Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Samuel Butler built this two-storey wood-frame Second Empire dwelling in 1866 for James Gibson, son of Alexander “Boss” Gibson. Located on the west side of Canada Street, this large house is situated on Nob Hill overlooking the Nashwaak River and the Marysville Cotton Mill.
This house is one of many houses designed and built by Samuel Butler, who had been employed as Alexander Gibson’s carpenter foreman. Mr. Butler served as Gibson’s chief carpenter for more than two decades, eventually relocating to Missoula, Montana to continue in the building trade.
The heritage value of this house is also embedded in its location. This house is situated upon what was once known as “Nob Hill”, and represents an example of 19th century company town housing construction. Alexander “Boss” Gibson, responsible for the industrial development of Marysville, established a tradition of providing housing for his employees. Management and overseers, “the nobs” in Victorian lexicon, were housed on the hill west of the Nashwaak River. Nob Hill stretched from Alexander Gibson’s mansion to the Methodist Church, and was occupied by houses for Boss Gibson’s children and the lumber mill foremen. Mr. Gibson’s town planning is evident in the location and style of housing, and the identity of family members, overseers, and workers were clearly delineated by differences in housing styles.
The hillside location of these houses not only provided a panoramic view of the river and town below, but created a physical barrier between employer and employee. The situation of these Nob houses on the hill reflected and reinforced the social and economic divisions between management and workers. Housing on Nob Hill did not conform to one style; there were differences between houses occupied by managers and Gibson’s children. This house, built for Boss Gibson’s son James, was much larger and more ornate than the simple one-and-a-half storey cottages occupied by the managers. This house, like others built for members of the Gibson family, reflected a similar style, featuring a veranda which spanned the length of the structure and a mansard roof, typical of Second Empire residential architecture.
Source: City of Fredericton, Local Historic Places Files
The character-defining elements associated with the house at 337 Canada Street include:
- its hillside location;
- its situation upon an open lot with manicured lawn;
- symmetrical two-storey wood-frame structure;
- large rectangular window openings;
- pediments surmounting the dormer windows at each end of front façade;
- Roman arch pediment surmounting the central dormer on front façade;
- mansard roof;
- enclosed veranda which spans the length of the structure;
- triangular pediment over front door.
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
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Fredericton, Local Historic Places Files, "335-337 Canada Street"
Cross-Reference to Collection