Description of Historic Place
The King Seaman Church is a modest, wooden church in the form of the traditional meeting house sitting amid mature trees on the main road that passes through the rural village of Minudie, Nova Scotia. It is on its original site with its towered front facing the road overlooking farmlands near the marsh of the Cumberland Basin. The building and property are included in the municipal designation.
The value of the King Seaman Church lies in its connection to Amos “King” Seaman and the role he played in the economic prosperity enjoyed by Minudie in the late nineteenth century. Value is also found in the building being a good example of a typical rural, Protestant church, but with uncommon Classical Revival and Gothic Revival details.
Historical Value: Amos “King” Seaman was a man of little education but of great drive, confidence, and vision. From the humblest of beginnings, he created an empire that benefited not only himself and his family, but all of Cumberland County. He was a businessman, landowner, and entrepreneur who had great success in the industries of fishing, lumber, farming, mills, mining, shipping and trade to New England and the West Indies, and, his most prosperous, grindstone quarries. His many ventures allowed him to become one of the wealthiest men of his time, bring a period of great economic growth to this area, and held economic, political and social influence in the community. Seaman erected three buildings for the community, one after the other, on the Barronsfield Road: King Seaman Church, King Seaman Schoolhouse, and St. Denis Roman Catholic Church.
Architectural Value: The King Seaman Church was built by Amos Seaman as a Universalist Church, available for use by all Protestant denominations. The date of construction is unclear; however it is thought to have been built between 1830 and 1863. Its style is representative of many rural, Protestant churches built in Cumberland County in the mid-1800s. Built in the meeting house tradition, it is a symmetrical, wooden, three-bay church with a medium-pitched gable roof and return eaves. On the front of the church is a centered, two-and-a-half storey, square tower that holds the entry and four windows, and is topped with a hip roof. The church’s architecture is simple and unadorned except for a few Gothic Revival and Classic Revival details. The Gothic Revival influence is reflected in its pointed-arch windows, their crowning, dog-ear labels, and the pointed-arch transom with leaded glass that tops the entry. The Classical Revival details are the wide frieze and the prominent pilasters that frame the entrance act as corner boards on the church’s four corners.
Source: “Heritage Property County, King Seaman Church” File, Cumberland County Museum
Character-defining elements of the King Seaman Church include:
- original site, form and massing;
- wood construction;
- original clapboard siding;
- three-bay façade with centered, square tower on gable end;
- traditional meeting house elements such as simple lines with little ornamentation and symmetry.
Character-defining Gothic Revival elements of the King Seaman Church include:
- pointed-arch windows accented with dog-ear labels along each church side;
- entry with Gothic transom;
- Gothic motif in the corner boards, pilasters and door panels.
Character-defining Classical Revival elements of the King Seaman Church include:
- medium-pitch roof with return eaves;
- wide frieze;
- prominent pilasters framing entry and as corner boards.