Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Pamdenec Summer Community is a former grouping of summer cottages that were occupied primarily by members of the Jewish community from nearby Saint John. The site spans Pamdenec Road from the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to the Saint John River.
The Pamdenec Summer Community is designated a Local Historic Place for its significance as a summer community for a number of Jewish families from Saint John and the surrounding area. Well established by the 1920s, the Webber, Davis, Bassen and Boyaner families were among the first to build summer cottages on the streets leading to the beach. Many fathers took the train to Saint John daily, returning home in the evenings to join in the summer pastimes, which included community bonfires and social calls, and later, when Jewish families were invited to join the Pamdenec Outing Association, bingo, card tournaments and dances in the local clubhouse.
In its heyday, which spanned five decades from the 1920s to the 1960s, more than fifty Jewish families spent their summers in Pamdenec. The seasonal residents from Saint John were joined by extended family now living in Toronto, Montreal, New York and other areas. Many of the modest summer camps were remodelled into more comfortable homes during this time. As the original cottage owners reached late maturity, they began to sell their property to people who turned the buildings into year-round residences. Several of these homes have retained most features of their original design.
Although the area has since ceased to function as a summer community for the Jewish population of Saint John, the site still has meaning for its lasting heritage and cultural value.
The area is also valued for its association with the First Nations people of the area, who gave the area the name “Pamdenec,” believed to mean "along the ridge," and spent summers camping on the beach.
Source: Grand Bay-Westfield Local Historic Places Files: Pamdenec Summer Community
The character-defining elements of the Pamdenec Summer Community include:
- scope of the former summer community, bounded by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the section of the Saint John River known as Indian Beach;
- proximity to the beach along Saint John River;
- proximity to Canadian Pacific Railway line, which allowed for a daily commute to Saint John;
- remaining examples of summer homes from the era, including simple one, one-and-a-half, and two-storey cottages, most of which have since been winterized;
- lasting association with and meaning for the Jewish community of Saint John;
- the name “Pamdenec,” given to the area by First Nations peoples who once camped there.
Local Governments (NB)
Heritage Conservation Act
Local Historic Place (municipal)
1920/01/01 to 1960/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Grand Bay-Westfield Historic Places files, Town Hall, 609 River Valley Drive, Grand Bay-Westfield, NB
Cross-Reference to Collection