Description of Historic Place
The J. W. Bingay / Dr. Morton House is a shingle clad house of wood construction built around 1872 for James Wentworth Bingay, a well-known attorney. It is located on Cliff Street, near the main business district in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the house and its residential lot.
The J. W. Bingay / Dr. Morton House is valued for its associations with two of Yarmouth’s very prominent residents in their time, James Wentworth Bingay, an attorney, and Dr. Lewis Morton, a family physician. It is also valued for its Second Empire architecture, which is uncommon in Yarmouth.
This house was built around 1872 for James Wentworth (“Went”) Bingay, who with his brother, George, and their father were partners in the law firm of T. V. B. Bingay & Sons. Went Bingay had bought the lot of land in 1869, while he was still a law student, from the estate of his grandfather, John S. Bingay. By 1871 he was a partner in his father’s law firm, and presumably the construction of his house began around that time. Went Bingay married in November, 1872, had five children born here and died at the age of 63 on February 3, 1910.
In 1924 the property was purchased by Dr. Lewis Morton, and it is probably best remembered locally for being his home for over 30 years. Dr. Morton had come to Yarmouth from Tusket and was a popular family physician, in practice with two other doctors who had offices nearby on Main Street. In his later years, Doctor Morton took up the game of golf, apparently with a great deal of success. An article which appeared in the Vanguard, a local newspaper, in November of 1996, mentioned that “The elder Dr. Morton was a great golfer winning titles both locally and province-wide as a Senior....” Dr. Morton’s wife, Hallie, passed away in June of 1954, and a year later he sold the property.
The Second Empire architecture of the J. W. Bingay / Dr. Morton House is exemplified by its Mansard roof with moulded cornices, its dormer windows and its symmetrical rectangular massing.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files, Town of Yarmouth, NS.
The character-defining elements of the J. W. Bingay / Dr. Morton House include:
- location near main business district and the Yarmouth waterfront;
- proximity to other houses of similar scale;
- narrow setback from street;
- small residential lot.
The character-defining elements of the Second Empire architecture of the J. W. Bingay / Dr. Morton House include:
- wood construction;
- shingle cladding;
- two storeys with a two-storey centred back ell;
- steeply pitched Mansard roof with moulded cornices;
- segmental arched inset dormers with decorative mouldings;
- double-hung sash windows with moulded crowns;
- symmetrical five-bay facade;
- centred entrance with sidelights and a heavy, bracketed hood.