Named by the Loyalists who arrived in 1776, and long considered the capital of the county, the Town of Bedford is close to the US border, at the beginning of the elevation leading to the Appalachian Mountains. La rivière aux Brochets (Pike River) flows through the city and separates north from south.
Around 1801 Abram Lampman built the first of five dams, along with a flourmill and iron tools factory. The large hydraulic power of waterfalls on the Pike River attracted tanneries that congregated along the river, and industries that took advantage of the energy generated by water mills to set up in Bedford. Among the newly arrived workers, it is said that the founding of the St. Damian Parish in 1866 showed a strong presence of Francophones and their families.
Downtown Bedford is nestled amongst three churches, historic buildings and homes and several businesses including the Cyr Block constructed around 1880 by Joseph Cyr, a farmer of Acadian origin. This building incorporates the even older Victoria Hall, a social and cultural meeting place.
Points of interest include the heritage circuit on foot or by bike, the gardens of the John Dunnigan peninsula, the interpretation Centre of the Pike River, the Sentier des Meules and the SAM Equestrian Centre offering equine boarding, a riding school and day camp.
Leading the schedule of local activities, August sees the annual Bedford agricultural exhibition, in existence since 1828 with its rides, farm animals, produce and the famous tractor pull. Note also the Autofest, a classic car exhibition held in early September.