Four properties added to Local Historic Places Register
Fredericton (September 27, 2011) – A 1950-era diner, a house with a distinctive "widow’s walk", a two-storey Second Empire style dwelling, and a one and a half story Classical Revival inspired dwelling have been added to the City of Fredericton’s Local Historic Places Register.
City Council agreed with the recommendation of the Preservation Review Board to include structures located at 7 Brookmount Street, 63 McKeen Street, 123-125 McKeen Street, and, 206 Odell Avenue on the Register at the regular Council meeting of September 26, 2011. The following summarizes the heritage importance of each property.
SUNSHINE DINER, 7 BROOKMOUNT STREET
The Sunshine Diner, which opened on May 24, 1950, stands on the west side of Brookmount Street. This single-storey structure is located in the heart of Sunshine Gardens. May 24 was a date which carried considerable significance for Robert H. Simpson, Roy Wallace, and Lawrence Wallace. Serving in the 8th Canadian Hussars Tank Corps of the Canadian Army during World War II, these men made a pact to open a business together if they survived the War. They laid these plans on May 24, 1943 and this date became an important anniversary in the lives of all three men.
After the War and upon their return to Fredericton, these partners purchased the Aula Service Station in Sunshine Gardens, opening for business on May 24, 1946. Two years later, on the same date, they expanded the business to include a grocery line. However, these War veterans made their mark in the commercial industry with the establishment of Vet’s Groceteria, with a grand opening on May 24, 1950. The partners capitalized on the growing groceteria trend, a combination grocery store and cafeteria counter. This business was not only on the cutting edge, but would serve as a model for other groceterias. In 1954, Vet’s Groceteria appeared on the cover of a trade magazine and its exterior design inspired a Vancouver groceteria to adopt a similar exterior style.
63 MCKEEN STREET
This 2-storey house with its distinctive widow’s walk is situated at the river end of McKeen Street. The wood frame dwelling, which was built in 1888, is located on the western side of the street. The significance of this dwelling is grounded both in its ownership and in its unique appearance. William Jaffrey, son of Rev. William Jaffrey, had this house built after his marriage to Helen Elizabeth Wallace in 1888. Born and raised at St. Mary’s Ferry, William Jaffrey received his early education in the village and later he attended the Fredericton Collegiate School. After graduating from UNB in 1879, William Jaffrey operated a furniture making factory located on Douglas (Union) Street.
Jaffrey’s furniture manufacturing plant achieved early success and accumulated considerable local acclaim as one of the leading industrial interests in St. Mary’s. The furniture factory remained in operation for more than a decade, and the continued high volume of orders testified to the great demand for Jaffrey’s production line. Later retiring from the business, and the old factory having become home to a grocery store, William Jaffrey turned to farming. William Jaffrey later ploughed into local politics. With the incorporation of St. Mary’s and Gibson in 1917, William Jaffrey served the Town of Devon in many different capacities, including town clerk, water superintendent, and chief magistrate.
Reflecting the elements of a foursquare, the main living quarters of this 2-storey dwelling is topped by a widow’s walk. Two additional sections once extended from the side wing of this building towards the river. A 2-storey barn with medium pitched gable roof stood between the present wing and an elongated, 1 ½-storey structure, which had perhaps been used as a stable. William and Helen Jaffrey reared three children in this house, and after her father’s death in 1942, Marion C. Jaffrey continued to reside here. Richard Boone Malloy, who had grown up across the street at 66 McKeen, purchased this dwelling during the early 1950s. At present, this house remains in the Malloy family.
123-125 MCKEEN STREET
This 2-storey Second Empire style dwelling was erected during the late 19th Century. The structure is located on a substantial lot on the west side of McKeen Street, immediately below the Walking Trail. The heritage value of this dwelling resides not only in its architectural style but in the significance of its ownership. This Second Empire style dwelling had been the first erected on the west side of McKeen Street between Union Street and the CPR tracks. The dwelling is situated on a large, open lot which once sported a tennis court on the southern portion of the property.
Lawyer Whitman A. Haines and his wife, Inez, resided in this house for many decades. Mr. Haines, who served as Town Clerk for Devon, operated his law office out of the former St. Mary’s Departmental Store, located at the foot of Cliffe Street. Mrs. Haines would pen a short history of St. Mary’s Ferry, now known as North Devon on Fredericton’s north side, which she delivered to the York-Sunbury Historical Society in 1933.
206 ODELL AVENUE
This 1½-storey Classical Revival inspired dwelling is situated on the east side of Odell Avenue between Brunswick and Charlotte Streets. Constructed in 1897, this wood frame dwelling is in view of Wilmot Park. The construction of this wood frame dwelling in 1897 testified to the continued development of Odell Avenue (originally known as Park Street) after the establishment of Wilmot Park. By the mid-1890s, settlement and housing development west of Smythe Street was virtually non-existent.
The opening of Wilmot Park in 1895 sparked a building boom in the immediate vicinity of the park grounds. The creation of a new street, coincident with the establishment of the park and therefore known as Park Street, redefined the western boundary of the town plat. The construction of this house expanded settlement beyond what had been considered the traditional city limits.
About the Register
Council approved the establishment of the Local Historic Places Register on July 21, 2003. The Local Historic Places Register is a list of places (buildings, archaeological sites, and areas or spaces) deemed to be of local historical significance and placed on a list with the permission of the property owner. The Local Historic Places Register was established as a result of a Federal Government Program called the "Historic Places Initiative" and designed to raise awareness of historic places and encourage conservation. For more information of the Local Historic Places Register, visit www.fredericton.ca.