Though Bridgewater was settled as early as 1765, we do not see the community prosper until 1865 when the Davison Lumber Company began. Pleasant Street became the fashionable residential area of some of Bridgewater’s most prominent citizens, and thankfully the street was not damaged by the Great Fire of 1899 which destroyed the downtown, one street below.
The tour starts at the corner of Pleasant Sreet. (the second street from the river) and Phoenix Street. Parking is available along Pleasant Street.
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (1906-1907) An original 1854 church was struck by lightning and burned in 1905, replaced by this building in 1906-1907. Note the triple lancet windows on each gable end, complete with label mouldings, as well as the paired lancet windows and oculus on the tower. Even the arches of the bell tower are lancet shaped.
23 Pleasant (c. 1890) Built by J. A. Tupper, this Queen Anne home features a corner tower and a gabled projection over a two storey bay window on each side, with stained glass still visible. All bracketry and spindle-work has been removed and all shingle-work hidden. Former mayor and provincial cabinet minister Dr. Frank Davis was owner of this home from 1921 to 1939.
45 Pleasant Street (c. 1873)This Second Empire home, with Italianate detailing, was greatly expanded by barrister F. B. Wade (1887-1900). It later became Clark’s Hotel (1906-1923), the Cedar Inn, and Pleasant Rest Home (1967-2009). The grandest of Bridgewater’s historic homes, its is breathtaking.
55-59 Pleasant (pre-1878)Judge DesBrisay, a judge, and patriach of the town’s museum, received this home from his father-in-law, a collector of customs. Originally an Italianate home, DesBrisay raised the roof in 1887, adding a Gothic dormer and removing detailing.
69 Pleasant Street (c. 1882)G. H. Burkett was a prominent merchant. This house is Maritime Vernacular style, with Italianate decoration, brackets, and a frontispiece. The roof of the frontispiece was originally a steep Mansard roof such as #45 still has.
25 Dominion Street (c. 1877) This was once the striking Second Empire home belonging to merchant W. V. Andrews, and his son, who was the Crown surveyor. Viewed from Pleasant St., it still has an intact Mansard roof with belt-courses, elaborate mouldings, and Palladian dormers. The two bay windows also extend to the mouldings. The Dominion Street view gives an idea as to the original home’s proportions, which have been altered.
95 Pleasant Street (c. 1880) A Lunenburg County Vernacular home, the Greek Revival pedimented dormer of this home projects outward over the veranda. Note the lovely mouldings in the dormer.
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church (1889) After the Archbishop of Halifax suggested in a speech in 1884 that a church be built, this land was acquired in 1885, and the church was blessed in 1889. The congregation formerly worshipped in a chapel in a home on Victoria Road. Note the label moulding around the many lancet windows, including the triple window in the gable, as well as the rosette woodwork above the doorway, and the intricate lancet fluting on the steeple.
135 Pleasant (c. 1906) This grandiose Queen Anne, though greatly altered, retains the incredible fretwork of its gable roof and its gabled projection. The gabled projection contains a two storey bay window; the immense, original window frames allude to the opulence of the original construction.
143 Pleasant Street (c. 1863) This is one of the oldest houses on Pleasant Street; built by James Waterman, of the Waterman Tanning Company. It was later owned by Thomas Keefler, a prominent merchant and politician. The cross-gabled Gothic Revival home still has sidelights and prominent first-floor cornices, although the transom and likely peaked hood mouldings are gone. It also has a pair of Gothic dormers on its Empire Street (formerly Waterman St.) ell. Its signature feature is the zigzag ornamental bargeboard.
153 Pleasant (c. 1864) This twin of #143 was likely constructed by Waterman as well. It shares the ornamental bargeboard and the cross-gable shape. The porch was filled in later on, but the house retains its peaked mouldings over most windows.
159 Pleasant (c. 1920)Originally the site of the Grace Methodist Church, which burned in 1919, this lot was sold, and this house built on it. Although larger than many pre-war Four Squares, the house lacks the typical decorations and windows. It does, however, have nice multi-paned Arts and Crafts windows and had a double columned porch, now filled in.
