Description of Historic Place
The Lake George United Baptist Church is a Neo-classical style building constructed in 1854-1855 in the rural community of Lake George, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the church, the cemetery and the lot on which they are situated.
The Lake George United Baptist Church is valued for its history as the only place of worship in the community of Lake George; for its continuous use since its construction; and for its Neo-classical style architecture.
On May 1, 1844, Charles and Lydia Crosby and George and Joanna Goudey sold a lot of land, located on the east side of the main highway through Lake George, to fifteen proprietors for the sum of three pounds. The land was eight rods wide along the road by twenty rods long, (approximately 40 metres by 100 metres), and was sold as a site for a burying ground and place of public worship. The burying ground was used shortly after the sale, however there were no immediate plans, to build a place of worship.
It was ten years before a meeting house was constructed. Through the combined efforts of three Baptist ministers from nearby communities, a congregation was organized in Lake George in February 1849. It was a further five years, in February of 1854, before the Calvinistic Baptist Church Society at Lake George was incorporated and fund-raising began for the construction of the meeting house. In April 1855 Knowles Crosby, a local carpenter, was hired to finish the interior of the building, and upon its completion dedication services were held on October 27 and 28, 1855.
Record books have been kept throughout the church’s history. Early books of the church/congregation give details of the pews sold, ministers, Sunday school records, Treasurer’s records and special events. These books record that in 1948 Dr. Ivan Rose offered to put electricity into the Church in memory of his late wife, Mildred Winter Rose, who died the previous year. More recent records indicate the difficulties of finding and keeping ministers here; a dwindling congregation and lack of sufficient funds to carry out maintenance. In general, these records chronicle the entire life of this rural church; its survival and, through the determination and dedication of its current members, its continuing use to the present day.
The Neo-classical architecture of the Lake George United Baptist Church is evident in its wood frame construction and cladding, rectangular massing, gabled roof with prominent bell tower, two entrances on the short, front elevation, and the tall, large scale windows. It is a local landmark.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files: Lake George United Baptist Church, located at the Heritage Office, 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2.
The character-defining elements of the Lake George United Baptist Church include:
- location in Lake George;
- cemetery located behind church;
- moderate setback from road;
- picket fence setting off church lot from road and parking area;
- grass covered lot surrounding building.
The character-defining elements of the Neo-classical architecture of the Lake George United Baptist Church include:
- wood frame construction and cladding;
- medium pitched gable roof with bell tower at front;
- full front pediment;
- return eaves in back;
- symmetrical five bay façade with two entrances;
- tall, large scale, flat-headed windows with reverse ogee arched cut-out trim;
- window trim echoed in louvered bell tower openings;
- simple entablatures on front entrances;
- corner pilasters, moulded fascias, verge-board and frieze-board trim.
The character-defining elements of the Lake George cemetery include:
- location behind church;
- two access avenues;
- grass covered plots and avenues;
- old and new markers;
- continuous active use.