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Wilson House

315 Lincoln Street, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/07/27

Wilson House, Old Town Lunenburg, front façade, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage, 2004
Front façade
Wilson House, Old Town Lunenburg, east façade, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage, 2004
East façade
Wilson House, Old Town, rear façade and entrance, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage, 2004
Rear façade and entrance

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1878/01/01 to 1879/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Wilson House is a two-storey wooden Italianate residence situated on Lincoln Street in Lunenburg's Old Town, a Heritage Conservation District. It sits on a steep slope, southfacing, with a large front lawn extending from the house down to the street. There is a back entrance with a typical Lunenburg facade level with Cumberland Street, which runs parellel to Lincoln Street. Designation extends to the building and surrounding property.

Heritage Value

Wilson House owes its heritage value to its prominent setting and well-preserved architectural features. Built for local businessman and property owner, Henry Wilson, in 1879, the house is indicative of the departure from vernacular Lunenburg styles towards other Victorian trends. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, Lunenburg entered an era of prosperity, which was reflected in the construction of larger and more ostentatious family homes. Along with its neighbours, this house is indicative of those societal changes.

Together with its location on the brow of the hill that overlooks the commercial core of Lunenburg and its harbour, the most prominent feature of Wilson House is its Italianate frontispiece. It is a large, three-storey feature incorporating a formal doorway with a transom window. It also includes a three-sided bay window on the second storey, and three small, gabled attic windows. A large, first-storey ell was added on the east side in the early 1890s. However, when viewed from Cumberland Street, the house appears to be a smaller home in typical Lunenburg style, with a central 'Lunenburg bump' dormer and porch that is actually the rear entrance.

Source: Heritage Designation File 66400-40-07, Town of Lunenburg.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Wilson House relate to its architectural style, including:
- its location on a steep hillside with a large front lawn, with a central path and steps leading to the front door that gives the house added height on its Lincoln Street façade;
- a separate entrance on Cumberland Street in vernacular Lunenburg style, which maintains a semblance with older homes in the streetscape;
- large central Italianate frontispiece, with the main doorway on the ground floor, and a large upstairs extended dormer window and second storey bay window that projects out from the dormer;
- small gable, attic dormers project from the central frontispiece under a bell-cast, flat-headed dormer roof;
- centred doorway on the Lincoln Street facade, with round-headed sidelights, a semicircular transom, heavy hood mouldings and a protruding bracketted cornice;
- ornamental iron cresting on the large ell on the east side (iron cresting was also originally present on the dormer roof), peaks of the attic dormers, and window hoods;
- wide cornerboards on the main house and frontispiece, bracketted fascia on all façades, moulded baseboard and lintel decorations and bracketting on all windows;
- a large bay window on the west façade and one small side dormer triangular-headed window on the rear.



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

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, FILE 66400-40-07

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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