Nova Scotia Apples - Prescott House
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Prescott House Museum

Located in Starrs Point, Kings County, Prescott House Museum recalls the life of one of Kings County's most important historical figures, the Hon. Charles Ramage Prescott (1772-1859).  Of New England heritage (his father had been present at the fall of Louisburg and had settled in Halifax), Charles Prescott became a wealthy businessman in Halifax, but retired at the age of forty due to ill health and moved to Kings County to escape the foggy climate of Halifax.  Though active in politics in his later life, he was a member of both legislative houses, it was by indulging his love of horticulture that Charles Prescott made his most important contribution to his adoptive home of Kings County.

Though his horticultural interests varied widely, he named his estate Acacia Grove for all the acacia trees he planted there, it was through his interest in apples that he would leave his longest lasting impression.  By introducing many apple varieties new to the Annapolis Valley, Charles Prescott influenced apple production for years to come.  In his book The History of Kings County, Dr. Arthur Eaton lists the following varieties of apples grown by Mr. Prescott, "...Ribston, Blenheim, King of Pippins, Gravenstein, Alexandra, and Golden Pippin, which he imported from England, the Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Esopus Spitz, Sweet Bough, Early Harvest, and Spy, which he obtained from the United States, and the Fameuse, Pomme Gris, and Canada Reinette, which he got from Montreal." [History of Kings County, p. 204]  Though important varieties for many years, most of these have disappeared into agricultural history, but the Spy remains a staple of the apple industry in Kings County to this day; the Gravenstein is still commercially grown, but in diminishing quantities.

Charles Prescott built the Classical-style house that is now the Prescott House Museum in 1812-14, using locally made bricks.  The house was sold shortly after Prescott's death, and it declined to the point where it was eventually abandoned.  However, in the 1930s the house was acquired and restored to its former grandeur by one of Charles Prescott's great-granddaughters, Mary Allison Prescott.  She even managed to acquire some of the furniture originally owned by Charles Prescott.

Today, the Prescott House Museum is open to the public from May 1 through October 15, and visitors are treated to a fascinating glimpse into the world of upper-class Nova Scotian lifestyle of the mid-nineteenth century.  In addition to the antique furnishings, Oriental rugs, needlework samplers, and ceramics to be viewed in the house itself, visitors are sure to enjoy the beautiful gardens and trees on the lawn, as well as the views offered by the picturesque surrounding landscape.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has designated Prescott House as a National Historic Site.  It is also a Nova Scotia Provincial Historic Site.

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