Saint John, New Brunswick
Loyalist House, Saint John, New Brunswick

   The old Loyalist House on the corner of Germain and Union Streets is a strong reminder of our British loyalist heritage. The oldest building in Saint John, it has not been structurally altered since it was built, and one of the few building which survived the Great Fire of 1877. The gracious Georgian Manson was built between 1817 and 1820 for the family of David Daniel Meritt, an American Loyalist who came from New York to escape percussion for his loyalty to the British crown. The house remained in the possession of six generations of Merritts.

   David Daniel died in 1820, as did his father, leaving the house to his son, David Jabez. Upon his death in 1884, it was passed to his daughter, Louise Harrison; and her son, Louis, in 1941. Loius's son David, was born in 1946. Thus the house was occupied by the same family for about 150 years,

   In 1959 the New Brunswick Historical Society purchased the building so they could convert it into a museum home. A fitting tribute to the excellence of the early craftsmen and loyalist founders of Saint John.

   The house typically Georgian in stylewas constructed of pine (from the upper Saint John river) with cyprus shingles on the south and west walls. The front entrance still holds its original fanlight and brass knocker.

   The interior of the house is beautifully maintained and quite elegant. It has been said by many American visitors that the entrance hall is quite similar to that in George Washington's home on the Potomac. The bannister and stairs are similar in design and placement, as are the curved doors that open to the back hall.

   In the palours on the main floor you see furniture of the Sheraton, Empire and Duncan Phyfe patterns. The piano-organ, almost 200 years old, still works.

   In the kitchen the original fireplace implements are still in place, having been discovered when the fireplace was re-opened. There is also an iron pressure cooker, dating back to 1795.

   The furniture in the dining room, the cabinets, table, "yoke-back" chairs, and the Rockingham china are all fine examples of period furnishings, while upstairs in the master bedroom is a beautiful mahongany canopy bed, with blush red drapes.

   Outside Loyalist House, the Union Flag of 1783 is flown to symbolize our heritage with the American Loyalist and the British Crown.

   The Loyalist House has been designated by the Government of Canada as a place of national historic significance. This place is part of the Family of National Historic Sites, one of more than 800 places across Canada which help define the important aspects of Canada's diverse but common heritage and identity.