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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Rippin House is a Second Empire style home, located on the north side of St. Patrick Lane, between Water and Dock Streets, in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The building and property are included in the municipal designation.
Rippin House is valued for its architecture and for its association with noted spar-maker W. Michael Jordan.
The Rippin House was built circa 1878 for W. Michael Jordan, Shelburne's most noted spar-maker. Historically a spar-maker produced masts, booms, gaffs, spars and yards for sailing vessels. Shelburne, during this period, was an active port and shipbuilding centre. With the permission of his mother, Jordan signed an indenture at the age of thirteen to apprentice with the Halifax mast-maker, George Butler. Having learned the trade, Jordan moved to Shelburne in 1867 with fellow craftsman William Stevenson. Together they established a spar-making business. When the partnership dissolved one year later, Jordan continued the business alone on St. Patrick Lane, just west of the Rippin House, overlooking Dock Street and the harbour. A former member of the Halifax Fire Company, Jordan was a founding member and first captain of the Shelburne Union Fire Engine Company, established in 1837. Jordan continued to produce spars until 1910 when his son, J. Matthew Jordan, took over the business.
The Second Empire style is uncommon in Shelburne. The two-storey Rippin House includes many of the hallmarks of the style: mansard roof, gabled dormers, single storey bay windows, and an irregularly shaped outline. It has decorative wings which enhance the dormers located on all three sides. The open porch features cutwork and support brackets. The foundation is cut granite and the front façade is asymmetrical. Its size and style is reflective of the commercial success of its first owner.
This very large frame house has a spectacular view of Shelburne Harbour, which can be enjoyed from the open verandah and continues to the cultural landscape of the historic core of the town.
Source: Town of Shelburne, Heritage files
Character-defining elements of Rippin House relate to its Second Empire style and include:
- large, two-storey, wood-frame construction;
- form and massing;
- mansard roof;
- gabled dormers;
- single-storey bay windows;
- asymmetrical front façade;
- discreetly placed chimney;
- decorative wings;
- dormers on three sides of mansard roof;
- open verandah featuring cutwork and support brackets;
- granite block foundation;
- wide cornerboards and frieze boards;
- close proximity to Shelburne Harbour.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
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 Shelburne Office, Water Street, P.O. Box 670, Shelburne, NS, B0T 1W0.
Cross-Reference to Collection