Grand Bay-Westfield Heritage
Many of the town's historic places have been registered on the New Brunswick register of historic places.
The Heritage Conservation Act of New Brunswick allows for local decision making regarding the identification and recognition of Local Historic Places in municipalities. The town through it's heritage committee, with input from residents , was able to identify and recognize the following Local Historic Places:
1 Westfield Wharf – Brundage Point 45 20 51.96 N 66 13 27.46 W
2 Mount Hope Farm 690 Nerepis Road 45 23 47.64 N 66 17 33.36W
3 Nerepis school site 670 Nerepis Rd 45 23 44.61 N 66 17 25.25 W
4 Mount Hope Cemetery 700 Nerepis Road 45 23 46.00 N 66 17 48.12 W
5 Pamdenec Summer Community Railway tracks to Beach 45 18 46.23 N 66 11 38.68 W
6 St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church 279 Nerepis Road 45 21 32.52 N 66 14 19.75 W
7 Westfield Golf and Country Club 8 Golf Club Road 45 20 15.21N 66 13 04.08 W
8 Westfield Beach between Brundage Point and mouth of Nerepis River 45 20 58.60 N 66 13 46.33 W
9 Nase Cemetery next to 273 Nerepis Road 45 21 28.84 N 66 14 16.38 W
10 Stagecoach House 9 Brittain Road 45 23 43.44 N 66 17 23.08 W
11 Fred Spencer Home 34 Nerepis Road 45 20 08.40 N 66 12 58.40 W
12 Queen Anne revival summer home 33 Nerepis Road 45 20 06.33 N 66 12 57.22 W
13 Gilliland Store 52 Nerepis Road 45 20 12.36 N 66 13 01.06 W
14 Blagdon home 525 Nerepis Road 45 22 51.38 N 66 16 30.09 W
15 Doctor' s Office and Nursing Home 192 River Valley Dr. 45 18 10.16 N 66 11 42.18 W
16 Kirtley-Hayter Family Home 171 Woolastook Drive 45 19 8.055 N 66 11 58.81W
17 Stevens Family Homestead 268 Woolastook Drive 45 19 28.83 N 66 12 13.81 W
18 Lingley Homestead 2 Mallard Drive 45 21 23.26 N 66 15 0.864 W
19 Porter Family Home 45 20 46.49 N 66 13 29.73 W
20 George Crawford Home 2 Brundage Point Road 45 20 52.98 N 66 13 29.38 W
21 Second Empire Home 241 River Valley Drive 45 18 14.52 N 66 11 42.17 W
22 Stained Glass Collection and Organ Anglican Church 45 18 23.56 N 66 11 45.82 W
23 Westfield United Church 133 Nerepis Road 45 20 31.65 N 66 13 20.35 W
24 Old Portage Trail 621 Nerepis Road 45 23 33.27 N 66 17 14.28 W
25 Black Loyalist Grants 45 21 10.28 N 66 14 29.93 W
26 Alwington Manor 45 22 45.26 N 66 14 20.58 W
27 Gyro Fresh Air Summer Camp 45 18 35.78 N 66 11 33.19 W
28 Blueberry Hill Nature Preserve 45 18 1.35 N 66 11 10.43 W
The Wilson Box Factory with smoke stacks located on the point where the present ferry landing is located.
Cottages in the foreground were rented to Maliseet families during the summer.
Note the old foundation still visible.
The Wilson Box Factory with smoke stacks located on the point where the present ferry landing is located.
Westfield Wharf-Brundage Point
Home of the Wilson Box Factory, Brundage point was once referred to as Baxter Point to reflect the original owner of the Crown Grant. Now home to the ferry landing and the Brundage point River Centre, This point is a local landmark for sailing vessels. Prior to 1869 and the advent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, riverboat was the chief method of transportation for local residents and were used for routine travel, pleasure, and commerce. Today, area reflects upon past leisure activities and continues the tradition of water recreation through the Brundage Point River Centre, built in 2003.
Mount Hope Farm
This Loyalist house, believed to be built in 1786, was the original home of Colonel Henry Nase and family. Nase descendants have occupied this site for more than 200 years.
Colonel Nase came to the area having served served with the Royal Army’s King’s American Regiment at King’s Bridge, New York during the American Revolution.
He, along with thousands of United Empire Loyalists, left the newly created United States to settle under the British flag in what is now New Brunswick
Nerepis School site
Located in a gully overlooking Nerepis Creek near the former Post Road, the property has reverted to forest since the demolition of the school in the 1960s. Serving the farming communities of Nerepis, Sagwa, and Brittain Road from the mid 1800s, this one room schoolhouse offered classes in grades 1-8. Typical of rural schoolhouses, the simple rectangular wood-frame building was heated by a large stove in the middle of the room. The building featured a steeply pitched gable roof and 6/6 windows.
