Situated at 193 Church Street in Fredericton, the Victoriana Rose is a two-and-a-half storey residence reflecting the Second Empire architectural style. This timber-framed edifice was constructed in the late 1870s for Captain Samuel H. L. Whittier, occupying the northwest corner of Church and George streets.
The significance of this building extends beyond its architectural style, tying in with the history of its notable previous occupants. Captain Samuel Hall Locke Whittier, a native of Dover, New Hampshire, moved to Fredericton in the late 1860s. As a steamboat captain, he led the People’s Line, founded in 1872, servicing the upper Saint John River up to Andover. The steamboat fleet of the People’s Line included the Andover, City of Fredericton, and Ida Whittier, named after Captain Whittier’s only daughter. The advent of the New Brunswick Railway’s passenger line, pioneered by Alexander ‘Boss’ Gibson of Nashwaak, led to the People’s Line selling their steamboats in the late 1870s. Following this, Captain Whittier ventured into a prosperous grocery business in Fredericton and later took up the role of the American Consul.
The house changed hands in 1895, bought by Wesley VanWart the same year he was elected Mayor of Fredericton. Having practiced law alongside his brother for nearly two decades, VanWart also became Queens Counsel in 1895. Shortly after the conclusion of his third mayoral term, Wesley VanWart passed away. His widow, Annie VanWart, rented out the house for several years before it was eventually transformed into three apartments in the 1940s.
In its current state, the Victoriana Rose serves as a superb illustration of 19th-century Second Empire architecture, distinguished by elements such as the mansard roof and the elaborate window designs.
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