Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Esker is located on a hill overlooking the west side of Sable River, Shelburne County. This Cape Cod Style house was built by Stephen Harrington, a master shipbuilder, around 1825. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.
The Esker is valued for being one of the few "full Cape" colonial style houses remaining in Nova Scotia, appearing much the same as it did when it was originally built.
The Esker is closely connected with the history of Sable River, a community settled by New England Planters from the Liverpool area. Among these settlers was Stephen Harrington, a master shipbuilder, who established a shipyard on his lot where it fronted the river and launched his first schooner from there in 1828. The house, built around 1825, was built further back on his lot and remained in the possession of his decendants until 1963.
The touch of a master shipbuilder is evident in the superb craftmanship of the parlour mantel and minister's cupboard which have remained intact. The stairs and keeping room hutch, exposed ceiling beams and much of the wainscoting are all original.
The Esker was so named as Harrington had built the house on an esker (a long, winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel occuring in glaciated and formerly glaciated regions of Europe and North America). The Esker is a landmark in the Sable River area.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property files, no. 65, Heritage Division, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character-defining elements of The Esker relating to its Cape Cod style include:
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- large central chimney;
- five bay symmetrical facade with a central Bible door and transom;
- four 6/6 windows;
- stone fireplace;
- interior decorative elements such as the still intact, handcrafted parlour mantel and minister's cupboard;
- interior structural elements such as the original stairs, keeping-room hutch and exposed ceiling beams;
- landmark location on an esker hill with river access.
Province of Nova Scotia
Heritage Property Act
Provincially Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 65, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS
Cross-Reference to Collection