ERIC KRAUSE

In business since 1996
- Krause House Info-Research Solutions -

_____________________________________________________________________________________

ERIC KRAUSE REPORTS

MY HISTORICAL REPORTS
PUBLISHED ON THE INTERNET

Krause House Pages, Website Design, and Reports by Eric Krause, Krause House Info-Research Solutions ( 1996)
webmaster: krausehouse@krausehouse.ca   Krause House Info-Research Solutions


The Jost House, 54 Charlotte Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Please click on the above image 
of the Jost House to enlarge it

Jost House (1786 - 1991)

Heritage Character Statement

By

Eric Krause,

Historical Records Supervisor,
Fortress of Louisbourg,
National Historic Site

September 2, 1994

Revised November 18, 2006
(By Eric Krause, Krause House Info-Research Solutions)


(I)

Introduction

(a) Tombstone Data

The first surveyed block in Sydney was number 27. David Tait and Richard Sweet had directed the work.

Henry Archer, a disbanded Loyalist soldier, received a grant to Block 27, Lot A (54 Charlotte Street) on June 2, 1786 (recorded on December 2, 1786). The lot measured 40 feet along Charlotte Street, with 100 feet of depth on each side.

A plan of July 20, 1786, drawn up by order of Governor Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres (1721-1824), illustrates a building on this property. The builder's name is unknown.

Samuel Sparrow (d. c. 1799-1803), merchant and ship owner, possessed the property from 1786 to September 17, 1787. In 1787, he left the colony, returning to England and sometime afterwards, to South Carolina where he may have died. Sarah Sparrow, his wife (d. 1815) afterwards married John Edward Acres.

Sparrow sold the land and a dwelling to Colin Fraser, a disbanded Loyalist soldier, on September 17, 1787. Colin Fraser's will is dated December 13, 1787.

Colin and, later alone, Christian, his wife, owned the property from September 17, 1787 to December 30, 1790.

Fraser sold the property to the merchants, William Blackburn and John Storey, on December 30, 1790.

Peter Grant, Yeoman and his wife, Sarah, sold the property to Thomas Samuel Bown on July 26, 1824. Bown was the agent of the English merchants, Thomas Anderton and Samuel Woods, of Liverpool.

Bown owned the property from July 26, 1824 to January 13, 1836.

Thomas Jost (1799-1853), merchant, purchased the land on January 13, 1836. It then remained continuously in the hands of the family until November 23, 1971.

Thomas, formerly of Sydney, died in Halifax in 1853, the same date as his will. His real property went to Eliza Susanne (1807-1895), his wife.

Eliza Susanne left the house, and a store (built c. 1850) located on the same property just to the west, jointly to her sons Lewis Edmund (1848-1899), merchant and to Charles Sidney (1850-1921), also merchant.

Lewis sold the house and property on March 15, 1920, to Allan Davidson (1871-1933), druggist, son of Joseph Hennigar, son of Eliza Susanne and Thomas Jost.

E. Allan Jost (1916-present), chartered accountant, son of Allan Davidson, sold the house and property on November 23, 1971, after which it passed into the hands of a series of private owners.

The current owner of the house is The Old Sydney Society which operates it as a heritage Museum. In 1991, the architectural research of the building began.

On December 16, 1992, the Department of Housing and Consumer Affairs awarded the house the "Nova Scotia Home Awards Letter of Merit" for excellence in the restoration and preservation of housing. In May,1994, the restoration was completed.

A major goal of the restoration project was to save as much 18th, 19th and early 20th century original fabric as possible. Minimal intervention was its guiding principle. For example, where original, but deteriorated plaster, could not be saved, re-plastering occurred over the original hand split laths. Where an early 20th century hard-wood floor existed, it was retained, without any attempt to expose the original 18th century flooring boards.

When reproduction was absolutely required - for example, the replacement of a crude plywood fire-place mantle with one of 18th century design - the restoration project accepted the guidance of its volunteer professional historian (1991 - present) without question. The acceptance of such a relationship is to be strongly commended.


(II)

Reasons for Importance

(a) Historical Associations

(i) Thematic

The building illustrates an important local evolutionary theme of change in Sydney's historic North End, from commercial through commercial-residential to purely residential use.

