Lamb and Billings
Lamb et Billings
Conley's Lobster Plant
Conserverie de homards Conley
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Cottage Craft is a two-storey, wooden, Greek Revival building with a broad gable and central entranceway on the front façade and is located on Market Square, off of Water Street, in St. Andrews.
Cottage Craft is recognized as a Local Historic Place for its architecture and setting, as well as for its associations with the various companies that have conducted business here.
Cottage Craft is recognized for being a good example of 19th-century Greek Revival architecture in St. Andrews. It has a medium pitched roof and large eave returns. The building has a lot of wall space as a result of its small grouped windows and the fan window above the entrance is a distinguishable element. Cottage Craft is unique to the other business houses in St. Andrews as it is not situated along a streetscape. The building fronts on the town’s Market Square and the south side of the building looks over the harbour. Many wharves were in the vicinity of the building while it was Lamb and Billings meat shop and Conley’s lobster plant so it was in a prime location for these enterprises. This property was owned by the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton throughout the 19th century and the land was leased to persons who conducted business on the premises. There is speculation that the building may have been moved to this location in the 1880’s as the style of the building appears to be older than 1887, the year that the first known lessees occupied the building.
The first known lessees were Lamb and Billings, at one time the leading meat dealers in the town. Although early history is vague, over the past 86 years this building has been utilized by two important ventures in the town of St. Andrews. Edwin Conley obtained the building from G. Herbert Lamb in 1921 and the building became Conley’s Lobster Factory. Edwin Conley, a former Deer Island lobster fisherman, quit fishing and became a middleman buying and selling lobsters and shipping them to Boston. In the early years of shipping lobster many lobsters died as a result of long shipments. Mr. Conley patented a container that kept lobster separate from the melting freshwater ice, thus changing the whole industry. The lobsters that were stored here were kept in great tanks through which a pump drove water from the Bay of Fundy at 1500 gallons a minute. St. Andrews was a prime location for selling lobsters retail through the summer as the town was flooded with wealthy summer tourists and residents. The famed Algonquin Hotel would have been a regular customer. Conley sold the factory in 1948.
This building has served as the place of business for Cottage Craft for the past 60 years. In 1915 Grace Helen Mowatt founded Charlotte County Cottage Craft to provide a source of income for women, and to revive their traditional skills. She divided Charlotte County, as well as neighbouring counties into districts, assigning a forewoman in each district to direct the work of women weaving, knitting, hooking, doll making, and embroidering in the privacy of their own homes. In 1946 the business was purchased by the Ross family and they have operated out of this building since 1948. The sweaters are still knitted by local knitters and the products of Cottage Craft are widely known today. Each Cottage Craft knitted item is meticulously handknit by one of their over two hundred and fifty talented knitters, using only a pair of knitting needles and Cottage Craft yarn.
Source: St. Andrews Civic Trust – Charlotte County Archives, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
The character-defining elements related to the location and context of Cottage Craft include:
- accessibility to St. Andrews Harbour;
- located on Market Square.
The character defining elements related to the architecture of Cottage Craft include:
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- medium pitched gable roof;
- large eave returns;
- central entranceway;
- shingle cladding.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Food Supply
- Fisheries Site
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Charlotte County Archives, 123 Frederick Street
St. Andrews, NB
Cross-Reference to Collection