Description of Historic Place
832 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, N.S., was built between 1818 and 1834. It is a single detached rectangular one and a half storey wood framed building built in the picturesque style. There is a carriage house which is contemporary with the main building to the rear of the property. The property is located close to the road on a small lot near the intersection of St. George Street and Highway 201. This intersection is known as the mileboard corner to local inhabitants. The municipal designation includes the buildings and surrounding property.
832 St. George Street, as recognized by its municipal designation, is valued for its architectural intactness and its association with historic personalities. During the Acadian period, this property was part of a larger lot owned by Sergeant Francois Villatte and his wife Marguerite de Saint-Etienne de La Tour the widow of Abraham Mius d'Entremont, Sieur de Plemarais. The marriage of Madame La Tour and Villatte in 1705, was opposed by her brother, Charles La Tour, as Villatte was of a lower social standing and twenty years younger than his sister. The property was also owned by the influential merchant William Winniett in the 1740s and later, prominent Loyalist Frederick Davoue.
The first deed to mention a house on the property is dated 1834 with the previous deed dating from 1818. This provides an approximate period of when the house and carriage house were built. The owner of the property during this period, and the builder of this house, was Thomas R. Ritchie. In the 1840s the house was owned by local schoolmaster Charles W. Forbes. The family with the longest tenure in the house was that of Henry Wilson Binning, a bank manager, and his sister Maud Hamilton Binning who owned the property from 1919 to 1963. When Miss Binning died, the house was willed to their housekeeper Ola Harnish. The property is located at the intersection of Highway 201 and St. George Street, known as the mileboard corner. This house appears on both the A.F. Church map of 1876 and the Bird's Eye View map of 1878.
This house is an outstanding intact example of the picturesque style as interpreted in Annapolis Royal. The one and a half storey rectangular building has a steeply gabled roof with the main ridge running parallel to St. George Street. The front façade is symmetrical about the front door with two steeply pitched intersecting dormers at either side set above symmetrical one storey segmental bays. The front door is set in a projecting enclosed one storey porch with a segmental roof. An intersecting segmental dormer is centered above the porch. There are three single brick chimneys. One is located centered on the main ridge, one is interior centered on the ell and the third located on the exterior east side appears to be modern.
The ell, which appears to have been constructed concurrent with the front part, has a single intersecting gabled dormer to the west and a double intersecting pedimented gabled dormer to the east. A modern one storey flat roofed sun porch has been added to the east façade.
The building is clad in wood including boxed eaves and raking with returns, scroll work in the front dormers, clapboard and corner boards, doors and windows. The windows in the front dormers are wooden two over two with semi-circular heads and wooden shutters. The windows on the segmental bays are multi-paned wood with decorative wooden shutters. The main door is an eight panel wood door with a wooden sidelight, panels and surrounds surmounted by a fanlight.
The carriage house on the property appears have been built at the same time as the house. It is a single rectangular mass with wooden shingle siding and is distinguished by its cupola and two side wings with lower roof lines. The side wings wrap around the building to attach on the back side. The carriage house has decorative brackets along its gable ends.
Source: Town of Annapolis Royal Heritage Property Files, Annapolis Heritage Society, 136 St George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.
The character defining elements of 832 St George Street include
-The building's intact size, windows and configuration;
-original painted wood trim;
-original painted wooden clapboard and corner boards;
-original dormers including steep gabled front dormers with decorative wood trim, front segmental gable, single and double gabled dormers on ell;
-original wooden front, side lights, fan light, and projecting porch;
-wooden picket fence;
-an impressive carriage house with two side wings, wooden clapboard siding and a cupola;
-decorative brackets on the gable ends of the carriage house;
-location of the lot near the mileboard corner.