Old St. Andrews



McStay House



This house was built by Dr. McStay in 1824. According to a story related by his grandson, a Major W. F. McStay of Moncton, to local writer Frederick Worrell in 1941, the house was called Cherry Hill.. At the time the Doctor purchased the property - actually the entire block - it was a thick forest. Some natives were camped there but were asked to vacate. When the doctor opened a path between his house and one nearby, he discovered a neat line of cherry trees in the middle of the woods, which he supposed had been planted by the natives long ago. He called his house Cherry Hill and the name later was applied to the area in general.

Not much is known about Dr. McStay. He was noted in an issue of the St. Andrews Herald for 1824, now lost, to be willing to vaccinate (presumably for smallpox) children and adults at his shop of Wednesdays, free of charge. An item from the St. Andrews Standard for 1848 reports that Dr. McStay was currently attending sick immigrants on Hospital Island, and that although both the immigration officer, Mr. Boyd, and Dr. Gove were sick of the fever, as was also Dr. Bayard, Dr. McStay continued in good health.

Major McStay also had some vivid recollections of old St. Andrews supplied him by a friend who must have been about the age of Dr. McStay's son, reproduced here. They give a keen sense of life in St. Andrews during Dr. McStay's time.