Description of Historic Place
The Augustus Cann Estate is located on the corner of Carleton Street and Collins Street in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. This two-and-a-half storey, Queen Anne Revival style house was built in 1892. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.
The Augustus Cann Estate is valued for its close association with Captain Augustus Cann, a noted Yarmouth County mariner, and for its architecture, as it is a fine example of the Queen Anne Revival style.
The Augustus Cann Estate is closely associated with Captain Augustus Cann who went to sea at age fourteen. In 1885, Cann left his employment onboard ships, but remained tied to marine industries. In his retirement, Cann devoted his energies to turning the local economy, based on the wooden sailing ship, towards new forms of industry. Cann started Minard's Linament Company, which became one of the largest drug companies in Canada and synonymous with Nova Scotia; the company operated in Yarmouth until 1960.
Captain Cann also initiated the Mud Island Lobster Company, one of the foremost pioneers in today's large scale lobster export industry. As well, Cann was also one of the principals in establishing the Yarmouth Curling Club, was active in numerous charitable institutions, and was a councilor and later a mayor of Yarmouth. He died in 1918.
The Augustus Cann Estate, built in 1892, displays all the characteristics of the Queen Anne Revival style. Chief of these is the asymmetrical floor plan and irregular massing, as demonstrated by the pedimented gables and protruding bays. A second characteristic is the variety in exterior wall texture, accomplished here through the use of both clapboard and shingles.
The interior of the Augustus Cann estate continues the use of the Queen Anne Revival style, with exuberant woodwork in various species, deep plaster cornices, and elaborate glazing designs incorporating beveled and stain glass. Of particular note are two ceilings which have been painted with various motifs, reputedly by Nova Scotian painter, James Murphy.
The builder of the house was Stephen Cain, who signed a piece of wood and placed it under the verandah roof, stating he built the home and the date of completion. Cain was well known for his building skills and constructed several churches and major properties in the Yarmouth area.
When Cann had the house erected in 1892, it was located in the heart of a street occupied by the estates of former sea captains. Its graceful design, accented by its trims and spires, have for years established it as one of the finest homes in Yarmouth, and given it landmark status.
Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 155, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Exterior character defining elements of the Augustus Cann Estate relating to its Queen Anne Revival style include:
- two-and-a-half storey wood construction;
- asymmetrical floor plan and irregular massing;
- pedimented gables;
- protruding bays;
- contrasting clapboard and shingle siding;
- dentils and Palladian window;
- elaborate spindle work;
- wooden sign, signed by the builder of the house, located under the verandah roof.
Interior character defining elements of the Augustus Cann Estate relating to its Queen Anne Revival style include:
- exuberant woodwork in various species;
- deep plaster cornices;
- elaborate glazing designs incorporating beveled and stain glass;
- two ceilings painted with various motifs.