Description of Historic Place
Patterson House is a two-and-one-half storey wooden home located on Westwood Avenue, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The home sits on an elevated piece of land located in close proximity to Acadia University. Only the building is included in the designation.
Patterson House is valued for its historical association with its former occupants Robie Tufts and F. W. Patterson, and architect Charles Wright as well as for its architectural features.
Patterson House was built for Tufts and his new wife, Evelyn. A renowned ornithologist, Tufts is best known for inspiring generations of Wolfville youth with a love of nature, especially birds. Though he got his start in taxidermy, he became an avid bird watcher and chief Federal Migratory Birds Officer. He eventually published his seminal book, The Birds of Nova Scotia, in 1962 based on research gathered from the thousands of index card entries he wrote over the years. Evelyn was a journalist for the Halifax Herald and was the first woman elected to the Parliamentary Press Gallery board of directors in Ottawa. A memorial to Tufts is located near the Wolfville train station; it consists of an old brick chimney (from the old Acadia Dairy) that shelters flocks of chimney swifts that delight tourists and townsfolk in the summer.
Patterson House is named after F. W. Patterson, who lived in the home following his retirement as president of Acadia University. He took that job in 1923 and served for 25 years. Although he never received a formal degree from an accredited university, he received several honorary titles. He was granted a Doctorate of Divinity from McMaster University in 1916, a Doctor of Laws from University of Alberta in 1922, a Doctor of Civil Laws from Mount Allison University in 1945 and a Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University in 1948.
Charles H Wright built the home in 1914. A legendary Wolfville contractor and master builder, he constructed numerous homes and buildings throughout Wolfville, such as the Baptist Church, the Royal Bank, War Memorial Gymnasium, the rink and the United Church. He also built the Kentville Sanatorium, the Baptist Churches in Canard and Canning. Beyond building, Wright was also interested in hydro electricity and helped develop electrical power stations and paper mills and co-founded the Basin Pulp and Power Company in Hantsport.
Architecturally, Patterson House has maintained its original Cottage-style features, which include a hipped roof, wood shingle siding, front enclosed verandah and large dormer windows.
- Town of Wolfville Heritage Property Program files, Patterson House file.
Character-defining elements of Patterson House include:
- hipped roof;
- wood shingle siding;
- two-bay façade;
- central dormer window;
- front enclosed verandah with a smaller open verandah on the second storey;
- overhanging eaves with brackets.