Take a glimpse behind closed doors and back in time at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum’s fifth annual Heritage House Tour.
Five homes and a church, along with the two museum houses, make up the roster at this year’s tour – the museum’s largest fundraiser – set for Oct. 13 and 14, from noon to 5 p.m.
Benjamin Jobb and Jennifer Weagle are two of several museum volunteers who have put in countless hours researching the buildings for information on the architectural style and the history of the building to share with tour visitors.
“It’s been a lot of work – I go from working at my regular job to working on this most days – but it’s so worth it. Stories get discovered and shared ... saving a fair bit of history that might otherwise get lost,” Jobb said.
Four of the houses on this year’s tour, although built at different times, are all situated on a parcel of land originally granted to John Salusbury, who came to Nova Scotia with Edward Cornwallis in 1749. In 1773 the land went to James Creighton Sr., one of the founders of Dartmouth.
The oldest home on this year’s tour, 42 Summit, is a one-and-a-half storey building, built as a farmhouse in 1830 by one of the Creighton family. Constructed in Neo-classical style, known for its symmetry, the house is full of interesting details, both architectural and otherwise.
“During one of the many renovations the house has undergone over the years, old newspapers that had been used as insulation, with stories about the American Civil War, were found when they were knocking out a wall,” Jobb said.
Other homes on the tour also built on that historic parcel of farm land are: 11 MacKay, built in 1920 for Alexander Bannerman, who worked for the Halifax and Bermuda Cable Company; 22 McKay, built in 1871 by George Tait, a carpenter who emigrated from Scotland and, along with another Scotsman named William Gray, had co-founded the School for the Deaf in Halifax in 1856; and 298 Portland St., an American Foursquare house built in 1914 for a Halifax coal merchant.
“Between them they make a nice cohesive story about the south Dartmouth area,” Jobb said.
The fifth house on the tour is a south-end Halifax home with Dartmouth connections. Known as the Wright House, the Queen Anne revival-style house at 989 Young Avenue was built in 1902-1903 for George Wright, a Dartmouth-born businessman and philanthropist who drowned in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
Like the Wright House, another interesting twist on the Dartmouth Heritage House Tour this year is the inclusion ofSt. Alban’s Anglican Church, built in 1921 at 345 Pleasant St. for a congregation that had been worshipping together in Woodside at the Mission Hall since 1914.
Although the tour is largely self-directed, each site will have an interpreter to answer questions. “We are always amazed at the stories that come up, not just during the planning stage but during the tour itself,” said Don Chard, co-chair – along with Linda Forbes – of the planning committee for the tour.
Tickets are available from Evergreen (26 Newcastle St. in Dartmouth) or Ticket Atlantic. The price is $15 in advance (plus service charges through Ticket Atlantic) or $20 on the day (children under 12 attend for free). Visit www.dartmouthheritagemuseum.ns.caor call 464-2300 for more information.