Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Loss

I suppose I should add another part to the ongoing saga of the Troop property in Granville Centre, Nova Scotia. As those of you who have been reading this blog for some time will know, the Troop octagonal barn has recently been torn down. It has been a sad and somewhat heart wrenching tale to those who are interested in preserving local built heritage. Apparently the frame will be salvaged for some new structure on the south shore of the province. I hope that they appreciate it.

I heard earlier today that the final bit of built heritage on the Troop property has now fallen. When I was last at the site, I snapped a handful of images of the house as it was evident that it would soon be following the downward path of the barn. I heard earlier today that the excavators had indeed been brought in and that the house has been flattened. Another sad, but not unexpected part of this story. By all accounts, the house was in worse condition than the barn. At least by the standards of someone wanting to live in the space.

While it was not as architecturally significant as the barn it was an interesting expression of differing styles. The house, which predated the barn, was an excellent example of how buildings were sometimes built and altered as new styles developed. The core of the building is a fairly standard example of a Gothic Revival house with a bit of a Maritime Vernacular twist. That's some fancy talk isn't it. What it means is that the house was one of the standard types of wooden houses built in this area from about 1810 to 1850. The house moved outside of being a strict interpretation of the Gothic Revival style with the inclusion of some local details. The hallmark of the Gothic Revival style of house is the central dormer which is located above the front door. This example was a bit truncated by the standards of the time. One of the interesting features of this house was the vertical board and batton cladding. In this style of weatherproofing, vertical boards are nailed in place with smaller boards used to cover the seams between the planks. This is not a style that we frequently see in this area but it is one which I have always found appealing. As you can see in the picture, this house had a decorative moulding on the fascia. This was a delicate touch which was probably added sometime around when the wings of the house were added.
The distinguishing feature of the house was decidedly the wings. The wings were probably added sometime around 1890. You can tell this by the use of an elaborate Mansard, or Second Empire, roof which was common at this time. These rooflines became much more angular than this example as they style evolved. I must admit that the wings were an odd mix of styles when combined with the house. Despite this mix, the Troop family would have probably felt that they were architectural trend setters with their octagonal barn and their Mansard additions.
All for now,


  1. Does anyone know if this property was the homestead of Valentine Troop who immigrated into the locale in the mid-1700s?

  2. Yes it was the homestead of Valentine Troop. He would've been my great great great great grandfather way back.