Description of Historic Place
The Abraham Lent House is composed of three wood frame structures, including a main two-and-one-half storey building, a one-and-a- half storey ell serving as a kitchen wing, and a one-and-one-half storey lean-to. The style of the main part of the house is of Dutch Colonial tradition with a symmetrical three bay façade, an off-center main doorway with a Dutch door and spiral hinges. The oldest part of the building was built in the late 1700’s, while the lean-to is a newer addition of the 1980’s. The house is located high on a sloping point of land at The Narrows, on the Tusket River in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Both the house and part of the surrounding property are included in the designation.
The Abraham Lent House is valued for its associations with the Lent family who were New York Loyalists of Dutch decent. Abraham Lent and his brother Squire James Lent arrived in Tusket, Nova Scotia, fleeing the American Revolution, in 1784. Both built homes and established successful businesses. Abraham Lent returned to New York sometime during the 1790’s, leaving his home to his brother James. James Lent became a prominent merchant and politician in Tusket and was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1806 and served until 1818. Lent never lived in his brother’s house, but gave it to his son, Abraham in 1835. Abraham Lent was the local Collector of Customs and he used the house as his office from 1857 until shortly before his death in 1873. He also served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1818-1820 and 1832-1836. After his death Lent left the house to his nephew James Adophus Hatfield. Hatfield was a leading merchant and shipbuilder in Tusket during that time. The house passed through his heirs until 1954.
Also valued for its status as the oldest building in Tusket, the Abraham Lent House was built circa 1787-1790. The house is comprised of three wood frame structures. The first being the two-and-one half storey, central main core of the building, built in the late 1800’s. The main building has a gable roof, a Dutch front door, and many eighteenth century interior details, such as chair rails on both floors, and panel doors. The second oldest section of the Abraham Lent House is the one-and-one-half storey ell that extends from the rear of the main building. The extension serves as a kitchen and has a small chimney and fireplace. It is believed to be as old as the main central building, dating from the late eighteenth century. The third addition was built in the 1980s. It is a contemporary lean-to open space, with large windows and skylights.
Finally, the Abraham Lent House is valued for its role as a physical landmark, sited at The Narrows, on the Tusket River in Yarmouth. The house sits high on a sloping point of land at the narrowest point in the Tusket River, with a magnificent view both up and down the river. The house was well positioned to serve as the Tusket Custons House as it was witness to the comings and goings of all vessels at this port.
Source: Notice of Registration of Property as a Provincial Heritage Property, Provincial Property Heritage File no. 199.
Character-defining elements of the entire Abraham Lent House site:
- location of the house on the top of a slope at the point of land at the narrowest point on the Tusket River called The Narrows;
- form and massing;
- entire structure clad in both clapboard and shingle cladding.
Character-defining elements of the original and historic section of the Abraham Lent House include:
- two-and-one-half storey, gable roof wood structure;
- symmetrical three bay façade, with an off-center doorway;
- Dutch style front door with transom;
- two small windows found on both gable ends at the attic level;
- all original interior details including, chair rails on both floors, panel doors, Carpenter locks and the chimney foundation with slate used in the cantilever support for the ground floor hearths.