Description of Historic Place
Enterprise Foundry is an imposing complex brick and wooden industrial buildings, whose present 10 buildings date from the turn of the 20th century. The buildings, evidence of a once thriving manufacturing industry, are located on Lorne Street, in Sackville, next to the Canadian National Railway and very near the site of the Sackville wharf.
Enterprise Foundry is designated a Local Historic Place for its location, for its imposing number of buildings and for the economic role it played in the Sackville area.
Enterprise Foundry, situated in an industrial site, is an excellent example of brick and wooden buildings from the manufacturing industry dating to the turn of the 20th century, with the site itself dating from 1872. A loss of upwards of two hundred thousand dollars was experienced in 1908 when a fire devastated Enterprise Foundry. Within a few weeks, construction had started on splendid new brick buildings, thoroughly modern with up-to-date machinery, to replace the ruins. As all patterns had been destroyed in the fire, new and modern lines of coal and wood ranges, heaters and furnaces were developed. The buildings and the site, located near two principal routes of transportation, played a leading role in the lives of many hundreds of Sackville residents.
Enterprise Foundry was a major employer in the area, with its own sales organization and distribution warehouses from coast to coast in Canada. In 1872, the Dominion Foundry Company began operation in Sackville, the works being situated near the Intercolonial Railway Station and the Sackville wharf. The original business was under the management of R.M. Dixon, who owned half the stock, the rest being owned by leading farmers, including Edward Cogswell who, two years later at the death of Dixon, formed a new company, E. Cogswell & Company. In 1888, the company was sold out to W. Shives Fisher and R.B. Emerson, businessmen from Saint John. The new company was called the Enterprise Foundry Company. W. Shives Fisher was President from 1888 until his death in 1931. In 1905, the oldest son Fred A. Fisher became superintendent of the plant, while the other sons D.S. Fisher and C.M.P. Fisher joined the company in 1911 and 1912. They returned after the First World War to work well into the 1970s along with members of the third generation of the Fisher family. By 1962, Enterprise Foundry was considered to be the largest privately owned and second largest Canadian owned Stove Company in Canada. In 1984, the assets of Enterprise Foundry and Enamel and Heating Products Limited (formerly Fawcett Foundry) were combined and became Enterprise Fawcett, still in business today.
Source: Town of Sackville, Historic Places File Cabinet, “Enterprise Foundry” File Folder
The character-defining elements that describe the ten Enterprise Foundry buildings include:
- complex layout of large brick and wooden industrial buildings around a central powerhouse, some featuring walls of multi-pane glass windows, to allow for better lighting;
- brick building featuring a small tower and Romanesque detailing on squat arched windows and doors;
- two-story brick office building, possibly built in the 1950s, featuring numerous windows with window detailing imitating earlier 1908 building;
- irregularly shaped shops and warehouses, remains of earlier buildings, adapted for modern use.
The character-defining elements that define the Enterprise Foundry location include:
- placement of site and buildings near two principal routes of transportation, the Intercolonial Railway, present day Canadian National, and the Sackville wharf.