Description of Historic Place
The Hantsport Railway Station is located on Station Street in Hantsport, Nova Scotia. This railway station, built in 1944, is in the middle of a still active rail yard, with tracks running on both sides of the building. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.
The Hantsport Railway Station is valued because it is one of the very few heritage stations left in the province still used as a railway station and because it is a visible symbol of Nova Scotian railway history.
The first train of the Windsor and Annapolis Railway passed through Hantsport on Christmas Day, 1869. There has been continuous rail service since that date, mainly by the Dominion Atlantic Railway, owned in 1912 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. In recent years, the need for a rail link for the export of gypsum has been a mainstay for the railway. In 1994, the Windsor and Hantsport Railway Company purchased the tracks and stations needed for a short haul railway operation from Canadian Pacific.
The original station on this site was built around 1893 and was replaced shortly before World War I. This station then burned in 1943. Probably because of the wartime need for gypsum, the Dominion Atlantic Railway rebuilt the station immediately. The new station, the one standing today, opened in 1944. The design seemed to have originated in the desire to replicate, in brick, aspects of its wooden predecessor.
Constructed of large brick typical of the era, the Hantsport Railway Station nevertheless incorporates many exterior details reminiscent of the 1920s Craftsmen period. These include the roof profile, the fake half-timbering and rough cast of gables, and the heavy brackets supporting the widely overhanging roof. Another architectural element of note is the chimney, built with a significant batter (taper).
This little station fits well into its predominantly industrial environment, with a sawmill on one side and warehouses on the other. Its integrity remains intact, and it is probably one of the oldest unaltered structures on the entire rail line.
Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 195, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character-defining elements of the Hantsport Railway Station as a traditional class 4 station include:
- brick construction;
- flattened hip roof with brackets supported by extended eaves;
- half-timbered gable over the station agent's window;
- tapered chimney stack;
- prominent location within the industrial district of the town of Hantsport and along a still active rail line.