Taylor Estate – Hillsborough

The Taylor Estate consists of an original Cape Cod style residence from 1786 and a larger two-storey Italianate residence constructed circa 1840. The estate is located on Taylor Lane in Hillsborough and includes outbuildings. 

After the Acadian people were expelled from the Petitcodiac Valley in 1755, their lands were divided into 40,500 hectare lots which were granted to business interests in return for a pledge to repopulate the area. Adam Hoops of Pennsylvania acquired a share of the Hillsborough settlement. In 1764, his surveyor, Charles Baker, divided the township into lots. He kept two of the most promising tracts for himself. In 1786, one of these tracts was deeded to William Taylor. Mr. Taylor was born in lowland Scotland in 1736. He emigrated first to Ireland and later to America. After the American Independence, he arrived in Hillsborough as a United Empire Loyalist. His four hundred hectare grant extended south from what is now the United Church past the Valley Baptist Church and extended west from the Petitcodiac River to include what is now the golf course. Included on his property were deposits of gypsum, stands of forests and a large area of dyked marsh land. His first dwelling is the central, single-storey section of the present house complex. As the community of Surrey grew on this parcel of land so grew the fortunes of the Taylor family. 

Taylor Estate
Taylor Estate circa 1900

While William Taylor and his male heirs have guided the family’s fortunes successfully for more than two hundred years, the determination and intelligence of his female descendants were an influence on the developing community as strong matriarchs of influential families in Hillsborough. His daughter, Mary Taylor, married a ship builder, Richard Gross of Boston, who moved to Surrey in the mid 1790’s. He brought with him the latest ship design and construction methods. Mary was the matriarch of a prominent Hillsborough family that included doctors, merchants, public house keepers and Union American Civil War soldiers, to name a few. Their daughter, Martha Taylor, married Joseph Steeves and raised not only a Father of Confederation William Henry, but also his three brothers who joined him to build the ‘Steeves Brothers’ enterprise into one of the largest shipping concerns in the country. Her youngest son, James, a doctor, became the first director of the Saint John Asylum. He is recognized by the Canadian Physiatrist Association for his accomplishments. 

NB Provincial Hospital
NB Provincial Hospital

The Taylor Estate is also recognized for its architecture. The original residence, which constitutes the central portion of the residence, is a single-storey Cape Cod residence with a lateral gable roof and a gable-roofed dormer. The original open hearth fire place is still recognizable in the present day kitchen. The manor house from circa 1840 is an early example of Italianate residential architecture. The massing, the brackets under the eaves and the projecting square frontispiece all reflect this style. The present owners have maintained the property splendidly. Their addition of a vineyard has complimented the sense of gentile living and old world charm that has gradually replaced the rough hewn frontier life of 1786. 

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