The Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence on Duke Street in Saint John was built in 1879 and is designated a Local Historic Site for its architecture and its association with its original owner.
The Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence is one of a collection of residential buildings that were built after two thirds of the City of Saint John was destroyed by fire in 1877.
Built in 1879, Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence is an example of vernacular Italianate architecture from the rebuilding period in Saint John. Although it exhibits some Italianate features such as a wide cornice and rectangular massing, the lack of significant ornamentation is a vernacular influence.
The Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine Residence is recognized for its association with Colonel Arbuthnot Blaine. A prominent military man and bookbinder, Blaine immigrated to Canada in 1842. In 1845, he procured a position as a bookbinder in the firm of J & A McMillan. Blaine’s general success in this area of work led to a rapid promotion to foreman of the firm’s bindery by 1848. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1916.
Blaine gained the most fame, however, through his illustrious military career that began in 1863 when he joined the Queen’s Own Volunteer Company. Although this company disbanded in 1871, he was instrumental in the raising of a new company later in the same year. By 1876, Blaine advanced to Company Commander. Initially called the No.2 Company, it was authorized in 1882 as the 62nd Saint John Fusilliers, marking the beginning of the famous Saint John military battalion. He proved to be valuable during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, and was appointed Major of the Right Half Battalion. By the time of his retirement from active military life in 1898, he had been awarded both the Long Service and the Fenian Raids medals. Blaine remained at his Duke Street residence until his death in 1920.
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