Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built circa 1815, the John Dunn Estate House is a wooden two-storey, Georgian residence with a central entry in a five-bay façade and side-gable massing. It is located on Water Street in the Town of St. Andrews.
The John Dunn Estate House is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, for its association with its past occupants, for its connection with the Catholic religion and for being a contributing element to a group of residences built for the United Empire Loyalists and the second generation of settlers.
The John Dunn Estate House is recognized as being an example of late Georgian residential architecture. This style is characterized by the five-bay front façade with central entranceway. The entranceway has a classical entablature and rectangular transom window and is flanked by pilasters. The eave returns along the side façade are characteristic of the related Greek Revival style.
The John Dunn Estate House is also recognized for its association with its past occupants. The home was built for Capt. James Paul circa 1815. In 1822, at the age of 69, prominent loyalist John Dunn obtained the home for what appears to be a security for his nephew and family. John Dunn came from New York. He was the second sheriff of Charlotte County, holding that office from 1790 to 1803. He was for many years comptroller of customs at St. Andrews, and was much respected. In his will he dictated that this house was to be rented for 50 pounds per year, the income to be divided amongst his family.
The property appears to have been rented for most of the 19th century and remained within Dunn’s bloodline until the 1960’s. James Whitlock and his wife, Julia Dunn Whitlock, obtained the property in the 1840’s and they also rented the property many years. He was with customs in St. Andrews and held several positions of honour and trust such as County Treasurer, church warden, director of the Grammar School, and Lt. Col. of the 1st Battalion, Charlotte County Militia. The property was later owned by George Johnston. The property remained with George Johnston’s descendants until the 1960’s. Local lore suggests that the first Catholic mass in St. Andrews was held in the home of Henry O’Neill and it has been suggested that this is the home that Henry O’Neill occupied at that time. Research indicates that Henry O’Neill never owned this home but John Dunn and Henry O’Neill were two of the first four trustees of the Catholic Church. John Dunn obtained this home in June 1822 and the mass was held six months later. Henry O’Neill may have been John Dunn’s first tenant.
The John Dunn Estate House is also recognized as a contributing element to the many well maintained 18th and 19th century structures in the Town of St. Andrews. Aside from the natural beauty of St. Andrews, the town has a wonderful array of historic buildings that reflect the prosperity and stages of development throughout the town’s early history.
Source: Charlotte County Archives - Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick – St. Andrews Historic Places File, “John Dunn Estate House”
The character-defining elements of the John Dunn Estate House include:
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- side-gable plan;
- medium-pitched gable roof;
- five-bay front façade with central entranceway;
- wood cladding;
- entablature over the entrance;
- rectangular transom window over the entrance;
- pilasters supporting the entranceway entablature;
- stone foundation.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Governing Canada
- Government and Institutions
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Charlotte County Archives - Old Gaol, St. Andrews, N. B.
Cross-Reference to Collection