Monday

A Tour Down the Street




From the first time we strolled through the village of St. Martins,
I fell in love with it..

for it is more than just a  seashore...


1844.. historically known as The Willows


... Older Architectural Beauties abound...
to fill the eyes with the creativity of talented creators from the past...
...we can still share in their visions come to be...


1850... the Rourke House


...still standing proud


1899... General Store since that time


...showing the life that came before


 
home of former train conductor... no train runs here now


... charming


 
1877...originally the Doctor's home and his Drugstore


..unfortunately,  lost to fire, Aug/11




 ... historically, it had been the social center of the village...it was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1900 and rebuilt exactly as before...


...it reads like a story book


 
 ...an old Captain's house


...imagine the stories


 
1890... The Overlook


...many built by shipwrights and Sea Captains



 
1857... after a villa on the French Riviera seen while on honeymoon


there are so many more Beauties.... 



 
Surf Cottage.. built as a wedding gift for a daughter


 that will have to be for another time...



 
1880...Avon Hotel


...an old lovely that has seen better days...


***


...excerpt below taken from the Historical Society of St. Martins, New Brunswick...

 " St. Martins was settled in 1783 by a detachment of the King’s Orange Rangers...  Loyalist soldiers from  Orange  and Duchess Counties,  New York.  The detachment had been posted to garrison duty in Nova Scotia at the end of hostilities in the American Revolution of 1776.


 St. Martins was the third largest producer of wooden sailing vessels in New Brunswick.

Between 1803 and 1900,  517 vessels such as  Schooners,   Brigantines,   Sloops,   Yachts, and  Cutters,  were built and launched in over a dozen shipyards along the beaches, coves and rivers in and around St. Martins.    Lumbering was also an important industry locally and a great deal of it was required to construct vessels of the size turned out by local shipyards.


     Contemporary St. Martins is less populous than during its shipbuilding heyday of the 19th century. However, the village has retained much of its 19th century character. The vessels built here sailed all over the world and brought back ideas and architectural designs which the Captains, wealthy shipbuilders and mariners applied to the construction of their own homes. Those who could afford it (and there were many at the time), brought artisans from abroad who painted wall and ceiling murals in their homes and some exist still."


***


Sadly sixty buildings were lost during  "The Great Fire of 1900",   which started in Burchhills's Mill,  a few miles from the village and burned through the woods until reaching the village.. 



25 comments:

Shelley said...

As did I fall in love with St. Martins so many years ago...and still enjoy spending as much time as possible by the Sea my friend.

Anet said...

So lovely!
How fun would it be to fix up that old house?!!!
Looks a bit spooky right now, perhaps with a roaming spirit or two:)
Is the general store still in business, I wonder?

VioletSky said...

It is good to see you blogging again, Gwen.
I love these old houses. They are so big - does that mean this town had 'old money'?

Ruth said...

A good solid clapboard house - that hasn't been sided with vinyl the way ours was before we bought it - is a joy. These are well maintained, sweetly painted, and yes it would be nice to have that one for sale - but I've lost the love and energy for fixing up a house. St. Martin has had some strong, established citizens for some time it seems - like you.

Purplebears said...

I love the diversity of the architecture, yet all unified in a way. Great sense of place.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Shelley, you and I have both been bitten by the Fundy Bug!!! I'm glad you can come as often as you do...

***

Oh Anet, I was thinking of you when I finally did this post.. I remember telling you once I would post some pictures of the village.. there are so many more wonderful old homes with character that I feel I haven't done the village justice by just showing a few... it is quite amazing too with only a population of 350 people...
and yes indeed the old General Store is still in business... and a good thing too.. still has its original very unique tin ceiling ... the fellow who runs it is quite a character too.. wouldn't be the same without him!!!

***

hi Sanna, yes the village was 10 times larger, busier and richer back in the Age of Sail... it is a quiet little place now...
but the good thing is that the people who do find it and come to live here truly do love it... we all have a common magnetism for the place...

***

Ruth, yes you are very observant, none of the homes pictured were vinyl sided... that old girl that is for sale would have to be a Labor of Love for someone... but it was fine once upon a time...

...sad to say... the owner is talking about having to tear it down and sell the lot for a new building.. we would all hate to see that happen, including him.. it is right in the center of the village and just a minute walk to the beach.

***

Purplebears, many of these old homes belonged to Sea Captains and most had windows facing the sea... the wives and family members kept a look out hoping for a safe return...

pRiyA said...

For me, this seems like a walk through a fairy tale village. So beautiful and different, it is almost unreal. I hope to be able to visit Canada and possibly St. Martins some day...

ArtPropelled said...

