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McKenzie-Sutherland Residence

McKenzie-Sutherland Residence

Catalogue info: The house was built around 1860-65 for John McKenzie, a prosperous merchant in River John. The foundation of the home is comprised of quarried stone. John (1831-1915) married Maria Archibald (1837-1868) on December 5th, 1861. They had two daughters, Bessie Archibald and Mary Olivia. The house remained in the McKenzie-Sutherland family until 1983. The interior is decorated with free-hand painted walls and ceiling (oil on plaster c. 1870). The decorative surfaces represent painted wall frames and mouldings. By 1870 it was fashionable to divide walls into panels leaving the centre of the panel for hanging the family portraits. These panels were emphasized with trompe-oeil mouldings. Room dimensions are 4.5 x 4.5m. Thought the artist is unknown, Mary Olivia McKenzie (b.1865), whose father built the house, remembered the work being done when she was a little girl, possibly dating the work to 1870-75. The artist is believed to have been "French, from foreign parts" (interview with Mrs. D. Sutherland, July 19th, 1978).

River John


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