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Granville Street takes its name from its usual description as the main road through Granville, meaning Granville Township. Granville Township, which went from the north bank of the River to the Bay of Fundy, and from the Messenger Road east of Bridgetown to below Port Royal, was one of the earliest New England Planter settlements in Nova Scotia. It was granted to 168 proprietors in 1764. The Township was named for Lord John Cartaret, Earl of Granville, an English Secretary of State. This portion of Granville Street, to the Queen Street corner, was part of the Main Post Road, meaning the main road through the Annapolis Valley used by the mails. The main road crossed the river here at Bridgetown since it was the last bridge on the river. The bridge at Annapolis Royal was not constructed until the turn of the century.
As you reach Granville Street, the house on your right, No. 380, was built about 1902. William Chipman was subdividing his lands and offering them for sale in 1897, when the Town was incorporated. This lot was one of the choice ones, but still only sold in 1902, like its companion lot on the other side of Chipman Avenue, No. 374. This home was once occupied by Henry Hicks, a former premier of Nova Scotia.
Cross the road and turn left on Granville Street, notice the home on your right, No. 371. This is a classic Nova Scotia Vernacular, built about 1835 for William Handley Chipman. The exterior has been unaltered since. The house passed to his son William A. Chipman in 1866, who later moved up the Valley to Wolfville about the turn of the century. The other houses in this area all date from about 1902.
371 Granville Street
Along Granville Street, still on your right, No. 363, is a house built by Charles Haines, the saddler, about 1836. This house is just west of the old farm boundary from the Chipman property, and was developed by Frances Crosskill very much earlier. In both cases the farms originally ran from the Annapolis River across the North Mountain to the shore of the Bay of Fundy. The part north of the top of the mountain was generally the first to be sold off. The house was the Baptist parsonage between 1839 and 1907, when a new parsonage was obtained on Granville Street West. It was then occupied by members of the Crowe family to 1971.
Continue to stroll along Granville Street to the corner of Jeffrey Street. Look at house No. 351 to your right, this is another Queen Anne style home built in 1891. Originally Joseph Gidney (Frances Crosskill's father) built a home here in 1809. It was moved to a site up Jeffrey Street but burned a few years later. This house served as the local RCMP headquarters and barracks for a time.
351 Granville Street
Jeffrey Street was originally laid out as the road to the mills. The Gidney family had a noted sawmill on the brook to the north, and a grist mill was built there later. When these mills were operational, it was common for the mills only to operate for a few months of the year when the spring water flow was sufficient to provide reasonable water power.
To your left, No. 352, is a modified New England Colonial Town House, built by W. Y. Foster in 1843 on another of Frances Crosskill's lots. The Lockett family (who bought out Joseph Wheelock's store in 1868; Foster was Wheelock's partner for many years) occupied this house for 82-years.
On the corner of Jeffrey and Granville Street, No. 343, is another old home, in the same style, built by Aaron Cleveland in 1834. At one time it was owned by the Hoyt family, who had a stone-cutting business and a store across the street (now gone).
Next door on your right, No. 339, is a similar style home built by Hanson Chesley, a prominent local merchant, in 1848.
On your left, No. 344, is another New England Colonial built about 1852.
Next is the street, No. 335, is a home originally constructed about 1830 by (probably) Josiah Sanders, a shoemaker. It was subsequently owned by various stonecutters.
On the corner of Granville Street at Rectory Street, No. 26, is the original Church of England Rectory that gave the street its name (it was originally Fox Street, named after "the widow Fox" who lived farther south, and was sometimes also called Steadman Street, after the widow Fox's successor in title). The house was built by Edward Eaton in the 1830's. It is a modified Greek revival. On your right, along Granville Street, notice the house well back off the road. This was built by Watson Russell in 1833. Watson Russell was known for often paying his bills with pottery. Between 1860 and 1890 the house was owned by John Bath Reed, proprietor of the Reed Furniture factory just east of the house more or less where the curling rink is now.
The house in front, near the street, No. 329, was built by Joseph Bohaker in 1836, and was occupied by different town merchants for the next fifty years. Various members of the Reed family lived in it for sixty years after.
The large home next door, still on your right, No. 325, was built by the Honourable O. T. Daniels, a local lawyer and politician who was at one time Attorney General of Nova Scotia. The Daniels family sold the house in 1937 to K. Lee Crowell, another local lawyer who became a judge of the county court. The house was built in 1896-97, but was probably still being worked on as late as 1902.
Across the street on the corner of Freeman Street (also known as School Street), No. 318, is a unique example of Second Empire design that is a provincially-registered heritage property. The house was built by Leander Morse, a local lawyer, in 1875. Legend has it that he built the house for his wife Cordelia, who now haunts the house as a very friendly ghost. Dr. and Mrs. Freeman lived in the house for thirty years, and Freeman Street is named after them.
