The Edgecombe Building is located at the northeast corner of York and King Streets. It is part of the 1877 Edgecombe’s Block building at 98 York Street. Earlier Edgecombe buildings on this site were destroyed by fire in 1861 and 1871, but the business of manufacturing carriages, sleighs, wagons, and hearses just kept going.
The horse-drawn conveyances were displayed along York and King Streets.
In 1963, fire destroyed the third and fourth floors of the original building.
Patriarch John Edgecombe was an English immigrant, who, with his two consecutive wives, had two daughters and nine sons, all living in the Edgecombe Homestead at 78 York Street adjacent to the business. Edgecombe & Sons became one of the largest and oldest factories in Canada and, by 1883, the Company was being awarded many first prizes at the Dominion Exhibition. As great wealth and real estate were acquired, the family remained true to the Methodist Church teachings and gave back to the Fredericton community, especially when the YMCA and the Halifax Explosion Relief Committee were allowed to use their building free of charge.
Unfortunately, the father left no will and, as a result, following his death, the siblings became estranged as they tried to settle the vast estate in the courts.
The Edgecombe Block has many businesses today, with offices and apartments above, much as it did in the 1800’s. A Temperance Hall, with a distinctive mansard roof, and windows with round tops, operated in the middle of the block, at what is now 74 York Street. Retail shops were on the ground floor, and the Temperance members worked above to help people resist drinking alcohol.
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