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Charles Smith House

321 Lincoln Street, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/09/28

Charles Smith House, Old Town Lunenburg, front entrance detail, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritge
Front entrance detail
Charles Smith House, Old Town Lunenburg, front façade, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritge
Front façade
Charles Smith House, Old Town Lunenburg, Cumberland Street façade, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritge
Cumberland Street façade

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Charles Smith House is a two-storey wooden Italianate residence situated on Lincoln Street in Lunenburg's Old Town, a Heritage Conservation District in Lunenburg, NS. Like its neighbours to either side, the 1877 house sits on a steep slope, facing south, with a large front lawn extending from the house down to the street. There is access to the street at the rear of the property, with a typical Lunenburg façade level with Cumberland Street.

Heritage Value

The Charles Smith House owes its heritage value to its prominent setting and well-preserved architectural features. Built for a prosperous local mariner, Charles Smith in 1877, the house is indicative of the departure from vernacular Lunenburg styles towards other Victorian trends. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, Lunenburg entered an era of prosperity, which was reflected in the construction of larger and more ostentatious family homes. This house is indicative of these societal changes, as are its neighbours.

Along with its location on the brow of the hill overlooking the commercial core of Lunenburg and the harbour, the most prominent feature of Charles Smith House is its Italianate frontispiece. It is a large, 3-storey feature incorporating a formal doorway with a transom window, and a 3-sided bay window on the second storey, and three small, gabled attic windows. However, when viewed from Cumberland Street, the house appears to be a smaller home in typical Lunenburg style, with a central 'Lunenburg bump' dormer and porch that is actually the rear entrance.

Source: Heritage Designation File 66400-40-57, Town of Lunenburg.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of this property relate to its architectural style and reflection of propserity in nineteenth century Lunenburg, and include:

- the location of the house on a steep hillside with a large front lawn, with a central path and steps leading to the front door giving the house added height on its Lincoln Street façade;
- a separate entrance on Cumberland Street in vernacular Lunenburg style, that also maintains semblance with older homes in the streetscape;
- the large central Italianate frontispiece, with the main doorway on the ground floor, a large upstairs extended dormer window, and second storey bay window that projects out from the dormer;
- small decorated gable, attic dormers project from the central frontispiece under a bell-cast, flat-headed dormer roof;
- the central doorway, with rectangular sidelights and transom windows, heavy hood mouldings and a protruding bracketted cornice;
- wide cornerboards on the main house and frontispiece, bracketted fascia on all façades, moulded baseboard and lintel decorations and bracketting on all windows.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

- Town of Lunenburg, 119 Cumberland Street, P.O. Box 128, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J 2C0, FILE 66400-57 - W. Plaskett, "Lunenburg: An Inventory of Historic Buildings," (Lighthouse Press, 1984).

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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