Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Willow House is a two and a half storey, wood construction, Neo-Classical building located on the lower section of Willow Street in the Town of Pictou, Nova Scotia. The house sits on a lot of land which borders on both Water Street and Church Street. The Willow House is the only house situated between Church Street and Water Street and the front of the building runs parallel with the west sideline of Willow Street. The building was used as a private residence for many years and is now operated as an inn. Both the house and property are included in the municipal designation.
The heritage value of The Willow House, as stated in its municipal designation, is due to its age at the time of designation and its association with David Matheson and David McCulloch.
When The Willow House was formally registered as a heritage property in 1987 the building was 147 years old. The age of the building is reflected in its Neo-Classical structure, which is typical of its construction period.
During the 1800s there was continuous movement by boats between Nova Scotia and Britain. The Neo-Classical structure allowed architects the flexibility of change as new ideas came over from Britain. The universal style in form, windows and door mouldings did not change as new ideas were consequently used in construction. The Willow House maintains these three staples: a symmetric façade, vertical sliding windows and decorative mouldings.
David Matheson had the honour of being Pictou’s first Mayor. Matheson served as Mayor for one term, 1874-1875. Before his death in 1886 Matheson served as the Prothontary and Clerk to County Court in Pictou.
From 1843 to 1850 The Willow House was owned by David McCulloch, brother of the Rev. Dr. Thomas McCulloch. Rev. McCulloch was the founder principal of the well known Pictou Academy.
Source: Inventory Site Form 30.02.00039, Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Recreation & Fitness.
The character-defining elements of The Willow House include:
- Wood construction;
- Feathered clapboard;
- Symmetrical three bay facade;
- Central door with transom widows and sidelights;
- Decorative brackets;
- Second level central double window;
- Central pedimented gable dormer;
- Steep pitch gable roof;
- Two inset chimneys;
- Cornerboards framing the exterior facade.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Pictou Regional Development Commission, 980 East River Road, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, B2H 3S8
Cross-Reference to Collection