Historic Tour

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This tour starts at Shipyard’s Landing Park, downriver from the two bridges, near the intersection of King Street and Jubilee Road.

Shipyard’s Landing Park: This was the farthest that large ships could sail up the LaHave River, so it was a natural location for the town’s shipyards. The two nearby brooks (Hebb’s and Chase’) helped to power many mills, foundries, and factories.

Cross King Street and turn left to walk south along it.

177 King (c. 1895) Built for a shipwright, this home was then sold to a fish and supply merchant. It was a gable-roofed house, but an extension led to the current truncated gable roof form.

2 Jubilee (c. 1844) One of the oldest homes on this side of the river is on the corner of King and Jubilee. The land the house sits on was originally owned by a teamster whose oxen would tow ships into town. The house was likely built by Obediah Parker, a tanner, and later was home to Jacob Crouse, captain of the ship that travelled between Bridgewater and Halifax. Originally a Neoclassical style house, the dormer was later added on, as was the fancy Victorian era balcony. The original ground-floor entrance can be seen below the stairway, with its full Neoclassical doorway. Note as well the six-over-six windows on the Jubilee side.

Turn right, up Jubilee Road.

21 Jubilee (c. 1880) This house was once a Greek Revival home; it still retains its fine, fluted cornerboards. Photographer A. E. Rhodes once lived and worked here.

Turn right, opposite #21, onto Prince Street.

166 Prince (c. 1914) This home is an excellent example of a simple Craftsmen style bungalow. Since then, the dormer has been raised, and the porch railing has been filled in. Note the iconic four-over-one windows behind the porch, a classic Arts and Craft style.

136 Prince (c. 1890) With a Greek Revival look, this house features cornices over each window, as well as a neoclassical doorway complete with sidelights and a transom light. It also has the signature feature, returning eaves. The builder was likely Alexander Stewart for John Zwicker, a mariner. Stewart built many of the neighbouring houses as well.

100-102 Prince (c.1890) These modest twin houses occupy the same lot, and they both have original shingle siding.

30 Cornwallis (c. 1872) This Greek Revival home’s features are easily visible thanks to a contrasting paint scheme, typical of the Victorian era. On the ground floor there is a panel  moulded bay window and original windows with moulded cornices. The upper story has three gabled dormers, each having returning eaves. The well moulded eaves crown a frieze (band above columns), rarely found locally, on top of the cornerboards’ capitals.  

35-37 Prince (c. 1904) A typical Four Square house, the building has rarer gabled dormers in its hipped roof. Notice the two-storey bay window recessed beneath a gabled projection on the side, with brackets, and a veranda with a peak over the entrance.

16 Prince (c. 1914) This hipped-roof Four Square home does a magnificent job at dressing up like a Queen Anne with its two gabled projections on top of two-storey bay windows. Details, accentuated by wonderful paint choices, include ornamental shingles in the gable peaks, a diamond patch of shingles, a shingled belt course which flares over the ground storey large ornamental brackets, and a “stair window” breaking through the floor on the left side. It was originally built by a tailor, and later was bought by Captain Albert Mailman.

Turn left and proceed up Maple Street.

20 Maple (c. 1879) Originally built by Anthony Rhuland, a horse educator, this house was later owned by merchant and politician Thomas Keefler. Look closely for the two detailed belt-courses, and the lovely ornamental woodwork in the gable peak. Even the projection on the left side is  decorated. The front part of the wrap around veranda has been filled in, though the peak in the roof over the corner entrance and some of the original bracketry and railing can be seen.

Turn left on to  Scotia Street.

15 Scotia (c. 1903) Built for Captain Albert Mailman, this simple home has hipped roof dormers projecting from its side, overhanging square bay windows.

Turn right back on to Maple Street.

45 Maple ( pre-1880) Originally built by merchant, future museum curator, and town clerk, James Curll, this house was swapped with 57 King St., the Presbyterian manse, shortly after this home was built, so that their manse would be closer to their church across the street. Built in a fancy Maritime Vernacular style, the house features a Scottish dormer, as well as  front and side bay windows. The windows have intact cornices, the cornerboards retain their capitals, and the doorway, behind the porch, has sidelights and a transom light. Note the symmetry of the two chimneys, and the asymmetry of the dormer and doorway.

Turn right on to Alexandra Avenue and proceed to #24.

24 Alexandra (c. 1879) Built by Rev. Stephen March, a long-time Baptist minister, this home was later owned by his son, a noted engineer and barrister, only leaving the family’s hands in the 1980s. The front has an entrance porch with a central peak, as well as a square bay window. The matching roofs are of these are Second Empire style. There is also a bay window near the front on each side, and a carriage house in back. Around 1893, the ell containing the kitchen was moved backwards, off its foundation, to add an extension, behind the hipped-roof projections. 

28 Alexandra (c. 1891) Built by merchant James Power, this home is an interesting example of Victorian eclecticism. The roofline is part hipped (sloped on four sides) and part gabled (sloped on two sides), and the veranda roof has many different slopes as well. In the corner of the Queen Anne house is a Romanesque Revival tower, with prominent eaves. The tower also contains an interesting 1920s era window with a diamond pattern. This was the home of E. Gordon Leaman, while he was mayor in the 1940s, and eventually fell into the hands of the Sweeney family, owners of the local funeral parlour.