Mount Hope Cemetery
This non-denominational burial ground, situated at the top of a hill overlooking the historic Mount Hope Farm property, was developed by Loyalists for early residents in the area. Elizabeth Nase, daughter of Colonel Henry Nase, was the first to be buried in the cemetery, in 1791. Her headstone, the oldest in Kings County, is positioned to look directly over the Nase family homestead, known as Mount Hope Farm. Later Nase burials are positioned in the same manner. These early stones are mainly of white marble in tablet form, which is typical for cemeteries of the period. This burial place is a fine example of a rural cemetery of pastoral landscape design. Situated at the top of a hill, sheltered by mature trees and bounded by granite markers and benches, the grave markers range from simple white marble stones dating to the late 1700’s to modern black granite stones.
Pamdenec summer community
The site spans Pamdenec Road from the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to Indian Beach, including George Street, River Street, Station Street, Points Road, Ella Lane, Frederick Street, and Hamilton Road. . It represents summer residences that were once occupied primarily by members of the Jewish community from nearby Saint John. Well established by the 1920s, the Webber, Davis, Bassen, and Boyaner families were among the first to build summer cottages on the streets leading to the beach. In its heyday during the 1940s and 1950s, more than fifty Jewish families spent their summers in Pamdenec; by this time the Saint John families were joined by extended family now living in Toronto, Montreal, New York, and other areas. The area is also valued for its association with the First Nations people of the area, who gave the area the name “Pamdenec” and spent summers camping on the beach.
St Augustine's Roman Catholic Church
This modest church with gothic style revival windows was built in 1926 as a mission of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in nearby Saint John. Seating 200 people, it was open only in summer to serve cottage residents from the city. In 1949 it became a separate parish, open year round: the congregation continues to be an active presence in the community, a testament to the spiritual meaning that the church has embodied for over 70 years. It has remained largely unaltered since its construction.
Westfield Golf and Country Club
The Westfield Golf and Country Club consists of an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, located at the top of the “Crawford Hillside.” The clubhouse and course boast scenic views of the St. John River, Nerepis Valley, and Douglas Mountain.Ted Thomas, engineer, and Harry Mealey, golf professional, designed and built the first course, incorporating the natural beauty with design. By 1930, the popularity of the course had grown and the club enlarged its property, leasing the “old Crawford farm” with a view to improving the course and facilities. Famed American golf course architect Donald Ross (1872-1948) was contracted to lay out the course, which was completed in 1931 under the supervision of Frank J. Likely. Ross designed 9 holes, several of which have since been modified, although the basic Ross design remains intact. Three new holes were added to the course in 1950, and 6 more in 1959.
An example of a rural New Brunswick family burial ground, it overlooks the St John River in a picturesque location. Colonel Henry Nase (1753-1836) was the first United Empire Loyalist to settle in the area in 1783 and 7th generation descendants still reside in the community. Colonel Nase and his wife, Jane Quinton (1767-1852), are buried in the small cemetery along with 18 other members of the family.
Bishop Richardson consecrated the cemetery in 1925. Herbert Nase, a great-grandson of Colonel Nase, played the violin at the consecration service. Emily Agnes A. Hoben (nee Nase) sold the property neighbouring the cemetery in 1902 to Robert and Audrey Patterson. The Nase family retained possession of the burial ground until recently when ownership and management was transferred to St. James Anglican Church. Since this time, burials outside the Nase family have been permitted.
This two-storey Maritime Vernacular residence is located at the end of a long, private driveway, set back far from the main road with open fields on all sides. Built in the mid-1800s by James Reid, who purchased 1000 acres of land from John Coffin in 1817, it served as a stopping place for travellers. The long driveway leading to the home is a section of the former Post Road, the main route through the village until 1869 when the railway was established. Over time, portions of the road were abandoned to accommodate the railway and newer road routes. The residence maintains some original elements in its form and massing. James Mollison, the Scottish pilot who completed the first westward trans-Atlantic flight, made an emergency landing with his Puss Moth plane in the field beside this home in August 1932.
Fred Spencer Summer Home - 34 Nerepis Road
In 1912, Fred. G. Spencer, a proprietor of numerous movie theatres throughout the Maritime Provinces, erected a summer home on this site. The first house on the property was destroyed in the Westfield Fire of 1921, a disastrous blaze that consumed much of the neighbourhood and surrounding area. Spencer had the home re-built on the original foundation, with slight modifications to the bays, roofline and interior layout. It is believed that the stone columns and chimneys were reconstructed using stones salvaged from the rubble. Photos taken immediately after the fire show the columns and chimney still standing.
