Old St. Andrews



Henry Ross Phipps



Rossmount Cottage


Nov 7/1889
Rapid progress is being made on the Townsend cottage at Chamcook. The building is now in frame, and gives promise of being a handsome as well as substantial structure.
St. Croix Courier
April 1, 1943


May 8, 1890
A Charming Cottage
How Mr. Townsend has disposed of the Chamcook Ghost
Nestling beneath the shadow of Chamcook Mountain, within a few minutes drive of Sa, reposes one of the handsomest private residences in Charlotte County. A year ago the site was occupied by a deserted, dilapidated building, which was know along the countryside as “The Haunted House.” Mr. James A. Townsend, of Brooklyn, who owns the property, reached the conclusion last season that the most effectual way of “laying” the ghost was to pull down its old habitation and build a new house where the old one stood. And he has carried out his determination in no niggardly manner, as the new cottage is really a most charming one in every respect.
            On the first day of last September ground was broken for the foundation. Ten days later, Mr. Levi Handy, sr., had his men at work on the foundation walls. It was probably a month after that date when Mr. Walter lane of Saint John, began the erection of the superstructure. Now, it is almost completed, and is in the Queen Anne style of architecture. It is constructed of wood, and has three habitable floors in the main building. A broad verandah runs around three sides of the building. This verandah is ten feet only a casual glance to show that the work has been done well.
            The cottage is an adaptation of the wide, and its total length around the house I 270 feet. An easy stairway brings the visitor into a commodious vestibule, beyond which there is a hall twelve feet in width.
            An old-fashioned fireplace, with tiled hearth, is built on one side of the hall. On the right side of the lower hall are the parlors, each of which are about 15 x 20 feet. There will be folding doors between. On the left the first room is the reception room, (14 x 16 feet) which is quite comfortable looking, being provided with a beautiful mantel and fireplace. Adjoining this is the dining room, 24 x 16 feet. In addition to two large windows, there is also a stained glass window to be inserted in this room, which will enhance the effect very much. Between the kitchen and the dining room is the butler’s room. The kitchen is large and dairy. It is provided with a large range, hot and cold water taps, stationary wash tube, and all other necessary conveniences. Attached to the kitchen is commodious pantry. At the extremity of the hallway, with doors opening into the hall and kitchen and out on the verandah, is the smoking room.
            A broad stair, with handsome pine steps and walnut baluster, leads to the second floor, where ht sleeping rooms are located. On either side of the hall are two large rooms, with dressing room attached. In front, with a door opening on to a small verandah, the most charming boudoir that a woman’s heart cold wish for. The view from this part of the house is really sublime, embracing as it does all the eastern waters of Passamaquoddy By with its numerous islands, forming a complete archipelago.
            The servant’ room and bath room are located on the second floor, and from the former there is a rear stairway leading to the kitchen. Four other large sleeping rooms, with a good change for a fifth, in case of an emergency, are on the third floor.
            The house, both outside and inside, is well finished. There is no slipshod work anywhere from cellar to garret. The outside clapboards are nailed upon matched boards which, it is claimed, will make the house floor on the first story will be composed of narrow tongued and grooved birch boards. Electric bells are located everywhere throughout the house, all the wires leading to the kitchen. The bell in the dining room is on the floor, in such a position that ht mistress can press the button with her foot. There are stained lights in several of the window, which will heighten the effect very much. The body of the building will be painted a straw color, and the trimmings a light brown. The room will have a maroon tint. An artesian well is to be sunk on the slope of the hill a few rods above the house. An abundant supply of water is looked for, with sufficient pressure to carry it anywhere in the building.
            Nearly all the work about the house has been carried on by Saint John men. Mr. Walter Lane was the contractor. The plastering and chimney work was done by Messr. B. Mooney and Sons, the painting by Mr. Robert Barbour, the stir building by Mr. E. V Wetmore and the plumbing by Mr. James H. Doody, while Mr. Hedley V. Cooper has acted as superintendent. The cottage will cost in the vicinity of $12,000.


June 25/1891
If any one is in need of an elegant residence, with a mountain and abundance of magnificent scenery thrown in, they should read Mr. James A. Townsend’s advertisement in this issue. Mr. Townsend is desirous of selling the palatial residence which he recently erected at Chamcook and also Chamcook Mountain, which forms part of the property. This is a chance that investors do not meet with every day.


