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Steeves House

40 Mill Street, Hillsborough, New Brunswick, E4H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/09/01

South side elevation with main portion of the building and the attached barn to the left with the Person of National Historic Interest monument in the foreground.; Province of New Brunswick, Heritage Branch
Front Elevation
Back yard view of the building.; Province of New Brunswick, Heritage Branch
North side elevation
View of building from Mill Street arrival point.; Province of New Brunswick, Heritage Branch
Barn side elevation

Other Name(s)

Steeves House
Hon. William Henry Steeves House Museum
Musée de la maison de l'hon. William Henry Steeves
W.H. Steeves House Museum
Musée de la maison W.H. Steeves
Steeves House Museum
Musée de la maison Steeves

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1812/01/01 to 1840/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/10/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Steeves House is a two-storey wood-frame Neo-Classical-inspired house built between 1812 and 1840, with several additions and modifications since its original construction. The residence is located on a 3,481 square metre lot on Mill Street in the Village of Hillsborough near the Petitcodiac River. It currently serves as a museum relating to the Steeves family and to the history of the region.

Heritage Value

The Steeves House is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its association with Hon. William Henry Steeves. The house is the birthplace of the Hon. William Henry Steeves, one of New Brunswick’s Fathers of Confederation. He was a judge in the Lower Court of Hopewell, New Brunswick, as well as the first postmaster of Hillsborough and the first Minister of Public Works in New Brunswick. He and several of his siblings operated a mercantile and international lumber export business with headquarters and several stores in Saint John, New Brunswick and offices in Liverpool, England. Steeves was an appointed New Brunswick delegate to the 1864 Pre-Confederation Conferences in Charlottetown and Quebec City. He assisted in the creation of the “Seventy-Two Resolutions” at the conference in Quebec that formed the framework for the Canadian Constitution. The Hon. William Henry Steeves is recognized by the Federal Government as a Person of National Historic Interest for his significant contributions to Canada.

The Steeves House is also recognized for its association with the Albert Manufacturing Company, later taken over by the Canadian Gypsum Company. For about 100 years, this company was the principal employer in the village and environs. In 1871, the house became the residence of the plant manager of the gypsum mill. There were at least seventeen mill managers who eventually resided in this spacious home.

Source: New Brunswick Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File: “Steeves House” #132.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements relating to the placement and grounds of the Steeves House include:
- location offering sightlines to the Petitcodiac River and the site of the former Canadian Gypsum Company.

The character-defining elements relating to the architecture of the house include:
- original one-room cottage discernable from nearly 200 years of extensions and alterations relating to the progression of occupants of the home;
- large attached barn;
- central wooden door with sidelights
- evenly-spaced 6-over-6 windows;
- bay window on the east façade with six 4-over-4 narrow windows affording a view of the Petitcodiac River;
- wide corner boards with capitals and original clapboard siding;
- window and entrance entablatures;
- two chimneys, one of which is placed at right angles to the ridge board;
- raked chimney visible in the attic;
- masonry constructs in the basement, including two large water cisterns used to heat the home and thick tapered stone walls.

The character-defining elements relating to the interior of the residence include:
- four fireplaces;
- curving central staircase with mahogany railing;
- original crown moulding in the dining room and bright blue tiles around the fireplace, said to be from the 18th century;
- narrow servant back staircase featuring thick glass inlays in the stair treads;
- several unusual storage areas with concealed shelves.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1871/01/01 to 1871/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Governing Canada
Politics and Political Processes
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type




Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

New Brunswick Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File: “Steeves House” #132.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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