Description of Historic Place
121 Edgewater Street is a large, one-and-one-half storey wood frame home set prominently at the head of the harbour in Mahone Bay, NS. Built in 1870, it is one of a cluster of heritage properties that line the shore on Edgewater Street. The municipal heritage designation applies to the land and the building.
The property at 121 Edgewater Street is valued for its importance as part of a group of eight heritage properties at the head of Mahone Bay harbour; for its age and association with the history of Mahone Bay; and, as a good example of Gothic Revival residential architecture.
Collectively, the Edgewater heritage properties – three houses, three churches, a cemetery and a commercial property built as a residence – are a significant representation of aspects of Mahone Bay’s early history from mid-1700’s to the early twentieth century.
121 Edgewater retains the boundaries shown in the 1860 plan of the division of John Mader’s large property. Mader, who owned a considerable amount of land, purchased the parcel at the head of the harbour from the heirs of George Zwicker who had acquired the complete Maugers Mill Grant in 1778.
The house is associated with Canon E. A. Harris (Ned) who, as a young curate in the 1880’s, boarded briefly in this house. He described it as “a very pretty place…the view from every window in the house is good and from the front is perfectly delightful.”
Rupert G. Zwicker, a merchant, built this house circa 1870 during the area’s economic boom associated with shipbuilding and its related industries. It is a well preserved example of Gothic Revival architecture and is one of only two houses in Mahone Bay with three cross-gables. With its prominent position on the height of four stepped terraces and such details as heavily molded window hoods, strong eave lines and protruding bracketed cornices, this house makes a powerful statement that reflects changing styles and prosperity.
Source: Town of Mahone Bay Heritage File # MBHG017
Character defining elements of 121 Edgewater Street relate to its history, its location and to all its Gothic Revival features and embellishments including the following:
- location in cluster of heritage properties at head of harbour;
- site on four terraces with cut concrete stairway leading to street;
- front entry with sidelights;
- three steeply pitched cross-gables each with a pointed window;
- symmetrical three-bay façade;
- substantial molding over windows and doors;
- strong eave trim;
- wood shingle cladding on all four elevations;
- cut granite foundation;
- six-over-six windows;
- two chimneys symmetrically placed;
- slender corner boards;
- historic interior details including:
- high ceilings;
- secondary stairway in the kitchen ell;
- wide front entry hall and stairway;
- simple interior moldings; and,
- generously proportioned rooms.