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Thompson House

620 Main Street, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, B4P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/12/23

gable detail, Thompson House, Wolfville, NS, 2006; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
gable detail
front elevation, Thompson House, Wolfville, NS, 2006; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
front elevation
side elevation, Thompson House, Wolfville, NS, 2006; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
side elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1874/01/01 to 1874/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/01/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Thompson House is a two-and-one-half-storey, wood structure located on Main Street, Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Situated on an elevated plot of land and set a fair distance away from the street, the house and its surrounding property, which includes several mature trees, have a regal quality. Only the building is included in the designation.

Heritage Value

Thompson House is valued for its architectural features and for its association with its former owners, George Thompson and Leslie Raymond Fairn.

Thompson served on Wolfville’s first town council in 1893. After the town was officially incorporated in March of that year, Thompson and other councillors worked to levy taxes, allot funds to improve the condition of roads, and create town regulations and bylaws, among other tasks. He later served as mayor of Wolfville from 1897 to 1902.

Another resident of Thompson House was acclaimed architect Leslie Raymond Fairn. He lived in the house for over 35 years and during that time he supervised the construction of Acadia’s University Hall as well as many other buildings of the community such as McConnell Dining Hall, Eastern Kings Memorial Hospital, Oakes House, Acadia Hockey Rink, Vaughan Memorial Library, Beveridge Arts Centre, Huggins Science Hall, and the Town Hall. Often referred to as the dean of modern Nova Scotian architects, Fairn was a fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and his extensive body of work can be seen throughout the Atlantic Provinces. He built every type of structure—from churches and hospitals to courthouses and jails, but he is perhaps best remembered as a mentor for aspiring architects and builders, many of whom he hired fresh from university, which allowed him to stay abreast of new trends, materials and building methods.

Architecturally, Thompson House displays features of the Italianate-style due to its low-pitched roof, symmetrical façade, Doric-style columns, frontispiece with a Palladian-derivative window on the gable, ornate bracketing detail and pedimented hoods over first floor windows.

- Town of Wolfville Heritage Property Program files, Thompson House file.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Thompson House include:

- symmetrical three-bay façade;
- low pitched roof;
- matching brick chimneys;
- clapboard siding; wide eaves supported by ornate brackets;
- wide corner boards with Doric-style columns;
- pedimented hoods over first floor windows;
- frontispiece with Palladian-derivative window on top gable;
- pedimented gable porch on Doric columns with ornate bracket detailing;
- transom window above front door.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Leslie Raymond Fairn



Additional Information

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

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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