Description of Historic Place
Slightly set back off the Villagedale Road in Coffinscroft, NS this Greek Revival home is one of five remaining houses built by Samuel Osborne Doane. Wood shingle with white trim, and matching side wings or ells, this house and property were declared a heritage property by the Municipality of The District of Barrington on July 4, 1984.
The Doane House is valued for its association with its builder, Samuel Osborne Doane; its Greek Revival architecture; and for its many original features.
Samuel Osborne Doane was the great-grandson of Samuel Osborn Doane, one of the first grantees in Barrington who settled in Barrington in 1762. Samuel Osborne Doane was a well known local builder, and this house is one of only five remaining Doane-built homes. Doane constructed this house for himself and his family in 1839. In 1848, Samuel Doane moved to the United States and the house was sold. However, several years later it was purchased by a relative of Doane and it has remained in the Doane family since that time.
The Doane House is an excellent example of Doane's interpretation of the Greek Revival style, combined with local building trends. In this particular area of Nova Scotia, it was common to build large side wings (or ells) on one or both sides, and to insert a row of knee windows directly below the eaves on the front and/or back elevations. This particular trend is no doubt directly related to the many New England families who settled in the area in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries, as these features are commonly seen in New England. The Doane House exemplifies both of these trends. Identical wings were constructed on either side of the main house, each one-and-one-half storey high and two bays wide. A row of knee windows run directly under the eaves of both the front and rear facades. Doane included quarter-round windows on the second storey of both sides of the main house, which is a somewhat uncommon feature in the area, and in Nova Scotia. Another special detail, is found in the exterior window trim, which when closely examined gradually widens from the top of the window to the bottom.
The house has changed little since the original Doane family resided there and it is set behind a row of mature trees and a fieldstone wall runs along the property lines.
Source: Municipality of the District of Barrington, Registered Heritage Property files, Doane House file.
Character-defining elements of the Doane House relate to its vernacular Greek Revival style and include:
- symmetrical three-bay facade, with off-centre main entrance in main section;
- identical two-bay one-and-one-half storey side wings;
- two-and-one-half storey main section;
- three three-light eyebrow windows running directly under the eaves on front facade and two three-light knee windows on rear facade;
- quarter-round windows at each end of main house on second-storey;
- fanlight in each gable end;
- gable roof on wings and main section;
- window trim wider at bottom, narrowing at top, directly under eaves on wings;
- decorative corner pilasters.
Other character-defining elements of the Doane House include:
- all original and historic interior elements including fireplaces, open kitchen fireplace with wrought iron hardware; doors, hardware, banister and flooring;
- fieldstone walls bordering property;
- six-over-six wooden windows, many with original or historic glass.