Description of Historic Place
Acadia Lodge No.13 A.F. & A.M., built circa 1902, is located at 14 Victoria Street in the village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia. The plain, boxy, two-storey, brick building stands close to the edge of the residential street in a neighbourhood with homes built in the same era. The building and property are included in the municipal designation.
The value of Acadia Lodge lies in its association with the history of Pugwash. Its first owner, Frederick Reginald Dakin, was a prominent citizen and successful businessman. In 1911, Dakin sold the building to the local Masonic Lodge and, in 1957, the Masons allowed the building to be used for the first Pugwash Conference, the 1995 winner of the distinguished Nobel Peace Prize.
Frederick Reginald Dakin and his wife, Grace Borden Dakin, had this building constructed circa 1902. They used it as an outlet for their retail business where they sold such items as paints, books, and stationery. Eventually, Dakin’s business endeavours expanded to include lumber, lobster fishing and shipbuilding. In 1919, he built the last sailing ship to be launched from Pugwash, the “William Mcl. Borden,” named for his brother-in-law who was killed in action in WWI. Dakin was also very active in community service, and he held several local political posts. In 1911 the Dakins sold the Victoria Street building to the Mason’s following the lost of their Water Street lodge in a fire. The Masons continue to this day to use the building as their meeting place.
In July 1957, the Masons allowed the building to be used for the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs. The three-day Conference, endorsed by Albert Einstein and organized by Bertrand Russell and Joseph Rotblat, was attended by twenty-two influential scientists, scholars and public figures from ten countries. The internationally acclaimed individuals met to discuss the growing threat of armed conflict, the dangers from nuclear fall-out, the responsibility of scientists, and to explore views and peaceful solutions to looming international problems and relations. Since the first meeting, the Conference has been held annually in countries around the world, and has been held twice in Pugwash, in 1959 and 1995, the latter being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Acadia Lodge No.13 is a boxy, two-storey, brick, symmetrical building with a low-pitched gable roof. The 3-bay façade in the gable end has a central entry balanced on each side by a large, two-paned window. Wooden siding covers the brick on the north-facing front and the west side, however the original brick and the wide concrete window headers and sills are still exposed on the back and the east side. Some of the upper panes of the widows have the original stained glass.
Source: “Heritage Properties County, Acadia Lodge No.13 A.F. & A.M.” File, Cumberland County Museum
Character-defining elements of the Acadia Lodge No.13 A.F. & A.M. include:
- original site, form and massing;
- two-storey, brick construction;
- low-pitched gable roof;
- symmetric, three-bay façade with central entry on front-facing gable end;
- transom over front entry;
- concrete hoods and sills;
- original stained glass windows;
- Masonic symbol high above main front door.