William Shives Fisher Residence
78 Orange Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The William Shives Fisher Residence is a brick two-and-a-half storey Second Empire building with a stone front façade. It is located on Orange Street, within the Orange Street Preservation Area of the City of Saint John.
The William Shives Fisher Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.
The William Shives Fisher Residence is recognized as one of a collection of Italianate, Queen Anne and Second Empire buildings that were built after two thirds of the City of Saint John were destroyed by fire in 1877. Built in 1879, this building is a good example of brick Second Empire residential architecture with a stone front façade from the rebuilding period in the Orange Street Heritage Preservation Area of Saint John after the fire. The use of brick and stone, as well as the design of this building, represent the will of the city to rebuild, as well or better, after the fire and sent a message that the city would be more resistant to fire in the future.
The William Shives Fisher Residence is also recognized for its association with William Shives Fisher. He was reputed to be one of the leading manufacturers and businessmen of Canada. He took up residence at this address in 1890. Beginning his career in business in 1870 under Adam Young, Fisher became sole proprietor within a four-year span. In 1878, he partnered with Robert B. Emerson and they jointly established the firm of “Emerson & Fisher.” Located at 75-79 Princess and 18-20 Water Street, this business involved the dealing and manufacturing of a variety of products such as slate and wood mantles, grates, stoves, tinware and hardware. He then founded and acted as president of the Enterprise Founding Company of Sackville, New Brunswick. He also founded the New Brunswick Tourist Association. Fisher held a number of prominent offices throughout his career including director of the New Brunswick Power Company, President of the Saint John and Maritime Board of Trade, as well as President of the Maritime Branch of the Canadian Manufacturers Association. In 1915, Fisher was called on by the head of the War Purchasing Commission to take charge of outfitting the first Construction Battalion to France. Between 1917 and 1922, he also became the Commissioner in charge of the Dominion Rifle Factory located in Quebec. Fisher remained at this Orange Street residence until his death in 1931.
Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
The character-defining elements that describe the William Shives Fisher Residence include:
- rectangular two-and-a-half storey massing;
- mansard roof;
- brick and stone exterior façades;
- masonry etchings;
- gable dormers ornamented by decorative woodwork and dentils;
- cornice ornamented by a series of stone brackets;
- two-and-a-half storey bay window on the front façade with a central pedimented first storey window;
- rectangular 4/4 vertical sliding wood windows;
- segmented arch pediment entrance supported by fluted Corinthian pilasters;
- double three-panel wooden doors with glass upper panels;
- transom window;
- sandstone steps and railing.
Local Governments (NB)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act
1890/01/01 to 1931/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
Cross-Reference to Collection