Description of Historic Place
The Christopher Scott House is a two-and-a-half storey, brick, Neo-Classical style residence built circa 1821. It is located on Edward Street in St. Andrews.
The Christopher Scott House is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, for maintaining its early-19th century appearance, as well as for its association with the Scott and Street families.
The house is a good example of Neo-Classical residential architecture from the early 19th century in St. Andrews. The classical entrance and the rectangular two-and-a-half storey massing give this residence a monumental appearance expected in this style.
The home is believed to have been built circa 1821 for John Strang. John Strang came to St. Andrews from Scotland in 1810 as a business associate of Christopher Scott, and it has been speculated that he was Christopher Scott’s nephew. In 1823, he sold the home to Mr. Scott and the following year, at the age of 38, he was lost at sea on the steam packet “New York” coming from Boston.
It is not known how long Christopher Scott lived here but, in 1825, he rented this property to John Strang’s widow, including all household furniture belonging to Mr. Scott. Christopher Scott has been described by many writers as a smuggler, privateer and financier.
Christopher Scott was the son of William Scott, head of the Clyde shipbuilding firm of Scott and Company in Scotland. In 1799 he was sent to New Brunswick, along with 50 skilled craftsmen, to establish a shipyard and to take advantage of the colonies unlimited supply of timber and to build as many ships as possible. In 1803, he went into business on his own account and had a workforce of 400. He moved to St. Andrews in 1810 and amassed a considerable fortune through illegal trade with the United States. In 1812 he provided money for the blockhouse at St. Andrews and in 1822 he paid for the completion of Greenock Presbyterian Church, both locally designated heritage properties. The church was named after his hometown of Greenock, Scotland. This home is situated across the street from the historic church. By 1820, Scott was regarded as one of the richest men in New Brunswick. In 1820 he took a leading part in establishing the Bank of New Brunswick and in 1822 he established the Charlotte County Bank. Needless to say, Scott played a leading role in the development of New Brunswick’s shipbuilding industry and trade.
Christopher Scott moved to England in 1828 and died there in 1833. His will stated that he leaves everything, including this home, to William Scott “My reputed illegitimate son". It is believed that John Strang’s widow remained in this home until her death in 1836. In 1838 Christopher’s son, William, died at the age of 30 from injuries after falling into the hull of a ship.
After 20 years of Scott family ownership, the home was purchased in 1843 by George D. Street. George Dixon Street was born in Calcutta, India, in 1812, and came to New Brunswick in 1824 to study law in the office of his uncle, Alfred Street. He was admitted to the New Brunswick Bar Association in 1835. In 1840 he was appointed Registrar of Probate and Judge of Probate in 1866. He represented Charlotte County in the House of Assembly in 1856 and 1857 and was for several years President of Charlotte County Bank and Director of the New Brunswick and Canada Railway. He passed away here in 1882.
Source: Charlotte County Archives – Old Gaol – St. Andrews, New Brunswick – St. Andrews Historic Places File, “Christopher Scott House”
The character-defining elements of this Neo-Classical home include:
- rectangular two-and-a-half storey massing;
- low-pitched gable roof;
- window placement and proportions;
- 6/6 wood framed vertical sliding windows;
- flush sandstone lintels and projecting sills;
- cut-stone foundation;
- large end chimney;
- sidelights with wooden base panels;
- detailed glass in sidelights and transom;
- large single-paneled wooden Christian door;
- stone entranceway surrounds and lintel with recessed patterns;
- broad side façades with slight eave returns.