Historic Dorchester Walking Tour

Discover the history of Dorchester using our interactive map, including a suggested itinerary for those who wish to live a dynamic visit experience while being on site.


As the shiretown of Westmorland County, where the courthouse, jail and record office were located, 19th century Dorchester was home to a number of prominent and wealthy lawyers, some of whom, like Edward Barron Chandler, Sir Albert J. Smith, Daniel Hanington and Sir Pierre-Amand Landry, were also among the province’s leading politicians.

The timber and wooden shipbuilding boom of the mid to late century made and sometimes unmade the fortunes of three shipbuilding families, the Palmers, Chapmans and Hickmans, while the commerce they spawned from their far-flung trading enterprises brought prosperity to merchants, innkeepers and other businessmen. One result was a disproportionately large number of fine homes, some of them still standing as a reminder of the shiretown’s importance in days gone by.


For a better experience, we suggest that you download the BaladoDiscovery application on your cell phone (iOS / Android) and use the Preload option. You will then be guided and informed in the field without having to be connected to the Internet network during your travels.

Notice: Many of the historic homes on this tour are privately occupied, therefore the Westmorland Historical Society asks that you respect private property and view all homes from the street or sidewalks.

Enjoy your historical visit!


This project was funded in part by the Government of Canada and by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

Written information on the buildings as well as various photos provided by the New Brunswick Register of Historic Places.

Written biographies provided by the Directory of Canadian Biography. 

Photos: courtesy of Wayne Fiendel, Keillor House Museum and Westmorland Historical Society.

Prepared by Bonnie Swift.

Reviewed by Donald Alward, Alice Folkins, Judy Morison.