114 Water Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Courtney House is located on the Corner of Water and George Streets in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. This two-and-a-half storey, New England Colonial style house was built around 1784. The house and property are included in the municipal designation.
The Courtney House is valued for its architecture and for its historical association with local businessmen.
The Courtney House was built around 1784 for local merchant Richard Courtney. Courtney was a Port Roseway Associate from Boston and had been a Captain with the original Port Roseway Associates. In 1782, a group of 120 heads of families met to organize a settlement in the "land of hope," Nova Scotia. They were drawn from all walks of life and several states. They called themselves the Port Roseway Associates after the area in which they hoped to settle. In 1783, 1,512 persons embarked on a journey to Port Roseway, later renamed Shelburne.
Courtney carried on his business in his residence, selling yard goods and lace imported from London and buying furs and tailoring. He later sold his home and moved back to the United States.
The next owner of the house was Jacob Van Buskirk. Van Buskirk was a New Jersey Loyalist, and was at various times a senior militia officer, Justice of the Peace, Collector of Customs and Member of the House of Assembly.
In 1832, the house was sold to William Muir. Muir, a merchant and shipbuilder, was the son of Loyalist James Muir. In 1899, the house was passed to Charles W. Muir. Muir studied dentistry in the United States and returned to Shelburne to set up his practice in the north-west corner of the house.
Since 1980, the house has been in the possession of the Housing Department of the provincial government.
The original part of Courtney House is a New England Colonial style structure. This two-and-a-half storey wooden house has a central doorway in a five bay symmetrical front façade. There is a pedimented closed porch with transom and sidelights surrounding the door. The gabled roof has moderate return eaves and very small eaves overhang. The cornerboards are moderate with moulded trim and the windows are six over six. The cladding is clapboard. The shed dormer was added later.
Source: Town of Shelburne, Heritage file, no. 18, Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
Character-defining elements of the Courtney House include:
- two-and-a-half storey wood construction;
- form and massing of the building;
- central doorway in a five bay symmetrical front façade;
- pedimented closed porch with transom and sidelights surrounding the door;
- gable roof with moderate return eaves;
- moderate cornerboards with moulded trim;
- six over six windows;
- clapboard cladding.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Health and Research
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Shelburne Office, Water Street, P.O. Box 670, Shelburne, NS, B0T 1W0.
Cross-Reference to Collection