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Rose Arbor

2835 Main Street, Hillsborough, New Brunswick, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/01/04

Still an imposing presence on Main Street after 123 years; Village of Hillsborough
Rose Arbor - Viewed from the southwest
Even with his office and waiting area, Dr. Marven's house afforded ample space for his wife, two children, himself and the domestic staff.; Village of Hillsborough
Rose Arbor - Viewed from the northwest
A street scene in Hillsborough taken in front of Dr. Marven's house and office; Village of Hillsborough, William Henry Steeves House Museum archives
Rose Arbor - Circa 1900

Other Name(s)

Rose Arbor
Dr. Marven House
Maison du Dr Marven

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Rose Arbor is a two-storey regularly-massed Queen Anne Revival house that was built by Jordan Steeves in 1887 for the new medical man in town, Dr. Bliss A. Marven. The exterior has changed little except for the addition of the two-storey Craftsman style columned veranda added to the front façade circa 1920.

Heritage Value

Rose Arbor is designated a Local Historic Place for its association with its original owner and for its architecture.

Rose Arbor is recognized for its strong association with its first owner, Dr. Bliss A. Marven (1861-1938). He was born in Great Shemogue, Westmorland County. He trained as a teacher and became principal of the Port Elgin Superior School before changing professions. Dr. Marven earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont in 1886 and began his practice in Hillsborough that same year. He was chairman of the local school board, the county coroner and port physician for both Hillsborough and Hopewell Cape. Dr. Marven was the oldest of five brothers, two of whom, George and Edgar, also became physicians, while another, Joseph A. Marven, enjoyed legendary business success throughout Eastern Canada during the first half of the 20th century with his enterprise, Marven’s Biscuit Co.

The residence is also recognized for being a good example of Queen Anne Revival residential architecture with later Craftsman additions. This style is expressed primarily through the use of elements that break up the flat surfaces of the exterior walls. These details include a variety of bay and box windows and various shapes and styles of sheathing material. The coloured skirt that separates the two storeys also serves to visually create horizontal breaks on the wall surface. The two-storey veranda on the front façade is in keeping with the Craftsman style that would have been popular during the 1920’s.

Like the exterior, the ambiance of the interior has changed very little over the years. Polished wood, heavy drapes, wide crown mouldings, four metre ceilings and period furniture securely place such rooms as the double parlours in that long ago Victorian age. The twin parlours can be partitioned with a folding oak divider. A circular dais in the front corner served as Dr. Marven’s waiting room. A flight of stairs leads to his office beneath. The atmosphere has been so well preserved that little imagination is required to picture patients anxiously awaiting the good doctor.

Source: Heritage Hillsborough, William Henry Steeves House Museum, Local Historic Places files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe Rose Arbor include:
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- moderately-pitched front-facing gable roof;
- large pediment on the front façade with Palladian window;
- evenly spaced bracketing under wide eaves;
- two-storey bay windows flanking the front entrance;
- two-storey box window with pediment on the side façade;
- two-storey Craftsman veranda supported by columns;
- cement steps;
- cement foundation;
- clapboard sheathing;
- painted decorative skirt between storeys that display a variety of wooden shingle shapes.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Health and Research
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



Jordon Steeves

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

William Henry Steeves House Museum, 40 Mill Street, Hillsborough, NB, E4H 2Z8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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