Williams house ell
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Lewis house at 62 Chapel Street is a 1 1/2 storey wood frame structure with a large back ell, clad with wooden shingles and with a gable roof. The building is located on the lot at the corner of Chapel and St. Anthony Streets in what is Annapolis Royal's modern commercial district. St. Louis Roman Catholic Cemetery occupies the the opposite corner. The designation includes both the house and the property.
The historic value of the Lewis house, as recognized by its municipal designation, lies in its association with its previous owners. The back half of the house dates from at least 1750 (possibly as early as 1729) and was formerly the back ell of the Williams house when it was located at 248 St. George Street. This portion of the Williams house was moved to this site in 1874 to make way for the construction of the Union Bank building (now the Royal Bank of Canada). The main portion of the Williams house is now located at 167 St Anthony Street. In 1884 the ell was incorporated into a new residence for the Lewis family, prominent in Annapolis Royal's black community.
As a part of the Williams house, the historic value of the building lies in its association with prominent members of the community. This was the home of the Williams family, beginning with Thomas Williams senior appointed ordanance storekeeper and commissary of provisions to the garrison at Fort Anne in 1762 and his wife Ann Amhurst, only daughter of Captain Edward Amhurst of the 40th regiment. Their son, Thomas Williams junior, succeeded his father as commissary of provisions in 1788 and continued in the position until his own death in 1807. The Williams house was the birthplace of General Sir William Fenwick Williams in December 1799, son of Thomas junior and his wife, Maria Walker. Decorated for his actions during the Crimean War, General Williams was commander-in-chief of forces in British North America from 1860 to 1865 at the time of the American Civil War. He was Nova Scotia's first native-born Lieutenant-Governor from 1865 until 1867 and served as governor of Gibralter from 1870 until 1876. General Sir William Fenwick Williams died in London in 1883. In 1846 the heirs of the Williams family sold the house to Joseph Norman, the last ordinance storekeeper at Fort Anne. He lived here with his colourful wife, the Spanish-born Gregoria Ramona Antonia Reiez, who had reportedly been a vivandière with the British expeditionary forces in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars and, by her own account, a favourite of the Duke of Wellington.
As the Lewis house, its historic value lies in its association with the families of James Lewis senior and junior, operators of Lewis Transfer and descendants of Rose Fortune.
From its outward appearance, this house is a fairly standard Maritime vernacular neo-classical house. The most architecturally important section of the building is the ell which was moved to this site from 248 St George Street in 1874. This section of the house still has sections of wattle and daub wall infill which testifies to its early construction date. The house still has wooden clapboard on the front section and wooden shingles on the ell.
Town of Annapolis Royal Heritage Designation Files, Annapolis Heritage Society, 136 St George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
The character defining elements of the Lewis house include
-the buiding being a combination of the ell of the Williams house originally located at 248 St George Street and a structure built on site in 1884;
-interior wattle and daub wall construction in the ell;
-wooden clapboard siding on the main body of the building;
-wooden shingle siding on the ell;
-two over two double hung sash windows;
-wooden roofing shingles on north-west side of the ell.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
1884/01/01 to 1884/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Annapolis Royal Heritage Registration files, O'Dell House Museum 136 St George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Cross-Reference to Collection