At first, only a one-room deep, two-room wide building (c. 28 3/4 x 14 3/4 feet), constructed upon a low foundation (or upon one not at all) fronted Charlotte Street. Facing this thorough-way were two large windows or openings, of a magnitude not generally associated with residential activity. They flanked a central exterior entry door, and inside, an ample stairwell which led to the attic above. In the room to the north of the stairwell, on the north wall, built-in shelving units existed, suggesting that here functioned a ground-floor storage, or perhaps even, retail area; to the south of the stairwell, a room with a single fireplace, on its west wall. Ground-floor walls were horizontally boarded, with ceilings left open.

Shortly afterwards (c. late 18th century), the owner dug a full-height basement to the west, and raised a west building (consisting of a main building and a western addition), upon the present-day existing foundation. At the same time, he also established the original building upon today's existing foundation, with its resulting low-heighted basement. Ground floor walls were generally plastered, with closed ceilings. The entire complex now measured c. 28 3/4 x 37 3/4 feet.

These changes represent a marriage between commercial and residential activity. In the new, full-heighted basement, to one side a kitchen, with a cooking fireplace and small bake oven, coexisted with major storage-like stalls on the other side. Above, on the ground-floor, the owner installed living quarters. In the original building, the owner also renovated the ground-floor, but to the north, left untouched a portion of its former storage/perhaps retail area.

During the 19th century, the Jost family actively sought economic gain. For example, "THOS. & JAS." operated the 54 Charlotte Street building complex as a store until 1853 when they replaced it with a new one constructed just behind. The occupation of James William (1807-1880), brother of Thomas, and of Sydney, was that of "Gen. Store".

At the turn of the 20th century, a second major construction event occurred. Eliza's heirs added a full second storey, to create a rooming house. Renovations included masking all evidence of the former ground floor storage/perhaps retail function.

Afterwards, the entire structure served residential uses.

(ii) Person/Events

(1) Henry Archer

The first property owner, Henry Archer, was a founding colonist and Loyalist. In 1784, James Murray recommended him to Lieutenant Governor DesBarres, while recognizing Archer's dire financial difficulties. In 1785, his name appears on a Cape Breton petition of merchants and traders. Between November 19, 1784, and October 13, 1787, a list identifies that he received building materials from the Government.

(2) Samuel Sparrow

Samuel Sparrow was originally of South Lambert, County of Surrey, and later of Shadds Place Peckham, Parish of St. Giles Camberwell, County of Surrey, England. Afterwards, he belonged to the merchant ship Industry, but last, of Charleston, South Carolina, where he may have died. In the midst, in 1749, he received a water grant in Halifax, and in 1786-1787, was of Sydney, Cape Breton Island.

On Cape Breton Island, he was sworn in, on May 9, 1786, as a member of Governor DesBarres' Executive Council, and was also a Justice of the Peace. A merchant by trade and ship owner, he was a mover of supplies between Halifax and Cape Breton. For near 5000 pounds sterling, he was also a major creditor of DesBarres. Of interest, DesBarres would later offer up the sale of his plates of the Atlantic Neptune to settle his debt with Sparrow.

His will, dated July 7, 1799, South Carolina, and apparently contested, was authenticated in London England, on December 20, 1803, some time following his death. Fearing the perils of yellow fever, then prevailing, he left all his property to his wife Sarah.

(3) Jost Family

The Josts' were an important Halifax/Sydney mercantile family. Close contacts included Joseph Howe (1804-1873).

George Jost (1727-1775), a locksmith by trade, emigrated from Strasbourg, Germany, to Halifax in 1752, to live on Brunswick Street, Dutch-Town. His wife was Susanna (1735-1811).

Thomas Jost (1799-1853), son of John Caspar (1763-1850), son of George, was a long-time resident of Sydney. He also became a Halifax merchant who was to hold extensive business interests in Sydney. He bought and sold goods received from England and Scotland. In Sydney, among his real estate, there was a house and store at the corner of North Charlotte and Amelia Streets, a water lot and store, and another house. In the country, he held substantial land holdings.

 Upon her death, Eliza S. Sollon (1807-1895) of Halifax, wife of Thomas, had increased her late husband's real estate, to amass a number of lots both in and outside of Sydney.

Allan Davidson Jost (1871-1933), son of Joseph Hennigar (1840-1895), son of Thomas, moved into the house in 1920.

Allan Jost (1916-present), son of Allan Davidson grew up in the house.

(iii) Local Development

This building complex is the oldest, standing structure in Sydney. For certain, it is older than the Cossitt House, built further south at 75 Charlotte Street, which the DesBarres plan of 1786 does not illustrate.

