Description of Historic Place
Memory Lane Heritage Village is a living-heritage site located in the community of Lake Charlotte, Nova Scotia. It incorporates a group of 13 distinct buildings, including a general store, church, schoolhouse, clam factory, homestead and garage, on a 4-acre parcel of land. Some buildings were moved to the site while others are replicas. Designed to showcase rural life in Nova Scotia during the 1940s, the village functions as a tourist attraction from June to October. Period signage, equipment, flags and vehicles are found throughout the village. The designation extends to the village and the land it occupies.
Memory Lane Heritage Village is valued for its promotion and preservation of Lake Charlotte’s history and for the role it plays in the community. An initiative of the Lake Charlotte Area Heritage Society, the village is also valued for the Society’s efforts to be authentic through the use of historic plans and 1940s-era features.
The village includes a mix of moved and replica buildings that give the look and feel of a 1940s Nova Scotian village. All of the original buildings that were relocated to the site were built before 1950 and the commercial buildings represent the major industries of the region during this time, which included forestry, farming, mining and fishing. Local volunteers staff the site as heritage animators, wearing period costumes and re-enacting different themes each day.
The project began in 1999 when the Society started the process of salvaging, transporting and reassembling threatened buildings in the community. The Hosking General Store, which serves as the village’s main entrance, was saved from demolition in 1995. A landmark of the area, it was built in Oyster Pond in 1894 and operated until 1975. Also built in 1894, the Clam Harbour United Church faced demolition and moving it to the village site was a community-wide initiative.
The new, authentic replica buildings of the village include the cookhouse, fishermen’s store, mine manager’s cabin, icehouse and clam factory. All were designed using plans from existing heritage buildings in the region. Between 1943 and 1953, at least five clam factories operated between Petpeswick and Clam Harbour. The design for this building was based on the General Seafoods Clam Factory, built in 1945, located in Ostrea Lake and it has the same proportions and materials as the original.
Beyond its use as a living heritage site, Memory Lane Heritage Village also hosts special community gatherings and events throughout the year, including the Eastern Shore Family History Gathering, Antique Show and Tell and Model Boat Festival. The site’s community hall, which dates to 1935, also functions as a genealogy and archives research centre. Through its preservation activies and social role in the community, Memory Lane Heritage Village has become a focal point for local visitors and residents alike.
Source: HRM Planning and Development Services, Memory Lane Heritage Village file.
Character-defining elements of Memory Lane Heritage Village include:
- combination of historic and new industrial, religious and residential buildings with 1940s-era features;
- all original building elements including framing, floors, trim and form;
- period signage, equipment and flags;
- mix of common local architecture, including Gothic Revival (the church) Late Victorian Plain (the general store and homestead), and Vernacular (manager's cabin, barns and outbuildings).
Gothic Revival features include:
- steep-pitched gable roof;
- pointed windows with hood mouldings;
- pointed-arch style doorway.
Late Victorian Plain features include:
- low-pitched roof;
- clapboard siding with wide boards along the roof line;
- minimal decoration.
Vernacular features include:
- rough sawn lumber;
- minimal exterior and interior decoration.