Frederick G. Spencer Residence Saint John

Frederick G. Spencer Residence Saint John NB

Frederick G. Spencer Residence Saint John

The Frederick G. Spencer Residence at 41 Orange Street in Saint John is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and its connection to former residents.

Constructed in 1914, the Frederick G. Spencer Residence is significant as a part of the building boom near the turn of the 20th century. The Great Saint John Fire of 1877 devastated almost the entire Central Peninsula of Saint John, and although the commercial district was quickly rebuilt, many residential lots remained vacant. This was partly due to residents relocating further from commercial areas and seeking immediate employment elsewhere. In the late 1890s and early 1900s, these lots experienced rapid development. This residence is an excellent example of Craftsman residential architecture from this delayed building period following the fire.

Built by William Kenneth Haley of Haley Brothers & Co., Spencer purchased the property and moved in during 1919.

Frederick G. Spencer Residence Saint John NB

Born and raised in Saint John, Spencer initially joined his grandfather’s tailoring business at the age of 16. After marrying a young Saint John singer, Helen Craigie, his interest shifted to the entertainment industry.

Madame Albani
Madame Albani

Spencer managed the Canadian concert tours of several famous performers, including Madame Albani, Dame Nellie Melba, Lillian Nordica and several others earning him the reputation as Canada’s leading impresario. He later opened and operated one of Saint John’s earliest theaters on Charlotte Street, known as “The Unique,” which expanded to several venues along the Eastern coast of Canada. In 1945, his chain of theaters merged with the Famous Players Canadian Corporation.

Beyond his notable career, Spencer was a prominent supporter of musical life in the city. He co-founded the Community Concert Association and was a patron of the Saint John Symphony and Orchestra.

Spencer also participated in numerous philanthropic organizations, including the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Salvation Army, the Old Ladies Home, and the Y.M.C.A. He served on the board and was a regent of Mount Allison University. In 1952, he was one of six individuals selected nationwide to be honored by the Canadian Picture Pioneers Association. Upon his death later that year, he was hailed as one of Canada’s leading figures in the entertainment industry, with a career spanning nearly six decades. Spencer resided at this address until 1938.

This post has already been read 1449 times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »