Description of Historic Place
The Locke Homestead is located on the south side of South Street overlooking Lockeport Harbour to the north, in the town of Lockeport, NS. The Locke Homestead was built around 1876 by Captain Henry Locke, a descendant of Jonathan Locke, one of the original settlers of Lockeport. The homestead also includes a barn. The buildings and property are included in the provincial designation.
The Locke Homestead is valued because it is one of five houses forming a family-related streetscape of carefully preserved buildings in Nova Scotia that include a combination of Greek Revival, Colonial Vernacular and in the Locke Homestead, Second Empire style.
Built around 1876 by Captain Henry Locke, a merchant in the West Indies trade, the Locke Homestead is an exceptionally preserved example of domestic architecture from the Victorian era. The only exterior alteration has been the enclosing of the front porch. This house was constructed when the West Indies trade was at its peak and reflects the wealth of that era. The West Indies was a key trading partner for Nova Scotian merchants during the latter part of the nineteenth century.
The preservation of this house as a Locke family dwelling can be attributed, in part, to Churchill Locke. Henry Locke sold his house in 1892 to his first cousin Churchill. Though Churchill was also involved in the West Indies trade, his business expanded into other areas and was therefore able to maintain his stately home during the decline of the West Indies trade. The house has remained in the family since its construction.
The Locke Family Streetscape consists of five houses, all built either for or by the descendents of Samuel Locke. Samuel was a descendant of Jonathan Locke, M.D., one of the original settlers of Locke's Island, and he later renamed Lockeport after him. The houses protected in the Locke Family streetscape all face the harbour, and from west to east are: the Locke Homestead, the William Stalker Homestead, the Jacob Locke Homestead, the Gurden Bill Homestead and the John Locke Homestead.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property files, no. 66, Heritage Division, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character-defining elements of the Locke Homestead that relate to its Second Empire style include:
- two-storey, wood construction;
- steeply pitched mansard roof;
- symmetrical three bay facade with large central projecting frontispiece;
- discreetly placed chimneys;
- ornately bracketed eaves and hooded windows.
Character-defining elements of the Locke Homestead that relate to its location within the Locke Family Streetscape include:
- the original barn located at the rear of the property;
- location on South Street facing the harbour;
- location in close proximity to the other four homes within the Locke Family Streetscape.