The following historical structures have been painted and donated to the Town of Riverview. They are now hanging in the Town Hall and Library.
The Interprovincial Home for Young Women was built in Riverview in 1924-1925, on 200 acres of land purchased from Mr. J.W. Gaskin, by a committee of representatives of the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches. The purpose of the Home was to take female prisoners out of the common jails and bring them into a Christian redemptive environment.
The original building, which was opened in 1926, was a very large brick home which no longer exists. Later, the Honour House was built in 1956, and this was used for girls who showed responsibility and good behaviour. The Home was closed in 1972, and the main building was demolished to make way for a new highway (Findlay Boulevard) off the causeway, and the town purchased Honour House, which now (with a recent addition) comprises the Town Hall and Public Library.
Painting by Sylvia Skeffington
COVERDALE UNITED CHURCH
In 1826 the construction of a small church was begun at Coverdale and completed in 1828. This was the only Methodist Church at the time between Dorchester and Saint John. It was situated on the main highway opposite the present church, and it was a small, plain building measuring 24' x 32.'
It was during the term of Reverend Colter, that plans were made for the construction of a much larger church building. The present site was deeded to the Methodist church (for the sum of $20) by John Nelson (son of William Chapman) and Jane Chapman. This included land for the adjacent cemetery.
Cornelius Smith, John W. Smith (grandfather and father respectively of the late C.R. Neil Smith) and John Geldart had the contract to hew the frame for the building. John N. Chapman donated the logs from which the frame was hewed. Upon inspecting the hewed timbers he found one which bark was left on one edge. He wanted "a respectable frame" for the church. When the frame was up and the building began to take shape Mr. Chapman still continued his interest. He and Mrs. Chapman drove on a Sunday afternoon to a spot directly across the river (Petitcodiac) to admire the steeple of the Church. This was one of the first buildings to have a steeple.
The church building was completed and dedicated on September 23, 1865. In outward appearance the building was the same as today except that the back was straight across. The pulpit was the high box style, the pews had doors, the choir loft was in the gallery which had pews arranged in tiers. No organ was used but Thomas Mitchell conducted the singing, using a pitch-pipe for starting. The hymn book was the "Dulcimer." "I have set watchmen upon their ways, O Jersusalem," was an anthem sung at the dedication.
During the week following dedication, the pews were auctioned. For some time this was an annual event, then the practice of pew rent was adopted. This was discontinued in 1932.
Painting by Debbie Eagles
THE BAPTIST CHURCH, GUNNINGSVILLE
The sod turning ceremony for this church took place on May 20, 1925, and the church opened September 13, 1925 with services held in the basement. The Sanctuary opened June 8, 1931.
The land belonged to Mr. Gunning, and the first minister was Reverend D.H. Maitland. The building was sold to the Faith Bible Chapel in March 1970.
Elsie Washburn donated a painting of this church which is in the Riverview Town Hall.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST ANGLICAN CHURCH
While the rapid growth of Riverview, then called Riverview Heights, by 1950 the congregation of the community with Anglican affiliations had increased to such an extent that the need for a church building became imperative.
In the meantime, correspondingly, the congregation of the Albert County community of Waterside had dwindled, so the church was empty. The decision was reached to move St. John the Baptist Church from that locale to Riverview Heights, a distance of 50 miles. This was quite an accomplishment, as the roof was removed, the building was cut in eight pieces, and moved by truck to this area, where it was reassembled. This event stirred the imagination of John Fisher (Mr. Canada) who talked of the event on a CBC news broadcast of May 18, 1952. The church was on the corner of Bradford Road and Montgomery Avenue (southeast of the intersection).
Minor alterations to the interior, to give more choice space, were carried out in 1958-1959 and in 1959, another 20 feet were added to the south end of the building. The basement was made available for Sunday School classes and kitchen facilities added.
This served the congregation till 1973, when it was decided to sell the church to the Masonic Order and use the facilities of St. Paul's United Church, till their new building on Woodridge Avenue was completed, and first used on December 25, 1976.
Painting by Brenda Prescott
WILLIAM MITTON BRIDGE
The William Mitton Bridge is located within the Town limits, over a tributary of Turtle Creek, on the William Mitton Road. It has been called the "Travelling Bridge" because it was moved from its original site in Kent County. The date of construction is not known but it is 87 feet in length and has an extra wooden truss as bracing. It is not in use now and the road has been changed to go around it, and a concrete structure spans the small brook.
It is shown on page 23 of Covered Bridges of Central Canada and Eastern Canada by Lyn and Richard Harrington (1976). A beautiful painting of this bridge by Frank Gillard hangs in the Town Hall.
THE CHAPMAN HOUSE
This old brick home was on the old coach road to St. John from Albert County. The bricks were made from the Petitcodiac mud, the windows were surrounded by stone and over the front door is the date 1824 carved in stone. The joists were hand hewn and the floor boards were of 12" wide planks.
This house is now restored and owned by Jim Flemming and wife Laurie Joudry.
Painted by Jere McCabe
THE DOBSON HOUSE
This old home (now demolished) was built and owned by three generations of the Ryan Family, who were prominent in political life as Councillors, Members of the House of Assembly and M.L.A.s. Sanford Ryan's Estate sold the property of Joseph E. Dobson in 1933, who conveyed it to Mary (Mills) Dobson, wife of Byrson Dobson in 1943.
Painted by Peggy West
THE LANE HOUSE
This house was built about 140 years ago by Robert Colpitts for his wife Hanna Reid and their seven children. During the next 100 years the house was owned by John Wood, James Wiley, Tom Steeves, Elbert Steeves and lastly by Lester and Hazel Lane.
This home is finished inside with oak windows and doors and 14" baseboards, also a handsome oak stairway.
Painted by Ada Champion