Description of Historic Place
GowanBrae is a farm that incorporates a silo, barn and a house, which is composed of three parts; a two-and-one-half storey, three bay, Classical Revival style house built circa 1850-1860, an 1835 kitchen ell addition, and a more recent addition from 1980. Located in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, the house, barn, silo, and the surrounding land are all included in the designation.
The GowanBrae main house is valued as a good example of the Classical Revival Style, which contributes significantly to the architectural landscape of the community of Grand Pré, which includes many historic homes and farmsteads. The main house, circa 1850-1860, is of Classical Revival style, with a three bay façade, return eaves and corner boards, and an entry porch with transom and sidelights. The pre 1835 kitchen was a seperate structure that is believed to have been attached to the main house sometime after its construction. The kitchen addition is a two storey, gable roof, ell addition that joins the main house and the newer 1980’s addition. The 1980’s addition is also two-and-one-half storey, with return eaves and corner boards, to compliment the main structure of the house. The two-and-one-half storey house, as well as the two additions, are clad in wood clapboard. The house is part of a larger, agricultural property that includes a silo and barn. The silo and the barn were at one time essential farming structures of the family farm. Together these structures add to the rural character of the Grand Pré community.
GowanBrae is also valued for its historical function as the locally well-known hotel “The Grand Pré House,” that operated at the turn of the century. It was operated by Dottie and William Trenholm as a guest house from 1896-1906. The guesthouse attracted international and famous visitors, including Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan, who were presumably on their way to visit Alexander Graham Bell at Baddeck. Helen Keller was a deaf and blind woman who with her teacher, Ann Sullivan, changed the world’s perception of the disabled.
Source: Notice of Registration of Property as a Provincial Heritage Property, Provincial Property Heritage File no. 003.
Character-defining elements of the GowanBrae house include:
- six-over-six windows;
- wooden clapboard cladding;
- gable roofs on all three sections.
Character-defining elements of the Classical Revival Style of the GowanBrae house include:
- two-and-one-half storey, three bay façade;
- entry porch with transom and sidelights;
- return eaves and corner boards.
Character-defining elements of the silo and barn include:
- concrete silo attached to the two and one half storey barn;
- gambrel style roof on barn, with shingle cladding, three lean to additions and four and six paned windows.