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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Parker House is a two-storey wood-framed former farmhouse with a side-gable roof. It is located near the railway on the extension of Peter Street in Salisbury.
The Parker House has heritage value for its association with the European and North American Railway, for its association with the Salisbury and Albert Railroad, for its architecture and for its association with silver fox farming.
The Parker House is recognized for its association with the European and North American Railway. Richard Parker, a freight agent and the father of the probable builder of the Parker House, Herbert Parker, and several other members of this family were railway workers. Conveniently, the house is located adjacent to the railway line. The European and North American Railway, which was officially opened for travel between Pointe-du-Chêne (Shediac) and Saint John in August 1860, was the first railway in New Brunswick. The Salisbury station became one of the busiest on the entire line; by 1870 Salisbury had the fourth highest volume shipped on this line. This railway service was transferred to Intercolonial Railway in 1872 and has been operated by Canadian National Railway since 1918. The Salisbury and Albert Railroad was opened in 1877 to link the Intercolonial Railway with Albert County communities and to bring mineral resources, agricultural and lumber products to markets. Albert County is still known for its useful minerals: gypsum, petroleum, grindstones and “Albertite”. Members of the Parker family lived in this house while employed by this railway as well.
The Parker House is also recognized for its architecture. The house was built in the vernacular National style popular in the mid- to late-19th century. This house, with its steeply-pitched side-gable roof and central dormer, was probably built circa 1870, by railway freight agent Richard Parker (born in England) or by his son Herbert Parker a few years later. Several other members of the Parker family were also railway employees and lived near the Salisbury station. The house has been built with boards cut on a vertical mill with circular saw joists nailed with cut square nails. This tends to confirm its mid- to late-19th century construction date. The exterior and interior of the house have been renovated but it retains its original form and its original tall narrow window openings.
The Parker House is recognized for its association with silver fox farming. In 1912, a Mrs. Tuplin from P.E.I. missed a train in Salisbury and was offered hospitality by station agent R. A. Brown. The Brown family became friends with the Tuplins and were thus introduced to fox farming. The first pair of silver foxes brought to Salisbury cost $15,000. Individual pelts could be sold for $200 to $2,000. Breeding spread from farm to farm in the area; businesses and associations were formed. The Salisbury area rapidly became a world leader in this industry. The Colpitt brothers, Fred at Colpitt’s Settlement near Salisbury and James near Calgary, Alberta, owned the largest silver fox ranching enterprise in the British Empire. In 1938, the Colpitt brothers had close to 20,000 foxes. The silver fox industry gradually declined as fur coats and other fur apparels became less fashionable. At least one owner of the Parker House, Clinton Russell raised up to 150 silver foxes per year on this farm located near the railway.
Source: Salisbury Village Office, Local Historic Places file #5
The character-defining elements of the Parker House include:
- steeply-pitched gabled roof;
- wood-frame construction;
- central dormer that breaks the eave line;
- symmetrical original location and size of windows;
- proximity to the railway line.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Richard or Herbert Parker
Location of Supporting Documentation
Salisbury Village Office, 56 Douglas Street, Salisbury, NB, E4J 3E3
Cross-Reference to Collection