Elm Hill, a small town near Gagetown, NB is one of Canada’s earliest black settlements. Despite the fact that it once thrived as a decently sized farming community, now only 50 residents remain. Every year, around 50 people gather for an annual reunion on Elm Hill to celebrate its rich black history and discuss their heritage.

This reunion is organized by 87-year old Skip Talbot. Although Talbot wasn’t born in Elm Hill, he can recall a supportive and hard-working community from his childhood visits. His family roots run deep in Elm Hill, and because of this, he is dedicated to preserving its legacy.

Elm Hill was established by black loyalists who were promised freedom in exchange for their loyalty to the British Crown. It holds immense historical value, not only to New Brunswick’s history, but to black history specifically. The story of Elm Hill is crucial to understanding the black history of New Brunswick as a whole.

A few years ago, multiple plaques were installed up the road, containing key information about the community’s history, including facts about its churches and schools. This is a first step in preserving what little information is available on Elm Hill. The hope is that as annual gatherings continue to be held on Elm Hill, people will be encouraged to share and document their stories.

This annual reunion not only honors the past, but also serves as an opportunity for friends and family to connect to each other and their cultures more deeply, ensuring that the rich history of Elm Hill is preserved for future generations to learn about and celebrate.