For a few years starting in 1900, the Miramichi Natural History Association rented the Williston House. In 1908, the Miramichi Lumber Company bought the building. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch Number Three used the Williston House for several years after World War II. They were the last group to make repairs to the downstairs part of the house. Then Ben O’Reilley bought the building and had several apartments made upstairs. Many stores have since been housed on the main floor of the Williston House.
By the 1970’s, the Williston House was very run down. People feared it would be destroyed. But then in 1982, the Town of Chatham and the New Brunswick Government each gave $15,000 to buy the building. Soon after, the Canadian Government gave $100,000 to restore Williston House. The building is now being used as offices by the New Brunswick Government.
Behind the Williston House a beautiful courtyard has been built. The money to build the courtyard came from the Canadian Government. The work was begun in May, 1984, and was finished in September, 1984. In this courtyard can be found places to sit and rest and a place to get a drink. At night the courtyard is lighted by beautiful, old streetlights. A lovely wooden fence encloses the courtyard.