Seamen’s Hospital, a Marine Hospital and National Historic Site of Canada

Events Update from Seamen’s Hospital

Card Games: the card games for Seniors will not be restarted until later due to the Covid-19 restrictions. That decision has not yet been made. We will advise regarding a  date as soon as possible.

Friends of Seamen’s Hospital Craft Group: Quilting will restart after Labour Day on Wednesdays starting September 9th.   Doors open 9:30 am until 3 pm.  We will be using all the Covid-19 rules,  spacing the tables appropriately, cleaning, hand washing and masks when necessary. Bring your project, lunch, mask and good humour. New members always welcome. Come to stitch, learn, teach or just come to visit. $3.00 for the day.

Rentals: Seamen’s Hospital is available for rentals with the understanding that renters must follow all the Covid-19 rules for everyone’s safety.  Call for further information 778-8081 or 773-6996 or check out our Facebook Page (Seamen’s Hospital Miramichi).

Nestled among the trees on the banks of the Miramichi River in Douglastown is one of Miramichi’s little known gems. This charming building is a National Historic Site of Canada. Built in 1830 by the Port of Miramichi, it is the oldest surviving marine hospital in Canada. It was financed through a tax on shipping tonnage and it provided care for sick or disabled seamen who had no family in the area. These seamen were mostly involved in the timber trade for almost one hundred years. The design and structure of the building is composed of local sandstone with a roof line capped by a distinctive cupola, which are all reflective of the architectural style that was popular in the early 19th century of British North America.

It served as a hospital providing health service to mariners until 1921, after which it was used for various health related activities. It was sold to St. Samuel’s Roman Catholic Church thereafter and used as a church hall until late 1980’s. In 1990, it came up for sale. It was feared that the building would be demolished and the land used for some more modern purpose. The historical significance of the building was recognized by a group of local historians and through their determined efforts, the site became the property of Miramichi Heritage, Inc.

A commemorative plaque was placed on the lawn between the flag poles in 2000 designating this building as a National Historic Site. Miramichi Heritage Inc. is proud to have been instrumental in saving it for this distinction

In 2017 much needed renovations were made to the hall. Its foundation, replacement of all windows and doors, and stonework were repaired as a result of fundraising by its board members, financial assistance from the Federal, Provincial and local governments. This update will secure many more years of life for the building and its use by the community.

Seaman’s Hospital is also available to rent for events!

Currently Miramichi Heritage Inc., also known as Seamen’s Hospital, offers activities for seniors, youth and folks of all ages and is used as a gathering place in the community. Many see the value of such a stately building and the heritage and value it has in the community. All operating and upkeep of the property is solely done through events organized by the volunteer staff and through rental of the building for various events such as weddings, retirements, birthdays, cultural events, dances and so on.

Tours of the building can be arranged by appointment. A quilt display may be planned during the summer in July or August. We are still hopeful that in late September homemade apple pies will be available (pre-ordered) and homemade turkey pies (pre-ordered) in October. It is likely that our Annual Christmas craft sale planned for early Nov. will not go forward, fully dependant on the COVID-19 situation.

All folks from near and far are welcome to attend any of our events. We love the building and its heritage in the community and want it to live on. Join us – new members are always welcome. To book the hall for an event call 778-8081 or 773-6996. For event updates find Seamen’s Hospital Miramichi on Facebook. Located at 12 Vye Street, Miramichi (Douglastown).

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