Cranewood is a quaint Georgian-style stone country house situated at 113 Main Street in Sackville‘s downtown area, near Crane’s Corner. Built around 1836, the property once served as the official residence for the President of Mount Allison University.
This local historic site is celebrated for its connections to notable local entrepreneurs William Crane and Josiah Wood. Wood, a merchant, judge, and elected provincial legislator for New Brunswick from 1824 to 1842, also served on the Legislative Council of New Brunswick between 1843 and 1850. The house’s architectural design, use of local stone, and contribution to the streetscape add to its heritage value.
Born in 1784 in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, William Crane was the son of the esteemed Colonel Crane, MLA of Nova Scotia. Crane held various commercial and agricultural interests, including a prominent role in founding the Cunard shipping line. Following his first wife’s death in 1830, he began constructing the stone residence in 1836. He married Eliza Wood at St. John’s Church in London, England, on October 25, 1838. Upon their return to England in 1838, they discovered the house was still under construction. Crane served in the House of Assembly and was the Speaker of the House when he passed away in Fredericton in 1853.
Josiah Wood, among the first two Mount Allison University graduates in 1863, initially pursued law but entered the family business due to his brother’s poor health. Upon his father’s death in 1875, Wood took control of the prominent M. Wood & Sons firm. His vast business interests spanned banking, railroads, real estate, and large-scale merchandising. In 1903, he became Sackville’s first mayor upon the town’s incorporation. He also served as a Member of Parliament and was appointed to the Senate in 1895. In 1912, Wood was named Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.
Dr. Wood maintained a strong connection to Mount Allison University, and after 47 years of voluntary service, he retired from his position as treasurer in June 1922. Wood purchased the Crane House in 1867 and added a mansard roof in 1888 to increase living space.
Dr. Herbert Mariner Wood, his eldest son, continued the family’s prominence in business, social life, and politics. He inherited the house upon his father’s death in 1927 and restored the original 1836 roof style after a fire damaged the mansard roof in 1939. He named the property Cranewood, and in 1975, Mount Allison University bought it as the official residence for their President.
In August 2013, the Malcolm and Debbie Fisher family from Sackville acquired Cranewood from Mount Allison. Their daughter Mari manages the business. As long-time residents with a passion for historic homes and properties, the family aimed to preserve the home’s integrity.
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