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Cooper's Inn and Guest House

36 Dock Street, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/06/16

Front elevation, Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 2007.; Heritage Division, NS. Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007.
Front elevation, Cooper's Inn
North elevation and Guest House, Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 2007.
; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007.
North elevation and Guest House, Cooper's Inn
Rear elevation, Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 2007.
; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007.
Rear elevation, Cooper's Inn

Other Name(s)

Cooper's Inn and Guest House
Cooper's Inn
George Gracie House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1784/01/01 to 1784/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/01/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Coopers Inn and Guest House is a two-and-one-half storey Georgian style home with Italianate features located on Shelburne Harbour in Shelburne, NS. A guest house is also located on the property and is complementary to the main building's design. The buildings and property are included in the municipal designation.

Heritage Value

The Coopers Inn and Guest House is valued for its association with original owner, George Gracie, and for its contribution to the streetscape along Shelburne’s historic Dock Street.

George Gracie came to Nova Scotia as did many Loyalists, fleeing the American Revolution in 1784. He settled in Shelburne where he established a shipyard and mercantile business, and went on to become the co-owner of the privateer vessel “Nelson.” Gracie was elected to the Provincial Legislature and continued his successful business pursuits until his death.

Cooper’s Inn is a wood clad Georgian home, built to face the Shelburne Harbour. A guest house is also located on the property. The buildings have some common Georgian features such as their symmetrical facades and window arrangement. There are also echoes of the Italianate style in their exteriors, notably the deep eave overhangs with supporting brackets and the widow's walk on the main building. The house and guest house have undergone some renovations and presently both are operated as a bed and breakfast.

Source: Town of Shelburne, Heritage Property file, no. 3, Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Cooper's Inn include:

- location on Dock Street, overlooking Shelburne Harbour;
- close proximity to the street;
- wood shingled exterior;
- original granite foundation;
- all features of the Georgian style including steeply pitched hip roof; three-bay symmetrical façade; two-quarter inset chimneys; molded trim and a four-light transom surrounding front door; six-over-six and four-over-four paned windows, and front shutters; two-storey bay window with molded trim framing the upstairs of the bay;
- all features of the Italianate Style including deep eave overhang and support brackets around the house including the decorative support brackets under the overhang of the two-storey bay window; bracketed hoods over windows; widow’s walk.

Character-defining elements of the Guest House include:

- wood shingled exterior;
- steeply pitched gable roof.



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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Shelburne Office, Water Street, P.O. Box 670, Shelburne, NS, B0T 1W0.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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