9 July 2009

New Book on Geology and Stone Buildings of Saint John Released by New Brunswick Museum


A new walking tour guidebook produced by the New Brunswick Museum provides the first tour which focuses on uptown Saint John’s stone buildings from the perspective of geology. Co-authored by Museum Curator of Geology and Palaeontology Dr. Randall F. Miller and Museum Curator of History and Technology Gary K. Hughes, the book includes interesting details on 18 buildings and monuments.  Some of these are survivors of the Great Fire of 1877 but most date from the building boom which followed it. 

Rebuilt in Stone: Geology and the Stone Buildings of Saint John, New Brunswick, is both informative and practical, including a map which can be used to cover an uptown tour in approximately one hour. This richly illustrated bilingual booklet also makes an excellent memento of a Saint John visit.

Geologist Miller points out that a rich variety of stone was used in these buildings. “Some stone used in pre-fire buildings originated as ballast, specially imported or dumped on the New Brunswick coast by ships sailing from Britain. Much of the stone used to rebuild came from New Brunswick.” This included sandstone quarried from the eastern and northern parts of the province and granite, often used for decorative work, which came from St. George, known as Granitetown. Marble was quarried from local Precambrian rock, and stone was also imported from Nova Scotia. 

Hughes, an expert on nineteenth century New Brunswick architecture, notes that the tour includes buildings designed by architects from Saint John, Montreal, Toronto, Boston and New York. “In the building boom which followed the fire, they created commercial streetscapes which are of national historic significance.”

To launch the new guide, the New Brunswick Museum is leading a unique Uptown Geo Walk with authors Miller and Hughes on Tuesday, July 21. Sponsored by Uptown Saint John, the event begins at the New Brunswick Museum at Market Square at 5:15 pm. The walk is followed by a reception at Happinez Wine Bar.  Cost of $25 for Museum members and $30 for non- members includes a glass of wine, appetizers and a copy of Rebuilt in Stone. For tickets or information, call 643-2349 or 1 888 268-9595.

Rebuilt in Stone is available at the New Brunswick Museum Giftshop.  The book is part of a study of geoscience heritage in the Saint John region supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council – Community University Research Alliances and the New Brunswick Environmental Trust. Financial support for its publication was also provided by the Canadian Geological Foundation, the Architects’ Association of New Brunswick and Jacques Whitford Limited.

For further information:
Vita Kipping
Community Relations
New Brunswick Museum
(506) 643 2358
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