The James Woodburn Residence, 101-103 Orange Street is recognized as one of a collection of Italianate, Queen Anne Revival and Second Empire buildings that were built after two thirds of the City of Saint John were destroyed by fire in 1877.
Built in 1880 for James Ramsay Woodburn, this building is an example of brick Italianate residential architecture from the rebuilding period in the Orange Street Heritage Preservation Area of Saint John after the fire. The use of brick represents the will of the city to rebuild, as well or better, after the fire and sent a message that the city would be more resistant to fire in the future.
It is also recognized for its association with James Woodburn. Born in Scotland, he was a dry goods merchant, photographer, and candy manufacturer. The New Brunswick Museum has a large collection of Mr. Woodburn’s stereographs. In 1889, he invented and patented Woodburn’s Pulverizer for grinding sugar in the confectionery business. He built spice mills and other machinery, often in association with his neighbour and popular machinist E. S. Stephenson. The Woodburn Mill was his invention. In politics, he was a member of the Saint John Common Council for many years. He passed away here in 1912.
The residence is also recognized for its association with Woodburn’s daughter, Annie Woodburn, and the art studio that she operated in this home. She was a Saint John artist and a large portion of her pieces were of views in the vicinity of Saint John and along the Saint John River. She was a well-known artist across Canada. She instructed students at the rear of this home in her studio and a number of promising pupils developed under her direction. She belonged to the Saint John Art Club and the Women’s Art Association of Canada, Saint John Division.
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