Restoration of the VanHorne Estate on Ministers Island, New Brun
Created November 21, 2012 by Dareth Thorne
The Van Horne Estate on Ministers Island consists of a number of buildings on the island and was the site of the summer home of Sir William Van Horne and his family, the builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway and one of the most important businessmen of Canadian history. It consists of the mansion, the barn,( designed by Canadian Architect Maxwell- titled Canada's model barn when built, the carriage house, the bathhouse, the gardners cottage, garage , windmill and employees boarding house, creamery and the Ministers House ( circa 1790). There were 22 buildings in VanHorne's day. Total size of the property is 500 acres with a vast farming area,woodland and carriage trails.The property is in a sad state of repair and our Board is working diligently to restore it to the Van Horne era of 1900 plus. It is operated as a Museum for tours during the summer tourist season. A unique thing about this property is that it is on an island in Passamoquoddy Bay connected to the mainline by a road at low tide every 6 hours. One drives on the ocean floor during this time to visit the site. The mansion holds a number of pieces that belonged to the Van Hornes and we are receiving donations of items that had been previously sold at Auction. We would like to have this restoration completed by 2015 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of his death. This property is a National Historic site, a Provincial Historic site and a site a importatnt Aboriginal significance. The site is just off shore from the town of St. Andrews, N.B. and plays an important part in our summer Tourism package. We are a small town of approximately 1600 people. This project has important significance to the history of Canada and the history of this area as well as a revenue and employment generator for this small area. For further information and or pictures, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. This is the last site left to honour this great Canadian, the only non British subject to be granted a knighthood. (by Queen Victoria).