The exterior of the building has changed very little since its construction in 1922. The house features many Arts and Crafts architectural elements, including a unique shingling pattern, a large veranda with stone columns and stone chimneys.
IQueen Anne Revival summer home
A striking example of the many summer homes owned by Saint John residents, this home was built in 1912 on a gently sloping landscaped lot with a view of the Saint John River. A pleasant sunroom with curved glass windows is the defining feature of the house. Its asymmetrical shape, steeply-pitched irregular roof, front facing gabled dormer, shingle design, original windows and wrap-around veranda with “gingerbread” embellishments, is an excellent and rare example of the Queen Anne Revival style in Grand Bay-Westfield. With the exception of a patio addition at the rear of the building, the exterior of the home has not been significantly modified since its construction.
Gilliland Country Store - 52 Nerepis Road
Built as a residence in 1897 by Armstrong Elliot, the building was sold at the turn of the 20th century to J. A. Gilliland. A growing need for an “all purpose” shop catering to the needs of the Saint John families who spent their summers in the area led Gilliland to open such a business in a small building in the back yard of 52 Nerepis. He enlarged the home shortly thereafter, creating room on the main level for the shop as well as a number of rooms for boarders. Gilliland’s daughter Annie and her husband Foster Kirkpatrick operated the store for a number of years; during this time it became known as “Gilliland’s” or “Annie’s.” Upon Annie’s retirement in the 1930s the business was rented to Bert Cosman, who found the space inconvenient and built a new structure next door to house the shop in 1937. Certain architectural features remain, such as the projected entrance facing the road, that speaks to the building’s historical use as a community store.
Blagdon Family Homestead - 525 Nerepis Road
This rural property from the mid-1800s includes a two-storey traditional Maritime Vernacular residence with a front-facing gable roof. It is part of the early settlement of the area formerly known as Nerepis, now part of Grand Bay-Westfield, and for its association with the Blagdon family, who were among its earliest residents.
The property has been home to members of the Blagdon family since 1847. William Blagdon (1803-1890) served under General John Coffin (c. 1731-1838) and later ran the first packet boat in the community. Local histories note that the nearby “Blagdon” railroad station was named after him.
The original home on the property, built in 1847, was located on the site of the current detached garage. Due to its deteriorating condition, the house was demolished several years ago. The existing home, built in 1914, is an attractive, two-storey, wood frame farmhouse with a covered front veranda and boasts a beautiful view of the Saint John River.
Doctors Office and Nursing Home - 192 River Valley Drive
Built ca. 1940 as a doctor’s office and 14-bed nursing home, this commercial property was converted to a private residence for a brief period before being renovated as a commercial enterprise. The building has retained many of its original features, including its rectangular massing, medium-pitched roof, side gables and an open balcony on the second storey (formerly enclosed). The small office attached to the main building was originally a garage. The refurbished structure presents an attractive component of the River Valley Drive streetscape. now the home of Harrigans Insurance.
Westfield Beach – Nerepis Rd, Hwy 177, between Brundage Point and Lingley
It was first an important summer encampment for the Maliseet people where they trapped muskrat, gathered fiddleheads and selected wood and reeds for their furniture and famous baskets.
In the 1800’s, this sandy stretch along the banks of the Saint John River was a summer community for residents of Saint John; elegant summer homes are still prominent in the neighborhood. Recreational facilities were built to accommodate the pastimes of these summer residents, including tennis courts and a dance pavilion. The first railway engine was off-loaded from Britain in this area in 1868. The Westfield Beach station became a hub for two railways, where one from Maine and the other from Fredericton joined here en route to Saint John. The station closed in 1961.
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Watson Family Cemetery
The Watson Family Cemetery is a small isolated burial ground located on a 1 acre section of the 50 acre farm formerly owned by William Watson. It is the only known burial site of members of the early black settlers in the Grand Bay-Westfield area.
William Watson arrived in Saint John from Virginia in 1815 on board the Romulus. (sources: Beatrice McGovern, local historian, 1963). In 1838 Watson was granted a 50 acre parcel of land adjoining that of Samuel Smith, the other black man who arrived aboard the Romulus in 1815. The lots were located near Alwington Manor, the Coffin estate. (source: PANB land grants). Less than an acre of this land was used as the family cemetery.
Watson and his son, William Junior, were respected members of the community. William Junior, born in New Brunswick and married to a white woman from England, lived to an advanced age and died in 1916. He and his wife Elizabeth, two infants and an adult daughter were buried in their family cemetery. Circles of stones outline their final resting places. Five small white wooden crosses placed there in recent years by a previous owner mark the gravesites. A tribute to this family is noted on an interpretive panel at the Kiwanis gazebo on the Nerepis causeway.