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The Chestnut Hardware store was in operation for nearly 90 years. Robert Chestnut (1764-1846) and his wife Margaret McPherson came to Fredericton from County Antrim, Ireland in 1834. By 1836 Robert had opened a store there, was agent for the Albion Works, and a director of the Bank of Fredericton. His son Robert (1797-1859) reorganized and incorporated the firm as R. Chestnut and Sons in November 1858, less than a year before he died.
Robert, Jr.'s wife, Margaret Anthony Chestnut, and her sons, Henry and Enoch, were left to oversee the business. R. Chestnut and Sons, located in Phoenix Square on Queen Street in 1884, sold imported hardware, butlery, silver and other goods. In 1909 Henry's son, Harry G., took over and ran the business until it was closed in 1924. Harry Chestnut was also president to the Chestnut Canoe Company in Fredericton.