The relocation of a three-story building is an uncommon event, even more so when it happens twice, with the building staying put for 56 years in between moves.
This building is no ordinary structure, but a distinguished old bank that served two esteemed institutions – The Old Bank of New Brunswick, and post amalgamation in 1939, the Bank of Nova Scotia. The building is steeped in a century of history, from its remarkable relocation by a single horse and a handful of men, to being the site of New Brunswick’s largest bank robbery in 1984.
Designed specifically to function as a bank, it served the Riverside community from 1903. Its initial strategic position by the wharf and a sizable hotel in Riverside was ideal for both arriving and departing merchants and seafarers.
Further lending to its prestige, the bank was equipped with a tastefully decorated apartment for the bank manager’s family. Being a notable figure in the community, the bank manager’s residence mirrored his stature. Additionally, residing upstairs added an extra layer of security for the bank.
While the branch continued operations under the Bank of Nova Scotia, the 1920s saw a decline in the local lumber industry and general economic conditions. After much competition and disagreement, it was decided to relocate the building from Riverside to Albert in 1928. The bank was placed on skids and moved a mile west along Water Street to Albert during the summer.
The bank robbery on July 11, 1984, caused a significant stir. While the two perpetrators were apprehended and convicted, the stolen money, amounting to $177,000, was never recovered.
As you enter the old bank, you step back in history. Imagine depositing your savings, or withdrawing money, in bills that are no longer in use.
Seeking a loan, you are invited into the manager’s office and are impressed by the dignified room with its fireplace, heavy desk and books. The back work room now houses documents and objects connected with the economy and history of the area.
The two upstairs storeys portray a typical family dwelling of the bank manager.
The Old Bank of New Brunswick Museum is located at 5985 Route 114, Riverside-Albert, NB and is operated by the Albert County Heritage Trust Inc.
Click on a thumbnail to see more photos of the Old Bank Museum.
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