The John Wallace Farm in Hillsborough holds historical importance as the residence of John Wallace (1812-1896), whose grandparents immigrated to New Brunswick from Donegal, Northern Ireland. In addition to managing a large farm, Wallace owned a sawmill and served as a director of the Albert Southern Railway.
From a young age, Wallace displayed public spirit and exceptional oratory skills. He became the Justice of the Peace of Albert County and the President of the county’s first agricultural society. His neighbor, John Lewis, was similarly talented in public speaking.
In 1864, an election was held to discuss the possibility of New Brunswick uniting with Upper and Lower Canada and Nova Scotia. While Lewis supported Confederation, Wallace fervently opposed it. Although they lived just a stone’s throw away from one another, their exchanges were limited to verbal arguments. Albert County ultimately sided with Confederation, the only county in the province to do so, and elected Lewis to the provincial legislature.
In 1865, a provincial referendum was held, and by then, a majority of New Brunswickers had shifted their opinions to align with Albert County’s stance, voting in favor of joining Confederation.
Undeterred by his earlier defeat, Wallace successfully ran in the first Canadian federal election in September 1867. His federal parliamentary career spanned 15 years, concluding with his retirement in 1887.
The Wallace Farm has been home to six generations of the Wallace family since 1792. The existing house replaced the original homestead destroyed by fire. Today, hay is still harvested and cattle continue to graze the land.
The John Wallace Farm exemplifies a rural vernacular farmhouse from the late 19th century. Built by John Wallace in 1884, it stands as a testament to his enduring legacy.