The Willows for me! Thanks for the tour, Gwen.

Guillaume said...

Lovely houses.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Priya, A visit from you would be wonderful!! we live in such vastly different places, don't we?...

Good choice Robyn...now it's known as the Weslan Inn...

I agree Guillaume... I have toured inside of all of these but two...

mansuetude said...

A wonderful tour, all it needs is a horse and buggy...

reminds me of a lot of the old New England towns; sea captains' homes with widows peeks... some of them deserted or "low" then regentrified (awful word)...

i will take the plumbing please, and the old store is my favorite. The soul that must be in those walls...

Debbi said...

Oh my goodness, armchair travel at it's best! This is the town where you live Gwen? I love it. What beautiful homes, places and atmosphere. It feels a lot like places in New England and the islands, to be sure. And guess what? I live in a 110 year old home that was a wedding present for a young couple. We are only the second people to own this house. It also needed some TLC, but was more than worth it.

Shayla said...

I haven't been to St. Martins in almost 10 years and had forgotten about the historical homes. Thanks for the history. I love the old prosperity. Reminds me of some of Fredericton's lovely houses.

herhimnbryn said...

Thankyou for taking me on your walk with you. What glorious homes. The light looks pretty stunning too.

Ruth said...

". . . a minute walk to the beach." That does capture the imagination.

willow said...

I especially like "The Willows". ;^)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Willow, you may have loved some of its former transformations as well.. it has had a long and varied life..

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

Such a quaint little town, and such gorgeous homes...more than ever, I want to plan a trip with my Fred. The lovely old place that's for sale reminds me of my old farmhouse, tho' mine was built about 1850-1860, but it was in the same shape "as is, where is"...oy, yes, it was the classic money pit! But it's home sweet home and fourteen years later, still a work in progress that we love very much, and will live there for as long as we shall live. (We've had people leave notes on our door asking if we're thinking about selling.) It would be a shame if the old place is torn down, if it's a historic site there should be some protection in place to save it.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Laura, you can spot a Lovely when you see one.. and one very worthy of the task, if one has the time, energy and enthusiasm to carry it through... We went through this old place several times this summer and seriously considered buying it, but then came to our senses and remembered "oh yes, we already have a house just a kilometer up the road, that only took us 8 years to build and finish!!" we are not fast! but we love the process ... old places like this just cry out "Save me, Save me, Please"

it is a great location .. if only it had been for sale back in '98 when we were looking for a place in the village.

It seems almost every old house out here is an historic site.. so much history .. yes I wish there was some protection but for now it is left up to private individuals with foresight to take on these tasks and unfortunately some of them make the wrong decision.. but it is not torn down yet and someone may come along!!
...I hope!!!

So lucky for your old home that you and your husband came along and saved its life.. I'm sure with lots of blood, sweat and tears! ...
Now you live inside those strong walls... it must make you both feel so good...

Arija said...

Gwen, what an enchanted place St.Martins is! If I were handed a present of twenty more years, I'd be over there like a flash and buy the old hotel.
I am so glad that with the colder weather setting in you are blogging again. How was your summer, your harvest, did Max enjoy the freedom from school...so many questions. I take it your lovely woodshed is beautifully stacked again.

We are building a shed on the farm and one end of it will be lined and insulated for a studio for ME. I am so excited to finally be able to look forward to a designated personal work space.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi dear Arija, oh wouldn't that be the loveliest if you could live so close.. I know you would work wonders with the old place... and I could be selfish to think that with your nearby I could learn so many things. what a delightful imagining.

Well this summer weather was rather miserable... too much of everything we didn't want.. My tomatoes in the greenhouse grew wonderfully tho...
Max took up Skateboarding with a vengeance and now he eats, wakes and sleeps it... he also worked 40 hours a week grooming trails etc at the Fundy Trail ... http://www.fundytrailparkway.com/ ... it was very strenuous... good for him and he liked being outdoors...

we are beginning another project just down the road a bit... an old garage we are turning into a shop/gallery... needs a ton of work...but we are glad to do it... we have had to take time out from it to prepare for our Christmas shows now...

I am so exited for you to be getting your own workspace ... it is so necessary .. it is freedom...

Please Take good care of yourself and I'll be watching for pictures of your progress...

Don said...

what a picturesque village. I can see where you get some inspiration, and I can see from your blog how you inspire others.

Max is such a man!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Don, it is such a darling little secret place...

rivergardenstudio said...

Oh what a beautiful villiage... how I would love to see it for myself... roxanne

Gwen Buchanan said...

Roxanne, I'm sure you would love its charm but you would have to be careful... for you may fall under its spell...