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Parsons Printing Building

8 King Street, St Stephen, New Brunswick, E3L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/10/15

View of the front façade; Town of St.Stephen
Parsons Printing Building
View of the building in 1896, on the left,  when it served as the YMCA; Canadian Heritage Information Network
Parsons Printing Building
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Parsons Printing Building is a vernacular two-storey brick Classic Revival commercial building from the early 19th century. It is located on King Street in St. Stephen

Heritage Value

The Parsons Printing Building is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, for its association with the YMCA, with the sport of basketball and with its later occupants.

The Parsons Printing Building reflects vernacular Classic Revival commercial architecture from the early 1800’s in St. Stephen. This style is reflected in the roofline cornice, in its form and massing, as well as in its street-level storefronts. Originally built as a YMCA, some of the interior details remain.

The Parsons Printing Building is recognized for its original use as a YMCA. Lyman Archibald, a former student of the YMCA’s International Training School in Massachusetts, was a member of the first basketball team coached by Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the sport. In 1892, Lyman Archibald was assigned to the YMCA in St. Stephen as physical director. Replacing other callisthenic exercises with the new sport of basketball, Mr. Archibald is arguably responsible for the first game of basketball played in Canada.

In 1858, the St. Stephen Drug Store was established in a portion of this building and is recognized as the first drug store in New Brunswick. In 1881 the business was purchased by Fred Waterson and remained in the Waterson family until 1970 when Durrell D. Murchie acquired the business, retaining the Waterson name. The business closed in 1993. In later years the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Olive Rebecca Lodges occupied the second storey.

Source: St. Stephen Town Hall - Historic Places file “Parson’s Printing Building”

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the Parsons Printing Building include:
- two-storey rectangular form and massing;
- corbelled roofline cornice;
- brick exterior walls;
- street-level storefronts;
- interior patterned tin ceilings and mouldings;
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows lamp.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type



Sports Facility or Site
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

St. Stephen Town Hall, Historic Places File

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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