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Jost House

62 Main Street, Guysborough, Nova Scotia, B0H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/02/13

Family posing in front of Jost House, Main Street, Guysborough, NS, circa 1910.; Courtesy of Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, N-6048
Jost House ca. 1910
South elevation, Jost House, Guysborough, Nova Scotia, 2006.
; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
South elevation
Front and south elevations, Jost House, Guysborough, Nova Scotia, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
Front and South elevations

Other Name(s)

Jost House
Henry Marshall Jost House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/08/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Jost House is located on the Guysborough Harbour side of Main Street in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. This one-and-one-half storey Gothic Revival home is set close to the street surrounded by mature trees. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.

Heritage Value

Jost House is valued for its association with the Jost family and for its role in maintaining the heritage character of the Main Street of Guysborough.

In 1882 John Jost of Halifax came to Guysborough looking for employment. The following year Jost entered into a silent partnership with his brother George and established a general store there. Another brother, Christopher, came from Halifax to serve as bookkeeper for the new store and later purchased George’s share in the business. The brothers quickly established themselves as successful merchants. In 1838 they separated amicably and John established the ‘British House.’ Both brothers passed their businesses to their sons and for many years to come the name Jost was associated with commercial operations in the community.

John Jost’s son Henry Marshall continued to operate the British House for many years. Circa 1865 the younger Jost built a home next to the store for his fiancée Carrie Hart. The marriage did not take place and Jost rented the property and continued to live in his father's home. It is interesting to note that neither Henry Marshall nor Carrie Hart ever married.

In 1898, Henry Marshall sold the house to Ernest DesBarres. The DesBarres were also an old Guysborough family. DesBarres was a farmer and operated a small store he built between his residence and Jost's store. DesBarres died in 1916 and the house passed through several owners.

The Jost House is a striking one-and-a-half storey, wood frame structure with a simple gable roof and large rear wing and has changed little since its construction. The house embodies many of the basic elements of a typical Nova Scotian Gothic Revival home. However, it displays a few uncommon features including Scottish dormers on either side of the central gable dormer, which in turn incorporates a Palladian window. Also of note are the two chimneys in the main part of the house, which display intricate brick detailing.

Located on Main Street and backed by the Guysborough Harbour, the Jost House plays an important role in maintaining the heritage character of the main street in Guysborough, which comprises other nineteenth century commercial and residential buildings, including two commercial buildings once owned by members of the Jost family.

Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 132

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements relating to Jost House include:

- one-and-a-half storey wood frame construction;
- gable roof;
- large rear wing;
- Scottish dormers on either side of the central gable dormer, which incorporates a Palladian window;
- two inset chimneys in the main part of the house;
- prominent location on Main Street backed by the Guysborough Harbour in close proximity to a former Jost-owned store.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 132, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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