Frost, Shepherd Johnson

FROST, Shepherd Johnson (1788-1853) was listed variously as a carpenter, builder and contractor active in the Miramichi region of New Brunswick from 1816 onward. Born in Lee, New Hampshire in 1788 it is likely he learned his skills in the carpentry trade in Portsmouth, N.H. before moving to New Brunswick in 1816. In 1822 he was recorded in Dorchester N.B. where his name as 'architect' appears on an indenture dated 24 June 1822 (New Brunswick Museum, Archives, Div., Deeds F 58, No. 47). During that year he built (and likely designed) the Anglican Church at Shediac Cape, N.B. In 1825 he moved to Chatham and formed a partnership with Gavin Rainnie; together they obtained several commissions to prepare plans and specifications and to construct a variety of wood frame buildings including court houses, churches, and commercial buildings. In 1829 Frost was paid £12.10 for 'drawing Drafts and Specifications for the Court House and Gaol' at Newcastle, N.B., executed in a plain and austere Federal style and bearing a distinct resemblance to the Court House at Richibucto, N.B. The firm of Frost & Rainnie may also have been responsible for many of the private houses erected in the Miramichi area after the Great Fire there in October 1825.

Their partnership was dissolved in December 1832 and Frost continued in business as a carpenter and joiner in Chatham (Gleaner [Miramichi], 1 Jan. 1833, 131, advert.). Financial problems likely forced him to sell his business in 1839 and to call in his outstanding debts (Gleaner [Miramichi], 13 April 1839, 11 June 1839, advert.). Frost then worked briefly as a mechanic for Joseph Cunard and took a position as Surveyor of Lumber in 1848, a post he held until his death on 3 July 1853 (obituary in The Gleaner [Chatham], 4 July 1853, 215; Althea Douglas, 'Shepherd Johnson Frost: A Forgotten Architect', in the Society for the Study of of Architecture in Canada Bulletin, xv, Sept. 1990, 60-7, illus.)

MONCTON, N.B., Free Meeting House, Steadman Street, 1821 (inf. Moncton Museum)
SHEDIAC CAPE, N.B., St. Martin's-in-the-Woods Anglican Church, 1822-23 (F.R.K. Sayer, A History of Shediac Cape, N.B., 1966, 28)
NEWCASTLE, N.B., Northumberland County Court House, Campbell Street, 1829 (PANB, RS 153, F6, 1, 2 and 3)
RICHIBUCTO, N.B., Kent County Court House, 1829-30 (Canadian Courant [Montreal], 16 Oct. 1830, 2, descrip.; PANB, RG18, RS 150 A1.1; unsigned dwgs. in PANB, RG9, RS 377A)
CHATHAM, N.B., Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Duke Street at Cunard Street, 1831 (Gleaner [Miramichi], 2 Aug. 1831, 375)
CHATHAM, N.B., St. John's Presbyterian Church, 1832 (Gleaner [Miramichi], 21 Aug. 1832, 399)
SHELDRAKE ISLAND, N.B., Quarantine Station or lazaretto, 1832 (PANB, RS 153, G2/3)