Charles Connell died in 1873. His wife, Anne, died in 1895. The two eldest daughters, Ella and Alice, remained single while their mother lived, marrying in 1896 and 1897 respectively. Thereafter, the house suffered a variety of alterations and passed through a series of owners. It was converted to a double tenement circa 1898, when the east wing was added. The west half of the house was occupied by Fred B. Greene of the Maritime Pure Food Company, while Frank C. Denison, the United States consul, lived for a time in the east section. The house was further subdivided into three apartments circa 1920, with a fourth apartment created about 1960. These modifications included opening a new entrance on the south (Connell Street) side; a second stairway leading to the second floor, and kitchen and bathroom facilities in each unit.
Connell House was purchased by the Historical Society in May of 1975, which perhaps spared the building from demolition. A year later, Connell House was declared a National Historic Site, although the plaque bearing that designation was not installed until 1979. The house has served as the headquarters of the Historical Society, providing office space and room to house both the document archives and artefact collections.
Restoring Connell House to its original state has long been the aim and ambition of the Society; a continued topic of discussion and study, but it was not until 2005 that a serious attempt was made to determine the original features of the building. This archaeological “dig” into the walls, floors and ceilings of the house was conducted by a few volunteers, under the direction of a consulting architect, spanned nearly two years, and in addition to confirming a general idea of the original layout of the building, produced a number of surprises.
Part of the west wing proved to be far more interesting than anticipated.
With the information gleaned from the exploration of the building, plans for restoration of the structure were formulated. After extensive study and discussion, the project was divided into three phases, the first one to include restoration of the first floor double parlors, entrance hall and stairs, and the second floor hallway in the main house, with modern kitchen facilities and public washrooms to be installed in the west wing. With matching funds from the Province of New Brunswick, the electrical wiring in the first floor of the main house was upgraded and a new heating system installed during 2006. With an ACOA grant, some assistance from the Town of Woodstock, and depletion of the Society’s treasury, restoration work was begun in the spring of this year (2007).