Description of Historic Place
Doak House is centrally located in the Village of Doaktown on its main thoroughfare, provincial highway Route #8. The building is a 1 ½-story vernacular residence exhibiting the simple classical proportions found in early 19th century New Brunswick houses.
Doak House is a designated a Provincial Historic Site for its association with the Doak family and for its architecture.
A few years after emigrating from Scotland to the Miramichi area, Robert Doak purchased this property from the Loyalist family of Betts in 1825. In addition to farming, Robert Doak was a prominent merchant who constructed and operated carding, grist, oat and saw mills. Doak was active in local government and the village of Doaktown was eventually named after him.
First constructed as a 1 ½ storey house of 5 bays with a central fireplace chimney prior to 1825, the house evolved into a central hall plan house by mid 19th century. The 2 bay east end addition and back ell were later additions. In the mid 19th century, architectural changes included a front entrance door with sidelights, wood clapboard finish and the stove chimney which replaced the central fireplace chimney. The offset front dormer installed to provide light to an upper room was added when the house was expanded to create 7-bays across the front. Doak House represents a rare surviving example of this type of residence constructed by Loyalist settlers in New Brunswick prior to 1820. The barn is a good example of a farm outbuilding from this era. The open fields reflect the land's original use as a farm by the Doak family.
Until the Province of New Brunswick acquired the site, the property had remained in the Doak family. In addition to the buildings, the collection of 19th century furniture and household artifacts belonging to the house were also acquired. Doak House is owned and operated by the Province of New Brunswick.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site Files.
The character-defining elements that define the building’s location include:
- the formal arrangement of the wood fence along the front property line, and the open field between the house and barn defining the landmark status of the Doak House;
- the large 19th century barn and open fields on the south side define the farming aspect of the property.
The character-defining elements that define the building’s exterior architecture include:
- 1 ½ story, 5-bays layout;
- central fireplace;
- original exterior features of the early period including medium pitched roof with close eaves at gable ends, beaded corner boards and multi paned double-hung windows of 6/6 lights.
The character-defining elements that define the building’s interior architectural finishes include:
- central hall plan of original house, with principal rooms at the front, and smaller rooms at back;
- interior workmanship of architectural features such as fireplace surrounds, staircase, built in cupboards, door and window trim, chair rails and wainscot;
- rare horizontal sliding paneled interior wood shutters;
- one-inch thick 6 panel doors with grained finish, and door hardware;
- unfinished 2nd floor east end room with exposed wood lath.
The character-defining elements that define the Doak family tradition:
- interior rooms containing house items and furniture associated with the Doak family.