Description of Historic Place
Augustus Hall is a two-and-a-half storey, wooden Georgian Revival building, built circa 1907. It is located on four building lots in the Town of St. Andrews.
Augustus Hall is designated a Local Historic Place for its association with its past occupants and for its fine architecture.
This lovely home was built for Thomas Turner Odell Jr. circa 1907. Thomas Turner Odell Jr., born in 1859, came from a long line of successful dry goods merchants. As a young man he worked with the Bank of British North America before joining his father in the dry goods business known as Manchester House, a business that had been in the family since the 1830’s. He was widely known throughout Charlotte County as the head of Manchester House and was a world traveler, taking many trips to Bermuda and the West Indies. He passed away in 1939.
In 1941, William Cornelius C. Van Horne obtained the home. Billy, as he was known locally, was the grandson of Sir William Van Horne, builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway and a summer resident on Minister’s Island near St. Andrews. Billy was an ardent sportsman and organized the Auburn Motor Sales Company of Canada. He had a short life, passing away at the age of 39, in 1946. He was buried at St. Andrews.
Architecturally, Augustus Hall is one of a collection of highly ornate homes that were built during the tourism boom in St. Andrews during the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century. Most of the homes built during this boom were built as summer residences for the elite of Montreal and of the Eastern seaboard in the United States. This home, however, was built as a year round residence. Augustus Hall has many classical Georgian Revival elements. The entranceway, pedimented dormer with Palladian window, and denticulated ornamentation under the cornices are the most noticeable classic influences. It is speculated that the home was designed by noted Montreal architect Edward Maxwell, although it is not listed as such in any publication known to the researcher. Edward Maxwell designed many homes in St. Andrews during this period, including his own home and a home for the brother of the original owner of Augustus Hall. The thick granite foundation, quarried from nearby St. George, was laid by Charles Horsnell. Mr. Horsnell was a local mason who conducted the masonry work on historic Minister’s Island. The interior of the home is professionally decorated with historic integrity, including paint color, woodwork and floors. The home has five fireplaces and the modern appliances are hidden into period cabinetry. An octagonal study is lined with quarter-sawn white English oak paneling and beams. The architectural integrity of this home has been well maintained and serves as an excellent example of revival architecture in the first decade of the 20th century.
Source: Charlotte County Archives – Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick – St. Andrews Historic Places File, “Augustus Hall”
The character-defining elements of Augustus Hall include:
- two-and-a-half storey rectangular massing;
- window placement and proportions;
- centrally located entrance;
- central two-storey square bay ;
- central gable dormer with returned eaves and small Palladian window;
- hipped roof;
- semi-octagonal oriel windows with corbel brackets on the second storey flanking the centrally located bay window;
- tri-part windows in lower storey flanking the centre bay;
- bull’s-eye windows flanking the central entrance;
- classical entrance with ornate surrounds, segmented arch transom window and sidelights;
- two-part stairway to entrance;
- veranda with roof supported by columns;
- dentils located under the roof-line, dormer and veranda eaves, as well as under the tri-part window entablatures;
- clapboard siding;
- fluted corner boards;
- tall vertical stairway window with rounded head divided by a series of wooden panels on side façade;
- thick granite foundation.