(b) Architecture

(i) Aesthetic Design

With the c. 1900 renovations that created a full-heighted second storey, the building assumed a style commonly known as Newfoundland. The obvious reason was that the builder wished to maximize the number of rooms created in the second storey while avoiding the added expense of constructing a pitched roof. While this style has deep maritime architectural roots, which the restoration project has carefully preserved, the more interesting merit of the building lies not here, but rather, in two earlier developments.

Of first importance is the architectural style of the original building. The Charlotte Street side facade imitated ashlar stone work. To create this illusion, the builder placed raised wooden stone quoins at its two corners, and chiseled upon the face of a flush, single-layer siding the lines required to imitate the remaining stone work. Such an arrangement is clearly New England derived, if its wide-spread use in that place during the 18th century is any indication. These features, the restoration project has faithfully reproduced for interpretative purposes.

More mysterious is the extensive raised relief work which also once existed on that same face. This detailing suggest an unique architectural or utilitarian influence given that neither a North American nor European example has yet been found to explain this phenomenon. The restoration project has wisely chosen to mask this unusual feature until it can be accurately explained.

Of second importance is the building's conversion, in the 18th century, to a salt-box style. This renovation is architecturally significant in that it differs from most existing New England colonial examples in two distinct ways: It stands 1 1/2 stories tall rather than 2 1/2 stories as commonly extant today; and the salt-box extension, which increased the depth of the building from one room to three, rests on a masonry foundation of the same age as that of the original structure. These exterior and interior features the restoration project has carefully preserved, and highlighted, wherever possible.

(ii) Functional Design

The present interior layout of the building resulted from a series of well-planned renovations over time. In simplified terms, today's complex actually consists of three  major construction components: an EAST BUILDING, a WEST BUILDING extension (consisting of an attached main building and an addition), and a SECOND STOREY over both as follows:

 

Legend

(A) An EAST BUILDING (the original 18th century
structure) comprising two rooms:

(a) SOUTH-EAST room
(b) NORTH-EAST room

(B) A MAIN BUILDING (18th century)
comprising two rooms:

(a) SOUTH-WEST room
(b) NORTH-WEST room

(C) A WESTERN ADDITION (18th century)
comprising 1 or 2 rooms:

(a) WEST room

Lay Out of the Building

East
(
Charlotte Street)

NORTH-EAST room of East Building SOUTH-EAST room of East Building
NORTH-WEST room of West Building (main) SOUTH-WEST room of West Building (main)

WEST room of Western Addition

West


(III)

Building History

(a) Draft illustrations

 

 From the Jost workbooks (1991-1992) of Eric Krause,
General Guides To Features Noted In The Workbooks,
The Big Picture

Please Be Patient as These are Large Slowing Loading Images

Basement -
Ground Floor Joist Locations
- Not To Scale -
Basement -
Ground Floor flooring materials
- Not To Scale -
Basement -
Ground Floor Window  Locations, etc.
- Not To Scale -

--------

Ground Floor -
Room , Door and Window
Designations
- Not To Scale -

.

Ground Floor Details
- Not To Scale -
Ground Floor Details
- To Scale -

--------

First Floor Designations
- Not To Scale -

--------

Exterior Facade, East Side
- Not To Scale -
Exterior Facade, East Side
- Not To Scale -

.

Exterior Facade - East Side - Details of Imitation Ashlars, etc.
- Not Scale -

--------

Exterior Facade, South Side
- To Scale -
Exterior Facade, North Side
- Not To Scale -
Exterior Facade, North Side Conjecture
- Not To Scale -

 


(B) Summary Descriptions

(1)

FIRST BUILDING COMPLEX: LATE 18TH CENTURY

(A) EAST BUILDING

(a) Overview

The EAST BUILDING (c. 28 3/4 feet along Charlotte Street x 14 3/4 feet) was a rectangular one room deep, two room wide framed structure, with an ATTIC above. The building rested either directly on the ground, or on a low foundation material of some type. The structure stood at least 1 1/2 stories high, if not once higher. Its roof was two pitched, east and west, with vertical gable ends.

The exterior wood finish on the Charlotte Street side imitated ashlar stone work, with raised wooden quoin stones applied to both corners and incised stone lines on the remainder. It is not obvious if the quoins ever wrapped around onto the side walls. There also existed raised relief work of an unknown nature. Significantly, there was no weather-proofing sheathing underlying the imitation stone work, as one might have expected. Rather the exterior layer was nailed directly to the framing members, without any insulating fill material in-between.

