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Pagan-O'Neil House

235 Queen Street, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1978/09/13

Pagan-O'Neil House - looking west, 2007; Province of New Brunswick
Pagan-O'Neil House
Pagan-O'Neil House - looking south, 2007; Province of New Brunswick
Pagan-O'Neil House
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/08/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Pagan-O’Neil House is a 2-storey wood-frame L-shaped gabled house situated on Queen Street in the Town of St. Andrews.

Heritage Value

Pagan-O’Neil House is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its architecture and for its association with former occupants.

The first group of Loyalist settlers arrived with all their possessions in St. Andrews in October 1783, from Castine, Maine. Many even disassembled the frame houses they had built, transported them by ship, and erected them in St. Andrews. The main portion of Pagan-O’Neil House was one of these houses moved from Castine and erected in St. Andrews circa 1785 on the present site.
Pagan-O’Neil House is one of the oldest buildings in St. Andrews and serves as an excellent example of a Georgian residence characteristic of much of the early housing stock in St. Andrews. It is comprised of a 41’-0” long x 18’-6” wide two-storey section fronting Frederick Street and a 40’-6” long x 19’-5” wide two-storey ell fronting Queen Street, the latter of which features a small entry porch.

The house’s initial owner, Loyalist Robert Pagan (1750-1821), established himself firmly as the most prominent merchant in the Passamaquoddy region and would serve as a magistrate, a judge, a member of the Legislative Assembly, and a colonel in the militia. Pagan was also instrumental in determining New Brunswick’s border with the District of Maine, as Pagan’s joint discovery with surveyor Thomas Wright in 1797 of the remains of Sieur de Monts and Champlain’s 1604 settlement determined the actual identity of the St Croix River listed in early documents, which up to then had been undetermined. By 1815, Pagan was one of the 12 wealthiest men in the province, and in 1820, he became a founding member and shareholder of the Bank of New Brunswick.

The house is also jointly named for the O’Neil family, who occupied this residence from 1869 to 1974.

Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Site File: Vol.III-12765-1/19

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the architecture of Pagan-O’Neil House include:
- overall Vernacular approach of the structure with Georgian design arrangements, distinguished on the exterior by its symmetrical layout of five window bays on both floors of the Frederick Street façade with a bare interval on the ground level which once housed a central door;
- medium pitch gable roof with attic windows;
- central brick chimney;
- lack of soffit and roof overhang;
- rectangular 2-storey massing;
- overall restraint and lack of ornament;
- replica of exterior materials, exemplifying the original cladding and trim, including the horizontal wood clapboards and wood shingles, painted window trim, thin unadorned corner boards and soffit trim;
- uncoursed, red sandstone rubble foundation walls.

The character-defining elements that describe the interior of Pagan-O’Neil House include:
- main floor dining room featuring finely crafted painted chair rails, paneled wainscoting, and fluted pilasters encasing the room’s corner posts;
- visible structure of the main floor and roof, comprised of large hand-hewn mortise-jointed beams supporting wide wood planks;
- roof structure with visible pairs of numbers carved into the corresponding pieces, likely dating from the Castine disassembly and moved;
- older section’s upper floor hallway with thin interior partitions made of wide vertical pine planks;
- exposed softwood flooring boards at the second floor;
- original painted wood trim, plaster crown moulding and baseboards throughout the house;
- stairs throughout, including the principal winding staircase with its square wood balusters and simply decorated tall square newel post;
- winding attic stair;
- exquisite fireplace mantels with detailed Georgian ornamental execution set throughout the house;
- rear ell stair.



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 1974/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land
Migration and Immigration

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Branch - Site Files - Hansen House

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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