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    New Brunswick MuseumNew Brunswick Museum St. John, Canada
    Canada's oldest continuing museum is located in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada and was officially incorporated as the "Provincial Museum" in 1929, and got its current name in 1930, although its history begins back in the early 19th century when a Dr. Abraham Gesner began collecting various natural elements. In 1842, Dr. Gesner would leave his position as the first provincial geologist, after deciding that general practice was not as endearing to him as was the geology discoveries that he found, so he opened his collection of minerals, curiosities and rocks to the public. He opened the Museum of Natural History in one room of the Mechanics Institute in St. John, but the museum could not support him enough, so his financial difficulties would force Gesner to turn his beloved collection over to his creditors; who in turn would donate the collection to the Mechanics Institute. In 1846, it would become the Mechanics Institute Museum, with a good sized and valuable collection of numerous Chinese, Indian and other curiosities that would often get additions from foreign sea captains and others, a large amount of zoological specimens and minerals. The museum closed in 1890, but the Natural History Society of New Brunswick would acquire the collection, and the museum moved. The excellent collection would expand under the direction of entomologist, Dr. William McIntosh, until a new building had to be acquired since the collection had grown so large. A new Provincial museum facility opened in 1934, and by 1942, the collection, structure and properties of the museum were handed over to the people of New Brunswick. By 1992, this site was becoming overcrowded, so a new facility would be opened in 1996 with three floors and 60,000 square feet of space. The site would also house the head office, archives and research library and collection center.

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    Loyalist HouseLoyalist House St. John, NB, Canada
    This marvelous house was constructed in 1817, with Georgian features, the "house on the hill" was built with pine and had cypress shingles on the south and west walls, with an entry that has an original fanlight and brass knocker, and was one of the small number of surviving structures that would survive the Great Fire of 1877; and eventually be added to the National Historic Site list. The Merritt family would be the initial occupants, with a house filled with outstanding features like the unique similarities it has to Mount Vernon on the Potomac. The bannister and stairway is similar in design and placement, and the unusual curved doors that open up to the back hall. The main floor parlors house a beautiful display of antique furniture that have the Empire, Duncan Phyfe and Sheraton patterns, with a spectacular piano-organ, close to two centuries old and still functioning. The kitchen still contains the original fireplace implements, after being discovered when the fireplace was uncovered, as well as a pressure cooker made in 1795. The dining room furniture, the table, yoke-back chairs and cabinets, as well as the Rockingham china are splendid examples of period furnishings, and in the master bedroom upstairs, there sits a magnificent mahogany canopy bed with blush red drapes. The New Brunswick Historical Society would acquire the house in 1959, which exudes the craftsmanship that was available in the town in those early days, especially without the modern tools of today. The reason the house is called the Loyalist House is that Thomas Merritt, the first owners would be staunch Loyalists to the crown, and had come here originally to escape the wrath of the new nation.

May 4, 2011