Description of Historic Place
Murray Manor is a one-and-a-half storey Regency Gothic style house built circa 1820 for Dr. Joseph Norman Bond, Yarmouth’s first doctor. It is located in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia near the international ferry terminal and the main business district. Municipal heritage registration applies to the building, walls, and its residential lot.
Murray Manor is valued for its historic associations with Dr. Joseph Norman Bond, who had the house built with his son Hon. James Bond, and with James Murray, who married Bond’s daughter. It is also valued for its Regency Gothic style of architecture, which is unique in Yarmouth.
Dr. Joseph Norman Bond came with other Loyalists to Nova Scotia in 1783, escaping the American Revolution. Bond first settled in Shelburne, and in 1787 moved to Yarmouth. His appointments to public office followed almost immediately, being appointed in 1787 as Deputy Collector of Customs, in 1792 as Deputy Sheriff and in 1804 as a Justice of the Peace. In 1805 he was appointed Collector of Customs and Excise and held that position until 1828. For about twenty years he was the only regular physician in what is now Yarmouth County. Dr. Bond had this house built around 1820 and resided here until his death in 1830 at age 72.
After Dr. Bond’s death the property passed to his son, Capt. George Bond, who lived here for about twenty years before being struck by the “California gold fever” and removing to that place. His brother, Hon. James Bond was the next family member to own and occupy the property, which he did until his death in 1854. Hon. James Bond was a member of the Legislative Council from 1838 to 1842; was the first manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia when a branch was established in Yarmouth in 1839; and was a founding member of the Yarmouth County Agricultural Society, which is still in existence today.
The next owner of record of the property was Anne (Bond) Murray, daughter of Hon. James Bond and wife of James Murray, Barrister. Murray succeeded his father-in-law as manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, was also one of the founding members of the Yarmouth County Agricultural Society and served for many years as Judge of Probate for Yarmouth County. The property remained in the Murray family from 1854 until 1936.
Murray Manor is the only example of the Regency Gothic style of architecture in Yarmouth, which is typified, in part, by its one-and-a-half storeys, the low pitched hip roof, the larger bays in the first storey and a symmetrical façade. It is bounded along two streets by stone walls and hedges and a gate leads from main street to the main entrance.
Source: Municipal Heritage Property files: Murray Manor; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS.
The character defining elements of Murray Manor include:
- location one block from the international ferry terminal and the downtown business district;
- spacious corner lot bounded along two streets by stone walls and hedges;
- setback from the street.
The character defining elements of the Regency Gothic style of Murray Manor include:
- stone foundation;
- one-and-a-half storeys;
- low pitched, bell-cast hip roof with symmetrically placed inset chimneys;
- symmetrical five bay façade;
- centred front projection with a pedimented gable;
- centred front entrance with sidelights and a pointed arch window above;
- one storey cutaway bay window with full height windows;
- tall, pointed arch first storey windows with double hung sashes and multi-light glazing;
- smaller upper storey windows tight to eaves with three over three glazing;
- two storey back ell with a low pitched gable roof;
- wood frame construction.