Victoriana Rose, 193 Church Street, is a two-and-a-half storey Second Empire style dwelling that was completed by the late 1870’s for Captain Samuel H. L. Whittier. This wood-frame structure is situated on the northwest corner of Church and George streets in Fredericton.
The value of this building is not only associated with its expression of Second Empire architecture but also with the prominence of its former owners. Captain Samuel Hall Locke Whittier, from Dover, New Hampshire, moved to Fredericton during the late 1860’s. A steamboat captain, Whittier was at the helm of the People’s Line established in 1872. This steamboat line served the upper Saint John River, extending as far as Andover. The steamboats associated with the People’s Line were: Andover, City of Fredericton, and Ida Whittier, the latter having been named after Captain Whittier’s only daughter. The People’s Line sold their steamers in the late 1870’s with the advent of the passenger line of the New Brunswick Railway, initiated by Alexander ‘Boss’ Gibson of Nashwaak . Captain Whittier established a successful grocery business in Fredericton before becoming the American Consul.
Wesley VanWart purchased this house from Captain Whittier in 1895, the same year VanWart was elected Mayor of Fredericton. VanWart, who had conducted a law practice with his brother for nearly two decades, also became Queens Counsel in 1895. Shortly after his third term as mayor ended, Wesley VanWart died. His widow, Annie VanWart, rented the house for a number of years. This substantial dwelling was converted during the 1940’s to contain three apartments.
Victoriana Rose, as the residence is known today, is a good example of Second Empire architecture from the 19th century. This style is evident in such details as the mansard roof and the elaborate window treatments.
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