Description of Historic Place
The Peter Lent Hatfield House is located on a generous elevated lot, back from the edge of Highway 3 in Tusket on the south shore, Nova Scotia. This one-and-a-half wood frame house of Greek Revival style with Gothic Revival features, with adjacent wood-frame barn, was built circa 1862. The buildings and property are included in the provincial designation.
The Peter Lent Hatfield House is valued for its historical associations with the prominent New York Loyalist familes of Lent and Hatfield and it is also valued as it is an interesting, little-altered example of a nineteenth century Nova Scotian domestic building.
Peter Lent Hatfield, the builder of this house around 1862, was one of the most prominent citizens of Tusket in his day. As the son of James Hatfield and Elizabeth Lent, Peter Lent was descended from two of the most prominent Loyalist families to settle in Argyle Township. He was a highly skilled surveyor, whose plans are found in great numbers in the Yarmouth Registries for deeds and probate, local cemetery companies and in private collections.
Peter Lent Hatfield was one of the founding members of the Tusket Methodist congregation and he financed the construction of its church, which is still standing in the village. He held the position of Municipal Treasurer from 1880 until 1913, the position of school trustee for many years and that of fire warden as well. While his brother James Adolphus Hatfield owned and operated the largest shipbuilding yard in Tusket, Peter Lent ran the company store that was associated with the yard.
From the 1860s through to the 1940s, the Hatfield family was the most influential in Tusket. Peter Lent married Caroline Matilda Harding, a daughter of Tracy Harding, one of Tusket's merchant in the 1840s. They had three sons. His family continued to have important mercantile interests in Tusket well into the 1940s. His eldest son Tracy owned two general stores.
Of the houses belonging to the Hatfield families of Tusket, this one-and-a-half storey wood frame structure in the Greek Revival style, with Gothic Revival style elements, with adjacent wood-frame barn, is the only one that has remained largely unaltered and is an excellent example of a nineteenth century Nova Scotian domestic building. The house remained in Peter Lent's family until 1968.
Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 176, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character defining elements of Peter Lent Hatfield House relating to its Greek Revival style with Gothic Revival style elements include:
- one-and-a-half storey, wood frame structure;
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- large centre gable dormer;
- kitchen addition in the rear;
- entrance location centered beneath the dormer and its detailing in a relatively elaborate manner;
- the location of a second floor bay window above the entrance;
- the location of the oculus (round window) above the bay window within the peak of the dormer;
- double windows on either side of the entrance ;
- two inset chimneys;
- one-and-a-half storey, wood frame barn.