Description of Historic Place
The Alfred Shaw House is a one-and-a-half storey Greek Revival style house built in 1888 for local a developer. It is located in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia near the central business district and the waterfront. The municipal heritage designation applies to the building and its residential lot.
The Alfred Shaw House is valued for its historical association with Alfred Shaw, a local merchant; a more modern association with Fred K. Rose and his rose garden; and for its Greek Revival architecture.
Alfred Shaw and his wife, Agnes, were the first owner/occupants of this house, though technically they were not the original owners. The house was built “on speculation” by Augustus Sullivan for Nelson O. Pearson, who never lived in the house. Alfred Shaw was a well respected merchant in Yarmouth, a partner in the firm of Godfrey Brothers Grocers, when he bought the property in 1889. Unfortunately, he did not have long to enjoy his new home as he passed away in late 1892 and his widow sold the property shortly thereafter.
Fred K. Rose was born in a nearby rural community and as a young man ran a dairy farm with his brother during World War II. He was well known for his farming skills, was the first breeder of Holstein cattle in Yarmouth County and was a founding member of the Calf Club, the forerunner of today’s local 4-H club. Rose left the province with his family in the late 1940's and did not return for about thirty-five years, when he purchased this property and began raising roses, for which he became locally well known. A visitor to the property in 1991, who was a judge and historian with the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs, was so impressed with the rose garden that he suggested Rose should start a local garden club. As a result, the Yarmouth Garden Club was born and Rose gladly gave of his time and expertise to help fellow members, and freely dispensed his wit and humour to keep things in perspective. He died in 1997 at the age of 86.
The Alfred Shaw House is also valued for its Greek Revival style architecture and the later additions to the building which have embellished its relatively simple original design. It is a one-and-a-half storey house with a gabled roof and return eaves, an asymmetrical facade, a lower back ell and a one storey addition. The front veranda, enclosed entry porch, bay windows and shed roofed back addition are later modifications to the house which have made it distinctively different from others of the style. The rose garden to the west of the house has also enhanced the overall appearance of the property and distinguish it from any others in the town.
Source: Municipal Heritage Property files: Alfred Shaw House; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the Alfred Shaw House include:
- location near the central business district of the town and the waterfront;
- single family dwelling;
- modest lot size;
- narrow setback from the street;
- close proximity to three other registered heritage properties;
- wood construction with clapboard cladding;
- one-and-a-half storey main building with a lower one-and-a-half storey back ell;
- one storey addition on north end of ell;
- rose gardens.
The character defining elements of the Greek Revival style of the Alfred Shaw House include:
- medium pitched gable roof with return eaves and a central chimney;
- gabled wall dormers on east and west sides of ell;
- two bay asymmetrical façade;
- full width, spindle-work trimmed front veranda with a roof-line balustrade;
- off-centre, conservatory-style enclosed front entry porch;
- cutaway bay window inside front veranda;
- bay window with a pedimented gable roof above front entry porch;
- two storey, interrupted cutaway bay window on west side;
- double hung sash windows with two-over-two glazing and moulded crowns;
- corner-, frieze- and verge-board trim.