Port Maitland Cattle Pound
No. 1 Highway, Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, B0W, Canada
Links and documents
1871/01/01 to 1871/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Port Maitland Cattle Pound is a small square stone wall enclosure that was built around 1871 in the village of Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, as a holding pen for stray cattle. The municipal heritage designation applies to the land and the structure.
The Port Maitland Cattle Pound is valued for its association with life in a rural community in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is also valued as possibly being the last standing cattle pound in Yarmouth County.
The Port Maitland Cattle Pound was built around 1871 on a small piece of land which was equally expropriated from the two abutting properties for the purpose. It is a stone wall enclosure measuring about thirty feet on each side, with an opening which was gated on the side parallel to the road. The common practice was to build the pounds next to a brook, as this one is, or abutting some other source of water for their inmates. These pounds were used to temporarily "incarcerate" stray cattle until their owners paid a fine and reclaimed them. The "usual suspects" picked up included cows, oxen, pigs, goats, sheep and some large fowl. The person whose responsibility it was to catch and pen the loose animals was called the “cattle reeve,” and the position was usually filled by appointment of Municipal Council. Most villages had a cattle reeve and pound, and both were an active and important part of village life until well into the 1900s.
Source: Municipal Heritage Property files: the Port Maitland Cattle Pound; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the Port Maitland Cattle Pound include:
- location on the main road through the community;
- proximity to a brook;
- square stone wall enclosure measuring approximately 30 by 30 feet.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Undetermined (archaeological site)
- Exposed Site
- Civic Space
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property files: Joint Heritage Office, 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2
Cross-Reference to Collection