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Lawson House

64 William Street, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, B5A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/04/27

Front facade, Lawson House, Yarmouth, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004.
Front Facade
Side and front elevations, Lawson House, Yarmouth, 2004.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004.
Side and Front Elevations
Rear and side elevations showing balcony under attic window, Lawson House, Yarmouth, 2004.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004.
Rear and Side Elevations

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1897/01/01 to 1898/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lawson House is located on a residential street in the centre of Yarmouth, NS. The turn of the century house was built for local historian and newspaper owner, J. Murray Lawson. The house and property are included in the designation.

Heritage Value

Lawson House is valued for its association with J. Murray Lawson and for its Late Victorian Eclectic Architecture.

J. Murray Lawson was born in 1848 in Yarmouth son of Alexander Lawson, the founder of “The Herald” newspaper. Lawson continued his father’s newspaper after his death. Lawson was also a local historian and published widely on the history of Yarmouth. Lawson had his home built between 1897 and 1898 and lived there until his death until 1925. The house remained in the Lawson family until 1945.

The Lawson House is a large, wood frame residence with a gable roof and wood shingle cladding. While not excessively decorated as is often associated with the late Victoria era, the house does include a decorative porch and balcony and a bell cast belt course. The house is located near the centre of Yarmouth in a residential neighbourhood and is someone unique on its street.

Source: Provincial Heritage Property File no. 227.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Lawson House include:

- wood frame;
- variety of wood cladding – first storey clad with clapboard and shingles on second storey;
- belt course with bell cast separates storeys;
- enclosed entrance porch;
- second floor balcony supported by turned columns with Corinthian capitals;
- two-and-a-half storeys;
- shallow cross gabled back ell;
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- return eaves;
- boxed in recessed Gothic arches under gables;
- centred two-tiered wall dormer breaking bracketed eaves line in front;
- symmetrical three bay façade;
- centred entrance with stained glass side and transom lights;
- balconies under side and rear attic windows;
- double hung sashed window;
- Palladian window in front dormer;
- spindlework balustrades on veranda and balconies.



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Heritage Property Files, Heritage Division, 1748 Summer Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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