Description of Historic Place
The Milford United Baptist Church was built c. 1890 in the Greek Revival style with Gothic Revival influences. The church is located in Milford, Nova Scotia, at a bend in the highway running north-south through Milford, Nova Scotia. Both the building and the property are included in the municipal heritage designation.
The architectural value of the Milford United Baptist Church as recognized by its municipal heritage designation is its Greek Revival style with Gothic Revival influences and its many original features.
Construction of the church began in 1890; ownership can be traced directly to the original deed, registered January 1, 1887. The land on which the church is situated was donated by Amos Hubley, the logs for the church’s construction were donated by Henry Orde and the task of sawing them was assigned to Wallace Wright. Documents show that the carpenter who oversaw the completion of the project was E. C. Vidito, “to whom the credit must be accorded for fashioning such a stout edifice.”
The dimensions of the rectangular building which sits on a granite block foundation are twenty by thirty feet. The building is featured as a simple, uncluttered one-and-a-half storey wood frame construction that highlights the temple pediment styling characteristic of the Greek Revival style typical of many rural Nova Scotia churches.
A striking architectural detail of the Milford United Baptist Church is the central projecting entrance way with its hipped-roof bell tower devoid of a steeple. Conjecture has it that at the time of construction, funds were inadequate to finish the steeple or that the steeple fell off during construction and was not replaced.
Other architectural features of the Milford United Baptist Church detailing the mixing of styles during its construction include the Gothic Revival style, medium-pitched gable roof with narrow soffit and matching unadorned frieze board which has a slight decorative embellishment of the fascia drip boards and narrow return eaves. However, true to the Greek Revival style, we see the temple plan façade with slightly pronounced pilaster corner boards embellished with capital mouldings. The large rolled double-hung four-over-four paired windows are Romanesque in style. These rounded-arch windows exemplify the transitional phase of Nova Scotia Baptist architecture from meeting house to country church. An exterior side wall chimney has replaced the original interior chimney.
The Milford United Baptist Church has retained its original sense of proportional balance and symmetry idiosyncratic of the heritage value ascribed to its church/meeting house form. The church’s rather remote location points to its function as a historic beacon of fellowship for the pioneer settlers dispersed in this area and to the stoicism of its current day adherents in preserving it for posterity.
Source: Heritage Property File no. OIBNS01464, Town of Annapolis Royal, NS
Character-defining elements of the Milford United Baptist Church that are associated with its Greek Revival style with Gothic Revival influences include:
-one-and-a-half storey wood frame construction with Greek Revival temple pediment styling;
-Gothic Revival style, medium-pitched gable roof;
-a central projecting entrance way with its hipped-roof bell tower devoid of a steeple;
-pilaster corner boards;
-Romanesque style, four-over-four, paired rounded arch windows;
-a granite block foundation.