Description of Historic Place
Cranewood is a small stone English country house of the Georgian period. Located at 113 Main Street in the downtown area of Sackville, near Crane’s Corner; the house was constructed about 1836. The estate is the official residence of the President of Mount Allison University.
Cranewood was designated a local historic place for its association with local businessmen William Crane and Josiah Wood. The architectural style, the use of local stone, the streetscape which the estate presents, adds to the heritage value of this historic place.
William Crane born at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia in 1784, the son of the distinguished Colonel Crane, MLA of Nova Scotia, had numerous commercial and agricultural interests including a place of honour in the establishment of the Cunard shipping line. After the death of his first wife in 1830 he started construction of a new stone residence in 1836. He married Eliza Wood, at St. John’s Church, London, England, October 25, 1838. When they returned from England in 1838 they found the house still not quite complete. Crane was elected to the House of Assembly and was Speaker of the House when he died in Fredericton in 1853.
Josiah Wood, one of the first two graduates of Mount Allison University in 1863, was admitted to the bar, but due to the ill health of his brother, he went into business. With the death of his father in 1875 he headed and controlled the well-known house of M. Wood & Sons. His mercantile and financial interests were of large proportions and wide ramifications, involving banking, railroading and real estate transactions, in addition to whole merchandising on a large scale. At the time of incorporation of the Town of Sackville in 1903 he became the first mayor. He was also a member of parliament, and summoned to the Senate in 1895. In 1912 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.
From the time of his graduation Dr. Wood was greatly interested in Mount Allison University and in June 1922 he retired from the office of treasurer, after forty-seven years of gratuitous service. Josiah Wood purchased the Crane House in 1867, adding a mansard roof in 1888 to provide more space.
Dr. Herbert Mariner Wood, the oldest son, carried on the family prominence in business, the community’s social life and politics. He acquired the house upon the death of his father in 1927. When in 1939 a fire burned the mansard roof he replaced it with the original style of 1836. He named the house Cranewood. In 1975 Cranewood was purchased by Mount Allison University as the official residence for the President.
Source: Town of Sackville - Historic Places Files - "Cranewood"
Key elements that embody the heritage value of Cranewood include:
- typical example of a small English country house of the Georgian period;
- simple symmetrical exterior, with secondary addition of rear wing;
- built of red local sandstone, with brick configurations between the blocks;
- quoins definining the corners of the house;
- a steep hip roof, with broad chimneys inset, and a balanced façade of five double hung windows on the second floor;
- portico with Greek designed columns
- simple panelled front door with handsome fan style transom, panelled sidelights;
- decorative three-part Palladian window located above front door.