Old St. Andrews

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Morris House

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This simple Cape Cod was built circa 1824, probably by David Jack, who was granted four town lots in that year. Jack was an emigrant from Cowper Fife, Scotland, and came to St. Andrews approximately 1801. Older citizens of the town who left recollections of old St. Andrews in the 19th century remember Jack as one of the more distinguished members of the Shiretown, along with the merchant aristocracy of Pagan, Wyer, Ker, Scott and Rait and Wilson. Interestingly, his son R. Melville Jack recalls that his father managed a slave plantation at some point, though he does not specify where or when. Jack had numerous children by two sisters. The youngest of the first set, Edward Jack, became a distinquished surveyor in association with Alexander Gibson, one of the lumber kings of New Brunswick. David Jack, a son of the second set, was a distinguished journalist - an editor of Acadiensis Magazine, and the author in 1904 of a special edition on St. Andrews.

 

The house was later owned by Walter Morris, who married Maria Jack - like R. Melville Jack, a child of his second marriage. This house is dated approximately by a story of Major W. McStay, whose grandfather was doctor to the garrison in the middle part of the 19th century, and who recollected in a letter to a local writer that McStay built his house in 1824 near the home currently owned by the Morris sisters and cleared a path through the woods to it. Walter Morris's obituary remembers him as an an Englishman who was involved first in the China trade and later in the insurance business, and who sang in the choir of All Saints Church for 45 years. He died in 1910, aged 74. He had two daughters, Lily and May Morris, and the Charlotte County Archives has a photograph of these two sisters in a sleigh outside All Saints Church with their father, dated 1886. In later life the two sisters feature in a silent movie made by one of their husbands, a Colonel Heasley, dated 1923, which features a trip to St. Andrews by train from McAdam Junction, a tour of various tourist attractions in the town, some of the summer homes such as Minister's Island, and also a trip to Saint John by motor car. The movie contains a very brief shot of the family home. This interesting movie, only 11 minutes long, is in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and is accompanied by a commentary by local residents Rose Haughn and Peter Williamson.