789-791 St. George Street
Links and documents
1815/01/01 to 1820/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
789-791 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, N.S., also known as The Gables, is a municipally designated property. Is a large two storey wooden structure built about 1818 and added to and modified substantially in subsequent decades. Built as a single family residence, it is now an apartment building. The designation includes the building and surrounding property. The Gables is located a prominent corner and street with spacious lawns and mature trees separating it from roads.
The heritage value of 789-791 St. George Street lie in its historical associations with its builder and various residents, and in its Neo-classical architecture.
The historic value of the 789-791 St. George Street , as recognized in its municipal designation, lies in its occupancy by a number of prominent members of the Annapolis Royal community. Its probable builder, James LeCain, was a member of an early and prominent family of Annapolis Royal blacksmiths and carpenters. John B. Mills (Member of Parliament) and his family occupied the home near the end of the century, and may have added substantially to the building. In the early twentieth century, Loftus Moritmor Fortier, early superintendent of Fort Anne National Historic Site, owned the building briefly, before selling it to his son Thomas H. H. Fortier, who became one of the most prominent Annapolis businessmen of the twentieth century. He developed a number of businesses in the town, but most notably a mill and hardwood plant. Frank J. Barnjum, prominent lumber baron and early conservationist owned then occupied the house. After World War II, the property was divided, creating a subdivision to the rear of the house. It was at about this time that the large building was divided up into apartments.
The architectural value of 789-791 St. George Street is to be found in its simplified Neo-classical style. Nothing remains on the exterior of the original, smaller building, obscured by later additions. In this, The Gables is typical of many buildings in town, which have been added to and altered. The symmetry of the original building can still be discerned, in spite of the large addition to the left. In spite of the creation of the subdivision to the rear of the property (Babineau Heights), the setting for the building remains largely intact. The building is a good example of the large, spacious homes being created on Upper St. George Street by the town’s elite in the late nineteenth century. Its sensitive conversion to apartments is reflective of the fate of many of these larger homes in the mid-twentieth century.
Source: Heritage Property Files, MAP# 312 – 789-791 St. George Street, Town Hall, Annapolis Royal.
Character-defining elements of 789-791 St. George Street include:
- Neo-classical elements, in wood, such as a moderately pitched roof, front porticos with columns;
- retention of much of its original setting, including lawns and trees;
- form and massing;
- open lawns
- prominent corner location
- numerous gables
- wooden double hung, two over two windows with wide wooden casings;
- regular window openings;
- boxed cornice with frieze but without returns;
- narrow wooden clapboard siding with wide wooden corner boards;
- Neo-classical open wooden porches and stairways with decorative wooden columns;
- wood paneled entry doors with divided light paneled sidelites, round wooden transom, and wide wooden trim.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Property Files, Town Hall, 285 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, NS
Cross-Reference to Collection