Baptist Church Hall
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
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.
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 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.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Social Movements
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipality of Barrington, P.O. Box 100, Barrington Nova Scotia B0W 1E0
Cape Sable Historical Society
P.O. Box 67
Cross-Reference to Collection