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Old St. Michael's Rectory

10 Howard Street, Miramichi, New Brunswick, E1N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/01/01

Old St. Michael's Rectory - entrance; PNB
Old St. Michael's Rectory
Old St. Michael's Rectory - rear view; PNB
Old St. Michael's Rectory
Old St. Michael's Rectory - side view; PNB
Old St. Michael's Rectory

Other Name(s)

Old St. Michael's Rectory
St. Michael's Museum
Musée St. Michael's

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/09/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Old St. Michael’s Rectory, built in 1846, is a 1 1/2 storey Georgian style residential building in wood shingle siding located behind the church on Howard Street in Miramichi.

Heritage Value

Old St. Michael's Rectory is designated a Provincial Historic Site for the individuals who lived there, for its role in the development of Catholic life in the former town of Chatham and for its architecture.

This rectory marks the beginning of St. Michael’s Parish in Chatham, from which the northern New Brunswick Roman Catholic diocese was administered. It is considered the cradle of Chatham’s parochial institutions. Besides being the parish rectory, it served as the first Hôtel Dieu Hospital between 1869 and 1870 and the St. Joseph Preparatory School for boys between 1919 and 1930. In the early 1860s, it housed St. Michael’s Academy, the forerunner of St. Thomas University. It is now home to the St. Michael’s Museum and Genealogical Centre.

The heritage value of Old St. Michael’s Rectory is also associated with the individuals who lived there. It was built and lived in by Father John Sweeney, who became the 3rd bishop of Saint John, New Brunswick. Subsequently, in 1860, it was the Episcopal residence of Msgr. James Rogers, then bishop of the Chatham diocese.

Old St. Michael's Rectory is also valued for being an example of Georgian style residential architecture from the mid 1800's. The rectory was moved from its original location to Howard Street and was restored in 1979 and 1981. It still maintains classic Georgian features such as its overall symmetry, shingle siding and central entrance.

Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Histoic Places site file

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements related to the Old St. Michael’s Rectory include:
- location next to St. Michael’s Basilica;
- symmetrical façade composed of central entryway and two sash windows;
- regular fenestration;
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- shingle siding and cornerboards;
- walkway and steps built from stones from the Hôtel-Dieu Convent grotto;
- collection of artefacts and genealogical documentation.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(1)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Historic

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1869/01/01 to 1870/01/01
1919/01/01 to 1930/01/01
1860/01/01 to 1860/01/01
1979/01/01 to 1981/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type




Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport. Heritage Branch. File number 27.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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