Description of Historic Place
Built in 1873, the John Watson Residence is a wooden one-and-a-half storey, Maritime Gothic residence with a front-facing cross-gable and a central entranceway. It is located on the corner of Edward and Parr streets in the Town of St. Andrews.
The John Watson Residence is designated as a Local Historic Place for its architecture, for its association with past occupants and for being a contributing element to the array of heritage buildings in the Town of St. Andrews.
The John Watson Residence is recognized for being a good example of Maritime Gothic residential architecture. This style is characterized by the centrally located cross-gable. This residence has a wide moulded frieze that follows the underside of the roof-line. The massing is one-and-a-half storeys with a centrally-located entrance in a three-bay front façade. The wooden doorway is flanked by sidelights and crowned by a transom window and a moulded entablature.
The John Watson Residence is also recognized for its association with past occupants. Bachelor John Watson had this residence constructed in 1873. Mr. Watson was a native of Scotland, immigrating to St. Andrews with his parents in 1829. John and his brother, Alexander Watson, had a large iron foundry business in St. Andrews, and also owned a large shipping business conducted under the name of A & J Watson. His sister, Mrs. Charles Kennedy, looked after him here in his later years and he resided here until his death in 1890. The home was left to Mrs. Kennedy and she in turn conveyed the home to her daughter, Mrs. Heber Stinson, in 1897. The home remained with this family until hydrographer Henry Hachey obtained it in 1936.
Dr. Henry Hachey was Chief Oceanographer for the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. He largely influenced the growth of Canadian oceanography. He was widely recognized as an authority in his field of work, authoring many publications, papers and articles. He also served as mayor of St. Andrews for several years. Henry Hachey passed away in 1985 and the present owners obtained the home from his widow.
The John Watson Residence is also recognized for being a contributing element to the array of heritage buildings in St. Andrews. St. Andrews has one of the best collections per capita of heritage buildings in Canada that range from the early thriving loyalist days of the late 1700’s to the Maxwell designed homes of the town’s early tourism era in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. As of 2001 the population of St. Andrews was less than 2,000 inhabitants. Much credit is due to the inhabitants of the town for maintaining this collection and preserving the town’s serene and relaxed atmosphere.
Source: Charlotte County Archives, Old Gaol, St. Andrews, N.B.
The character-defining elements of the John Watson Residence include:
- rectangular one-and-a-half storey massing;
- wood cladding;
- steeply-pitched gable roof;
- moulded frieze under the eaves;
- central cross-gable over the central entranceway;
- symmetrical three-bay front façade;
- pediment over cross-gable window;
- entablatures over ground floor windows;
- window placement and proportions;
- stone foundation.
The character-defining elements of the entrance include:
- moulded entablature;
- transom window;
- wooden door.