This house is called “Old Government House” or “The MacLaren Residence”. It is a two-and-a-half storey, brick, Queen Anne Revival home and was built in the vicinity of other large residences in the eastern part of the Central Peninsula of Saint John.
The MacLaren Residence is designated as a Local Historic Place for its architecture, its association with Hon. Murray MacLaren and for its historical association with royalty.
The MacLaren Residence is a fine example of the Queen Anne Revival style. The essential features of this style are the asymmetrical massing and the colourful use of materials. The primary façade of this property has a dominant front facing gable and a round tower with conical roof in keeping with the style. The open veranda with highly decorative spindle work below the roof and supported by a series of balusters encloses the front entrance area. Brick dentils and banded brick masonry are used to enhance the decorative elements of the home.
MacLaren House was built in circa 1889 for prominent lawyer James Stratton and later obtained by Dr. Murray MacLaren in 1897. Mr. MacLaren was elected to the Canadian House of Commons representing the New Brunswick riding of Saint John-Albert in the 1921 Federal election. He sat in the House of Commons until 1934. From 1930 to 1934 he was the Minister of Pensions and National Health. From 1935 to 1940 he was the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick. When King George VI and Queen Elizabeth came to New Brunswick in 1939, the royal visitors stayed at MacLaren House.
Whether it’s for a night, a week, or an extended visit, let your stay in Canada’s first city be as unique as Saint John itself.