318 Granville Street
On your right is the Baptist Church. The original " Baptist or New Light meeting house" was built on a quarter-acre on this site about 1785. A proper church was erected in 1828. In 1891 the present church replaced the older church, which had been outgrown. The old church, sixty feet long and forty feet wide, was moved to the northwest corner of Centennial and Freeman Streets for use as a furniture factory, but burned down in 1902.
On your left, across Freeman Street, No. 312, is a low Queen Anne built by John Easson about 1844. His shop was originally located at the rear of the property. This lot was originally one of the 90 foot by 90 foot lots into which John Crosskill and his son James divided the central part of the town. The house was later occupied by a milliner, a medical doctor, a lumber merchant, a hotel keeper, a dentist, a medical doctor and a Methodist Minister. David Lewis, a local author, lived here between 1965 and 1976.
312 Granville Street
Next door, continuing on your left, No. 308, is the "new" Anglican rectory, built in 1906. The next house, on the corner of Washington and Granville Street, No. 304, is another of the Queen Anne style homes built by local merchants about the turn of the century. This house was built by William Chesley, a grandson of Hanson Chesley's and a son of the Washington Chesley for whom the street is named. William Chesley was also a local merchant and owned a store where the telephone exchange is located across the street. When the house was built there was still a harness shop on the corner where there are now lawns and gardens.
304 Granville Street
On your right, No. 305, is a modified New England Colonial dating from about 1865. It was built by Dr. DeBlois and was occupied for many years by medical doctors (and was known by older citizens as the "Doctor's House). Solomon Lowe, CNR station agent, who lived to be over 100, bought the house in 1936 and his daughter resides there still.
Still on your right, the house on the corner of Church and Granville Street, No. 295, was formerly the Colonial House, a rooming house or inn. It was built by a local lawyer, William Troop, about 1858. The next owner was Rev. Donald Gordon, a Presbyterian Minister. He was so loved by his congregation that the Presbyterian Church on the river by the bridge was called Gordon Presbyterian Church, and the name survives as the Gordon Providence United Church, across the street. The house was substantially altered by Norman Chute about 1920. It was then occupied by Elsie Prat, who ran a rooming house and inn from 1921 to 1954, taken over by Donald Kaulbach and operated by his mother, Minerva Kaulbach, until the early 1980's.
295 Granville Street
The United Church, on your left, is the second Methodist church to be built in Bridgetown. The original church was built on a lot on Middle Street donated by Thomas Crosskill, one of Captain Crosskill's five children. It was fifty feet long and thirty feet wide. The new church was built in 1872, and was called "Providence" because no accident occurred during construction. When the Methodists and Presbyterians joined congregations, the church was renamed the Gordon Providence United Church. The old church was moved across to the north side of Granville Street where it is now apartments in front of the former larrigan factory and tannery. In the 1930's it was moved again, west and back from the road, and refurbished, where it still stands. Next to the United Church is an 1840 home, No. 292, probably built by Colin Wilson, a tailor. Later the home was occupied by Dr. Morrison Oakes, medical doctor, Daniel Palfrey, cordwainer, and Enoch Dodge, carriage maker, all of whom were significant in Bridgetown history.
To your right, on the corner of Granville and Church Street (originally called Crosskill Street after a son of the town's founder, but quickly changed to Church Street, following the townspeople's preference for utilitarian street names) is the Anglican Church. St. James is built on a lot first dedicated to the use of the Church by Captain John Crosskill, who laid out Bridgetown. The Church was started in 1825, finished in 1827 and consecrated in 1829. Church Street itself was laid out about twelve years later. As with other churches in Bridgetown, those who supported the building of the church were often adherents of other denominations. Several prominent Baptists and Methodists contributed money, goods or time.
Like the other churches, the existing Anglican church is the second to serve its denomination. The new church was started in 1884 and the first service was held in December, 1885. The earlier church was, of course, moved to another location for use as an organ factory. Furniture was later constructed in it, and it was later the site of the Bridgetown Electric Company's offices, then the Union Bank of Halifax (now the Royal Bank) and a dentists' office.
292 Granville Street
Next to the Anglican Church, continuing along Granville Street, No. 285 is a building originally built as the Masonic hall in 1879, and served in that capacity until 1926. It was a meat market for many years.
The second structure down from No. 285, adjacent to the service station, was originally constructed in 1829 by Dr. Silas Piper, Bridgetown's first doctor. The original building had a steam room for vapour baths. Later it was occupied as a drugstore. The building has been moved at least once.
The service station was built in 1933, and is a classic of its kind. When it was built the Irving company was required to move the adjacent building and carry out additional improvements to the land. The Town Hall, at the head of Queen Street, is a former federal post office, constructed in the 1930's, on the site of a former hotel. The land was once owned by Captain Crosskill's second wife. The town offices moved into the building in 1973. The town library, one of the oldest in the province, is located downstairs.