Description of Historic Place
Mizpah Cottage is a large, three storey Victorian house of wooden construction, situated on Dufferin Street in the New Town area of Lunenburg, NS. The house is located at the northwest corner of McDonald Street, on the crest of the hill, giving it further prominence. Shrubbery and large trees shelter the house from the street, and there is a large yard to the southwest and northwest of the house. A carriage shed is located in the rear as well. Municipal designation covers both the building and surrounding land.
Mizpah Cottage is valued for its significance as a local landmark and for its connection with the locally prominent Kaulbach family. Records show that Edward Rafuse, a carpenter, built a one-and-a-half storey house and a workshop on this property in 1875. In 1893, the property was sold by the sherriff, and purchased by C. Edwin Kaulbach for only $10. It is not clear whether the present house is the Rafuse house, thoroughly renovated, or if it is a replacement building. At the time it was built, the house was visible from a distance, as it sits on the crest of Apple Tree Hill on Dufferin Street, overlooking the fashionable and fast-growing New Town area of Lunenburg. C. Edwin Kaulbach was a well known public figure in Lunenburg. He was the Member of Parliament for Lunenburg County for most of the period from 1878-1904. He was also a successful barrister and an influential businessman. The Kaulbach family had been an important family in local business since the founding of Lunenburg in 1753, and many of the larger homes in the Town belonged to this family.
Mizpah Cottage (named for a Biblical location) derives many of its architectural features from the Queen Anne Revival style. There are several projecting and bracketed bay windows with concave roofs and dentilled eaves. The multi-gabled roof has a variety of chimneys and dormers, giving the house an interesting facade when viewed from any angle. Other well-maintained details include the iron fencing on the Dufferin Street side, the belvedere (widow's watch), and the slate-paved pathways around the house.
Source: Notice of Recommendation to Register as a Town Heritage Property, Heritage designation file 66400-40-26, Town.
Elements that help define the characteristics of Mizpah Cottage include its prominent location, demonstration of prosperity through the home's appearance and Victorian architecture, particularly the Queen Anne Revival elements, including:
- location slightly set back from streetline, highly visible on crest of hill in prominent New Town area of Lunenburg;
- original slate front pathways, large back and side yard, and large and striking form, suggesting wealth and prominence of owner;
- all elements derived from Queen Anne Revival style, including multi gabled-roof, presenting differing facades on each street, projecting bracketed bay windows, peaked dormers, contrasting bands of shingle work, and varied window arrangement;
- all elements derived from more general Victorian trends, including details such as concave roofs and dentilled eaves, ornamental verge board, ornamental fretwork and turned posts at main entrance, hip-roofed belvedere at main roof intersection, and iron fancywork;
- all original interior design elements, including fireplace surrounds, woodwork, stained glass windows, notably on main staircase landing, fretwork at window bays, and letter “K” etched into the glass above the main door, denoting the prominence and wealth of the Kaulback family.