By Dawn Bemner
On Grimross Island in the Saint John river near the village of Gagetown, stands the ruins of the old stone Mount house. Over the years this house has been the cause of much speculation, especially as to “Who” build it and how?
The how is easy, the Mount, so called although its elevation is only 75 feet, is made up of debris deposited by a glacier-boulders large rocks, gravel, quite earth quite different from the alluvial soil in the surrounding flood plain. Some of the deposits consist of huge sandstone blocks and the material for the building seems to have been quarried close to the site.
The real speculation is about who built the mount. Rumour persist that is of French origin. One rumor suggest Count Frontenac had it built about 1680 for Madame Marie Francoise Du Marson. the widow of Pierre Joybert but there is no support of the story. Joybert’s land grant did not include Grimross Neck.
James Peters, a Loyalist from Long Island New York, had 600 acres on Grim roos Neck and a house within the town plot, It has been suggested the house was built for one of his sons. Colonel Joseph Gubbins, a British officer on an inspection tour of the local Militia recorded in his journal.
“At the houses of Young Peters’s where he breakfasted, I meet several ladies of that family, whos appears and behavior would have done credit to a more polished country, and the neat arrangements of the apartments were as pleasing to me as unexpected.
This is the first reference to the mount house.
An expert in historical building confirms that brick footing used at the chimney foots at “Glenora” and bricks and fireplaces and chimneys as the mount house, are from the same source. in 1971 An archeologist test pit in the vicinity of the hearth of the mount house yielded a number of artifacts. Most were of English extraction with a time frame of 1760- 1840.
These facts plus the total lack of evidence of this building in any of the extant French sources confirm the sources f expert historians that the “Mount House” was built by loyalist James Peters between 1807 and 1811. It was inhabited for perhaps 50 years and probably abandoned because of isolation.
with river ice and flood water, it could be cut of for as much as four weeks a year. Althought, today not much remains, pictures taken while the house was still standing came be seen at the Queens count museum- reprint with permission of Ferry land May 1992
By Dawn Bemner