The Bliss-Beckwith house located at 750 Brunswick Street in Fredericton is an excellent example of a well-crafted late 18th century/early 19th century Georgian residence. It was built in 1800 for Rev. George Pidgeon, Rector of Fredericton.
Rev. Samuel Cooke, who was appointed “Missionary to New Brunswick” arrived in Saint John in 1785 and by November of that year was visiting Campobello, Digdeguash and St. Andrews, where he baptized 60 children. Cooke moved to Fredericton in 1786. On a dark and windy night on 23 May, 1795, while he and his son were making their way in a birch bark canoe across the river to their home on Fredericton’s north side, they were both drowned.
The Rev. George Pidgeon, born in Kilkenny, Ireland, husband of the daughter of Bishop Inglis, was appointed Rector of Fredericton to replace Cooke. Previously he officiated at Belleisle and Oak Point. When Pidgeon became Rector of Saint John in 1814, the Rev. George Jehoshaphat Mountain, second son of the first Bishop of Quebec, became Rector of Fredericton, which meant that he was also the Chaplain of the Legislative Council and the troops stationed at Fredericton. After serving for three years, Mountain returned to Quebec.
The house was probably used as a rectory until John Murray Bliss leased it in 1826-27.
Beckwith was an engineer, businessman, civil servant, and politician, one of six children of Nehemiah Beckwith and Julie-Louise Le Brun.
He was educated at Fredericton grammar school and in Montreal and Quebec, and became a professional surveyor and engineer. Beckwith’s career was long and active.
The Bliss-Beckwith house retains all its major architectural features, including the pure axial symmetry, diminutive roof dormers, double fireplace chimneys, pedimented side garden entrance, and the front entrance door with its remarkably delicate fanlight and sidelight tracery.
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