Evergreen United Baptist Church
The Central School House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Evergreen United Baptist Church, West Paradise, Nova Scotia, was built c. 1857 in the Gothic Revival style. The building is a one-storey wooden construction and sits on a small lot, well forested with old shade trees, at the north side of the east-west highway that traverses the Nova Scotia Annapolis Valley through the community of West Paradise, N.S. The property and the building are included in the municipal heritage designation.
Originally known as The Central School House, the structure is now known as the Evergreen United Baptist Church. Approval for construction of the building was given on December 26, 1856 on land deeded by Simeon Daniels. The start date of construction was c. 1857 and the church was completed c. 1859 for the sum of one hundred pounds.
In the true spirit of adaptive reuse, The Central School House took on a role as a public venue for place of worship, town affairs, singing school, lectures and meeting place for a debating society. Once the building was dedicated in 1887 and deemed to be used exclusively as a church, it appears that the community which oversaw the construction and use of the building continued to refer to it as a hall. Alfred Morse, a former member of the congregation, went on to a distinguished career as a clergyman and author in the United States of America.
The Evergreen United Baptist Church is a single-storey, rectangular-shaped building with a steep-pitched end-gable roof and sits on a granite fieldstone foundation. The balance and symmetry characteristic of the Gothic Revival style is evident in the building’s construction, in particular in the symmetrical door and window placement. A unique feature that distinguishes the structure from other church buildings in the area is its exterior cladding; the building is sided in board-and-batten fashion. Other outstanding traits of the building are the decorative tracery windows along the sides and above the front entrance. With few exceptions, such as the addition of a pedimented portico to the front doorway, little has changed the historic appearance of the church.
The heritage value of the Evergreen United Baptist Church lies in the integral role it has played in the social and spiritual development of the community, either as a place of worship or at the very root of its existence as a community hall. The structure’s uniquely intertwined heritage is a monument to the pioneer spirit that established the community of West Paradise, N.S. and to the continuum of involvement by present-day community members in its preservation. The lean aesthetics of balance and symmetry evident in the building’s Gothic Revival architectural style underscore the spiritual and cultural reasons for the building’s construction.
Source: Heritage Property File no. OIBNS02440, Town of Annapolis Royal, NS
Character-defining elements of the Evergreen United Baptist Church that are associated with its Gothic Revival style include:
-single-storey rectangular wood-frame construction;
-steep-pitched end-gable roof;
-symmetrical door and window placement;
-decorative tracery windows;
-central doorway with pedimented portico;
-granite fieldstone foundation.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipality of the County of Annapolis, Municipal Administration Building, 752 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, N. S., B0S 1A0
Cross-Reference to Collection