Duthie Point was established in 1989, under the name the Gaspesian British Heritage Centre. The idea for the site was born out of celebrations called “Loyalist Days” held in 1984 to commemorate the bicentennial of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region and particularly their arrival in New Richmond under the leadership of Captain Azariah Pritchard in 1784.
Following “Loyalist Days”, the organizing committee decide to pursue the idea of establishing a permanent display or interpretive museum to commemorate the history of the Loyalists. Made up of citizens of New Richmond and the greater Gaspe region, and in collaboration with the Town of New Richmond, a project was undertaken to preserve the elements of the heritage of those settlers to the Gaspe.
By 1989, the Gaspesian British Heritage Centre opened with 15 buildings on the site. The site selected was an 82-acre track of land with a magnificent view of Chaleur Bay and Cascapedia River and home to the original Willett, Carswell and Duthie family properties and William Cuthbert lands. As well, the property was located alongside the famous Stanley House property.
The original concept was to acquire key historic buildings and to restore and preserve them on the site. Important buildings first relocated to the grounds included the Gendron General Store, originally from Caplan, the re-building of the original Duthie Point Lighthouse, the Harvey House of New Richmond, the W.H. Willett Store of New Richmond West, the Gallon Store from New Carlisle and the Campbell barn, built in 1850, amongst others.
Duthie Point has functioned every year from 1989-2013 operating as a historical re-enactment village during the tourist season from June to September. In 2014, a new mandate for the site began to evolve and the administration focused their efforts to work on a development plan that would enable Duthie Point to become a sustainable tourist attraction.
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