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Bailly House

134 Pelham Street, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/07/26

Bailly House, Old Town Lunenburg, front façade, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
front façade
Bailly House, Old Town Lunenburg, front Prince Street, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
from Prince Street
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Bailly House is a small, two-storey wooden residence situated on Pelham Street in Old Town Lunenburg, a heritage conservation district in Lunenburg, NS. Built in 1790, it is north facing and backs onto a short slope where it drops one more storey in the rear, with no setback from the street. Designation extends to the building and surrounding property.

Heritage Value

Bailly House is valued as the former home of artist Earl Bailly, as well as for its unique architectural features. The house was thought to have been built circa 1790 and originally had a gambrel roof. It was moved in the 1880s to its present location by Lunenburg blacksmith Edwin Bailly who made some renovations to the house. The house remained in the Bailly family until recently, and was the home and studio of internationally known artist Earl Bailly until his death in 1977. Bailly's fame made the house a Mecca for visiting artists, who crowded into the small building to view his paintings which he painted with his mouth, having lost use of his limbs due to childhood polio.

There is some evidence of the incorporation of the original structure into the newer house , such as portions of the old gambrel roof frame in the attic. It has many characteristics of older Lunenburg homes, such as its lack of setback from the streetline, clapboard cladding, and a gable roof.

Source: Notice of Recommendation to Register as a Town Heritage Property, Heritage Designation File 66400-40-15, Town of Lunenburg.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Bailly House consist of:
- all elements typical of early Lunenburg houses including: its location at the streetline with the gable end facing the street, as a result of the house being built on a previous lot and then moved; symmetrical arrangement of windows on the original low-pitched gable-roofed portion of the house, remaining in place from the earlier late eighteenth century structure; traditional woodframe construction with shingle cladding.
-all elements related to the use of the house as a studio by artist Earl Bailly including: additions to the rear and west, partially as expansions to accommodate an accessible studio for paraplegic artist Earl Bailly; raised roof (1906-1914) giving the original house a second full storey; the dual use as a studio as well as a home.
-elements related to its turn of the nineteenth century age including: interior features that remain as evidence of the incorporation of the original construction into the current structure, such as the low ceilings, the narrow staircase and portions of the original gambrel roof in the attic.



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Lunenburg, 119 Cumberland Street, P.O. Box 129, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J 2C0 W. Plaskett, "Lunenburg: An Inventory of Historic Buildings" (Lunenburg: Lighthouse Press, 1984)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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