163 Pleasant (c. 1906) This Folk Victorian style home shows clear Queen Anne influences, with ornamental clapboard and shingle-work defining the attic level, a belt-course alluding to a pedimented gable, lovely spindle-work and treillage on the veranda, an ornamented peak in the veranda roof in front of the entrance, and decoration of the side-gabled projection. Note also the ornamental brackets under the eaves. This house was built by Owen Maryatt for Captain Daniel Meisner; the latter is said to have brought back the large Linden trees on the front lawn from his many travels.
171 Pleasant (c. 1899) Estimated to have been built the year of the Great Fire, this house was also built by Owen Maryatt. It has a simple Gothic Revival style, often called Modified Gothic in the Maritimes, shown by its large Gothic Dormer on the ell. Traces of decoration appear in the ornamental shingle-work at the attic level, the belt course alluding to a pedimented gable, the label moulding around the attic window, and the ornamental brackets, nearly identical to those of #163. Originally having a veranda; a Craftsmen style storm porch was added, with lovely diamond-paned glass, sometime in the late 1920s. This was removed in 1997.
179 Pleasant (c. 1896) Built by James Mailman, the home remained in the possession of his heirs for nearly 100 years. Similar to #95, this home shows the common Maritime Vernacular style, with a side-gabled roof, and a pedimented dormer projecting over a front veranda. The house has many features of the Greek Revival architectural style, with a pediment on top of the dormer, returning eaves on the side, and fine capitals at the top of the corner boards, their details accentuated by two colours of paint.
40 Victoria (c. 1880) Glancing across Victoria Road, the house on the corner displays examples of residential Gothic Revival windows on its sides, showcasing them with two Gothic Revival dormers. Also notable are the large window cornices, and the Italianate detailing of the front: a bracket-supported canopy over the doorway and panel-moulded, square bay window. The building curiously has Greek Revival returning eaves.
Turn around, and head back along Pleasant Street; the homes are on the opposite side of the street.
164 Pleasant (c. 1879) The original section of this property is the south wing, with its small scale and Gothic dormer. The gambrel roofed section was added later, although it is highly likely that the two were originally freestanding structures and were later joined. Solomon Bent, a millwright, built the home, and it was later owned by the Coffill family, who owned a notable King Street hardware store for many years.
156 Pleasant (1917) This is a quaint Craftsmen bungalow, obviously taking cues from the Four Square style of homes which preceded its construction date. It resembles a pair of like homes on the corner of Queen and Empire Streets. Note the dentils under the porch eaves, simulating rafters, the pyramidal porch columns, and the large, top-heavy, Arts and Crafts style windows.
150 Pleasant (c. 1859) J. Edward Artz, a carpenter, built this plain Gothic Revival cottage. It still has its lone Gothic dormer and clapboard, and the doorway is intact with cornice, sidelights, and pilasters. Second floor windows retain their peaked hood mouldings, although the first have been replaced with modern picture windows.
Turn left onto Empire Street for a short detour.
15 Empire (c. 1900) This building ceased being a residence c. 1914. It has an interesting porch, with two different roof slopes meeting, one where the former veranda was filled in during the 1920s or 1930s, and another forming a bell curve from the main roof of the ell. Also note the skinny hipped roof dormer, and the windows on the west side that break through the floor of the second storey, indicating the placement of the stairs.
Turn left, back on to Pleasant St., and continue onward.
126 Pleasant Street (c. 1894) Paint accents this Italianate themed home built by George Kelly, a tombstone maker. The treillage in the peaks of the dormers and under the roof of the front porch stand out. The squareness and panel moulding of the dormer and projecting bay window are Italianate influenced. Note also the returning eaves, a Greek Revival feature.
Old Bridgewater Courthouse (1893) Built after a heated fight for a courthouse between Bridgewater and its arch-rival Lunenburg was finally settled, the courthouse is a stereotypical Second Empire structure. Vinyl siding and roof renovations have removed many exterior features, although the tracery above the front door and in the attic windows remains.
Bridgewater Parks & Recreation (1922) This was built for the Bridgewater Fire Department in 1922, and was converted into Town offices when a new fire station was built in the 1960s. Its striking tower has been bricked over (back-left), though it still has rusticated brick walls and details over the upper storey windows.
The tour ends here. We hope you found this information interesting, and insightful!