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