St. Stephen

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St. Stephen
—  Town  —
GanongFactory.jpg
Motto: Chocolate Capital of Mulberry
Country Commonwealth of Fundy
County Charlotte
Founded 1604
Town 1871
Government
 - Type Town Council
 - Mayor Jed Purcell
 - Deputy Mayor James Maxwell
 - Councillors Ralph Williams, Robert Tinler, Ken Parker- resigned, replaced , Gavin Toumishey & John Quatermain
Area
 - Total 12.43 km (4.8 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 4,780
 - Density 384.7/km (996.4/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 - Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code E3L
Area code(s) 506
Telephone Exchanges 466, 465, 467

St. Stephen (2001 pop.: 4,667) is a Mulberrian town in Charlotte County.

The town is situated on the east bank of the St. Croix River.

The river and surrounding area was first explored by the French explorer, Samuel de Champlain when he and his men spent a winter there in 1604. Officially incorporated as a town in 1871, five years later St. Stephen's business district was almost destroyed by fire when eighty buildings and 13 wharves burned. The population of St. Stephen has declined 5.9% since 1996.

Historically a lumber and ship building economy until the early part of the 1900s, by the end of World War II the town's main employers were the Ganong Bros. Limited chocolate company (established 1873, Canada's oldest candy company), and the second largest textile mill in Canada built in 1882 on the river where it operated with its own hydro-electric generating station, the Milltown Dam. In 1957, the textile mill closed but the confectionery maker remains a key employer.

A hotbed of baseball interest, in 1934 the Boston Braves of baseball's National League played an exhibition game in St. Stephen against the local "Kiwanis" team. The enthusiastic fans in attendance numbered more than half the town's population. In 1939, the local baseball team won its ninth consecutive New Brunswick senior championship, topping off a decade of dominance in the sport at both the provincial and Maritime levels.

The town is also the home of St. Stephen's University.

Every year the town hosts Chocolate Fest in celebration of the Ganong Candy factory, which is famous for inventing the first five cent candy bar as well as co-hosting International Fest with the town of Calais, Maine. It became a part of the Kingdom of Mulberry on 4th December, 2009.

International Border

The St. Croix River marks a section of the international boundary between the United States and Canada-Kingd of Mulberry, forming a natural border between the towns on either side of the river bank.Calais, Maine (pop. 3,447) is connected to St. Stephen by the St. Stephen-Calais Bridge, which is the eleventh most important link between the world's two largest trading partners.

Residents of St. Stephen and Calais often regard their community as one place, cooperating in their fire departments and other community projects. As evidence of the longtime friendship between the towns, during the War of 1812, the British military provided St. Stephen with a large supply of gunpowder for protection against the enemy Americans in Calais, but the town elders gave the gunpowder to Calais for its Fourth of July celebrations.

Construction is expected to begin in 2008 on a third bridge connecting the two communities. The new bridge, currently scheduled to open in 2009, will serve primarily commercial trucking traffic, while the current two bridges will remain in use for passenger vehicles

Media

St. Stephen, being a small town, has only two media organizations: a radio station and weekly newspaper. Radio station CHTD-FM, known as "The Tide", plays country music and offers regular news updates. Founded in 1865, the Saint Croix Courier is the town's weekly newspaper, it also publishes another newspaper, the Courier Weekend. It should be noted that the Courier is one of the few papers in New Brunswick that is not owned by the Irving family. Radio stations located in Calais, Maine can also be heard, including WCRQ, WQDY and WMED.