The name Lepreau is of French origin and is likely a derivative of, la pereau, for “little rabbit.” The contemporary spelling has prevailed since the mid-nineteenth century. William Francis Ganong explored the area extensively.
Ganong was a member of numerous scientific and scholarly societies including the Natural History society of New Brunswick. He had published a considerable number of articles and works including a translation of Champlain’s “Voyages to Acadia and New England” as well as writing on cartography, botany, physiography and nomenclature.
By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries most of the interior topography of New Brunswick had not yet been completely surveyed. Driven by a great affection for his home province, Dr. William Francis Ganong (1864-1941) explored and documented many of these aspects of New Brunswick. Part of his invaluable recording is the photographs that he took as memory aids from the long, and often arduous, canoe trips that he undertook. At this period, amateur photography was in its infancy and Ganong took advantage of the portable camera and roll film that were just being made available to the general public. What could not be controlled however, were the upset canoes, dampness and erratic lighting conditions that inevitably give the images a sometimes less than ideal presentation. More importantly though, these small glimpses of captured light provide the earliest and most complete visual documentation of a region just prior to its transformation by modern industry.
Ganong had a great love for New Brunswick and a keen interest in both its history and natural history. By the age of seventeen, he started serious, first-hand explorations of the rivers and coastal areas as well as the flora and fauna of the province, frequently charting his own maps. Those explorations continued throughout his life.