Description of Historic Place
McDonald Farm is located at the confluence of the Bartibog and Miramichi Rivers on Route 11 about 10 kilometres east of the City of Miramichi. The property consists of approximately 120 hectares of land on both sides of the highway. The 2 ½ storey classical 19th century stone farm house with a footprint of 100 square meters overlooks the Miramichi River.
McDonald Farm is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its original owner, the architecture of the house and the landscape.
McDonald Farm was constructed between 1815 and 1820 for Alexander McDonald who settled on the Miramichi in 1784. Born in Scotland, he served with the MacDonald’s Highlanders in the American Colonies during the American Revolution. Alexander McDonald was active in public life as well as in the Northumberland County Militia.
Built in the Palladian Style with a medium pitch roof and end chimneys, this stone house is from the Scottish tradition. The south facing five-bay house has a central doorway with a centre hall plan with two principal rooms at the front and three smaller rooms at the back of the house. The plan is repeated at the second level. The re-pointed masonry walls and weathered wood finishes are testimony to the harsh weather conditions along the river. The house projects a commanding presence.
McDonald House is located where the Miramichi opens onto the Miramichi Bay, the house has an outstanding view of Bartibog Island, Bartibog River, as well as the Miramichi. The barn, 4 outbuildings, and the cleared fields as well as the wharf and the boat house are well located along the shoreline. They are all associated with the combined livelihood of farming and fishing which occurred along the river during the 19th century. McDonald House is owned and operated by the Province of New Brunswick.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File: Vol. II-12813-D, 11
The character-defining elements that define the location and site of the McDonald House include:
- located along the Miramichi River;
- positioned in an open field above the shoreline with a single decorative shrub at one corner.
- barn, outbuildings, and cleared fields as well as the wharf, the boat house and the well located along the shoreline;
The character-defining elements that define the architecture of the house include:
- re-pointed masonry walls and weathered wood finishes;
- simple classical 2 ½ storey house, with 5-bay front, central front entrance and windows with 6/6 lights;
- simple front entrance 6-panel door and a narrow transom light above without sidelights;
- 19th century stonework randomly coursed, with quoins at the corners, and hammer dressed door and window trim;
- detailed stonework on all 6 interior stone fireplaces;
- interior shutters included with the panelled embrasures at each window opening;
- detailed workmanship of fireplace surrounds, chair rails, door and window trim.
The character-defining elements that define the 18th and 19th centuries Scottish homes influence include:
- stone house with slate roof;
- stone for the house probably from the Bartibog sandstone quarry.
The character-defining structures relating to the MacDonald Farm property include: