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Moncton was originally on a Mi’kmaq portage route from Shediac. In the 1740s the first Acadians settled, to be followed in 1766 by Protestant German immigrants from Pennsylvania. In the mid-1800s, it became a major shipbuilding center, but falling demand for wooden ships led to the closure of Moncton’s shipyards in the early 1860s. Later, it became a rail center and during WWII the city served as a transportation hub and training facility for pilots from many Allied countries. Moncton is now the fastest growing city in the Maritimes with an economy built on transportation and call centers drawn to set up here by the bilingual workforce.