Henry Smith, a notable Fredericton businessman, builder, and landowner, procured the plot now known as Elmcroft Place in 1797. He lived there until around 1806, and it is assumed that he constructed the Elmcroft house during this period. In 1836, the property was bought by John Robinson of Douglas from Henry Smith’s son-in-law, Daniel Ludlow Robinson. By 1839, the property had changed hands again, purchased by the Hon. Neville Parker, Master of the Rolls, who resided there until his retirement in 1865.
Henry George Clopper Ketchum, the first civil engineering graduate from UNB in 1862 and the visionary behind the nearly completed Chignecto Ship Railway canal in the late 1880s, acquired Elmcroft from Neville Parker in 1865. During his time there, he initiated several enhancements, including the establishment of a conservatory, a roof upgrade, and the planting of numerous oak trees at the property’s front.
An article dating back to September 16, 1880, in the Capital, discusses Ketchum and his Elmcroft home:
“The initial settlement of the Loyalists in Fredericton took place at the town’s lower end, close to the current location of Morrison’s mill… If you walk towards Elmcroft, the home of H.G. Ketchum…you will reach a spot at the foot of the garden, nestled between the river bank and ravine, treasured for its connection to the departed UE Loyalists… Here, several mounds in disarray and roughly six granite slabs, originally crudely engraved by the pioneers but long since worn away by time, are all that remain… Mr. Ketchum has carefully avoided any alteration or cultivation of this revered spot and has conscientiously reinstated any fallen stones….”
The Ketchum family maintained ownership of the house until Professor John Stephens and his wife (Sarah Ketchum’s niece) sold the property, then known as No. 7 Elmcroft Place, to University of New Brunswick Professor C.W. Argue in 1947.
Presently, Elmcroft, now referred to as “No. 9 Elmcroft Place,” is a Bed and Breakfast establishment owned and managed by Kevin Douglass.
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