Description of Historic Place
The Campbell Carriage Factory Museum consists of a large two-story shingled post and beam factory building built in 1838. The main factory building, opened as a Museum in 2003, is typical of a small nineteenth century industrial site. The site is located on the old Post Road, now Church Street, in Middle Sackville near Morice Mill Pond.
The heritage value of the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum and the reason for its designation as a local historic place lies in its historic and cultural, significance.
The Campbell Carriage Factory Museum represents one of few surviving virtually intact pre-industrial businesses in Canada, the carriage business being initiated in 1855. The site received recognition from the Historic Sites Committee of the Town of Sackville in 2000 and was recognized by the Province of New Brunswick as a protected Provincial Historic Site in 2000. Predominately recognized for its use in carriage construction, the factory, the land on which it sits and over 6000 artifacts were donated to the Tantramar Heritage Trust in 1998.
John Beal, a prominent tanner, arrived from England in 1817 and built the 30’ by 70’ post and beam factory building as a tannery in the mid 1830s. The land and building were sold to Ronald Campbell in1855. Campbell, born in Islay, Scotland had arrived in the 1820s from Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. As a carpenter he secured employment with the firm of John Humphrey and John Morice, whose company was situated in Middle Sackville. His main employment at that time involved the making of carding machines. The Humphrey Morice Company was one of the most prominent makers of carding machines in the Maritime Provinces at that time.
Carriage building was more to Campbell’s liking and after spending a number of years at this trade in nearby Baie Verte he established his business at Middle Sackville where annual production included 30 to 40 wheeled vehicles, 15 to 20 sleighs, a variety of furniture, tools, and other items including coffins. The family became involved in all aspects of the funeral business with Mr. W. E. Campbell assisting in the embalming of bodies of Titanic victims brought to Halifax by the death ship McKay-Bennett in 1912. The family operated the carriage factory section of the business until 1949 but the funeral business is still in existence.
Source: Town of Sackville, Historic Places Filing Cabinet, Campbell Carriage Factory File Folder
Key elements that embody the heritage value of the Campbell Carriage Factory include:
- original location of an early industrial site along the Old Post Road, near the High Marsh Road and the entrance to Nova Scotia.
The character defining elements relating to the exterior elements of the structure include:
- large 30’ by 70’ pre-industrial factory building of hewed timber and post-and-beam construction;
- three sides covered with shingles, the front covered with clapboards;
- four dormers with multi-paned windows placed to provide light over working spaces;
- double hung windows, many with eight over eight, but in work spaces located under dormers the windows are 21 over 21;
- three small doors and two large doors, one on bottom floor for loading wagons and one on the second floor used in conjunction with an elevator to unload wagons after they were painted;
- one-story blacksmith shop on property with exterior shingled roof and sides and barn door.