Description of Historic Place
Joseph F. Allison House is a beautiful late Georgian House built about 1841, with a major addition in the same style, built in 1997. The house is located on Main Street, Sackville, with a view of the Ladies’ College Park on the grounds of Mount Allison University.
Joseph F. Allison House is designated a Local Historic Place because of the fine architectural style of the home, with features from the original construction and for its occupants: Joseph F. Allison, Amos Botsford, Horace E. Fawcett and C.M.P. Fisher.
The current house is an example of how additions can still make a beautiful house that is answering to its period. The changes in the architectural Georgian style from 1840 were made in 1908 and 1997.
Joseph Francis Allison was the first occupant of the house. Allison and his partner, Hon. William Crane, exchanged agricultural products for goods imported from the British Isles and other areas of Canada and the United States. Both Allison and Crane, as leading merchants, built substantial houses near the business area with Allison purchasing 9 acres of land, bounded by the Wesleyan Academy, from William Crane and Charles F. Allison in 1841. After the death of Hon. William Crane in 1853, Allison was sole executor for the estate.
Joseph F. Allison died inn 1863. Mary, his widow, married the Hon. Amos Edwin Botsford. He was in public life for over sixty years, appointed to the Legislative Council were he sat until Confederation. He was appointed to the Senate of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, twice appointed Speaker of the Senate and was made a member of the Privy Council. He was Government Commissioner for opening roads, including the one across the Tantramar Marsh, the building of the great Bridge and the Etter Aboideau. The house, known as Acacia Lodge, was sold upon the death of Hon. Amos E. Botsford and Mary (Allison) Botsford in 1894.
Horace Ellsworth Fawcett acquired the house in 1901 from short time owner Dr. Ralph Brecken. A small tin shop, near the corner of Main and King Streets, was the origin of the 1901 plant of the Charles Fawcett Manufacturing Company, Limited, the leading company in Eastern Canada engaged in the manufacture of stoves and furnaces. The founder, Charles Fawcett, died in 1907 and son Horace was president with his brother, Charles W., as Vice President. In 1908, shortly after purchasing the house, that he called Elmhurst, Horace E. Fawcett made major renovations.
Ironically the competitor, Enterprise Foundry, entered heavily into the history of the house as C.M. P. Fisher, one of the owners and president of that company, married Mary Kathleen Fawcett, a daughter of Horace. They became owners of the house in 1934. C.M.P. Fisher retired as president of Enterprise Foundry in 1975. The house was the scene of many social events in the community, as Mr. Fisher was a councillor and Mayor of Sackville in 1938-39 and founded the Boy Scouts in Sackville in 1913.
The present owners completed a major renovation in 1997. They nearly doubled the size of the facility with the style and feel of the new extension designed to match the old style house.
Source: Town of Sackville, LHP File Cabinet, J. F. Allison File.
The character-defining elements of the Joseph F. Allison House that relate to its Georgian architectural style from 1840, with major renovations in 1908 and 1997, include:
- intact form of original house, in the late Georgian style, seen in footprint of house;
- handsome mansard roof with arched top dormers and Palladian window added to the structure in 1908 mimicking the Beaux Arts style;
- two-story bays added to house, along with decorative veranda both dating to 1908, with renovations creating a romanticized revival of the classical tradition;
- 1997 expansion, nearly doubling the size of the structure, matching the older Georgian style house built circa 1842;
- handsome portico entrance with elegant transoms and fanlights surrounding the doors.