The Joseph F. Allison House, a stunning late Georgian residence constructed around 1841, is situated on Main Street in Sackville, overlooking the Ladies’ College Park on the grounds of Mount Allison University. A significant addition to the house, designed in the same style, was completed in 1997.
The house is recognized as a Local Historic Place due to its remarkable architectural style, which includes features from the original construction, and its notable occupants, such as Joseph F. Allison, Amos Botsford, Horace E. Fawcett, and C.M.P. Fisher.
The current house demonstrates how additions can complement a beautiful home while maintaining its original period style. Architectural modifications to the Georgian style were made in 1908 and 1997.
Joseph Francis Allison, the first occupant of the house, partnered with Hon. William Crane to exchange agricultural products for goods imported from the British Isles and other regions of Canada and the United States. As leading merchants, both Allison and Crane built substantial homes near the business district. In 1841, Allison purchased 9 acres of land, bordered by the Wesleyan Academy, from William Crane and Charles F. Allison. Upon Hon. William Crane’s death in 1853, Allison became the sole executor of his estate.
After Joseph F. Allison’s death in 1863, his widow Mary married Hon. Amos Edwin Botsford. Botsford had a prominent public career spanning over sixty years, serving on the Legislative Council until Confederation. Appointed to the Senate of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, he twice held the position of Speaker of the Senate and was made a member of the Privy Council. He also acted as the Government Commissioner for road construction projects, including the Tantramar Marsh road, the construction of the great Bridge, and the Etter Aboideau. The house, known as Acacia Lodge, was sold following the deaths of Hon. Amos E. Botsford and Mary (Allison) Botsford in 1894.
In 1901, Horace Ellsworth Fawcett acquired the house from short-time owner Dr. Ralph Brecken. The Charles Fawcett Manufacturing Company, Limited, a leading Eastern Canadian stove and furnace manufacturer, originated from a small tin shop near the corner of Main and King Streets. After the company’s founder, Charles Fawcett, passed away in 1907, his son Horace became president, with his brother, Charles W., serving as vice president. In 1908, shortly after purchasing the house he named Elmhurst, Horace E. Fawcett undertook major renovations.
Interestingly, the history of the house intertwines with that of Enterprise Foundry, a competitor of the Charles Fawcett Manufacturing Company. C.M.P. Fisher, one of the owners and president of Enterprise Foundry, married Horace’s daughter, Mary Kathleen Fawcett. They became the house’s owners in 1934. Fisher retired as the president of Enterprise Foundry in 1975. The house was often the site of community social events, as Fisher served as a councillor and Mayor of Sackville in 1938-39 and founded the Boy Scouts in Sackville in 1913.
The current owners completed a major renovation in 1997, nearly doubling the size of the house while ensuring that the new extension’s style and ambiance matched the original structure.
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