Bishop John Sweeny Cairn
Living in Saint John, through the 1850’s Rev Sweeny noted the dire living conditions of many of the Irish in Saint John. He also was aware that many were interested in being farmers and landowners rather than city-dwellers. As a consequence he played a leading role in creating the Immigrant Aid Society in an attempt to assist immigrants in Saint John as well as help those who wished to establish themselves on land grants within the young colony.
With that in mind, Sweeny acquired large tracts of unsettled land from the colonial government and settled between 700 and 800 families on four tracts of land within the colony.2 One pf these [lanned settlements was Johnville. In 1861, 10,000 acres of land was surveyed and divided into 100-acre lots in Carleton County. Bishop Connolly named the community Johnville in honour of Rev. Sweeny’s hard work in having it come to fruition.
The Cairn is located near St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Johnville, overlooking the cemetery, whose gravestones carry many of the original settler family names. The cairn is constructed of local stone and carries the following inscription: