Doyle married an Acadian widow – Marie (Savoie) Arseneau - and settled at the mouth of the river, which was named after him. Because he was an early arrival in the area, this branch of the Doyle family spoke French and he became known not as ‘James’, but as ‘Jacques’. Also, a habit of spelling the letter ‘s’ so that it appeared like a ‘t’ named the community Jacquet River instead of Jacques River in the official papers – so Jacquet River it became.
Other settlers came to the community including James Doyle’s nephew – Patrick Doyle – from Ireland in1821. He had arrived in Bathurst and walked up the beach along the shore to join his uncle at Jacquet River. Other members of the extended family joined them later along with several other Irish families.
The Celtic cross, a 14-foot tall monument and made of Stanstead grey granite was carved by Swet Monuments of St Stephen, NB. Designed by David John Doyle, chairman of the bi-centennial committee, and a direct descendant of Patrick Doyle, the project was funded by a government grant and through donations. Many contributed funds to have their family’s names carved on the base of the monument – a total of 163 diverse names that represent the cultural make-up of the Jacquet River region today. Also carved on the base is a sailing ship – representing the means of travel of so many of the immigrants to the region.
Located in Heritage Park at the top of Jacquet River hill, the Celtic cross is beside St. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic church, about 5 km from Exit 351, on Highway 11.
A plaque on the base of the bell structure reads:
“On the 6th day of September 1896, the Rt. Rev. James Rogers, Bishop of the Diocese, blessed this bell for the church of St. Gabriel’s.
The bell weighs 1000 pounds.
In 2001, the old St Gabriel’s church was replaced with a new building. The old one had served the community from 1886-1997. The bell from the old church, donated to St Gabriel’s in 1890 by James Patrick Doyle (1840-1904) was removed and mounted in Heritage Park near the Celtic cross in 2001.
This bell gathered us for Sundays mass through all the years. It tolled when we lost our loved ones. It rang the Angelus at noon and at six o’clock – forever reminding us of God’s presence in our midst.
We welcome the bell to Heritage Park – next to the church of St. Gabriel.”