Links and documents
1859/01/01 to 1859/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Hillsdale House is a two-storey timber frame building with a moderately pitched gable roof located in Annapolis Royal, NS. It has been operating as an inn for over one hundred and fifty years. Provincial designation applies to the building and the land.
Hillsdale House is valued for its Italianate style and for its history as an inn, hosting notable guests such as King George V and Prime Minister King.
Hillsdale House was built in 1859 by Susan Foster and she and her husband, Edwin Ryerson, operated the house as an upscale inn. Notable guests included the King George V (while he was Prince of Wales), Marquis and Lady Lansdowne, Sir Archibald Douglas and Prime Minster Mackenzie King. The original kitchen has been removed, however much of the original furniture, collected by Edwin Ryerson, remains in the house. Tourism is one of Annapolis Royal’s most important industries and the Hillsdale House has been hosting visitors for over one-hundred and fifty years.
Hillsdale House is an excellent example of the Italianate style, incorporating bold massing, heavy and sparsely placed decorative features, and round headed windows. The front façade is dominated by a central two storey projecting bay, capped with a large gable dormer. Large double windows are located on either side of the bay. Second floor windows have label moulds and the ground floor windows have heavy hoods, supported with massive brackets. The wide pilasters at the building corners, deep frieze boards and entrance porch detailing all contribute to the solid, Italianate image. A large ell extends from the back of the house, added circa 1897 to accommodate more guests. The house is set on a spacious, well manicured lot, set back from the road. Hillsdale House is a local landmark and continues to function as an inn.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property Program Files, no. 134, 1749 Summer Street,
Character-defining elements of the Hillsdale House relate to its Italianate style and include:
- form and massing;
- set back from the street on large , open lot;
- timber frame;
- moderately pitched gable roof;
- symmetrical three bay façade;
- centred doorway;
- double arched windows;
- second floor pilasters and paired bracketed return eave;
- deep, projecting portico supported by paired turned columns;
- open deck enclosed with ornate balustrade;
- second floor balcony over portico;
- first floor windows with bracketed shelves;
- second floor, and, all other windows double 1-over-1 with slender surrounds;
- recessed corner boards and wide banded fascia.
Province of Nova Scotia
Heritage Property Act
Provincially Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Provincial Heritage Property Program files, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3A6
Cross-Reference to Collection