Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Countway Home is a large home with a blend of Gothic Revival and Picturesque architecture that sits on a hill beside Highway 3 on the Lower Grant Road outside of Chester Basin, Nova Scotia. The municipal heritage designation applies to the buildings and surrounding property.
The Countway Home is valued for its historical associations, age and architecture. The home is believed to have been built circa 1886 by its first owner, Ingram Countway, with the assistance of members of his community. The Countway family was well known in the area because Ingram owned and operated a general store for a number of years after he retired as a cook working aboard merchant ships.
Constructed circa 1886, this large two-and-a-half storey home features a blend of Gothic Revival and Picturesque architecture that is somewhat unique for Chester Basin and the surrounding area. The home’s dominant features include its steeply pitched roof with a central cross-gable on the front elevation and symmetrical façades common to the Gothic Revival architecture that dominated in the area from 1860 to 1890.
In contrast, the presence of the large porch that runs the length of the front elevation is more common to the Picturesque style of architecture that sought to make homes more functional. The presence of the porch at the time of construction, circa 1886, shows that the Picturesque ideas of architecture including functionality were gaining acceptance. The concepts of Picturesque architecture that reflect its adherence to asymmetrical design only make a subtle appearance on the home—the step to the porch is located asymmetrical to the southeast side of the centre of the home. This placement is important because it demonstrates the blending of the two styles of architecture, but also demonstrates how the infusion of asymmetrical concepts was subtle in the inter years between Neo-classical and Victorian architecture periods.
Source: Municipality of the District of Chester Heritage Property Files, File 34MNS0042.
The character-defining elements of the Countway Home related to its Gothic Revival architecture include its:
- steeply pitched gable roof with a central steeply pitched cross-gable dormer on the front elevation;
- Gothic Revival inspired triangular arch window with hood in the peak of the cross-gable dormer;
- symmetrical design of the southeast elevation featuring a single window in the peak of the gable with a single window offset from it on each of the lower storeys;
- all windows on the southeast elevation are two-over-two construction and feature decorative window hoods;
- symmetrical design of the northwest elevation featuring a single window in the peak of the gable with a single window offset from it on each side at the second-storey boasting decorative window hoods;
- symmetrically placed windows with hoods on the rear elevation that flank a small one-storey cross-gable addition featuring a walk-out;
- symmetrically placed single-bay shed roof dormer centered at the ridgeline of the rear elevation;
- wooden shingle construction.
The character-defining elements of the Countway Home that relate to its Picturesque architecture include:
- full length covered porch on the front elevation featuring ornate brackets between the supporting pillars and ornate gingerbread under the eaves of the porch with the step located asymmetrical to the southeast side of the house.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Social Movements
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Muncipal Heritage Property Files, Municipality of the District of Chester, 151 King Street, Chester, NS, B0J 1J0.
Cross-Reference to Collection