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Mary Jane's
(377 Duckworth Street, St. John's)

Originally built from 1876-1880 as a two-storeyed twin dwelling with a shed, the former Mary Jane's building is located at 377 Duckworth Street. It is also one of the few downtown structures to survive the Great Fire of 1892 that ravaged much of St. John's.

© 1998 Heritage Foundation
of Newfoundland and Labrador

(26Kb)

The original owner was John Fox, a businessman and politician from Harbour Grace. Fox moved to St. John's in 1840 to start a business with his brother, father and A. J. Harvey. After a major fire in 1846, the partnership split. The Fox's formed their own company, while Harvey went on to create A .J. Harvey and Company.

Fox was one of the first members elected to the new House of Assembly after the colony was granted responsible government in 1855. After his death in 1876, the home passed on to John's two sons, Charles and James. James became a barrister in London and Charles became the governor's advocate for southeast Asia. Charles was later appointed a judge in Burma's lower court. In 1906 the British government made him Burma's chief justice. He died as Sir Charles Fox in the fall of 1918.

During the early part of the twentieth century, the building changed ownership several times. Roland Breaker and Thomas Nurse owned the building in 1904. From 1908-1909 David McCrindle and Thomas J Nurse owned it.

In 1909, Slattery Wholesale Dry Goods, a firm established by William A. Slattery in the late nineteenth century, bought the building and had it renovated by Butler and MacDonald. It operated out of the Duckworth Street location until it closed in 1977.

The next major retail operation to move into the structure was Mary Jane's Speciality Foods in 1985. The speciality store lasted for approximately twelve years before closing operations.

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador designated the building a Registered Heritage Structure in March 1996.


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