Description of Historic Place
The Sydney Wearne House is a two-storey, Four Square style house with Queen Anne Revival style influences. It is of wood frame construction and cladding and was built circa 1902 for tailor Sydney Wearne. It is located on the shore of Lake Vaughan at the end of Cornubia Road in the rural village of Gavelton, Yarmouth County, NS. Municipal heritage designation applies to the house and its lakefront residential lot.
This property is most valued for its historical connection with Sydney Wearne, its original owner. Its Four Square style architecture with Queen Anne Revival influences is unusual in this area and adds to its heritage value.
Sydney Wearne was born in England in 1852 and as a young man gained some fame as a swimmer, for which he had won a number of medals which he was said to have highly prized. Wearne immigrated to New York City where he met and married Mary Elizabeth Hatfield, daughter of Abram Lent Hatfield, a well-known Yarmouth sea captain. Capt. Hatfield died in 1893 and Wearne and his wife purchased one-half interest the Hatfield homestead and in 1899 purchased the remaining half. Circa 1895 the original Hatfield home was destroyed by fire and the Wearnes built a new home circa 1902.
The Wearnes only lived in the house for part of the year between 1902 and 1905, but lived there permanently between 1906 and 1913 when they moved permanently into the town of Yarmouth where Wearne was employed at the well-known tailoring firm of W.N. Allen. Wearne worked here until his death in 1918. Shortly after his death his widow, Mary Elizabeth, returned to live permanently in this house until August, 1935, when she sold it to a Hatfield cousin.
The Four Square architecture, as demonstrated in the Sydney Wearne House, is unique in this area of Nova Scotia, and most of the neighbouring houses are of smaller scale. The Four Square style is evident in its square massing, two-storey wood frame construction and cladding, hip roof and the full-width, columned front veranda. The Queen Anne Revival influences are seen in the cutaway bay windows and the belt course of patterned shingles. It is set on a well landscaped lot, on a quiet road near Lake Vaughn.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files: the Sydney Wearne House; located at the Heritage Office, 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2
Character-defining elements of the Sydney Wearne House include:
- location on end of a dead-end road on eastern shore of Lake Vaughan;
- park-like setting with many trees and decorative plantings;
- residential use.
Character-defining elements of the Four Square style with Queen Anne Revival influenced architecture of the Sydney Wearne House include:
- two-storey wood frame construction and cladding;
- square massing;
- medium pitched hip roof;
- asymmetrical two bay façade with full-width columned veranda;
- double hung sash windows;
- two-storey interrupted bay windows on east and west sides;
- wide belt course of patterned shingles;
- stone foundation.