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Smith's Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall

Highway No. 1, Smiths Cove, Nova Scotia, B0S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/03/07

Front elevation, Smith's Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall, 2005; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Front Elevation
Side elevation, including garage addition, Smith's Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall, Smtih's Cove, 2005; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Side Elevation
Detail of one of two front doors (left), Smith's Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall, Smtih's Cove, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Main Door

Other Name(s)

Smith's Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall
Smith's Cove Meeting House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1834/01/01 to 1837/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Smith’s Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall is a wood frame structure with a front facing gable roof located in the community of Smith’s Cove, NS. In the 1970s a large, one storey addition was built to accommodate fire engines. It is one of the earliest temperance halls in Nova Scotia, built between 1834 and 1837. Located in the centre of the community, its Neo-gothic and Neo-classical features have made it a local landmark. Designation includes the building and the land.

Heritage Value

The Smith’s Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall is valued for its age, associations with the Baptists of Smith’s Cove and the local temperance movement.

The Meeting House was built between 1834 and 1837 by Benjamin Potter, a practicing Baptist and advocate for temperance. At this time the temperance movement was sweeping through Nova Scotia. In 1828 a temperance society was organized nearby at Bear River and is thought to be the first temperance society organized in North American. The Smith’s Cove Meeting House was built to accommodate more than just Baptist services, but was open for use by the local Methodist congregation. A formal temperance society was not there established until 1860. Prior to 1860, temperance meetings, lead by Potter, were held on the grounds of the Meeting House, often with the people Bear River.

In 1860 Home Division no. 169 of the Order of the Sons of Temperance for Smith’s Cove was chartered. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Meeting House had ceased to be used for Baptist services. In 1902 it was formally established as the Temperance Hall for Division no. 169. After seventy years of service in the temperance movement, n 1972 the Temperance Society ceased operations; however the building continued to have a roll in the community as it was used as a fire hall. In 1990 the Smith’s Cove Historical Society purchased the building and it is now open to the public. The building has served the community since its founding over one hundred and seventy years ago.

The historic place is a wood frame structure with a front facing gable roof, clad with clapboards. The front elevation incorporates two doorways, each incorporating an arched panel above the door, surmounted by an entablature with dentils supported by Gothic Revival pilasters. In the 1970s, when the building ceased functioning as a temperance hall, the building became the local fire hall and a one storey addition was made to the rear of the building to house fire trucks. A gallery runs along three interior walls which has been enclosed and covered with decorative metal cladding, as has the ceiling.

There are few temperance halls left in Nova Scotia and in such a relatively unaltered state. It is the most important architectural landmark in Smith’s Cove.

Source: Provincial Heritage Property Program, Heritage Property Files, no. 184, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-Defining Elements of the Smith’s Cove Baptist Meeting House and Temperance Hall related to its Gothic Revival architecture and public meeting house and include:

- location in the centre of the village of Smith’s Cove;
- wooden frame;
- front facing gable roof;
- wooden clapboard cladding;
- two separate doorways on front elevation;
- pointed arched panels surmounted by an entablature with dentils above front doors;
- Gothic Revival pilasters;
- Gothic Revival arched window centered between two front doors on second storey;
- Gothic Revival windows along each side;
- wide corner boards and dentils;
- cut granite and rubble foundation;
- all original or historic interior elements including: decorative metal cladding on ceiling and gallery enclosure; and gallery.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date

1994/03/07

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Building Social and Community Life
Social Movements
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Benjamin Potter

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Property Program, property files, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3A6.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

00PNS0184

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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