John Wyse House on Shore Drive is designated a Local Historic Place for being the oldest dated structure in Miramichi. Predating the Miramichi Fire of 1825, this home is the oldest dated structure within the City of Miramichi.
Built by Scottish emigrant farmer John Wyse who operated a ferry nearby, this Georgian style stone cottage had several historic functions.
It served as a tavern and hotel, then a Female School for Douglastown in 1842 at which time when John’s daughter Susan taught there.
It was also a shop and a place for coroners’ inquests.
The house also holds importance as a meeting place, especially for two meetings held here in April of 1843 prior to and relating to the Fighting Election of July 1843 in Newcastle.
The 1843 election was fought on a political level between John T. Williston of Chatham (supported by local entrepreneur Joseph Cunard of Chatham, brother of Samuel Cunard) and John Ambrose Street of Newcastle (backed by the prominent lumber baron, Alexander Rankin of Douglastown). The Rankin and Cunard factions literally fought the election in the streets of Newcastle and Chatham with sticks, stones, coal and other missiles. One person died in the incident. The event became known as “The Fighting Election” (Street eventually carried the vote).
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