Aug 18, 1892
Mr. John Townsend, of Chamcook, who has been lying at death’s door for two or three weeks past, passed away on Friday. His funeral took place on Sunday and was largely attended. In the old ship-building days at Chamcook, Mr. Townsend followed that business, but of late years he has been engaged in farming. He was over 85 years old. He had always maintained the respect and esteem of those who knew him. One of his sons, Mr. James Townsend, is a successful businessman in New York, having large repairing docks there. Ms. Robert Ross is a sister of the deceased.


May 20/1897
Among the Hotels
Best hotels in province: SA--Algonquin and Kennedy's; Chamcook, Townsend Cottage; Grand Manan, Marathon House; SS, Windsor Hotel; Woodstock, Carlisle Hotel; Fred, Queen Hotel; Saint John , Royal Hotel, Dufferin Hotel.


June 10/1897
Summer Cottages
The Townsend cottage at Chamcook mountain promises to be a very popular resort. Ms. Thomas Williams and family, of Moncton, will spend a portion of the summer there, and others are negotiating for rooms.


Nov 13, 1902
The well known Townsend property at Chamcook, which includes a magnificent residence and the famous Chamcook Mountain, is now owned by Rev. Henry Phipps Ross, of Taunton, Mass., Mr. Ross having come here on Tuesday to consummate the transfer. Mr. James Townsend, of New York, was the former owner of the property. The transfer was effected through Mr. B. F. DeWolfe, the agent of Mr. Townsend.  The price has not been disclosed.


April 23/1903
Rev. Phipps Ross and wife, of Taunton, Mass., are now occupying “Rossmount” (formerly Mountain House) ‘Chamcook of the season. Mr. Ross proposes improving the property in many respects.


May 18/1905
At Chamcook Mountain
Many changes and improvements are being made to Rev. H. P. Ross’s beautiful summer abode at Chamcook. New walls and new sills are being placed beneath the dwelling. It is further intended to supply the house with a complete plumbing arrangement, gasoline engine and furnace. Five bath rooms with the most modern appointments are to be put in. In addition to these improvements, the house is to be painted and paper throughout. A barn, with living apartments for the coachman’s family, will be erected. Charles Horsnell has the contract for the mason work


July 13, 1905
Ocean Prize Yacht Built by St. Andrews Man
It is not everybody knows that the schooner yacht Atlantic which recently won Emperor William’s cup for trans-Atlantic sailing, was built by a native of St. Andrews. Mr. James A. Townsend, formerly of Chamcook, was the builder of this splendid vessel. She was constructed on the same blocks as the Kaiser’s famous schooner yacht, and was as fine a type of vessel as could be built. The New York Sun, in its report of the great race, says “The Atlantic won the race because she is a good boat, well built, scientifically balanced and has power to drive her fast in all weathers.” This surely high praise for the builder, but no more than he is deserving of.


Aug 10/1905
Place Names
Here are a few of the place-names about SA, with the names of the owners or present occupants:
Covenhoven—Sir William Van Horne
Dalmeny—William Hope
Rossmount—Rev.. H. P. Ross
Cedar Croft—Rev. A. T. Bowser
Resthaven—F. W. Thompson
Bide-a-Wee—C. R. Hosmer
Lazy Croft—G. B. Hopkins
Park cottage—D. R. Forgan
Tipperary Fort—Sir Thomas Shaughnessy
Top Side—T. R. Wheelock
Kings Brae—D. MacMaster
Chestnut Hall—Mrs. Simpson
Linden Grange—Lady Tilley
Clover Bank—Miss Ottie Smith
Ainslee Villa—F. P. McColl
Maplehurst—C. S. Everett
Red Cliff—A. P. Young
Beech Hill—George Mowat
Elm Corner—Miss Mowatt
Rose Bank—R. A. Stuart
Ifield—Rev. Dean Sills
The Anchorage—Mr. F. G. Andrews
Sea View—Mrs. John Robinson


New owners of Lansdowne repainting and renovating it. Details of improvements at Rossmount.


