black farming community in Springfield Parish.

“I grew up in that area hearing stories of Charlotte and people still share those memories today,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace. “It warms my heart to see her recognized this way. Her name will continue to remind us of the meaningful contribution the Black community has made to our collective history.”

“It is a good feeling to see place names start to reflect the history of Black New Brunswickers,” said Peter Little, a member of the New Brunswick Black History Society. “Charlotte Watson was instrumental to Springfield Parish, and it is important that current and future generations see that.”

Grant Brook Bridge #1, on Route 124, was recently replaced after severe weather in 2015. It opened to traffic in fall 2020.