This two-and-a-half storey, cross-gabled Queen Anne Revival dwelling overlooking the Nashwaak River is located on “Nob Hill” in the Marysville neighbourhood of Fredericton. The house, known as “Hatt House” after the original owners, features decorative wooden elements including scalloped shingling and “dot and dash” patterning around the windows, doors and eaves.
The Hartt House was designated a Local Historic Place for its association with the Gibson family. The home was constructed in 1885 by Alexander “Boss” Gibson, the successful entrepreneur who was largely responsible for the industrial development of the former town of Marysville, for his daughter Annie and her husband Charles Hatt, a Fredericton merchant who became an accountant at Gibson’s cotton mill.
The heritage value of this residence is also associated with its Nob Hill location. The home was constructed alongside other Gibson family dwellings and homes built by Gibson for his business managers and overseers. Nob Hill extended from Boss Gibson’s mansion to the Methodist Church on the hill west of the Nashwaak River. These homes were placed strategically; the location not only provided a striking view of the river and the town below, but also provided a barrier between management and worker – “nobs” being industry management in Victorian lexicon.
Gibson’s design for Marysville was typical of Victorian industrial towns. Social and economic divisions were reinforced not only by location but also in the design of housing provided; the homes of family members, management, and workers were clearly demarked by size and amount of ornamentation. Hatt House is unique in that it was built for both a Gibson family member and a Gibson manager, which is reflected in its being the most elaborate of the “manager” homes and larger than the typical one-and-a-half storey cottage employed in the other homes. The design and detail of this residence is typical of the Queen Anne Revival style, one of the more elaborate residential styles from this era.
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