Submitted by fht on Saturday, June 13, 2009 - 7:13 pm
Awarded in 2007
She was born Maria Anderson in Fredericton on November 25, 1858, and grew up in a spacious home on Brunswick Street. When the New Brunswick Telephone Company was created in 1888, she became night operator at the Central Exchange. It was her lovely voice and soft laughter that first beguiled Thomas Ashburnham. They married in 1903, and a decade later, after his older brothers had all died, Thomas inherited an English title. Except for a brief sojourn in the Old Country just before the First World War, Lord and Lady Ashburnham lived their days on Brunswick Street, where she loved to entertain. No devotee to domesticity herself, Lady Ashburnham was fortunate in having a sister, Lucy, who made wonderfully tasty mustard pickles. These were regularly served as a special treat at the Ashburnham gatherings and also donated for charity functions. Somewhat unfairly, they became known as Lady Ashburnham’s Pickles, and their fame—and the recipe for them—has since traveled far beyond the kitchens of Fredericton.