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Marysville Cotton Mill National Historic Site of Canada

8 River Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/06/16

General view of Marysville Cotton Mill, showing its four-storey main elevation with central tower and the imposing scale of the mill building in relation to the surrounding buildings, 1995.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Butterill, 1995.
General view
Corner view of the Marysville Cotton Mill showing the regularity of the fenestration, 1995.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Butterill, 1995.
Corner View
Detail view of the Marysville Cotton Mill emphasizing the decorative brickwork particularly along the main façade, 1995.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Butterill, 1995.
Detail

Other Name(s)

Marysville Cotton Mill National Historic Site of Canada
Marysville Cotton Mill
Filature de coton de Marysville

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1883/01/01 to 1885/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Marysville Cotton Mill National Historic Site of Canada is the focal point of the Marysville Historic District National Historic Site of Canada. Rehabilitated to serve as government offices, the imposing, four-storey, red-brick cotton mill building features a flat-roofed central tower, and numerous multi-pane mullion windows. Located within the former settlement of Marysville, a model community built to house the mill workers, and the building is situated within the block bounded by McGloin, Fisher, Duke, Marshall and Bridge Streets. The official recognition refers to the mill building on the legal lot.

Heritage Value

Marysville Cotton Mill was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1986 because:
- it is a representative example of the brick pier Cotton Mills that were common in the Canadian textile industry during its expansionist phase.

Industrialist Alexander "Boss" Gibson built this cotton mill between 1883 and 1885. Designed by the Boston architectural firm of Lockwood, Greene and Company Mill Architects and Engineers, the construction of the mill was influenced by New England models and is a classic example of the brick “insurance mill” of the late 19th-century.

This four-storey building was constructed of locally made brick and features brick pier construction, a central water tower and fire-retardant materials on the interior. By 1900 Marysville Cotton Mill was among the largest mills in Canada. The mill was designed on the “slow-burning” principle and was state-of-the-art for its time, incorporating not only electric lighting, but all those features characteristic of plants whose power was provided from a central plant and distributed by belts, pulleys and overhead shafting to machinery whose location within the complex was dictated by its place within the production framework. Despite its seemingly remote location, the mill was designed to supply a national market and did so throughout its working career. The mill continued manufacturing textiles until the late 1970s.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1986.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the spatial relationship of the mill building to the various components of the Marysville Historic District National Historic Site of Canada, to the river, to existing and former mill sites, and to the former rail line, now a hiking trail;
- the imposing scale of the mill building in relation to the surrounding buildings;
- the four-storey rectangular massing of the building;
- its four-storey main elevation with central tower;
- its brick pier construction;
- the large scale and regularity of the fenestration;
- the decorative brickwork particularly along the main façade;
- surviving evidence of those standard features of a 19th-century cotton mill;
- the surviving two-storey “Annex,” formerly the Dye House, with its brick construction, regular fenestration, and open interior spaces.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1986/06/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1885/01/01 to 1973/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Office or office building

Historic

Industry
Textile or Leather Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer

Lockwood, Greene & Company Mill Architects and Engineers

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

185

Status

Published

Related Places

General view

Marysville Historic District National Historic Site of Canada

Marysville is a former industrial (now residential) community, comprised of a 19th-century rehabilitated cotton mill, former shops and extensive surviving housing. It is located…

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