Cranewood is a small stone English country house of the Georgian period. Located at 113 Main Street in the downtown area of Sackville, near Crane’s Corner; the house was constructed about 1836. The estate was the official residence of the President of Mount Allison University.
Cranewood was designated a local historic place for its association with local businessmen William Crane and Josiah Wood, a merchant, judge and long-term elected provincial legislator in New Brunswick serving from 1824–1842. He also was a member of the Legislative Council of New Brunswick from 1843–1850. The architectural style of the home, the use of local stone, the streetscape which the estate presents, adds to the heritage value of this historic place.
William Crane born at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia in 1784, the son of the distinguished Colonel Crane, MLA of Nova Scotia, had numerous commercial and agricultural interests including a place of honour in the establishment of the Cunard shipping line. After the death of his first wife in 1830 he started construction of a new stone residence in 1836. He married Eliza Wood, at St. John’s Church, London, England, October 25, 1838. When they returned from England in 1838 they found the house still not quite complete. Crane was elected to the House of Assembly and was Speaker of the House when he died in Fredericton in 1853.
Josiah Wood, one of the first two graduates of Mount Allison University in 1863, was admitted to the bar, but due to the ill health of his brother, he went into business. With the death of his father in 1875 he headed and controlled the well-known house of M. Wood & Sons. His mercantile and financial interests were of large proportions and wide ramifications, involving banking, railroading and real estate transactions, in addition to whole merchandising on a large scale. At the time of incorporation of the Town of Sackville in 1903 he became the first mayor. He was also a member of parliament, and summoned to the Senate in 1895. In 1912 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.
From the time of his graduation Dr. Wood was greatly interested in Mount Allison University and in June 1922 he retired from the office of treasurer, after forty-seven years of gratuitous service. Josiah Wood purchased the Crane House in 1867, adding a mansard roof in 1888 to provide more space.
Dr. Herbert Mariner Wood, the oldest son, carried on the family prominence in business, the community’s social life and politics. He acquired the house upon the death of his father in 1927. When in 1939 a fire burned the mansard roof he replaced it with the original style of 1836. He named the house Cranewood. In 1975 Cranewood was purchased by Mount Allison University as the official residence for the President.
In August of 2013 the Malcolm and Debbie Fisher family of Sackville purchased Cranewood from Mount Allison. Their daughter Mari operates the business. Long time residents of the Sackville area, the family has a love for historic homes and properties and wanted to make sure that the integrity of the home would be kept.
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