Links and documents
1895/01/01 to 1895/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Miss Baxter’s House is a two-and-one-half storey wooden structure situated very close to the street on Highland Avenue, Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Only the building is included in the designation.
Miss Baxter’s House is valued for its modified Second Empire style architecture, for its association to former owner John D. Chambers, and for its continuity of ownership and use by one family.
Architecturally, the house shows elements of the Second Empire style due to its Mansard roof and the projecting dormer window on the east wall. Some Queen Anne Revival influences are also displayed in the large front veranda and the large side tower.
John D. Chambers came to Wolfville in 1882 and clerked at the Caldwell and Murray dry goods establishment, eventually becoming a partner of Caldwell, Chambers and Company. From 1871-1879 he lived in Yarmouth, but returned to Wolfville to start his own dry goods business at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue, which he ran for twenty-two years. Chambers served on town council and was mayor for three terms. One of the first Wolfville residents to identify the tourism potential of Wolfville, he promoted the improvement of the Old Mud Bridge and the Old Burying Ground. Main Street was first paved during his term of office between 1912 and 1926, making Wolfville the first town in the Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia to have paved streets and side walks. Chambers also served as first president of the Boy Scout Association, president of the Victorian Order of Nurses, and as second lieutenant for the Wolfville Fire Department in 1890, the year the Department was founded.
Miss Baxter’s House is also valued for its continuity of ownership with the Baxter family. For over sixty-five years the home was in this family, with Miss Suzie T. Baxter listed as the last family member to live there. A much-loved teacher at Wolfville elementary school, where she taught grade two for over thrity years, Baxter was an active citizen in many facets of town life, singing in the Baptist Church choir, teaching Sunday school, and working for the Women’s Missionary Society. Having earned a Master of Arts degree at Acadia, she was also well-known for her creative writing and used her talent to write many plays. Upon her death in 1988, her records and papers were donated to the Acadia University Archives.
Sources: Town of Wolfville Heritage Property Program files, Miss Baxter’s House file.
Character-defining elements of Miss Baxter’s House include:
- asymmetrical appearance;
- two-bay façade;
- steep-pitched Mansard roof;
- clapboard siding with wide corner boards;
- three-storey tower with pyramid-shaped roof and finial;
- tower includes bracketed eaves and decorative wood work;
- plain wood detailing around windows;
- veranda supported by Doric columns on front façade;
- projecting pavilion on south wall;
- dormer window with deck on east wall.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Inventory Site Form found at Planning and Development Services, Town of Wolfville, 200 Dykeland Street, Wolfville, NS B4P 1A2
Cross-Reference to Collection
See also the Suzie T. Baxter papers at the Acadia University Archives.