This two-and-a-half storey, cross-gabled Queen Anne Revival residence, known as “Hatt House,” overlooks the Nashwaak River from its location on “Nob Hill” in Fredericton’s Marysville neighborhood. Named after its original owners, the house boasts ornate wooden detailing, such as scalloped shingling and “dot and dash” patterns around the windows, doors, and eaves.
The Hatt House has been designated as a Local Historic Place due to its ties with the Gibson family. The house was built in 1885 by Alexander “Boss” Gibson, a successful businessman credited with the industrial development of the former town of Marysville. It was constructed for his daughter Annie and her husband Charles Hatt, a Fredericton merchant who became an accountant at Gibson’s cotton mill.
The heritage significance of this residence is also linked to its location on Nob Hill. The house was built alongside other Gibson family residences and homes intended for Gibson’s business managers and supervisors. Nob Hill spanned from Boss Gibson’s mansion to the Methodist Church on the hill west of the Nashwaak River. The strategic placement of these homes provided not only a spectacular river view and a panorama of the town below, but also a physical divide between management and workforce— “nobs” being a term for industry management in the Victorian era.
Gibson’s vision for Marysville mirrored that of typical Victorian industrial towns, where social and economic divisions were emphasized through the positioning and design of housing. The dwellings of family members, management, and workers were distinctly differentiated by size and ornamentation. The Hartt House is unique in that it was built for both a Gibson family member and a Gibson manager, as reflected in its grandeur compared to the “manager” homes and its larger size than the typical one-and-a-half storey cottages found in the area. The design and detailing of this residence is a classic representation of the Queen Anne Revival style, one of the more elaborate residential styles of that era.
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