Description of Historic Place
The Charles Richards House is a brick, two-and-a-half storey, Queen Anne Revival style building located in the heart of the Collins Heritage Conservation District in Yarmouth, NS. Built between 1893-1895, the house is one of only two brick Queen Anne homes in Nova Scotia. Both the house and the lands are included in the provincial designation.
The Charles Richards House is valued for its Queen Anne Revival style architecture, historical associations, recent restoration, and location within the Collins Heritage Conservation District.
The house, which now operates as a bed and breakfast, is valued as an excellent example of Queen Anne Revival architecture, as revealed in its open veranda with decorative wooden trim and balustrade, elaborately trimmed eaves, and a hipped roof with lower gables. The house is provincially significant as it is thought to be one of only two Queen Anne Revival style brick homes in Nova Scotia. It was also the first brick house to be built in Yarmouth and the exterior remains relatively unaltered since its construction.
Construction of the house began in 1893 and was completed in 1895; built by local carpenter Amos Crosby for entrepreneur and druggist Charles C. Richards. He was a founder of the Minard’s Linament Company Ltd. and served as company president for many years. Richards was also president of the “Times Limited,” and the New Burrell-Johnson Iron Company, secretary-treasurer of the Old Ladies Home and director of the Yarmouth Hospital. He was also a founder of the Nova Scotia Game Association.
Between 1942 and 1946 the house was owned by King George VI and was used as a residence for the Canadian Women’s Army Corps while they served at the local Army Training Centre. Following the end of the war the house was sold and between 1946 and1963 it served as the Yarmouth Public Library.
In 1999 a detailed and award winning restoration of the house began following years of neglect and mistreatment, which brought the property back to its original glory. Located within the heart of the Collins Heritage Conservation District and directly across from the Yarmouth County Museum, the house, especially following its restoration, contributes greatly to the streetscape and the surrounding district.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property Program file No. 265.
Character-defining elements of the Charles Richards House include:
- brick construction materials;
- location within the Collins Heritage Conservation District;
- metal roof tiles that mimic original slate roof tiles;
- modern leaded stained glass windows, custom built to replace original damaged windows;
- inset chimney with decorative brickwork;
- windows trimmed with lightly carved sandstone lintels;
- granite and stone foundation.
Character-defining elements of the Charles Richards House which relate to the Queen Anne Revival style include:
- steeply pitched, hipped roof with lower cross gables;
- asymmetrical façade;
- wrap around porch with turned posts, spindlework ornamentation and decorative brackets;
- central two-story bay widow on front façade;
- windows of varying shapes and sizes;
- semilune windows in attic storey, and gable extensions.
Interior character-defining elements of the Charles Richards House include:
- original staircase;
- some original trim.