Description of Historic Place
Manning Block is prominently sited on Main Street, opposite the War Memorial, in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. This two-and-a-half storey wood frame structure was built circa 1856 as a commercial building. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.
Manning Block is valued because it is an intact example of a nineteenth century, wood frame commerical structure, which is an increasingly rare building type in Nova Scotia. It is also valued because the building is an architectural landmark in the town of Parrsboro.
Manning Block was erected around 1856 as a commerical building by Daniel Yorke and his son Frederick. The Yorkes were both shipbuilders and general merchants, a typical combination for the small town commercial elite in mid-nineteenth century Nova Scotia. Daniel Yorke was remembered for selling flour for ten dollars a barrel during the drought and weevil infestation of 1848-49. Around 1870, the front elevation was added to, acknowledging the new street alignment, and providing three distinct shop fronts, and access to several residential units above.
Over the years, Manning Block has housed many different business. It has housed a billiards hall (1914), a printing shop for the Parrsboro Leader, a grocery, a tobacconist, an ice-cream parlour, a beauty salon, a hat shop, and a taxi office. This is also where R.B. Spence was located as a watchmaker and jeweller.
The building remained in the Yorke family for three generations until all interests were deeded to Walter Manning around 1945.
Manning Block was one of the few buildings along Main Street to survive the 1975 fire in Parrsboro. It is therefore the oldest building on Main Street, as well it is also the third oldest building in Parrsboro. This two-and-a half storey side facing wood building with medium pitched gable roof is an architectural landmark in Parrsboro and being that it is a nineteenth century wood frame commercial structure, it is also a rare building type in Nova Scotia.
Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 210, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character-defining elements of Manning Block include:
- two-and-a-half storey wood frame structure;
- original eaves return;
- 6/6 sash windows on the rear elevation;
- one storey addition added around 1870 along the front elevation, incorporating several shop fronts;
- recessed entrances and large display windows;
- two-storey, flat-roofed addition added to the left (south end) around 1945;
- medium pitched gable roof;
- symmetrical facade;
- location in central Parrsboro, sited at the streetline.