The Anderson House - Standing Tall and Proud

This is the story of a house and the people who have lived in it.

The stately Anderson house on Pleasant Street in Newcastle has, in many people's memory, always been occupied by the Andersons. W. Stafford Anderson moved to Newcastle in 1924. He was at that time operating a long lumber and spoolwood mill at North Cains. He had been working in the lumbering and milling business for almost twenty years.

For the first two years the family resided in the Charles Fish house, now an apartment building at the corner of Pleasant and Jane Streets. They later resided in the Clarke house at the corner of King George Highway and Radio Street. In 1933 he purchased the Donald Morrison house where his daughter, Senator Margaret Anderson, still resides.

W. S. Anderson and his brother Walter, who had moved to Newcastle a year earlier, started operating the mill in Newcastle in 1923. Walter Anderson had also worked in the milling business with his father after his service in World War I. The mill ran continuously from 1923 up until a short time ago.

In 1930 W. S. Anderson was elected to the Legislature where he was to serve until 1956. He was for many years the Minister of Public Works and for a short time chairman of the Electric Power Commission. As a Liberal member, he was in opposition only two terms, his first and last.

Mr. Anderson is remembered as a gentleman of the old school and a man with an enormous capacity for hard work. When he was close to 90 he painted his house and although it was obviously a bit risky for a man of his age to be up on a ladder, he was determined to do the job and he did it without incident!

W. S. Anderson married Huldah Morrison, also of Burnt Church and the couple had seven children - Ernest, Royce, Burns, Margaret, Shirley, Keith and Mary. Four of the family, Royce, Margaret, Shirley and Keith live on the Miramichi. Margaret was appointed to the Senate in 1978.

As interesting a family as the Andersons are, the story of the house begins in the last century. Donald Morrison, who was married to Jane Fish, had the house built in the 1880's. Its architecture, with the mansard roof is very similar to the Old Manse Library and the W. S. Loggie house in Chatham.

Donald Morrison was Newcastle's second mayor, serving from 1900-1904. In 1903 he was elected to the provincial Legislature.

It is interesting to note that he rented his house in the mid-1890's to C. D. Manny who had come from Maine to manage the Clark spool factory. The Manny's only daughter Louise, born in 1890 was to become an eminent local historian and writer. Her books include Ships of Miramichi, Ships of Kent County, Ships of Bathurst and Songs of Miramichi which she wrote in collaboration with Dr. James Reginald Wilson. She also collected folk songs for Lord Beaverbrook and was the founder of the Miramichi Folk Song festival. She was the recipient of an honorary degree from both UNB and St. Thomas University.

Lord Beaverbrook in his book "My Young Days In New Brunswick" referred to her as "the energetic and gifted Louise Manny with the well-stored mind." Dr. Manny died in 1970.

The Morrisons never lived in the house. Their home, located next to what is Zellers in downtown Newcastle, was later converted to a store and occupied by Huntley Ferguson. This building is still standing.

The Anderson family recalls their mother telling of coming to Newcastle as a child and of seeing Donald Morrison's house and the elm trees which had been planted along the streets. Donald Morrison, a Newcastle merchant, was also a native of Burnt Church and a cousin of her father, James Morrison.

In 1897 the Pleasant Street house was sold to George A. Lounsbury. The Mannys moved to the Lounsbury house on King George Highway opposite McEvoys and later to the Dr. Smith house on Prince William Street.

George Lounsbury was married to Annie Clark and he worked with his brother-in-law George N. Clark in the firm established in 1878 on the Newcastle Wharf. This is the Lounsbury Company that now has 13 branches.

George and Annie Lounsbury had a daughter Maude and a son G. Hollie. Maude married Herb McDonald in Chatham and their children, Jack McDonald and Jean (McDonald) Burchill are grandchildren of G. A. Lounsbury.

The Lounsbury Company built a new brick store on the square in 1901 which burned in 1935. The present store was built on the same site that summer.

It was during the residency of the Lounsbury family in the house that the street on the west was given the name Lounsbury Street.

George Lounsbury died in 1902, at the age of 46. The next year his widow sold the house to Rachel (Sinclair) Fish, wife of James O. Fish and moved to Fredericton to reside.

James O. Fish was in partnership with his father in the lumber and mercantile business located on the public wharf. Later James O. Fish erected and operated a sawmill in partnership with his brother-in-law, C. C. Hamilton. He also owned a farm on Upper King George Highway, known as the Fish farm and later Hogan's farm.

After his death in 1908, his widow lived in the house. When she died in 1922 she left the property to her niece, Adella P. Bastin who resided in Mount Newton, B. C.

For the next eleven years the house was rented. W. H. Teed, the County Secretary-treasurer lived here prior to moving into the house on Prince William Street, now owned by Paul Barry.

In the early thirties Mrs. Helen Hubbard operated Homestead Inn here. Another tenant was John Elder, who lived here after he retired from the Dominion Pulp Mill at Millbank.

The interior of the Anderson house, with its oak floors and inlaid parquetry, its wooden valances with the carved faces over the bay windows in the dining room and its fireplaces, speaks of a different age. And today, as in the years gone by, the house stands proud and tall.

(Acknowledgements: Edith MacAllister, Senator Margaret Anderson, Royce Anderson, Jean Burchill, and Jack McDonald.)

(Northumberland News, February 10, 1982)

Copyright © Lois F. Martin, 1985. All rights reserved.