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Morton House

147 Main Street, Milton, Nova Scotia, B0T, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/06/16

Front elevation, Morton House, Milton, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Front Elevation
Side perspective, Morton House, Milton, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Side Perspective
Side elevation, Morton House, Milton, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Side Elevation

Other Name(s)

Morton House
The Firs

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1864/01/01 to 1864/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Morton House is a three storey, wood frame, Empire style house located in Milton, Nova Scotia. Built in 1864, the house has a large verandah on its front façade that overlooks the Mersey River. The house, its surrounding property and the wharf lot are all included in the designation.

Heritage Value

Morton House is valued for its close association with John and Georgiana Morton and their descendants. John and Georgiana Morton built the house soon after their wedding in 1864. John Morton with his father Sylvanus and brothers were prominent timber merchants and shipbuilders in Milton, NS. John Morton was also a general merchant and marine insurance agent. In the 1870’s there was a financial collapse that left the Morton family bankrupt. Originally the Morton family owned roughly one-hundred thousand acres of land and was very wealthy. The collapse left them penniless and owners of only seventeen acres. Morton House was sold at auction to relieve the family’s debt. Georgiana Morton’s family saved the house and some of the contents. All of John and Georgina Morton’s children, except their eldest son, Sidney, left Milton. Sidney became a partner with his father in 1902. They were successful; however their businesses never achieved the level of success of the nineteenth century. Morton House remained the family’s only asset following World War II and remained in the family until 1971. The property was subdivided again in 1985 when the gatehouse and thirteen and a half acres of land were sold, leaving the current house on three acres of land and wharf area of half an acre.

Morton House is also valued as an exceedingly good example of the Empire style. Built in 1864, the house is a three storey wood structure, clad in pine clapboard with a truncated gable roof. There is a large ell addition to the rear of the house and a full verandah on its front façade overlooking the Mersey River and the wharf lot. The outer trim of the house consists of ornate corbel corners, and stylized eave cornices. There are brackets under the eaves around the perimeter of the roof’s edge, and shutters on the windows. The door is centered within its three bay façade and is surrounded by a transom and sidelights.

Source: Notice of Registration of Property as a Provincial Heritage Property, Provincial Property Heritage File no. 096.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Morton House include:

- wood frame and clad in pine clapboard;
- truncated gable roof;
- location close to the shoreline and the wharf lot;
- six-over-six windows on first storey with shutters.

Character-defining elements of the Empire style of the Morton House include:

- three storeys, symmetrical, three bay façade;
- centered doorway with transom and sidelights;
- brackets beneath the eaves;
- outer trim of ornate corbel corners, and stylized eaves cornices.



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)

1870/01/01 to 1880/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn
Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Registry found at Heritage Property Program, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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