Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence – Saint John

Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence – Saint John

Constructed in 1879, the Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence on Duke Street in Saint John is a Local Historic Site, recognized for both its architecture and its connection to its original owner.

The residence is part of a group of residential buildings that were constructed following the devastating fire in 1877, which destroyed two-thirds of the City of Saint John.

The Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence exemplifies vernacular Italianate architecture from Saint John’s rebuilding era. While it showcases some Italianate characteristics, such as a broad cornice and rectangular massing, the absence of significant ornamentation reflects a vernacular influence.

Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine house

The residence is also notable for its association with Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine, an esteemed military figure and bookbinder who immigrated to Canada in 1842. Blaine secured a bookbinding position at the J & A McMillan firm in 1845, quickly rising to foreman of the firm’s bindery by 1848. He held this role until his retirement in 1916.

Blaine’s most renowned accomplishments, however, stem from his distinguished military career. He joined the Queen’s Own Volunteer Company in 1863, and after it disbanded in 1871, he played a key role in forming a new company later that year. By 1876, he became Company Commander. Initially named the No.2 Company, it was authorized as the 62nd Saint John Fusilliers in 1882, marking the birth of the renowned Saint John military battalion. During the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, Blaine’s value was evident, as he was appointed Major of the Right Half Battalion. By the time he retired from active military service in 1898, he had received both the Long Service and Fenian Raids medals. Blaine continued to reside on Duke Street until his passing in 1920.

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