Description of Historic Place
The Thomas Boggs-Lawrence Hartshorne House is a three-unit, wood frame, one-and-a-half storey New England Colonial style rowhouse. It is located on the corner of King and Ochterloney Streets in Dartmouth, NS. The heritage designation applies to the building and the surrounding land.
Thomas Boggs-Lawrence Hartshorne House is valued for its association with the original Quaker grantees, the following owners of the property, and as a landmark in the downtown area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
In 1786 the Quaker Whalers from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts were given 2,156 acres in Dartmouth on which they built homes and established a small whaling industry until they left for England in 1794. Prior to their departure, the group gave the power of attorney to local landowner and businessman Lawrence Hartshorne Sr., who was charged with the dispersal of their land. Hartshorne purchased, with his business partner, a section of the grant known as H-block, which included the Quaker Whaler House and the lot that the Boggs-Hartshorne House would be built.
Lawrence Hartshorne Sr. was a Dartmouth landowner, merchant a politician who enetered into a business partnership with Dr. James Boggs. Together they owned land and sold hardware. Their children, Thomas Boggs and Lawrence Hartshorne Jr. continued to operate their fathers’ business well into the nineteenth century.
In 1837 Thomas Boggs and Lawrence Hartshorne Jr. sold the lot at the corner of King and Ochterloney Streets to George Clarke, master mariner. Clarke built a single family house on the lot and lived there for twenty years before selling it to James Hennessey in 1857. Later that same year Hennessey sold the house to grocer Jeremiah Donahue. Donahue built an addition to the eastern end of the house in 1858 and it is believed that it was used by St. Peter’s Female School, a grammar school for girls. When Donahue died he left the two unit house to his three children who divided it into three single units. Donahue family members owned the property until 1891 when it was purchased by the O’Toole family. Like the Donahue family members, the O’Toole family owned it for many years before selling it to the former City of Dartmouth in 1973. Today the house is used as office space for a community organization and theatre company.
Architecturally, Thomas Boggs-Lawrence Hartshorne House is valued as an example of the New England Colonial style. Few houses of this style remain in Dartmouth today, making Thomas Boggs-Lawrence Hartshorne House an important historical feature on the landscape of the area. The New England Colonial style is characterized by small overhangs of the steeply pitched gable roof. Symmetry was usually seen in this style, and it is believed that the original dwelling was a symmetrical five bay building with chimneys on either end. When this style was modified and lengthened, the façade became asymmetrical. Due to its image, this house is a landmark in the downtown area, and relates well to the adjacent heritage Quaker Whaler House.
Source: HRM Heritage Property File: 53 Ochterloney Street, (Dartmouth) found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The character-defining elements of the Thomas Boggs-Lawrence Hartshorne House relate to its New England Colonial style and include:
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- one-and-a-half storey wood construction;
- original central doorway with five bay façade;
- asymmetrical façade;
- wood paneled doors with nine-pane windows;
- vertical sliding six-over-six windows with simple trim;
- large in scale windows in comparison to height of the roof line;
- dormers and chimney for each unit.