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Axe Factory

Prince William Street, St Stephen, New Brunswick, E3L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/07/16

Original buildings; Town of St. Stephen
Axe Factory
Overall view of the front and side façades; Town of St. Stephen
Axe Factory
Historic image of the factory, looking towards Denis Stream, circa 1885; New Brunswick Museum
Axe Factory

Other Name(s)

Axe Factory
Douglas Axe Manufacturing Co.
Douglas Axe Manufacturing Co.

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Axe Factory is a large one-and-a-half storey rectangular industrial building with a monitor roof located on Prince William Street next to Dennis Stream in St Stephen.

Heritage Value

The Axe Factory was designated as a Local Historic Place for its role in the economy of St. Stephen and for its architecture.

The Axe Factory is recognized for being one of the leading industries in its time. In circa 1866, the Douglas Axe Manufacturing Company built their factory on Dennis Stream. In 1883, it was purchased by E. Broad & Sons who operated the company until 1895 when a new company was formed under the name of St. Stephen Edge Tool Co. In 1911, Harry Broad formed the Mann Axe & Tool Co. with Charles Heustis as president and manager. With two storeys of the original factory now in use, they acquired the buildings of the Bug Death Chemical Co. A new factory was added and began operation in 1922. The factory was water powered from Dennis Stream and the original Hercules turbine was still in use. In 1930, the factory became a victim of the Great Depression, but managed to continue until 1943 when the business closed.

The Axe Factory is also recognized for its architecture. It is a good example of rural factory design from the late 19th century. It is of wooden crib construction on a rectangular plan with a distinctive roof monitor. The building that exists on the site today is a wing of the original factory.

Source: St. Stephen Town Hall - Historic Places file, “Axe Factory”

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the Axe Factory include:
- location adjacent to Dennis Stream;
- rectangular one-and-a-half storey massing;
- crib-type construction;
- clapboards;
- steel roof;
- large double doors;
- gable roof with monitor;
- original window and door openings;
- vertical siding on the front façade.



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)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services


Metal Products Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer



Douglas Manufacturing Co.

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

St. Stephen Town Hall, Historic Places files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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