42 Alexandra (c. 1879) One term mayor and master mariner Captain Thomas Wilson built this house, and owned it until 1912. In the 1930s it was bought by Walter Gow, who had previously lived in the original Gow house across Alexandra. #42 is still owned by Gow’s heirs. Note the eclectic contrast of the Second Empire Mansard roofed bay windows and veranda cresting, the Queen Anne treillage on the veranda and recessed, gabled dormer, the Greek Revival returning eaves, and the Gothic Revival windows in the dormers.

58 Alexandra (c. 1906) Early on this Stick style house became the home of prominent barrister and judge Arthur Roberts, and was dubbed “Fernwood”. Note the balustrade in front of the attic window, the spindle-work and bracketry on the porch and balcony, as well as the recessed bay windows in front.

Turn left on to George Street.

9 George (c. 1915) This home was built, along with the one to its left, by well known contractor Robert Lamb and sold after its construction. A very late Gothic Revival home, it has a steep, gabled projection in front, containing a side-it balcony entrance and a unique ovaloid window. Note the square windows under the roof-line, the thick returning eaves, and the off-centre doorway.

Turn right, back on to Alexandra Avenue.

75 Alexandra (c.1910) This large, well-shaded, three-bay Four Square house has a small, bay window in the centre of the second storey, and another one behind the veranda. It was originally owned by the wife of Allan Olive, who ran several well known local pharmacies. Later, the home was owned by Francis MacPherson, during the time he owned the Bridgewater Bulletin.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church (c. 1856) Bridgewater’s crowned jewel of Gothic Revival architecture and a shrine to Bridgewater’s prominent citizens, this is one of only three municipally registered sites in town. It has lancet-and-lozenge Gothic Revival windows, and board and batten siding, originally used to mimic Gothic stonework with wood. The intricate steeple was added on top of the tower in 1889 to accommodate the bell donated by Judge DesBrisay; the large stained glass windows were donated by his wife, Ada. It also has a very old cemetery on site.

82 Alexandra (c. 1870) This is the original Anglican manse, still in use. Originally occupying the lawn on the other side of the parking lot, the building was moved to the site of the former parish hall when a new hall was built c. 1999. It retains its lavish and rare lancet windows and has a Lunenburg bump style bay window on the left side. 

81 Alexandra (1900) Built by a mineral tester, the home was later occupied by the Anglican rector when the retired rector continued to live in the manse across the street. Notice the flared belt-course and the spindle-work under the eaves of the gabled projections.

Turn left at Cornwallis Street and proceed down the hill. Note the row of three Arts and Crafts style bungalows on right side of Alexandra as it continues.

56 Scotia Street (c. 1917) This is a superb example of an Queen Anne house, complete with a wrap around veranda (note the trios of posts), bracketed and recessed bay windows, a tall tower, and an elaborate roofline. It was originally owned by the wife of an accountant.

279 King Street (c. 1875): John Mosher, a house builder, lived here, and it was later bought by Captain Edmund Manning, whose family was very involved with town events. Note the scroll work brackets, well-accented with paint. The house pre-dates the Queen Anne style, so the tower was likely either added later, or converted from a Lunenburg-bump type of dormer.

Turn left on to King Street and continue back toward the park.

263 King Street (c. 1890) Built by G. Dawson Ross, a master mariner, this is a good example of a Bracketed style house. There is also ornamental woodwork in the gable peak, and interesting peaked hoods over the left-side windows, which also have grid-like window sashes. Note as well the carriage house in back.

259 King Street (c. 1900) Built by Frank Garber, a well known local photographer, this home remained in his family until 1969. It is now a B&B. The grand Four Square house has a wonderful bracketed veranda, a three-windowed hipped dormer, and gabled projections above two storey bay windows on the side. There are also stained glass transoms over the front ground floor windows and a superb stained glass door.

249 King Street (c.1876) Solomon Wentzell, a blacksmith, acquired the property this house sits on in 1874. It was probably built around the same time as its twin neighbor, #243. He continued to own it until 1949! It has a lovely Gothic dormer and window combination, as well as returned eaves, of a contrasting Greek Revival style.

243 King Street (c. 1875) This Gothic Cottage has a Gothic dormer with a peaked Gothic window, complete with a glazing bar pattern. It also has a quaint veranda with turned posts and a peak over the entrance. It was built by either Charles Foley (a yeoman) or Aaron Smeltzer (a cordwainer).

5 Park Street (1910/1911) This was the home of Winfred T. Ritcey, one-time mayor, and, as owner of Acadia Gas Engines, one of the town’s wealthiest citizens during the interwar period. This is a large, lavish, and grandiose Four Square home. Its truncated hipped roof, crowned by cresting, contains many more dormers than usual, and many have double windows as well. Though not originally filled in, the veranda was likely turned into a sun porch while still owned by Ritcey. Note the small glass panes, as well as the large first floor windows with a magnificent river view, complete with their own sidelights and transoms. Also note the large French door entrance to the sun porch beneath a portico at the side of the humongous veranda, which even has a the balcony on top. The roof is crested with a striking balustrade.

LaHave Landing Condominiums: This building is the last vestige of the Acadia Gas Engines plant, once at the heart of Bridgewater’s economy, and in 1918 said to be the biggest manufacturer of small-sized marine engines in the country. Note the plentiful, large window frames, and the detailed brickwork above each one. The main buildings of the factory, founded in 1908, were located on the site of the park across the street, and the parking lot on the building’s right. This building formerly housed the stationary engine plant, and was converted to condos in 1985, while the rest of the buildings were demolished in 1988.