Home / Accueil

Temperance Hall

5521 Highway 3, Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, B0W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/07/04

Front elevation, Temperance Hall, Shag Harbour, NS, 2008.; Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia 2008
Front Elevation
Side and front elevations, Temperance Hall, Shag Harbour, NS, 2008.; Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia 2008
Side and Front Elevations
Side elevation, Temperance Hall, Shag Harbour, NS, 2008.; Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia 2008
Side Elevation

Other Name(s)

Temperance Hall
Baptist Church Hall
Division Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Temperance Hall is located in the centre of the small fishing village of Shag Harbour, NS. Located directly beside the road, it is a simple wood frame building that continues to be used by the community. Both the land and the building are included in the municipal heritage designation, granted July 4, 1984.

Heritage Value

Temperance Hall is valued for its association with the history of the temperance movement in Shag Harbour; for its role in the community; and for its relatively unaltered appearance.

Guiding Star Division No. 235 was formed in 1865, originally meeting in the carpenter shop of Samuel Nickerson. The movement grew quickly and new accommodations were sought. Nearby, a house was under construction which was sold to the Division and moved to the present location. The Division owned the upper floor and twenty members purchased shares in the lower section, which was rented as a public hall. The building was ready for occupation in December 1872. The lower level became known for its “tea meetings”, which were fundraising socials to offset the cost of renovations of the building. The original roof was very low with sloping ceilings. The roof was raised several metres, leaving the current hipped roof.

The hall is also associated with Ernest R Nickerson, who represented Shelburne County in the provincial legislature from 1915-1928. He was a Shag Harbour merchant and closely invovled in the Division. He became active at the national level, and was named Grand Worthy Patriarch of the Grand Division of Nova Scotia and attended the World Temperance Congress in Saratoga Springs, New York where he became historian of the order.

In the twentieth century the temperance movement slowed and eventually the hall closed. It was sold to the local Baptist congregation, whose church is located across the road. It continues to serve the public and is used by a quilting club, historical society meetings, fundraisers, community suppers and other local events. The building is still known by many in the community as Division or Temperance Hall.

Source: Municipality of the District of Barrington, Municipal Heritage files

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Temperance Hall relate to its use as a public hall and include:

- location close to road across from Baptist Church;
- large wood frame construction;
- hipped roof;
- unadorned, wood shingled exterior;
- wooden corner boards;
- simple trim around wooden two-over-two windows;
- separate entrances for original temperance hall and community hall levels;
- all original interior elements including: wainscoting, tin ceilings on both levels, raised panel doors with carved medallions inset on door casings, deacon benches, and peephole in main door into temperance hall portion.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Social Movements

Function - Category and Type



Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Municipality of Barrington, P.O. Box 100, Barrington Nova Scotia B0W 1E0 Cape Sable Historical Society P.O. Box 67 BArrington NS B0W 1E0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places