The sheathing and/or exterior finish on the side and back walls during this construction stage is unknown.

There still remains a question whether this building stood here either, independently, and for a time, as a structure that came from a place elsewhere - in whole (thus re-raised), or in part (thus incorporated) - ; or, integrated, immediately, in the second building complex described next. The internal framing members of the north-east corner of the east wall of the building are far more aged (perhaps even weathered) than at other locations. Here too, the interior lath and nail work is also clearly different than elsewhere. This strongly suggests that this portion of the building - if not the other portions as well - existed earlier than the extant structure, and somewhere else.

(b) Basement

Whether the building rested directly on the ground, or on a low foundation, there was unlikely any useable basement space.

(c) Ground Floor

Facing Charlotte Street was an entry door, set centrally, into the imitation ashlar stone work. To each side of it there stood a large window (or opening) which illuminated the SOUTH-EAST and NORTH-EAST rooms respectively. Window locations in the other walls are unknown. Each room was horizontally wainscoted with wide floor-to-ceiling painted boards. Between the rooms, to the south of the central door and running east-west stood a relatively long stairwell which serviced the floor above. Opposite the front door, centrally located in the west wall a rear door exited to the outside. There was a fireplace in the SOUTH-EAST room, against its west wall, but none in the NORTH-EAST room. A partitioned-off storage area existed in the northern portion of the NORTH-EAST room. All ceilings were open, with the joists visible and painted white or whitewashed.

The flooring and ceiling joist patterns of this room - as opposed to the NORTH-EAST room - reflect framing and carpentry techniques of a skilled nature which took fireplace and stairwell construction into consideration during its initial construction stage.

(d) Attic

The attic was serviced by a stairwell located between the SOUTH-EAST and NORTH-EAST rooms. Its layout, window arrangements, etc. is unknown. The Charlotte Street side wall plate did not indicate the presence of dormers, though dormers higher up, in the pitch, are always a possibility.

(2)

SECOND BUILDING COMPLEX: LATE 18TH CENTURY

(a) Overview

The salt-box additions increased the western depth of the EAST BUILDING from a one room to a three room deep complex.

The construction of the second building complex required perimeter wall and fireplace foundation work which took into account the EAST BUILDING as well. Consequently a foundation was laid under the four walls of the EAST BUILDING, under three of the four walls of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) (no west wall support) and under the three walls of  a smaller (both in width and depth) WESTERN ADDITION (i.e. no east foundation) where its west foundation did not extend as far north as that of the ADDITION.

The second building complex was also wood framed (3 framed walls), consisting of a WEST BUILDING (MAIN) attached to the EAST BUILDING (i.e. it shared in common the west framed wall of the EAST BUILDING, and centred upon its west wall as a common wall, its WESTERN ADDITION (3 framed walls), with an open recess at both ends where the south one was built with a foundation but no walls. Both the MAIN BUILDING and the WESTERN ADDITION were constructed at the same time.

The roof of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) continued off the same height and pitch as that of the EAST BUILDING, and ended where it intersected the EXTENSION'S west wall. The roof of the WESTERN ADDITION, while basically continuing at the same pitch, began at a slightly lower height. Thus the building complex at its highest stood but 1 storey, without a usable attic, and with vertical gable ends.

The south, west and north exterior walls of the second building complex, and the south and north walls of the EAST BUILDING, were completely re-sheathed at this time, and then finished off with painted clapboards.

In contrast, the east wall of the EAST BUILDING received a different treatment - then or somewhat later. Here, the workmen simply removed the applied wooden quoins and hacked off the wall's relief work, so as to create a smooth surface for nailing the clapboards.

(A) WEST BUILDING (MAIN BUILDING)

(a) Overview

The MAIN BUILDING (c. 28 3/4 x 16 feet) was a rectangular one room deep, two room wide, building. Its east wall butted up against, and was the same height as that of the west wall of the EAST BUILDING. The builder did not frame around the fireplace mass where it exited through the ground-floor flooring.

(b) Basement

A full basement was dug to the west of the EAST BUILDING and a rubblestone foundation was built to raise off the ground and support the complex.

Beneath the MAIN BUILDING, ceiling level was of habitable height. A plank partition, running westerly off the fireplace mass was set, to create SOUTH-WEST and a NORTH-WEST rooms. In the NORTH-WEST room, there was constructed a large kitchen cooking fireplace, with a small bake-oven.

