The Robert Keltie Jones residence on Mecklenburg Street in Saint John was built in 1899.
Robert Keltie Jones, a member of one of Saint John’s outstanding pioneer business families, rented this residence from Frances Cruikshank beginning in 1913, with his wife Edith (née Cushing) and 15 year old son Robert Keltie Jr. Robert Keltie Sr.’s brother, George, also had his address here. While here, the elder R. Keltie Jones began his retirement and the younger began his career, working variously as an agent and a secretary in the insurance business. A well-respected figure in his own right, R. Keltie Jones Sr. was the eldest son of Simeon Jones, who was once Mayor of Saint John and was prominent in the City’s rebuilding efforts after the Great Fire of 1877 and successor in business to Robert Keltie, brewer and importer (est. 1833). R. Keltie Jones, Sr. undertook medical training in Scotland beginning in 1879 and in 1892, he, along with his brothers, succeeded Simeon Jones after his retirement from his now self-named brewery.
In 1918 the Jones brothers sold the brewery to G. W. C. Oland. R. Keltie Jones, Sr. was a charter member of the Loyalist Society formed in Saint John in 1889, having a Loyalist great-grandfather, Josiah Jones. R. Keltie Jones, Sr. was very active in Saint John’s elite social circles and his son went on to be a supporter of the New Brunswick Museum.
Simeon Jones built one of Saint John’s most prominent examples of residential architecture, Caverhill Hall, R. Keltie’s boyhood home, still standing across the street from the Robert Keltie Jones Residence on Mecklenburg Street at Sydney Street.
Part of the heritage value of the R. Keltie Jones residence lies in its relationship to Caverhill Hall, built a generation earlier than the R. Keltie Jones Residence and still today setting the tone for the fashionable neighbourhood. Along with the other fine homes recognized on Mecklenburg Street, these buildings illustrate a variety of styles and changing tastes for fashionable residences among Saint John’s elite business class.
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