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Abraham Gesner

The study of geology has a long history in New Brunswick. The collections of the early geologists have been preserved and many of their specimens are held today by museums. The New Brunswick Museum has a collection created from the 1820s to the 1840s by Abraham Gesner. As the first provincial geologist, Gesner travelled New Brunswick to describe the geology. In 1839, he was the first to describe the volcanic rocks on Grand Manan Island. The rocks were later assigned a Triassic age by William Dawson in 1855.  These rocks and the other volcanic formations of the Bay of Fundy have been extensively studied since this time and have been determined to be of Triassic-Jurassic age. The red sandstones along the Fundy shore Gesner referred to the "New Red Sandstone" a term used to describe Triassic rocks in Britain, to distinguish them from the Devonian “Old Red Sandstone”.  Although James Robb at the University of New Brunswick was doubtful that the "New Red Sandstone" existed here, Triassic rocks were verified in the St. Martins areas as a result of George Matthew's work in 1865. Later in 1898 Matthew was the first to show that they extended east to Melvin Beach along the Fundy Trail Parkway.