A single window in the north wall illuminated the NORTH-WEST room. Two openings (one of which today is blocked) in the south wall of the SOUTH-WEST room served either as windows, or as loading/off-loading openings.

The floors in both rooms were wooden, resting on sleepers set directly in the ground. The NORTH-WEST room had a lath and plastered ceiling while the SOUTH-WEST room had an open ceiling. The lath and plaster was however placed between the ceiling joists, thus maximizing head-room. The SOUTH-WEST AND NORTH-WEST ceilings were painted white or whitewashed.

The SOUTH-WEST room featured wooden partitions which divided the room into at least three stall-like areas and a corridor leading to the EAST BUILDING basement. The NORTH-WEST room was also perhaps separated from the WESTERN ADDITION basement by a wooden partition (with possibly a doorway in this partition, connecting the two). A doorway led from the NORTH-WEST room a step up into the EAST BUILDING basement.

(c) Ground Floor

Running east-west, a lath and plastered partition line was installed to east and west of the fire-place, thus creating a SOUTH-WEST room and a NORTH-WEST room. A back-to-back heating configuration provided each room with a fireplace.

The walls and ceilings of both rooms were lath and plastered, and decorated with baseboards and cornices.

Doorways were established to connect the SOUTH-WEST room with the SOUTH-EAST room of the EAST BUILDING, and the NORTH-WEST room with the NORTH-EAST room of the EAST BUILDING. In contrast, there was no direct communication between the NORTH-WEST and SOUTH-WEST rooms. Rather, between the two rooms, stood a plastered EAST CLOSET (without baseboards) isolated by direct access from the MAIN BUILDING. The only entry to the EAST CLOSET was by the original back-yard rear door of the EAST BUILDING. At the same time a WEST CLOSET, with baseboards, was established, to the west of the SOUTH-WEST room's fireplace.

The SOUTH-WEST and NORTH-WEST rooms each had a door in their west walls which exited into the WESTERN ADDITION. Each room also had windows, one in the south wall of the SOUTH-WEST room, and two in the north wall of the NORTH-WEST room.

Ground floor ceiling joist construction was unlike that found in the EAST BUILDING. It was heavier and spaced further apart.

(d) Attic

There was no usable attic space.

(B) WESTERN ADDITION

(a) Overview

The WESTERN ADDITION (c. 22 x 7 feet) was a rectangular one room deep, perhaps two room wide, building. It had no east wall of its own.

(b) Basement

Its wooden floor rested on sleepers set directly in the ground. Its ceiling was open and painted white or whitewashed.. To the east, it was separated from the NORTH-WEST room of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN), perhaps by a wooden partition (with possibly a doorway in this partition, connecting the two basement rooms). Also to the east, it was separated from the SOUTH-WEST room of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN), by the most westerly stall partition wall of said SOUTH-WEST room.

An exterior main entry to the basement existed at the south-west corner of the WESTERN ADDITION. Window openings are not apparent.

(c) Ground Floor

In the east wall, doors serviced, respectively, the SOUTH-WEST and NORTH-WEST rooms of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN). The WESTERN ADDITION also had exterior doors at both its south and north extremes. While the north door opened immediately upon the outside, the south door opened upon the exterior entry into the basement.

The room was seemingly constructed without window lighting, though there may have been a window in its west wall, near its south exterior door.

The walls were horizontally wainscoted from floor-to-ceiling. The ceiling was closed off, also with wide boards.

(d) Attic

There was no usable attic space.

(3)

MODIFICATIONS / RENOVATIONS

(i) EAST BUILDING: LATE 18TH CENTURY

(a) Overview

As already noted (Second Building Complex), the WEST BUILDING construction included the following modifications to the original EAST BUILDING:  

(1) Foundation work
(2) Re-sheathing work
(3) Clapboard work
(4) A connecting basement doorway to the WEST BUILDING (MAIN)
(5) Two connecting ground floor doors to the WEST BUILDING (MAIN)
(6) A door to an isolated ground floor EAST CLOSET built in the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) but accessible only from the EAST BUILDING

There was other work as well, undertaken simultaneously or perhaps shortly thereafter.