Aug 6/1908
Who’s Who
What Some of our Summer Residents Do at Home
Rev. Phipps Ross, proprietor of beautiful “Rossmount,’ Chamcook is well known as a clergyman of the Anglican church of the United States. Hs been recently rector of the Anglican Church at Providence, R. I. He is a man of cultured mind, holds broad views on religious matters, and personally is very popular.


History of Journalism in St. Andrews
Paper Read Before Canadian Lit. Club by R. E. Armstrong
Feb 10, 1910
(continued from last week)


The Charlotte Gazette made its bow to the public on the 10th of June, 1846. The Standard bidding the new comer welcome, said: “It forms a respectable addition to the periodical literature of the Province.” The paper continued for a number of years. John McLachlan, a Scotchman, was its publisher. He died I am informed in 1854 or 1855. William Gibson, afterwards stationmaster at Woodstock, was foreman. Mr. McLachlan lived in a house which stood upon the stie of the present summer residence of Rev. H. Phipps Ross, immediately under the shadow of Chamcook mountain. This house was the scene of a tragedy, his housekeeper having been burned to death within its walls. After the tragedy McLachlan deserted the house and for years it stood along and abandoned upon the mountain side. It was alleged that on the anniversaries fo the woman’s death weird, uncanny noises would be heard proceeding from it. It got the reputation for being “a haunted house,” and as such it was known for man years. The house stood until Mr. James Townsend removed it to make room for the present stately building. With the removal the old housekeeper’s ghost seemed to have been effectually laid for nobody has seen or hear of any spooks in that locality since that time.


October 26, 1911
Frederick Dreyer to Sir William Van Horne
“Between John Frederick Dreyer of the City of Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Coachman, and his wife . . . and Sir William Van Horne . . . all the lands and premises recently by deed dated the 12th day of October instant conveyed to Jules S. Thebaud and Ethel Thebaud to the said John Frederick Dreyer and therein described as [the lot conveyed by Annie Johnson, widow, to Ethel Thebaud and bounded by following lots: on north by lands of late William Greenlaw’s estate, easterly by land owned by James Townsend and a lot known as the Jackson Townsend lot, southerly by land owned by Andrews Boyd and in part by land owned by John Greenlaw, and westerly by land owned by Joseph Wiley the heirs of the late Ralph Cookson and Gordon Stuart,] and being the same lands and premises formerly conveyed by deed dated the 2oth day of July 1890 by Henry Johnson to his son Hans Johnson [who left it to his wife Annie] including a strip of land connecting the said farm with the St. John Roadway, which was conveyed to the said Henry Johnson by James Stranaghan about 1852.


St. Croix Courier
June 24/1926
Mr. and Mrs. Mackay recently having bought Rossmount from Mrs. C. Smith.


