The Miramichi River Valley received a significant number of Irish immigrants in the years before and during the potato famine. Many early Irish settlers came for the economic opportunities promised by the lumber industry, but there were many others who were far less fortunate. On June 3rd 1847, the Looshtauk out of Dublin, Ireland arrived at Middle Island, which had been transformed into a quarantine station very unexpectedly to assist the crew and passengers of the ship. In 1873 Middle Island was designated as the site for a permanent quarantine station. Two hospitals, a caretaker’s home, lighthouse, light keeper’s home, boathouse and wharf were erected and Middle Island remained a quarantine station until 1948.
Today, Middle Island is primarily a scenic tourist destination with a rich history and trails to explore. Throughout the summer season, people come together to experience the many activities that Middle Island offers, family picnics, live entertainment and an annual “Amazing Race” just to name a few.
Stop by for a bite to eat at the Captain’s Galley Restaurant and spend some time relaxing on the beach. Visit the Interpretive Centre to learn the history of Middle Island and observe the Celtic Cross, erected in honour of the Irish immigrants buried on the island.