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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in 1863, the Joseph Ruddock Residence is a wooden two-storey Italianate building with a hipped roof, a belvedere and a partial veranda. It is located on Douglas Avenue within the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area of the City of Saint John.
The Joseph Ruddock Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its location, for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.
The Joseph Ruddock Residence is recognized as a part of the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area. Douglas Avenue Preservation Area was recognized as a protected historic streetscape because of its fine mixture of working class tenements along with more substantial homes of the middle and wealthy classes, many of which have long-standing family connections spanning multiple generations as a result of its community atmosphere. Douglas Avenue was built in the mid 1850's to connect Main Street with the newly constructed suspension bridge at Reversing Falls. This area was formerly a part of the City of Portland before that city amalgamated with Saint John in 1889. The Joseph Ruddock Residence is a good example of Italianate residential architecture within this district.
The Joseph Ruddock Residence is also recognized for its association with Joseph Ruddock and A. P. Barnhill. In 1863, Joseph Ruddock constructed this house alongside his brother’s similar residence on Douglas Avenue. A native of Kinsale, Ireland, Ruddock came to Saint John in the early 1800’s. Joseph and his brother, Francis L. Ruddock, initially gained employment working as ship carpenters for a Mr. Lawton. In the 1820’s, however, the two brothers left this ship yard to establish their own ship building business on Straight Shore Road. For more than forty years, they carried on their shipbuilding business, a highly prosperous and respected business. Joseph remained at his Douglas Avenue residence until his death in 1881, which occurred within a week of his brother’s death. The house remained in Joseph Ruddock’s estate until the early 1900's.
In 1904, Alexander Perley Barnhill purchased this residence. A native of Pleasant Point, Saint John County, he received a law degree from Mount Allison University and was admitted to the Bar of New Brunswick in 1888. He established a legal practice in Saint John and acted as the senior member in the law firm of Barnhill, Sanford and Harrison for several years. By the time of his retirement in 1921, he was widely known as a prominent figure in some of the major law circles of the country. Barnhill remained at this Douglas Avenue Residence until his death in 1935. The house remained in his estate until 1940.
Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
The character-defining elements that describe the Joseph Ruddock Residence include:
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- clapboard siding;
- hipped roof crowned by a belvedere;
- hipped-roof dormers, the central dormer encasing paired Roman arch windows;
- wooden cornice supported by a series of paired, scrolled brackets;
- two-storey bow window with multi-paned central windows;
- rectangular vertical sliding wooden windows;
- partial veranda across the front façade that extends around to the side façade;
- veranda ornamented by dentils and supported by a series of paired Doric columns with stone bases;
- six- and nine-paned first-storey windows;
- Corinthian pilasters on either side of main entrance;
- leaded glass transom window and sidelights surrounding a wooden door with a rounded glass panel in the upper half.
Local Governments (NB)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
Cross-Reference to Collection