St. Croix Courier
April 1, 1943
Shiretown Items
Chamcook of Other Days
A century ago, the village of Chamcook was a thriving ship-building centre, had two or three saw-mills, a grist mill and a paper mill. The prosperity of Chamcook at that time was chiefly owing to the enterprise of one man, John Wilson, after whose death at the age of 70 years on April 1st, 1855, the place began gradually to decline. The following extract from Mr. Wilson’s obituary in the St. Andrews paper shows the important position he held in the community and how his loss would affect its prosperity.
“Mr. Wilso has been engaged in mercantile and other pursuits in this county for more than 30 years and such was the diversity of his business transaactions, embracing almost every occupation incident to the country, that he kept a great number of men in constant employ. As a merchant he had few equals, well acquainted with markets of the world, entirely familiar with the trade and resources of the province, energetic and temperate, always active and persevering, he seldom undertook a work that he did not complete. He devoted the whole powers of his mind to the construction of the St. Andrews-quebec Railroad.”
            Mr. Wilson operated several sawmills on Chamcook stream as well as a grist-ill, where wheat flour, buckwheat and oatmeal were manufactured. Also, and most interesting of all, he owned and operated a paper mill, near the present site of Rankin’s sawmill. On this paper was printed the St. Andrews Herald, and the following advertisement appears in the issue of Feb. 5th. 1827, “Wanted,--an apprentice to the paper-making business. Apply to the mill at Chamcook or the Herald office.” Mr. Wilson built a beautiful stone house on the site now occupied by the Grimer residence. This house was destroyed by fire in 1882. The present generation will remember the grist mill which tumbled down and was removed just a few year ago. It was used for many years by Davideson Grimmer.
            The two story building still standing on the Glebe road over the Chamcook stream was the Dimick and Wilson store, and no doubt at one time did a thriving busienss. There was a brickyard at Chamcook at one time, but  whether during Mr Wilson’s residence there or at a later period, is not now known. It wa situated outside the dock gates adjacent to the shipyard. Its location can be easily found today by the bricks scattered around. But the most important industry carried on in Mr. Wilson’s time was ship-building. At an early date the inenr harbour at chamcook was coverted into a dock from which the tide could be shut out. A dam with gates was built, the remains of which can still be seen at half-tide. A flume was constructed which carried the water from the milll stream outside the dock gates. There were two sets of these, out and inner, and the gates were controleld b water pressure. Many ships were repaired in this dock. It is known to have been in operation in 1842 as a bill for repairs on the structure is still ixistence.
            Closely associated with John Wilson in the ship-building industry was John Townshend and his four sons. The Townshends had been operating a yard at St. Andrews near Indian Point and were brought to Chamcook by Wilson to finish a dhip on the stocks there. They remaiend there and carried on an extensive business for many years, chiefly under contract with Wilson. At a later date wo of the sons were business partners, and Charles Short, when a young man, was employed by them and later became their master builder. Short in 1854 built the Homeward Bound, a ship of 594 tons, at Digdeguash. For some years William Townshend and Charles Short were partners, during which period they built the Lady Milton. The account with Dimick and Wilson re the building of this ship is still in existence.
            Another record in an old time book says that Townshend and Short commenced work on the new ship, Even Star, Sept. 4th, 1855, at Indian Point. The Townshends operated three yards in Chamcook. There were two sets of blocks on what is known as the Public Landing, where the Pristman cottage now stands. William built on the east side of the stream, these two yards beign inside the dock. A third yeard was situated on the west side of the harbour jiust outside the dock. People still living can remember the remains of the old bed logs in these locations. I have a list of some of the ships built at Chamcook which I shall send in next week.
St. Croix Courier
April 8/1943
Shiretown Items
Old Ships
Following is a list of old ship’s authentic records of which are still in existence, most of them having been built at Chamcook and St. Andrews.
Princess Victoria, ship, 561 tons. Built at St. Andrews, 1832, by J. Townshend.
Wilson, ship, 565 tons. Built at Chamcook, 1837, by J. R. Townshend. Sold Grenock.
Coronet, ship, 870 tons. Built at Chamcook by John Wilson, 1839. Sold Dublin, 1847.
Provincialist, ship, 880 tons. Built 1839 at Chamcook by Ed. Wilson.
John Moore, ship, 730 tons. Built at Chamcook 1841. Sold Liverpool, 1842.
William Bayard, ship, 802 tons. Built 1844 at Chamcook by John Wilson.
Alice Wilson, ship, 990 tons. Built 1847 at Chamcook, by John Wilson. Sold Liverpool.
Strang, bark, 418 tons. Built 1848 at St. Andrews, by J. and R. Townshend. Townshends and Steven Jarvis owners.
Silecia, bark, 844 tons. Built at St. Andrews, 1848, by J. Wilson. Owners Joseph and Edward Wilson
Cornelia, ship, 703 tons. Built at St. Andrews 1849, by J. and R. Townshend. Owners Robert Rankine and Townshends.
Isabella Stuart, ship, 643 tons. Built  1845 at Brandy Cove, by J. and R. Townshend.
Rienzl, ship, 912 tons. Built at St. Andrews, 1854, by J. and R. Townshend. Owner Robert Rankine, Dublin. Hail, Dublin 1868.
Lady of the lake, bark, 458 tons. Built at Chamcook by Townshends, 1840 Sailed many years between St. Andrews and Great Britain with Thomas Smith, Master.
Loodianah, ship, 915 tons. Built 1846 at St. Andrews by E. and J. Wilson, also owners.
Black Swan, ship, 896 tons. Built 1855, at St. Andrews by John Wilson (his last ship).
Anaconda, bark, 169 tons, Built 1856 at Chamcook. Thomas B. Wilson, owner.
Lammergier, ship, 703 tons. Built 1857 at St. Andrews by Bradford. Thomas Wilson owner.
Eldorado, ship, 977 tons. Built 1846 at St. George, by William Townshend and John Billings. Owned by Daniel Gilmore. Lloyds agent stated the Eldorado was one of the best colonial ships he had ever inspected (record in old time-book).
Virginia, brig, 193 tons. Built at St. Andrews 1856, by William Townshend. Hector MacKenzie owner.
Robert Ross, schooner, 128 tons. Built 1873 at St. Andrews by Townshends (their last ship).
Nell Gwyn, ship, 938 tons. Launched Nov. 27th, 1856. Owner Ed. Wilson.
Nellie Townshend, bark, 399 tons. Built at Chamcook. Launched Aug. 18th, 1864. Owner James W. Street.
Lady Milton, 903 tons. Built at St. Andrews 1856 by William Townshend and Charles short. Owners Ed. Wilson, St. Andrew and Joseph Wilson, Liverpool. Sold to Henry Barton, Liverpool, Feb. 1857.
Chimaera, brig, 205 tons. Built at Chamcook, 1859, by William Townshend. Owner Jas. W. Street.
Black Duck, 253 tons. Built 1856. Owner Robert Townshend, sold to George W. Houghton, Liverpool.