(b) Basement

Beneath the EAST BUILDING, ceiling height was low, yet high enough to create a functioning though not habitable basement. A freestanding dry-stone wall (existing today), running east-west, may have existed, also in this period, to the south of the fireplace mass, thus creating a small room in its southern portion. A south wall window, or other type opening, is however even more conjectural as existing at that time. In the north wall, there was another opening, and of a sufficient depth to suggest a cellar like exit unto Amelia street. The ceiling of both sections were open but not painted or whitewashed. The floor was earthen.

The central fireplace mass was punched through the existing ground floor flooring-boards. Evidence of the resulting flooring board repairs is widespread.

(c) Ground Floor

Besides the work already described, construction included (then or somewhat later) the closing in of the central front door and its replacement by a new entry door, just to the north, which opened upon the NORTH-EAST room. At this time, the large windows/openings were made smaller, and the applied wooden quoins were removed and the wall's relief work hacked off  so as to create a smooth surface for nailing the clapboards.

Windows - two in the south wall and one in the north wall - illuminated the SOUTH-EAST and NORTH-EAST rooms respectively.

New construction also witnessed the removal of the existing fireplace from the west wall of the SOUTH-EAST room and its replacement by a single heating fireplace set against the room's north wall. In contrast, the NORTH-EAST room continued to function without benefit of a fireplace.

Running east-west, a lath and plastered partition line was installed to the east and west of the fire-place mass.

There was a new doorway established to connect the SOUTH-EAST room with the NORTH-EAST room.

In the SOUTH-EAST room, the stairwell was closed in, with the ceiling then lath and plastered. In the NORTH-EAST room, a stairwell to the attic was installed just to the north of the new entry door, with the ceiling lath and plastered only to the point where a now smaller storage/perhaps retail area now existed. The store-room ceiling remained open and painted white or whitewashed (as it would continue to be until c. 1900). Although the ceilings of the SOUTH-EAST and NORTH-EAST rooms were also now plastered, as was the new partition wall separating the two rooms, their perimeter walls remained wainscoted from floor-to-ceiling.

The ground-floor ceiling joist construction in the EAST BUILDING differed markedly from that found in the WEST BUILDING (MAIN). It was lighter and spaced closer together.

(d) Attic

A stairwell for the ground-floor NORTH-EAST room serviced the attic. The room layout is unknown. There was a window in each gable end, but, as before, again no evidence of dormers on the Charlotte street side.

(ii) 18TH-19TH CENTURY

(a) Overview

Nail types suggest a number of late 18th century to early 19th century renovations, as well as others which must have occurred only after c. 1815. Unfortunately, it was generally impossible to determine precise chronological orders.

(A) EAST BUILDING

(a) Basement

Discernible changes are not apparent.

(b) Ground Floor

The door in the west wall of the SOUTH-EAST room, leading to the SOUTH-WEST room of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) was blocked. At the same time, the doorway leading to the isolated EAST CLOSET of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) was narrowed in width, and a new doorway was cut into the closet's south wall, so as to provide communication between the SOUTH-EAST room and SOUTH-WEST room of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN).

At this time - or earlier - the most westerly window in the south wall of the SOUTH-EAST room was blocked. Externally, a clapboard repair was likely now noticeable where the window once stood.

The interior perimeter walls of the SOUTH-EAST room were now lath and plastered [with the existing chair height wainscot then or later applied] over the floor-to-ceiling wainscoted boards [note, the wainscot boards on the east wall of the building were apparently removed first], as were the perimeter walls of the NORTH-EAST room, except for the storage/retail walls which remained wainscoted from floor-to-ceiling.

(c) Attic

Discernible changes are not apparent.

(B) WEST BUILDING (MAIN)

(a) Basement

Discernible changes are not apparent.

(b) Ground Floor

The doorway in the west wall of the NORTH-WEST room leading to the WESTERN ADDITION was closed off on the WEST BUILDING (MAIN side with lath and plaster. As mentioned above, with respect to the SOUTH WEST room, a new doorway was opened in the isolated EAST CLOSET, and the existing doorway to the EAST building was blocked (equally lath and plastered).

(C) WESTERN ADDITION

(a) Basement

The south-west corner of the basement foundation - where the entry existed - was partially filled-in, and the entry boarded over to create a ground-floor room above. This would have required a new basement entry, perhaps where the present one in the west wall is today located.

(b) Ground Floor

The framing of the west wall was extended south and likewise, that of the south wall of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) was extended west, and set upon the existing foundations. The new walls were then sheathed over. The exterior finish is unknown, but, if the clapboards of the other walls continued unchanged, then perhaps also this finish continued as such.

