Dalhousie University - Inspiring Minds

 

Fred Colpitts

Fred Colpitts, a keenly community minded citizen, spearheaded the breeding of Black, Silver and Platinum foxes in North America. These efforts, among others, rewarded his home county and province with both economic and spiritual prosperity.

Born in 1887 at Little River, Fred Colpitts spent only a few years at the small country school. He later moved to Salisbury, N.B. In 1913 he bought three Black foxes and from this small beginning he developed the largest ranch in the British Empire. As the "Colpitts Brothers", he and his brother Jim, who lived in the West, sold breeding stock throughout North America. They soon replaced the Black foxes with Silver foxes.

Through selection and inbreeding, Fred developed the Platinum fox. This breed gained world recognition and attracted visitors from many countries. His Platinum foxes received top sales figures in Montreal, New York and London. One matched pair sold for $5,000.00, winning the highest awards at many major shows across Canada.

Fred Colpitts carried on both beef and swine operations as well as a dairy farm. In 1927 he bought an Alberta dairy farm and moved the registered Holstein herd East. The herd still continues today as the "Little River Holsteins". He was also a founding member of the New Brunswick Branch Holstein-Friesian Association.

Colpitts was also a well known lumberman, and during World War II he employed hundreds of men in cutting pitprops for the British Ministry of Supply.

Colpitts operated a 150 acre game farm stocked with deer and moose, many of which were orphaned and rescued by Forest Rangers. Here these animals were bottle fed and later released to live in a natural environment. The birth of the first documented young moose calf which was both conceived and born in captivity, occurred at the farm as well. These animals became part of New Brunswick's Sportsmen's Shows which traveled to Boston and Philadelphia.

Fred Colpitts was a life leader of the Colpitts United Church and represented his county as a member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1930 to 1939. He retired from this position undefeated.

Colpitts was also instrumental in having Fundy National Park located in Albert County.

Fred Colpitts was well known for his generous and friendly nature and community minded spirit. He died in 1963. Fred Colpitt's significant contribution to the field of agriculture and his community is recognized in his appointment to the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.