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Thomas Pickard House

90 York Street, Sackville, New Brunswick, E4L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/06/12

Thomas Pickard House - Front façade facing Mount Allison University; Town of Sackville
Thomas Pickard House
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Other Name(s)

Thomas Pickard House
Joseph B. Bowser House
Maison Joseph B. Bowser
Doctor Gass House
Maison Docteur Gass

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Thomas Pickard House is a two-story residence with Greek Revival features. It is situated on the south side of York Street in Sackville.

Heritage Value

Thomas Pichard House is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, its location and its owners.

Thomas Pickard House is recognized for the Greek Revival architecture of the original part of the residence. Also, the sprawling house today shows the adaptation of a smaller house to suit a growing family. The front part of the house was built as early as 1854 when John Wesley Bowser acquired the site from the will of his father. All the families made major changes to the early house creating the residence that we see today. Thomas Pickard House retains the reputation of being one of the most prominent houses on York Street due to its placement facing the town and the university, making a significant contribution to the streetscape.

Thomas Pickard House is also recognized for its owners. Thomas Pickard, college teacher. After a career as an educator in the mathematics department of Mount Allison Academy and College, he acquired the house and took up farming. He also served as a member of the local assembly on the Free School ticket. At this site, he designed a waterworks system and used a windmill to bring water from the nearby brook to a holding tank for use by him and his neighbours.

Charles Pickard, son of Thomas lived in the house for the next fifty years, starting in about 1879. He was a prominent merchant in the Music Hall block who went on to have interests in lumbering. A new career started in 1898 with the discovery of a quarry on the site. He organized a stock company to carry on the work of the Sackville Freestone Company, shipping building stone all over eastern Canada. Pickard had a keen interest in civic affairs serving as alderman and mayor before his early death in 1912.

Doctor Charles Gass practised medicine in Sackville between 1919 and 1952. He was also the physician and a lecturer at Mount Allison University. The family acquired the property in 1929 and transformed the house into a modern dwelling. He was active in the founding of Sackville Memorial Hospital and Sackville Medical Centre and served on the Board of Regents at Mount Allison University. His son, Dr. George Gass, contributed to the community in a number of ways including acting as an advisor to the Drew Nursing Home.

Source: Town of Sackville, Historic Places File Cabinet, Thomas Pickard House File

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe Thomas Pickard House include:
- massing with a steeply pitched gable roof on both the original house and the many additions in the Greek Revival style;
- large section of house added in 1879, now considered the main house, introducing a steep cross gable to the structure;
- prominent sun porch and veranda;
- many window openings featuring double hung, six over six windows;
- corner boards and eave returns featuring in the façade, clues to the Greek Revival style of architecture;
- original placement of house oriented to York Street;
- present sun porch facing the driveway and the new entrance established after 1900.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1879/01/01 to 1879/01/01
1929/01/01 to 1929/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling



Architect / Designer



John Wesley Bowser

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Sackville, Historic Places File Cabinet, Thomas Pickard File

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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