Description of Historic Place
The George & Elizabeth Porter House is a two storey wood frame residence built in 1883 in the Italianate style. It is located on Clements Street within the Collins Heritage Conservation District, near the downtown area of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the house and the residential lot it occupies.
The George & Elizabeth Porter House is valued for its historic associations with Major George Blackadar, a teacher, and Thomas Andrew Murray Kirk, known as “Tammy” Kirk, noted educator, Member of Parliament and later, managing editor of the Yarmouth Herald newspaper. It is also valued for its simple Italianate architecture.
This house was built around 1883 for Elizabeth and George Porter, an accountant, who only resided here about two years before the property was sold at public auction.
In 1909 the house was purchased by Caroline Blackadar and after her death in 1930, was deeded to her husband, Major George Blackadar, by their two daughters. Major Blackadar was a school teacher at Yarmouth Academy for 41 years and also had a distinguished 35 year career as a Senior Cadet Instructor. At the time of his retirement in 1944 he was the oldest active Cadet Instructor in the district and held the distinction of having the longest period of active service to his credit of any other Cadet Instructor in Canada.
Major Blackadar conveyed the property to his daughter and son-in-law, Dorothy and Thomas Andrew Murray (aka “Tammy”) Kirk in 1949. Tammy Kirk also had a distinguished career in education during his lifetime, having held an administrative position in the Department of Education in Halifax, teaching at Yarmouth Academy and becoming Inspector of Schools. He also entered politics and was elected as a Member of Parliament, representing this area from 1949 to 1957. After a change in government, he returned to Yarmouth where he became the managing editor of the Yarmouth Herald newspaper until his death in August, 1966 at age 60.
The Italianate architecture of this house is relatively subdued, showing little in the way of ornamentation. The style is exemplified by its two full stories and low pitched hip roof with wide eaves. An original belvedere was removed a number of years ago. The asymmetrical, L-shaped form of this house is relatively uncommon.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files, Town of Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the location and context of the George & Elizabeth Porter House include:
- location within the Collins Heritage Conservation District
- proximity to the central business district
- moderate setback on a large residential lot
- proximity to other houses of similar scale
The character-defining elements of the Italianate architecture of the George & Elizabeth Porter House include:
- wood frame construction and wood cladding
- two full storeys
- low pitched cross hipped roof
- two storey interrupted bay windows
- one storey enclosed sunporch
- asymmetrical facade
- paired entry doors
- paired windows in projecting bays