| Back |
The original occupants of 77 Hawthorne Street were Fred R. Trotter and his wife Florence. Fred was the grandson of the Scottish Presbyterian clergyman, the Rev. Thomas Trotter who arrived in Antigonish in 1818. The Rev. Trotter was as well known for his business endeavours as his religious activities. He was a farmer, landowner, teacher and writer; he ran Hawthorne Farms, built a grist mill and fulling mill, as well as a woolen factory. Fred eventually assumed control of Trotter Brothers and served as MLA for Antigonish County for eight years.
The construction date of this house is unknown. Some sources suggest that the house originally belonged to Fred's father, Robert Trotter which would pinpoint the date in the 1830s. However, with its 5-bay facade, steep pitched gable roof, simple gable dormer and clapboard exterior, this 1 1/2 storey house clearly has the standard features of Maritime Vernacular. It still retains the traditional box-like configuration associated with heavy timber construction. It also exhibits the traditional economy of materials and plainess of decoration. Classical Revival influences can also be seen in its enclosed portico with sidelights and transom capped with a pediment. These stylistic features, with their emphasis on well-ordered simplicity and horizontal line, shaped house designs in the Maritimes from the 1830s to 1860s. It is doubtful that the house was constructed after this date.
It is interesting to note that this house was moved to its present location by Fred and Thomas Trotter. Local lore relates that during the move, the Sabbath-abiding Trotters decided to leave the house in the middle of the road on a Sunday. Undeterred by the obstruction, the townspeople simply drove through it with their horses and carriages.
Researched by Corey Lewis