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- Vroom, James
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Administrator, botanist, and historian James Vroom, the son of Frances Eliza Foster and William Vroom, was born 27 August 1846 at St. Stephen, Charlotte County, New Brunswick of Dutch ancestry. He attended local schools and the Normal School at Fredericton. Following graduation he taught in the Madras School in St. George, in St. Andrews, and in Fredericton where he served as headmaster of the Model School. He was an instructor at the Normal School for a time, and later taught in Presque Isle, Maine before accepting a teaching position in St. Stephen.
In 1887 James Vroom gave up teaching to become town clerk of St. Stephen, a position he held until his death. He also served as town treasurer, as editor of the "St. Croix Courier," and as secretary of the local Board of School Trustees (1909-1928). Active in the community, he was a member of the Masonic Order for 60 years, being elevated to the post of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick in 1926. Vroom was also treasurer of the St. Stephen Preceptory of Knights Templar, secretary of the St. Stephen Royal Arch Chapter, choirmaster of All Saints, St. Andrews, a member of the planning committee of the DeMonts-Champlain Tercentenary (1904), and was active in the affairs of Chipman Memorial Hospital.
In addition to his business and community activities, James Vroom was an active researcher. He was particularly interested in botany and the early history of Charlotte County. The University of New Brunswick recognized his contributions to original research in botany and local history by awarding him an honorary Master of Arts degree in 1908. James Vroom never married. He died on 2 October 1932, at age 86.
Scope and content
This fonds documents James Vroom's activities as an historian with a keen interest in the early history of New Brunswick, particularly that of Charlotte County. It also sheds light on his research activities and those of his friends and acquaintances, most notably W. O. Raymond, who were also interested in the history of the province.
The fonds consists of originals or transcriptions of letters, reports and other documents, dating to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, addressed to or written by prominent Loyalists, public officials and others, including Robert Pagan, Ward Chipman, John Jones, Sir Guy Carleton, Thomas Carleton, Governor Parr, Edward Winslow, Gillian Butler, Charles Morris, John Curry, and Bishop John Medley.
Also included are originals or transcriptions of documents relating to the Quakers that settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Fire Ward of St. Stephen (1852-1869), the by-laws of the St. Stephen Fire Department, the Passamaquoddy Indians, the Owen family of Campobello Island, the Botanical Club of Canada, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, imports at the port of St. Andrews, the public officials of Charlotte County, and the garrison at St. Andrews.
The fonds also contains a number of letters addressed to James Vroom, many from friends and acquaintances relating to research into various historical topics. There are also a number of articles, essays, or papers written by Vroom on historical and nature themes, including the history of freemasonry on the St. Croix, the War of 1812, indigenous flora, and the Penobscot Loyalists.
Also included are research notes on a number of subjects -- the Charlotte County Bank, the St. Stephen's Bank and Stagecoach Co., the clergy of the Church of England in Charlotte County, the postmasters of Charlotte County, local customs officials, benevolent societies, the St. Andrews Grammar School, the Charlotte County Agriculture and Immigration Society, the St. Andrews Savings Bank, the St. Andrews Chamber of Commerce, the St. Andrews Sunday School Society, the St. Andrews District Committee of the Society of Promoting Christian Knowledge, the St. Stephen Branch of the New Brunswick Auxiliary Bible Society, the Charlotte County Auxiliary Bible Society, the St. Andrews Ladies Association, other Bible Societies, the St. Andrews Marine Hospital, and the Commission of Buoys and Beacons.
Lastly the fonds includes scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, James Vroom's obituary, articles and publications by W. O. Raymond, and a few items pertaining to the Chipman Memorial Hospital, the St. Croix Tercentenary Committee, the Great War, and Christ Church (St. Stephen).
This fonds comprises 4 volumes of records -- 929, 930, 931, and 932. Only volumes 929, 930, and 931, described above, have been microfilmed.
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