Description of Historic Place
Holy Rosary Church is a one-and-a-half storey Gothic Revival, Roman Catholic church located at 6205 Highway #337 in Ballantynes Cove, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. The building is situated with a fine view of nearby St. George's Bay. The building, surrounding property, and cemetery are included in the municipal designation.
Holy Rosary Church is valued for its connection to the founding of Ballantynes Cove. The land on which the church now stands was originally granted circa 1810 to David Ballantyne, a British soldier serving with the 82nd Regiment. Ballantyne is considered to be the founder of the community and his descendants remain in the area to the present day. In 1887 when discussions were taking place to build a church, the land was donated for that purpose.
Before Holy Rosary Church was constructed, the closest Roman Catholic church was located almost ten kilometres away at Georgeville. Local resident Hugh Donald MacInnis made an appeal to Bishop John Cameron on the merits of a new church for the district. He expressed the concerns and wishes of the people of Ballantynes Cove, and after some consideration, Bishop Cameron gave his blessing to the proposed building project.
In prepartion for construction, logs were hauled to the site from Lakevale, Cape George and Arisaig; stones were hauled in from the Dan MacNeil property at Lakevale. The tender was advertised in The Casket, Antigonish's weekly newspaper. Brothers Allan and John Gillis of Morar, Antigonish County, carpenters by trade, submitted the most acceptable bid and were hired to undertake the project. Construction of Holy Rosary Church was begun in the summer of 1889. As monies were raised, work progressed. On November 12th, 1891, Holy Rosary Church was finally opened for its first service.
Holy Rosary Church is also valued for the community volunteer effort put toward raising funds and providing labour for the construction of the building. It is that same volunteer effort that continues to maintain the Holy Rosary Church to the present day.
Holy Rosary Church is valued as an example of Gothic Revival architecture. It is one-and-a-half-storeys in height with a symmetrical three-bay façade. It features a gable roof and projecting tower and a domed cupola tops the tower. The windows are Gothic with simple decorative hoods. The setting for Holy Rosary Church is on high ground, giving it a vantage point overlooking St. George's Bay.
Source: Registered Heritage Property File no. 877, Municipality of the County of Antigonish.
The character-defining elements of Holy Rosary Church include:
- hooded Gothic windows along each side of building;
- symmetrical three-bay façade;
- central double door;
- large central Gothic window;
- projecting central tower with domed cupola;
- cemetery containing stones of early settlers in the district;
- location on a site synonymous with first settlement of Ballantynes Cove.