Description of Historic Place
The Jordan Steeves House is a grand two-storey Italianate residence from the mid-19th century with two elaborate two-storey bay windows on the front façade. It is located on Main Street in Hillsborough.
The Jordan Steeves House, built in 1855, is designated a Local Historic Place for its association with its builder and owner, Mr. Jordan Steeves, as well as for its architecture.
Jordan Steeves, (1836-1915), was a long serving Albert County Councillor. He enjoyed the respect of the community. His dealings were marked by honesty and fairness. His reward was a long and successful business career. Many of the landmark buildings in the county were built in whole or in part by his company. The Riverside Consolidated School and the Albert County Court House in Hopewell Cape are two such examples.
In 1872, Jordan opened a hardware store immediately to the south of his home. His business flourished until he eventually dominated the heating, plumbing and construction business in Albert County. His business and reputation were carried forward first by his son Charles and then his grandson Reginald. Jordan Steeves and Son Ltd. operated until 1979. His memory, however, continues to live through the grand and well-crafted buildings he has left behind. Four examples immediately at hand include his former store to the south, which is 138 years old; the Rose Arbor across Main Street, which is 123 years old; the Jordan Steeves Business Block, now Fords Pharmacy, which is 103 years old, and this, his home, which is 155 years old.
The commercial success and skilled craftsmanship of Jordan Steeves is reflected in the house’s architecture. The residence is a good example of Italianate residential architecture from the mid-19th century. This style is expressed through the building’s square massing, hipped roof and elaborate detailing.
The Jordan Steeves House is also recognized for contributing to the local lore of haunted properties in the area. For a period of time, the building served as a bed and breakfast. One morning a guest was found sleeping in the bath tub. He explained he had sought refuge there because, in the middle of the night, he had been awakened by an elegant lady dressed all in white. She extended her hand to him before slowly fading away. Before hurriedly leaving the still frightened guest recognized his nocturnal visitor in one of the portraits hanging in the parlour.
Source: Heritage Hillsborough, William Henry Steeves House Museum, Local Historic Places files
The character-defining elements that describe the Jordan Steeves House include:
- square two-storey massing;
- hipped roof with a flat top;
- evenly spaced bracketing under all eaves, cornices, headers and sills;
- dormers with semi-octagonal roofs;
- two two-storey bay windows flanking the central entrance on the front façade;
- double-hung, seven foot windows;
- clapboard sheathing;
- double door main entrance with transom window;
- red-brick exterior foundation wall;
- inset red-brick chimneys on either side of the roof ridge;
- paneled fireplaces;
- interior spatial layout, including nine rooms on the upper level and seven rooms on the lower level.