Description of Historic Place
The Judique on the Floor Historical Society is located in Judique, Inverness County, Nova Scotia. This Maritime Vernacular style structure is located along Route 19 on the Ceilidh Trail. The building and surrounding property are included in the designation.
The Judique on the Floor Historical Society is valued for being one of the few remaining Port Hood Company Houses.
At the turn of the twentieth century Port Hood enjoyed great prosperity as a result of a booming coal mining industry. Many of the mineworkers came from outside the district and new housing was required for them. A group of citizens headed by local businessman Rory MacDougall and the Smiths of Port Hood Island set up an association which would look after building homes for mining families. These homes were built on a parcel of land that is still known as the Company Road.
The Port Hood Company Houses were unique in that they were built as single-family dwellings. The one-and-a-half storey wood frame houses were all identical. They had a shingled exterior and the gable end was to the road. There was a one-storey kitchen ell addition and there was a kitchen chimney along with a centre chimney. The houses had an asymmetrical façade with an off-centre door and a single window on the first floor and one above the gable.
In 1911 the mines flooded and the coal mining industry in Port Hood never really recovered from the blow. By the 1920s the Company Houses stood vacant and it was decided to have them moved. They were dismantled in sections and delivered to their new owners. Some stayed in Port Hood, others went across the ice to Port Hood Island and several went as far afield as New Waterford. The house that would become the Judique on the Floor Historical Society was taken by Malcolm MacEachern of Judique to be used as a grocery store.
In Judique, the building was set on a lot at the corner of the main road and the Station road. With the railway station close by this was a very busy spot and many people stopped in to the store as they were coming or going to the station.
After Malcolm’s death in 1942 the building remained vacant for several years until it was taken over by Jack MacDougall who ran it as a general store. After Jack retired in the late 1960s, the building was used for a number of purposes including a restaurant, a meat market, a pool hall and a warehouse.
In 1996 the building was taken over by the Judique on the Floor Historical Society. The expression "Judique on the Floor" is well known in Inverness County. Judique was long thought to have the best stepdancers in the area. If a native of Judique stepped onto the dance floor people would shout, " Judique on the floor, who'll dare put him off?" Extensive renovations were carried out but the society kept in mind the character of the building and its historical significance. In 2006 and 2007 the building was moved onto a new foundation. It was moved south/southwest approximately twenty metres.
The Judique on the Floor Historical Society building is a one-and-a-half storey Maritime Vernacular style structure. Simple in its style, it has a medium pitch gable roof and has no dormers. It has changed somewhat from its original Company House appearance. The kitchen ell has been removed and the original asymmetrical façade has been replaced with a shop front façade with a central door and windows on either side.
Source: Municipality of the County of Inverness, Municipal Heritage Files, Judique on the Floor Historical Society
Character-defining elements of the Judique on the Floor Historical Society related to its Vernacular style include:
- one-and-a-half storey wood frame construction;
- medium pitch gable roof;
- no dormers;
- gable end to road;
- shingled exterior.