Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in the 1830’s, the Thomas Watt Residence is a wooden, one-and-a-half storey Cape Cod residence with a side-gable roof and a central entry in a symmetrical front façade. It is located on Queen Street in the Town of St. Andrews.
The Thomas Watt Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, for its association with past occupants and for being a contributing element to the array of buildings built in St. Andrews during the second quarter of the 19th century.
The Thomas Watt Residence is recognized as a superb example of the Cape Cod style. The style of this residence is characterized by the one-and-a-half storey side-gable massing and the central entranceway flanked by single windows that are nearly flush with the eave. An indication that this home is a later rendition of this style is the application of eave returns and the extent of overhang at the eaves. The residence has a centrally-located shed dormer and symmetrically placed chimneys.
The Thomas Watt Residence is also recognized for its association with its past owners. The property was owned by a prominent merchant from Jamaica by the name of James Rait who purchased the lot in 1829. It is not known if Mr. Rait resided here yet, in 1837, his father-in-law, Robert Watt, a Magistrate and Member of Legislature in Jamaica for many years, made this home available to his son Thomas Watt through Mr. Rait. The 1837 deed stated: “desirous of making a suitable provision for the future support and maintenance of his son Thomas Watt, and with that view made arrangements with James Rait for the Real Estate and paid James Rait a full and satisfactory consideration.” Robert died 4 years later in Montego Bay.
Thomas Watt was a local St. Andrews merchant for 40 years, but later settled in an area that is now known as Watt Junction. He passed away there in 1873 but this home remained with the Watt family until 1879.
Robert Kerr obtained the home in 1879 and passed away in 1890. His widow remained here until her death in 1920. The home remained with the Kerr family for 50 years before William J. Halliday purchased the home in 1929. Mr. Halliday passed away here in 1945 at the age of 91. He was a native of Scotland and came to Canada in 1908. He was a gardener by profession. He was known for years as being one of the oldest curlers in Canada, a passion he brought from his native Scotland.
The Thomas Watt Residence is also recognized as a contributing element to the array of heritage buildings built in St. Andrews during the second quarter of the 19th century. Many of the Loyalist structures in St. Andrews did not survive the passage of time and the population through the first 40-50 years was sparse. St. Andrews has an abundance of buildings that were constructed from the late 1820’s to the mid-19th century. This abundance of construction was due primarily to the increase in population as a result of emigration from European countries throughout the 1830’s and 1840’s. This wave of immigrants helped stabilize Canada’s population.
Source: Charlotte County Archives, Old Gaol, St. Andrews, N.B.
The character-defining elements of the Thomas Watt Residence include:
- rectangular one-and-a-half storey symmetrical massing;
- steeply-pitched side-gable roof with two ridge chimneys;
- central entry with sidelights and transom;
- wood clapboard siding;
- placement and proportions of multi-paned window;
- central shed dormer;
- corner boards;
- eave returns.
Local Governments (NB)
Heritage Conservation Act
Local Historic Place (municipal)
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Charlotte County Archives, Old Gaol, Town of St. Andrews
Cross-Reference to Collection