Jacob Sweeny House
44 Huntington Street
Links and documents
1866/01/01 to 1866/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Jacob Sweeny House is a wood frame, one-and-a-half storey Gothic Revival style residence built around 1866. It is located on Huntington Street, in a residential neighbourhood near the principal shopping district in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the house and its residential lot.
The Jacob Sweeny House is valued for its historical associations with Jacob Sweeny, its original owner, founder of Sweeny’s Funeral Home, and with Henry Ward a later owner, an engineer with the Dominion Atlantic Railway which once had facilities in Yarmouth. It is also valued as an example of the “L plan” style of Gothic Revival architecture.
This house was built around 1866 by and for Jacob Sweeny with his soon-to-be father-in-law, Joseph F. Patten, who were both well known local house builders at the time. Mr. Sweeny also owned and operated a furniture business then and in 1860 had founded the undertaking firm which remained in his family for 113 years, and which still bears the family name. The Sweeny family resided here until 1905 when the property was sold out of the family.
The property was sold four more times before being purchased in 1919 by Henry Ward. Mr. Ward was an engineer with the Dominion Atlantic Railway which had extensive facilities in Yarmouth from the mid-1890s to around 1980, when passenger service between Halifax and Yarmouth was taken over by CP Rail. The Wards lived here until 1958, longer than any other owner before or since excepting the original owner, Jacob Sweeny.
The “L plan” of Gothic Revival architecture is typified by the principal entrance being located in a front-facing gable end and the perpendicular ell having the usual front-facing cross gable(s) associated with the Gothic Revival style. This house is typical in those regards but also has a cross gable on the west side, enclosed off-centre front entry porches and a one storey cutaway bay window in the front gable end. It has been suggested that the ell section of this house was moved to this site and attached or was built on later, but no documentation has been found which confirms either of those possibilities.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files, Town of Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the Jacob Sweeny House include:
- location in a residential neighbourhood near the principal shopping district
- modest sized residential lot
- proximity to other houses of similar scale
- generous setback from road comparable to neighbouring houses
- asymmetrical massing
The character-defining elements of the Gothic Revival architecture of the Jacob Sweeney House include:
- one-and-a-half storeys
- wood frame construction and wood cladding
- asymmetrical 6 bay facade
- medium pitched gable roofs
- lower one-and-a-half storey perpendicular ell on west side
- south (front) and west-facing cross gables on ell
- double hung sash windows
- enclosed entry porch with sidelights in front gable end
- one storey cutaway bay window in front gable end
- simple trim elements such as corner-, frieze- and base-boards and gabled window crowns
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Social Movements
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Joseph E. Patten
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property files: Jacob Sweeny House; located at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2
Cross-Reference to Collection