Old St. Andrews






The "saltbox" design, with the sloping rear roofline, is more of a New England house than anything Canadian. The name comes from similarly shaped saltboxes used in homes for the storage of rock salt, this before the invention of granulated.

This house was purchased by Heritage Canada in 1975 as part of a a rehabiliation project. A title search at the time revealed that the land was first owned by Joseph Cruikshank, a shipwright, though not when the building was actually constructed. It was also discovered that Mrs. Charles Briscoe ran a schoolhouse here. Charles Briscoe was a person of some notoriety in 19th century St. Andrews, as he intimated darkly that he was the illegimate son of George IV, but an investigation of his grave later revealed that the documents he promised would reveal everything had crumbled into dust. The Briscoe's were of an aristocratic breed and held themselves aloof from the Townspeople, but after her husband's death Mrs. Briscoe was forced to work and taught school. An item on the Briscoe mystery in the St. Andrews Beacon, 1902, recalled that some of the Townspeople could still recall "the stately, dignified figure of the old lady as she appeared in her school-room, with a white ruffed Elizabeth collar about her neck and gold-headed cane in her hand." An ad for Mrs. Briscoe's Seminary for Young Ladies appeared in the St. Andrews Standard in 1837.

The St. Croix Courier item on the acquisition of the saltbox by Heritage Canada noted: "The exterior of thehouse has been faithfully restored to its original appearance. The shingle siding and roof will be allowed to weather naturally, the entire chimney has been rebuilt. The interior has been repaired for practical contemporary use. At the same time, as many of the interesting features as it was possible to retain have been kept intact. These are worthy of note: original mantelpiece, stairs, bannister and handrail; early doors, latches and hinges; fanlight over the front door; plaster medallion on front hall ceiling; ceiling moulding in front room, ground floor. Where windows have been replaced they are true to the style and period of the house. The Saltbox is a simple house, important because it is characteristic of its period and of a type which is fairly rare in this region. It is part of the history of our town. Its restoration and repair have been achieved in a practical way, at a reasonable cost for its future owner."