Description of Historic Place
The Seaside Inn (also known as Salty Towers-The Seaside Inn) is a two-storey, wooden, Queen Anne Revival residence with wooden single-storey vernacular schoolhouse attached to the rear of the building.
The Seaside Inn is designated a Local Historic Place for its association with Nelson Melville Clarke, for its association with the tourism industry in St. Andrews and for its association with early education in the area.
In 1902, Capt. Nelson Melville Clarke obtained the home of his wife’s father, Mr. William D. Hartt. Instead of tearing down the old homestead, he built this home around it. Mr. Hartt, a Grand Manan storekeeper, had purchased the old home from Capt. Joseph Dellamore in 1871 and it is believed that Capt. Dellamore had it built circa 1842.
Capt. Nelson Melville Clarke was a brother to the only St. Andrews-born premier, George Johnson Clarke. Capt. Clarke., born in 1869, commenced sailing from St. Andrews and was engaged by James Murchie & Sons of Calais, prosperous lumber dealers. Capt. Clarke spent a number of years in the hard pine trade between New York and southern ports. After building this home, he spent much of his time in the New York area up until the time of his death in 1932. In 1921 Capt. Clarke became a port captain in New Jersey and the home was established as the Seaside Inn by his daughter, Mrs. Marjorie Richardson, which she operated until 1986. Today it is known as Salty Towers and is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the best vacation destination of its kind in Canada.
The Seaside Inn is also recognized for its association with early education in St. Andrews. Attached to the rear of this home is an old private school which was operated by Alice Stinson. The school was historically referenced under Alice’s operation as early as 1844 when she was only 19 years of age. Alice obtained the land and building from her father. Alice was born in 1825 and died in Montreal unmarried. These schools were known as “penny schools”, as the cost to put your child in school was a penny per week. Although a school report from 1844 states that the schools in St. Andrews in general were dilapidated and shameful, Miss Stinson’s school received a good report. The school was originally located at the corner of Water Street and Ernest Street in the neighbouring lot.
Architecturally, the Seaside Inn is an excellent example of the Queen Anne Revival style. This style is evident in such details as the asymmetrical crowning of the bay windows, one being crowned by a hexagonal roof and the other crowned by a pedimented gable. The primary attraction of the former school building lies in the large centrally-located Scottish dormer in proportion with the central entranceway and the cupola at the ridge of the roof. The school also maintains some old windows and its original form.
Source: Charlotte County Archives - Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick - St. Andrews Historic Places File, "Seaside Inn"
The character-defining elements of the Seaside Inn include:
- wood cladding;
- multi-pane enclosed veranda;
- pedimented gable;
- semi-octagonal bay windows;
- single and paired brackets below roof-line cornices;
- hexagonal roof crowning one bay window;
- elongated shed dormer;
- hipped roof;
- ornate scroll work and drop finial in soffit of pedimented gable;
- diamond-shaped window in tympanum of pedimented gable.
The character-defining elements of the school include:
- wood cladding;
- 6/6 windows;
- Scottish dormer with 6/6 window flanked by vertical 2/2 window;
- cupola located centrally at the ridge;
- simple roof-line;
- original massing;
- central entranceway with wooden door.