An exterior doorway was installed in the west wall, to service the house and the new basement entry.

As mentioned above, the doorway to the NORTH-WEST room of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) was closed off. On the ADDITION side, it was filled in with wainscoting boards. The exterior door in the north wall was also blocked-in, and replaced, at that time or later, with a window in the same location.

(iii) MID 19TH CENTURY

(a) Overview

Perhaps at this time, shingles replaced the exterior clap-boarded finish.

(A) EAST BUILDING

(a) Basement

Interior stairs were installed under the western portion of the attic stairwell of the ground-floor NORTH-EAST room, to service the NORTH-WEST basement room of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN). They exited just to the east and north of the basement cooking fireplace of the WEST BUILDING (MAIN).

(b) Ground Floor

As already noted, interior stairs were installed in the NORTH-EAST room, under the attic stairwell, to service the WEST BUILDING (MAIN)  basement. Other major work included changing the SOUTH-EAST wood-burning fireplace to a coal-burning one, and creating an exterior doorway out of the window in the south wall of the SOUTH-EAST room.

(c) Attic

Discernible changes are not apparent.

(B) WEST BUILDING (MAIN)

(a) Basement

Discernible changes are not apparent.

(b) Ground Floor

Major work included changing the wood-burning fireplace in the NORTH-WEST room to a coal-burning one. The fireplace in the SOUTH-WEST room was probably also altered in the same way.

(C) WESTERN ADDITION

(a) Basement

Discernible changes are not apparent.

(b) Ground Floor

During this period, or in the next, an exterior door was opened in the west wall, to service an attached outbuilding, which tradition describes as a carriage building.

(3)

THIRD BUILDING COMPLEX: CIRCA 1900

(a) Overview

Modifications included two major changes: The addition of a full storey - multi-roomed, multi-windowed - over the EAST BUILDING, the WEST BUILDING (MAIN) and the WESTERN ADDITION; and the construction of a newly located stairwell and staircase, in the NORTH-EAST room of the EAST BUILDING leading to the upper storey.

(A) EAST BUILDING

(a) Basement

The builder removed the stairs leading from the ground-floor NORTH-EAST room to the WEST BUILDING (MAIN)'S NORTH-WEST basement room.

(b) Ground Floor

The builder, in constructing a major set of second storey stairs in the NORTH-EAST room, set them against where the window of the north wall was located. In his work, he removed the existing attic stairs, floor-planked over the previous basement stair opening, removed the ground-floor stairs partition, removed the storage area shelving, blocked in the north wall window, inserted a new north wall window to illuminate the new second storey stairs, and newly lath and plastered wherever required. Lath and plastering thus included the ceiling and walls of the former storage area.

(c) Attic

The builder installed new rooms, while removing all evidence of the prior layout. At this time the existing attic window facing Amelia Street was blocked.

(B) WEST BUILDING (MAIN)

(a) Basement

At this time, or later, the builder installed a cement floor and removed all partitions and stalls in the NORTH-WEST AND SOUTH-WEST rooms, and hacked off the lower portions of the joists of the NORTH-WEST room, to create greater head-room. Tradition maintains that the basement kitchen fireplace and oven were now no longer used.

(b) Ground Floor

The builder altered the fireplace in the SOUTH-WEST room so that it could service a large kitchen stove placed in front of it. In the NORTH-WEST room, the plaster ceiling was removed, and replaced by a wooden one.

(C) WESTERN ADDITION

(a) Basement

At this time, or later, the builder installed a cement floor and removed all partitions.

(4)

MODIFICATIONS / RENOVATIONS

(i) CIRCA 1900 - 1991

(a) Overview

Over this period, major interventions included: Closing in of the basement kitchen fireplace (WEST BUILDING (MAIN), NORTH-WEST room); installation (prior 1920) of a basement coal-fired furnace and central heating system - servicing ground-floor and attic radiators - (WEST BUILDING (MAIN), NORTH-WEST room); installation (c. 1920) of a hardwood floor (EAST BUILDING, SOUTH-EAST room); and renovations after 1960 witnessed the removal of several features, such as a fireplace mantle and wooden ceiling, and the insertion of a new (today blocked) connecting doorway (WEST BUILDING (MAIN), NORTH-WEST room) to the EAST CLOSET passageway.

Some minor constructions included the built-in cabinet in the EAST BUILDING, SOUTH-EAST room.


Back.gif (1009 bytes) Return to the Jost House