Connell House, located at 128 Connell Street in Woodstock, is a Greek Revival architectural masterpiece, constructed in 1839 as the home of the Honorable Charles Connell (1810-1873). The design of the house is believed to be an exact replica of a residence Mr. Connell had admired in the Hudson Valley, New York. As a successful merchant and timber dealer, Mr. Connell filled his home with fine furnishings, where he and his wife, Ann Fisher, raised their family.
The precise dates for the start and completion of the construction are unknown. However, it seems that the Connell family had already moved into the house by early 1839, as suggested by a paragraph in the Saint John New Brunswick Courier on April 6, 1839. The article detailed a visit by New Brunswick’s Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Harvey, to Woodstock:
“Throughout the week, His Excellency has hospitably entertained the leading residents of the area and garrison officers daily; on Thursday, he held a Levee at his temporary headquarters at Mr. Connell’s, where it was delightful to see Major Kirby and two other American Officers from the Houlton garrison.”
A smaller saltbox-style building on the property may have functioned as a workshop or potentially as a home for the head builder. This structure was later integrated into the main house, forming the West Wing. The wing can be seen in an undated photograph of the Connell greenhouse and garden provided below.
Charles Connell passed away in 1873, followed by his wife, Anne, in 1895. Their two eldest daughters, Ella and Alice, remained unmarried until their mother’s passing, with both of them getting married in 1896 and 1897 respectively. After that, the house underwent numerous changes and switched ownership several times. Around 1898, it was transformed into a double tenement with the addition of the east wing. Fred B. Greene from the Maritime Pure Food Company occupied the west half, while Frank C. Denison, a United States consul, resided in the east section for some time. By 1920, the house was further divided into three apartments, with a fourth apartment added around 1960. These alterations included a new entrance on the south (Connell Street) side, an additional stairway to the second floor, and kitchen and bathroom facilities in each unit.
In May 1975, the Historical Society acquired Connell House, likely saving it from demolition. The following year, the house was designated a National Historic Site, although the plaque commemorating this recognition was not installed until 1979. Since then, Connell House has served as the Historical Society’s headquarters, offering office space and room to store both document archives and artifact collections.
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