Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Thomas is a white clapboard Roman Catholic church located at Salmon River Lake, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, on the South River Lake Road. The church is of wood- frame construction, rectangular in shape, with no protruding chancel. There is a cemetery on two sides of the building as well as a paved parking lot. This municipal designation covers the building and surrounding land.
St. Thomas Church is the second Roman Catholic church built in this parish, the first being a log structure in nearby Bantry, a now abandoned community. St. Thomas Church is a monument to the Irish heritage of the community, reflected in the shamrock tracery of the Gothic windows and shamrock finials in the four dormers of the steeple, and to its builder, the well-known church carpenter, Thomas O'Neil. Mr. O’Neil built this church in 1865 on land donated by his parents. O’Neil was a master craftsman who built many churches in Nova Scotia as well as the Magdalene Islands.
This church incorporates Gothic elements, most noticeable in its window style and placement, with less common Neo-Classical elements seen in its wide, unadorned façade and wide front tower with windows on each storey. The wide cornerboards and pilasters with dentils are also evidence of this style.
Source: Municipality of the District of Guysborough Heritage Property files, number 508.
The character-defining elements of this property are in its construction and cultural association, including:
- Gothic Revival elements such as the locally constructed Gothic windows with shamrock tracery and recessed entrance on the front façade;
- Neo-Classical elements such as the wide decorative cornerboards, pilasters and dentils, Palladian windows elements;
- the exterior decorative trim and mouldings;
- original, locally produced clapboard siding;
- the four steeple dormers decorated with shamrock finials and vents in the steeple roof;
- square frontispiece and steeple, housing a bronze bell and three non-operating clocks set to the hour of 11 o’clock.
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
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipality of the District of Guysborough, P.O. Box 79, Guysborough, N.S., B0H 1N0.
Cross-Reference to Collection