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Chestnut Hall

188 Montague Street, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/03/26

This photograph shows the 5 bay façade, 2007; Town of St. Andrews
Chestnut Hall - Front Façade
This photograph shows the spiral staircase and the portrait of Mrs. Ross in the foreground to the left, 2007.; Town of St. Andrews
Chestnut Hall - Spiral Staircase
This photograph shows the Neo-Classical entrance, 2007; Town of St. Andrews
Chestnut Hall - Entrance

Other Name(s)

Chestnut Hall
Cottage Craft
Harris Hatch House
Maison Harris Hatch
Ross Memorial Museum
Musée Ross Memorial

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1824/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Chestnut Hall is a 2-storey brick Neo-Classical building with hipped roof and an elaborate central entranceway. It is located on Montague Street in St. Andrews.

Heritage Value

Chestnut Hall is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its association with the people and businesses that have occupied this home.

Chestnut Hall is recognized for its architecture. It is an excellent example of a two-storey brick Neo-Classical home. The central entranceway with detailed fan window and sidelights is a strong characteristic of this style. The main characteristics of the interior are the Corinthian modillions and the beautiful spiral staircase.

Chestnut Hall is also recognized for its association with the people and the businesses that have occupied this building. It was built in 1824 for Harris Hatch. Mr. Hatch was admitted as an attorney in 1808. Two years later, he was named Registrar of Deeds and Wills for Charlotte County and served the militia of the county for many years. In 1838, he was appointed to the Legislative Assembly and in 1842 was named Commissioner for the Estates and Bankruptcy in Charlotte County. He was also president of the Charlotte County Bank and of the Agricultural Society and member of the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway company. He passed away in 1839 and was succeeded as Judge of Probate by his eldest son, Harris Hatch Jr. The home remained with Harris' daughter, Mrs. James David Green, until 1902.

In 1920, Grace Helen Mowatt obtained this building as her retail store named “Cottage Craft”, staying in business at this location for 18 years. In 1915, she had founded Charlotte County Cottage Craft to provide a source of income for women and to revive their traditional skills. She divided Charlotte County, as well as neighbouring counties, into districts, assigning a forewoman in each district to direct the work of women weaving, knitting, hooking, doll making, and embroidery in the privacy of their own homes. Everything was made from local wool, colours, and dyes. The expertise obtained by these women inspired their children thus the influence of the revival of traditional skills is still apparent in the region today.

Chestnut Hall is also recognized through its association with Henry Phipps Ross and Sarah Juliette Ross. While visiting St. Andrews in 1902, this American couple became attached to the town's beauty. The Ross', after spending many years in St. Andrews, purchased Chestnut Hall in 1938 to house their extensive collection of fine furniture, oriental carpets, and art from their world travels. In 1945, they bequeathed Chestnut Hall to the town of St. Andrews for a museum of their collection and a lasting legacy of their affection for St. Andrews. They also left money and details of construction for a new library. Both the museum and library are attractions in the town of St. Andrews today being respectively named the Ross Memorial Museum and Ross Memorial Library. Portraits of the original owners and of the Ross family still adorn the walls of Chestnut Hall.

Source: St. Andrews Civic Trust - Charlotte County Archives

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe Chestnut Hall include:
- original classical symmetry;
- 2-storey rectangular massing;
- 5 bays;
- 8/12 windows with double hung sashes;
- shutters on all windows;
- 4 chimneys symmetrically placed on each corner;
- hipped roof;
- central entranceway;
- patterned fan window;
- patterned side lights;
- paneled wood door;
- spiral staircase;
- Corinthian modillions.

The character-defining elements that describe the Ross Collection found in Chestnut Hall include:
- painted portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Ross;
- fine furniture made by 19th Century New Brunswick cabinet makers;
- oriental carpets;
- objets d’art.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date

2007/03/26

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1945/01/01 to 1945/01/01
1824/01/01 to 1902/01/01
1920/01/01 to 1938/01/01
1928/01/01 to 1945/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Residence
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Charlotte County Archives, 123 Frederick Street, St. Andrews, NB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

1351

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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