Located at 193 Church Street in Fredericton, Victoriana Rose is a two-and-a-half storey Second Empire style residence completed in the late 1870s for Captain Samuel H. L. Whittier. This wood-frame structure stands on the northwest corner of Church and George streets.
The building’s value lies not only in its representation of Second Empire architecture but also in the prominence of its former owners. Captain Samuel Hall Locke Whittier, originally from Dover, New Hampshire, relocated to Fredericton in the late 1860s. As a steamboat captain, he commanded the People’s Line, established in 1872, which served the upper Saint John River up to Andover. The steamboats affiliated with the People’s Line included the Andover, City of Fredericton, and Ida Whittier, named after Captain Whittier’s only daughter. The People’s Line sold their steamers in the late 1870s due to the emergence of the New Brunswick Railway’s passenger line, initiated by Alexander ‘Boss’ Gibson of Nashwaak. Subsequently, Captain Whittier established a successful grocery business in Fredericton and later became the American Consul.
In 1895, Wesley VanWart purchased the house from Captain Whittier, the same year VanWart was elected Mayor of Fredericton. VanWart, who had practiced law with his brother for nearly 20 years, also became Queens Counsel in 1895. Shortly after his third term as mayor ended, Wesley VanWart passed away. His widow, Annie VanWart, rented the house for several years, and the property was eventually converted into three apartments during the 1940s.
Today, Victoriana Rose stands as an excellent example of 19th-century Second Empire architecture, characterized by features such as the mansard roof and the intricate window treatments.
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