Located at 82 York Street in Sackville, the Black House, constructed in 1896, is a beautiful example of shingle style architecture. This unique house is one of the many historic buildings left by the renowned artist, John Hammond. The Black House is designated as a Local Historic Place due to its architectural significance, and it also served as the home of Senator Frank B. Black, who was prominent in the commercial and military affairs of the Province of New Brunswick.
In addition to the Black House, the site also includes the Pickard barn, which further adds to its heritage value. In 1903, John Hammond renovated the Pickard barn, transforming it into his summer studio, which still stands today. The former barn/summer studio has been converted into a student residence known as Bermuda House.
Joseph B. Bowser owned the property before it was eventually acquired by the Pickard family. Following the death of Rev. Humphrey Pickard, Principal of Mount Allison Academy from 1843 to 1869, the heirs sold the land to James R. Inch in 1890. John Hammond later acquired the property on York Street from James R. Dr. Borden, who was the head of the Ladies’ College at Mount Allison University, in 1896. Hammond agreed to construct a building to house the impressive art collection of John Owens, a wealthy shipbuilder from Saint John. This collection included a large assortment of 18th and 19th century European and North American art. Additionally, Hammond was appointed as the head of fine arts at the university, and he landscaped the property while Edmund Burke, an architect from Toronto, designed the house.
Fred Ryan purchased the John Hammond House in 1909, and it was later sold to Frank B. Black in 1912. At the time of his death in 1945, Black held various prominent positions, including President of J. L. Black and Sons, Ltd., a company that engaged in large-scale merchandising lumbering and farming business. He was also President of New Brunswick Telephone Company Limited, held directorships in many other Maritime Companies, and had a long and distinguished military career. Additionally, he served as the Mayor of Sackville, was elected to the New Brunswick Legislature, and was called to the Senate in 1921.
The buildings were eventually acquired by Mount Allison University. In 1958, President W.T.R. Flemington moved into one of the converted summer studio’s apartments to create more space in the President’s Cottage for university women students. The main house subsequently became the residence of the President of Mount Allison University until 1975. Today, the External Relations Department of Mount Allison University occupies this heritage house.
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