Fredericton, New Brunswick
Isabel Louise Hill
Dad was working in the cellar,
splitting cedar blocks into kindling, when Gramp came down the stone
steps and stood and looked around.
I thought he was watching us rank the sticks into neat piles against
the wall, until he spoke.
“You know the cellar can tell many things about a house.”
I wondered what he meant by this statement as all I could see were
walls made of stones that had been lathed and plastered plus a dry mud
floor that Mum was always sweeping. It seemed they couldn’t afford to
purchase spikes when they were doing the building and used wooden pegs.
The nails were square instead of round.
After going upstairs to the kitchen the talk on houses continued, Dad
mentioned the ell that had been built on the house up the road. Mum
said her home
had a piazza. Gram talked about the beautiful gingerbread trim on a
near Cassidy Lake. Next they discussed the people who once lived in the
houses and even went into details about buildings that were long gone.
All this talk of food and even an alphabet letter in connection with
buildings as well as cellars holding clues had me really
Isabel Louise Hill of Fredericton, didn’t just talk about houses and
the people who lived in them. In 1968, with the financial help of the
York-Sunbury Historical Society, she shared her vast knowledge of the
had collected on the houses of Fredericton and surrounding area and the
who lived in them by compiling a 477-page publication, ‘Fredericton,
Brunswick, British North America’.
There is so much information of a genealogical nature in this book that
I am only touching the tip of the iceberg when I mention that after
Bliss was appointed Solicitor General in 1809, his income became such
to enable him to “live respectably” by enlarging his house on the front
He made improvements on the homestead, ‘Bellemonte’, at Lincoln which
had inherited from his father, making it one of the finest for miles
around. The walls were lined throughout with mud brick, making the
house frost proof. The cellar had six rooms, two of them kitchens with
wide hearths and ovens.
Number Ten Waterloo Row was built by Charles Bully in the early 1870's.
The first occupant was the Hon. Andrew Rainsford Wetmore, judge of the
Supreme Court, whose father, George Ludlow Wetmore, a barrister,
fought a duel in 1821 which caused his death.
The middle or original part of what is called the ‘Bliss Carman house’
at 83 Shore Street is thought to have been built for Colonel Shore. The
walls are of deal, pegged together. In 1851, it was part of the
settlement to his daughter, Mrs. Pennefather who sold it to Henry B.
Esquire, Barrister who was a grandson of Captain Anthony Allaire, a
whose diary is valuable to historians. Mr. Robinson made
to the house, including plastering the attic rooms as well as the walls
ceilings in two rooms in the cellar.
When the Hon. John James Fraser was appointed Lieutenant Governor of
New Brunswick in 1893, he immediately bought “Camborne House” and
George Truslowe Taylor, whose parents lived on the corner of Charlotte
and Northumberland Streets, was a pioneer in photography. He was making
deguerrotypes in the 1850's and also made photographs on glass with
was called, “the wet process”. With Indian guides, he travelled along
St. John and Tobique rivers taking pictures. Another credit was
being the inventor of blueprints as well as an artist.
One of the occupants of 725 George Street was James Hogg, who was born
in Lietrim, Ireland in 1800 and came to New Brunswick in 1819 where he
became a trader. In 1844, he founded the Fredericton newspaper, The
Reporter and was for many years the publisher. His was the first book
of poetry published in this province.
“Fredericton, New Brunswick, British North America” by
Isabel Louise Hill gives glimpses into the houses and their occupants
as well as the events in history that influenced lives.
The publication is in several research institutions. An Index was
compiled in 1979 and is available at several New Brunswick Libraries.
A copy for
sale at http://www.rubycusack.com/Book-Fredericton.html