James Atkins House
29 John Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The James Atkins House is a one-and-one-half-storey Greek Revival style residence built around 1877. It is located on John Street in the Town of Lockeport, NS. Municipal heritage designation applies to the building and the residential lot on which it is situated.
The James Atkins House is valued for its historical associations with two of its early owners and for its Greek Revival architecture. It was built around 1877 by James Atkins, a carpenter, who owned the property for only a little over a year, from August 1877 to November 1878. It seems probable that he was building the house on speculation, since his occupancy/ownership of the property was so brief.
Samuel Eldridge bought this property from James Atkins in November of 1878. He was a seventy-three-year-old retired Master Mariner, and at the time he and his wife occupied this house he was said to be a hotelkeeper. Census records indicate that Mr. Eldridge and his wife had three other people residing here for some time, none of who were members of their own family. One of the other occupants was a fourteen-year-old girl, noted as an Icelander in the 1881 Census of Canada. More than likely the girl, Unice Bergliot (as her name was written by the enumerator), was household help for Mrs. Eldridge, in looking after the needs of the two other gentlemen who apparently were boarders. There is no indication which hotel Mr. Eldridge kept, but it seems unlikely that this house was considered a hotel.
Samuel Chymist, a Master Mariner, purchased this property in 1919. Lockeport, at the time of his early residency in this house, was a thriving fishing community. However, during the early nineteen twenties the fish stocks steadily declined and it became more and more difficult for as many to make a living from the sea. In 1923 Samuel Chymist captained a Lockeport-built fishing schooner during its last year being sailed from a Nova Scotian port in that capacity. The “Nellie J. Banks” was sold to interests in Prince Edward Island the following year and subsequently gained much notoriety as a rumrunner between Prince Edward Island, St. Pierre and Miquelon and other Atlantic ports. Her legendary success came to an end when she became the last rumrunner seized off Atlantic Canada on August 6, 1938. Fifty years later, on August 7, 1988, the government of St. Pierre & Miquelon issued a postage stamp portraying the “Nellie J. Banks”. She became the first Canadian vessel ever depicted on a foreign postage stamp.
The Greek Revival architecture of the James Atkins house is evident in its one-and-one-half storey wood frame construction, its front-facing gable end and its double-hung sash windows. The feature that sets it off from others of the style is its unusual gambrel roof. A small, one-storey back ell and a full-width front sunporch are later additions.
Source: Municipal Heritage Property files, “James Atkins House, Town of Lockeport, NS.
The character-defining elements of the James Atkins House include:
- location in a residential neighbourhood;
- proximity to two other registered heritage properties;
- moderate setback from street on a small residential lot.
The character-defining elements of the Greek Revival architecture of the James Atkins House include:
- one-and-one-half-storey wood frame construction with wood cladding and trim;
- asymmetrical façade with off-centre front entrance;
- double-hung sash windows;
- medium pitched gambrel roof with return eaves and a symmetrically placed wall dormer on each side.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property files, "James Atkins House", Town of Lockeport municipal office, 26 North Street, PO Box 189, Lockeport, NS B0T 1L0
Cross-Reference to Collection