Cape Negro Church
Seaview Cemetery Company
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Cape Negro Church is located at the end of a long driveway in Cape Negro, Nova Scotia. The white wood-frame church is located on a hill surrounded by a graveyard and three lancet windows on each side. The church, graveyard and land are included in the municipal heritage designation of July 4, 1984.
The Cape Negro Church is valued for its association with the history of the Methodist Church in the area, for its remaining original features, graveyard and its Gothic Revival architecture.
Methodism has had a long history in the Barrington area of Nova Scotia. Freeborn Garretson brought Methodism to the earliest settlers of Cape Negro in the late eighteenth century. Garretson was an American missionary and circuit preacher who came to Nova Scotia in 1784-1785 to convert residents. By 1804, the fledgling congregation had a log meeting house. In 1818 the chapel was replaced with a wood frame building on the same location as the current church. The 1818 church was replaced with the current building circa 1854. The church housed a significant number of books which provided the congregation with a small lending library. Presently the library remains, however books must be used on site.
The church was built in the Gothic Revival style, with a decorated steeple and arched windows throughout. Presently the steeple is unadorned, the arched window in the tower has either been removed or the arch has been covered with siding. The window behind the pulpit was replaced with a small octagonal one in the 1930s. Also in the 1930s significant changes were made to the interior, including enclosing the second-storey gallery with pressed tin.
The graveyard that surrounds the Cape Negro Church is one of the earliest in the area. It was established in 1770 as the Seaview Cemetery and at the time was a community cemetery, not owned by the church as it is presently. The site for the 1818 church was no doubt chosen to be in close proximity to the cemetery. Early graves were marked with fieldstones and identifying information was not recorded on them.
Source: Municipality of the District of Barrington, Heritage Registration files, Cape Negro Church file.
Character-defining elements of the Cape Negro Church include:
- Gothic wood framed windows;
- corner boards;
- central tower;
- location on a hill surrounded by the Seaview cemetery;
- bell from the Old Cape Negro Schoolhouse in belfry;
- all original interior features including square pews with handmade "openwork" hymn racks on the back.
Character-defining elements of the Seaview cemetery include:
- historic and modern gravestones;
- simple fieldstone markers.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
1770/01/01 to 1770/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Seaview Cemetery Association
Shelburne Co., NS
Cape Sable Historical Society
P.O. Box 67
Cross-Reference to Collection