St. Croix Courier
Sept 15/1949
“Rossmount,” the former home of the late Dr. and Mrs. Henry Phipps Ross at Chamcook, has been purchased from the executors of the estate by a Saint John barrister, George. E. McIerney, in trust, and is being made ready for use as a tourist motel. (more on incorporation, etc.)


St. Croix Courier
Sept 28/1950
CP will spend 250,000 in improvements to Algonquin this year, stated GM McKinnon in address to Board of Trade at Waweig. Voiced regret that road to top of Chamcook Mountain, with such a great view, not being kept open to general public. Road built by Dr. H. P. Ross at own expense.


Aug 11, 1960
County Landmark Flattened by Flames in Chamcook area. Rossmount Inn charred as Hundreds see Fire. Details


St. Croix Courier
Aug 25/1966
Shiretown Items
Chamcook Becomes Famous
The Rossmount Inn at Chamcook, NB, a wayside Inn of Victorian splendour furnighed with  priceless antiques and rare good taste nestled in a setting of green trees at the base of Chamcook Mountain, was chosen for the historic meeting last Sunday between Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson of Canada and President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States. The famous gentlemen, their wives and staff arrrived by helicopters afer attending St. Ann’e Church in Campobello, and returned to the island again in time fo rhte afternoon ceremonies.
            Early Friday things began to happen as helicopters appeared in the sky over St. Andrews and flew off in the direction of Campboello only to return again later. Two Air Canada stewardesses appeared in the busines ssection of tonw. Small boys and girls too were kept busy dashing out of doors and looking skyward to see another “chopper” fly over. On Satruday afternoon they were rewarded when two chippers appeared at once flying quite low and in close formation and headed off in the directio of Campbello, but soon one circled and came back over and observers could clearly see its bright red nose. Although they probably did not know it, this was Mr. Pearson and his party arriving and the copter settled down on the lawn at Rossmount at exactly 3:30 pm. From then on the pageant slowed all traffic on the St. Andrews to Saint John highway at this point. Red coated Mounted Police patrolled the area and the grounds and on Sunday two helopters sat side by side on the lawn while Amrican secret police and th eMounties stood guard in the idyllic country seting.


May 21/1980
Rossmount originally residence of Townshend shipbuilding family of Chamcook. Called Mountain House. Renamed Rossmount in 1902 by Rosses of States.


St. Croix Courier
June 30/1992
Tourist operators says business slow (recession). See A-2. St. Andrews featured.
Rossmount changes hands. Original building 1889 by James Townsend of Brooklyn. Ross’s purchase 1902. Renamed Rossmount. Burned 1960. New building built on old foundation, with original chimneys and front steps. Carriage house also built 1889. Barn 1750. New owner David Garcelon.