McGill Office Building
Joseph McGill Shipbuilding and Transportation Company Office
Links and documents
1857/01/01 to 1857/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The McGill Office Building is a two-and-one-half storey, Greek Revival style, wood frame structure. Built in 1857, the office is the only surviving structure of a number of buildings associated with the Joseph McGill Shipbuilding and Transportation Company. The Office is located on Dock Street, in Shelburne Nova Scotia surrounded by other heritage structures. Both the building and property are included in the municipal designation.
The McGill Office Building is valued as the single surviving structure of a number of buildings associated with the shipbuilding firms of Joseph McGill and John Etherington.
Shipbuilding was a major industry in Nova Scotia and vital to the economies of many communities, and this particular building is representative of that well-known period in Nova Scotian history known as the “Golden Age of Sail.” Built in 1857, the office was part of the Joseph McGill Shipbuilding and Transportation Company, which included several other buildings. The office was accompanied by a barn, and two shed buildings which were all located on the corner of Dock and John Streets. The blacksmith building, galvanizing building and stone house were located on the wharf that was located directly across the street.
The McGill Office Building is also valued for its mainly unaltered condition, as it is essential in maintaining the historic character of Dock Street. Its location on Dock Street, across from the harbour where Shelburne’s two biggest industries of fishing and shipbuilding took place, is integral to its history, purpose and value.
More recently, Dock Street became known as the location of two major films: “Mary Silliman's War,” based on a true story depicting Fairfield, Connecticut during the American Revolution, and “"A"- The Scarlet Letter,” based on a novel depicting Puritan New England in the mid 1600s.
Source: Town of Shelburne, Heritage Property files, no. 5, Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
Character-defining elements of the McGill Office Building relating to its Greek Revival style elements include:
- two-and-one-half storey construction;
- gable roof;
- transom window above main door;
- symmetrical three bay façade;
- wood shingle cladding;
- six-over-six wood sash windows on second storey;
- wide return eaves;
- deep fascia board and corner boards;
- location on Dock Street close to Shelburne Harbour and several other heritage properties.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Eating or Drinking Establishment
- Single Dwelling
- Harbour Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Shelburne Office, Water Street, PO Box 670, Shelburne, NS, B0T 1W0.
Cross-Reference to Collection