Old Houses in Port Maitland


Ambrose F. Church’s 1871 map of Yarmouth County [1] has an inset, entitled “Maitland Village,” which shows about 53 buildings––houses, stores, workshops, or sheds; in addition the main map shows another 31 buildings situated in Port Maitland beyond the borders of the Maitland Village map. It is remarkable that 40 of these 84 buildings have survived to the present day. All but one are houses, the exception being a building at the village’s centre that has always been used as a store.

Below are photographs of the surviving old buildings. Each caption includes information taken from the building’s Inventory Site Form [2], such as:

  1. Civic address, e.g., “2713 Highway 1”;

  2. Location, e.g., “west side of road, third house north …”;

  3. Year built and original owner, e.g., “c. 1862 for Robert Kelly Rose”;

  4. Owner c. 1866, when the data for Church’s map were collected;

  5. Identification label on the village map or the main map.

The oldest of the surviving houses were built c. 1810 (at 2875 Highway 1, for Stephen Goudey) and c. 1812 (at 3320 Highway 1, for George Germain). The most active periods of construction were in the 1840s, when 16 houses were built, and during 1861–1866, when 11 houses were built.

The occupations of the original house owners were typical of any small rural village situated on the coast during the Victorian era: farmer (15), mariner or master mariner (8), farmer/fisherman (3), shipwright (2), blacksmith (2), shipbuilder (1), caulker (1), carpenter (1), house joiner (1), joiner/wheelwright (1). Noteworthy owners included: Charles Cann (merchant); Charles Steele (shoemaker, postmaster, Justice of the Peace); and Rachel McKenzie (wife of William McKenzie), who was the only female original house owner.

The forty surviving old houses in Port Maitland are ordered below by street: first Highway 1, from south to north by civic number; then the Quaco Road; and finally the Main Shore Road, again from south to north. I took the house photographs in 2013 and 2014.

References and Notes

    [1] Topographical Township Map of Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. From actual surveys drawn & engraved under the direction of H. F. Walling. Published by A. F. Church & Co., Granville Str., Halifax. Entered according to law on the twenty-fourth day of March A. D. 1864 by Ambrose F. Church of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The surveys in Yarmouth County probably were conducted c. 1866. The map was completed in 1871.

    [2] Two-page Inventory Site Forms have been compiled by the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth. The site forms for buildings at least 100 years old are available for inspection at the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives.

    [3] I thank archivist Lisette Gaudet, of the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, for providing access to the A. F. Church map of Yarmouth County and to the Inventory Site Forms for old houses in Port Maitland.

William Day (1 June 2016)