Caverhill Hall, located on Sydney Street in Saint John, is renowned for its distinctive architectural style and stands as one of the most impressive residences in New Brunswick.
Constructed in 1884 for Simeon Jones, seven years after the Great Saint John Fire of 1877, Caverhill Hall is a two-story limestone Baronial Gothic castle-like mansion adorned with balustrades and towers. This grand design, inspired by a house in Toronto that Jones and his wife admired, exemplifies the elaborate styles favored by the wealthier citizens of the Victorian Era. Long considered the finest residence in New Brunswick and possibly the Maritime Provinces, the exterior features broad windows, pillared balconies, a battlement tower, and an imposing entrance, while the interior boasts a winding staircase, parlour, music room, libraries, an octagonal hall, and wall-embedded paintings.
Caverhill Hall is also significant for its association with the Jones family. Simeon Jones, a former Mayor of Saint John and a brewer, established a high-quality ale brewery employing 12 people. Elected to the city council in 1879, he became the mayor of Saint John in 1881 by acclamation, the first to achieve this feat. He served as mayor until 1884, when Caverhill Hall was built. Later, the home was passed to his son, Robert Keltie Jones. The building was named Caverhill Hall in honor of Simeon Jones’ mother’s maiden name.
The hall is also recognized for hosting royalty. In 1901, Robert Keltie Jones offered his house to the local government to accommodate the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York and the Prince of Wales, who later became King George V. The Jones family ceased residing at Caverhill Hall around 1914, and the brewery was sold to G. W. Oland of Halifax in 1918.
Caverhill Hall is further noted for its connections to the war effort during both World Wars and its association with healthcare. Military officers used the residence as a headquarters during World War I, and it was sold to the municipality around 1923 for use as a health center. It functioned as the St. John Health Centre until World War II when it became a recreation center for the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving as the Royal Canadian Air Force Social Club for over 20 years.
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What is it used for now, private residence, or cultural museum. Can you tour this property?