Eight heritage buildings that date between 1780 - 1938
The Cole Harbour Heritage Farm is a fine example of a Nova Scotian family farm. This farm's origins date to ca 1800, at a time when the farm operation was on both sides of the Cole Harbour Road.
Cole Harbour Farm consists of ten structures including the Giles and Harris Houses. Of the ten, all but two are heritage buildings. The Farm is located on the south-west corner of where Poplar Drive meets Otago Drive in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The small parcel of farmland, once part of a 500 acre property, is nestled on a hill overlooking a pond and a well-developed commercial area along Cole Harbour Road.
The Cole Harbour Farm Museum is located in a very busy and commercial section of Cole Harbour that was once mainly agricultural. The Farm is the only remaining structural evidence of that history. The Farm includes four outbuilding structures and two farm houses that together are valued for their association to rural life and early settlers of Cole Harbour.
The outbuildings include three barns and a milk shed and a blacksmith shop. The Settle Barn, named for the Settle family who were the original owners of the property, is valued as a good example of an English style barn and features three bays framed by timber that is built into the slope of the land. The Market Barn has had many uses over its lengthy lifetime. It was used to house livestock as well as provide storage for the large market garden business that served Halifax and area. The barn is valued for its cold-storage room which is considered to be one of the first in Cole Harbour. The Crib Barn was built in the early nineteenth century and is valued for its unusual style. It features hand-hewn framework covered in large three foot shingles. The Naugle Milk Shed is a vernacular building type that was traditionally adapted for various uses. The Blacksmith Shop was constructed in the nineteenth century and has served many uses including livestock barn, carriages and tractor storage and of course a blacksmith shop, which is its current function. The roof shows evidence of where it has been cut and raised to accommodate larger machinery.
The property also includes two farm houses. The Giles House is currently part of the farm and is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in Cole Harbour. The house was originally built in ca 1780 on one hundred acres of land purchased by Joseph Giles in 1789. It is believed that the house was dismantled and brought from the Lunenburg area.
Giles moved to Cole Harbour from the United States in 1786. He was one of the earliest settlers of Cole Harbour. The land remained in the Giles family for two hundred years until 1972 when it was purchased by Nova Scotia Housing Commission. The modest farm house was moved to the Cole Harbour Farm in 1976 to save it from demolition. Architecturally, the Giles House is valued as a one-and-a-half storey prefabricated Cape Cod style dwelling built with horizontal slotted logs with a central chimney. In the 1890s it was converted to a Saltbox style house with the extension on the back and the roof line altered. The house is also valued for its representations of different time periods and the evolution of construction techniques.
The Harris House is the original homestead of Robert Settle Sr. He was also one of the earliest settlers to the area and he probably first occupied the land as a tenant farmer. Settle owned approximately 125 acres of agricultural land. The Settle family owned the house and property from 1843 to 1935 when it passed to Stuart Harris. Architecturally, the Harris House is valued as an attractive two storey Gothic Revival style dwelling with two large cross gable dormers with pointed windows. The house has a central chimney and doorway. Harris House also features a veranda that has been converted into the Rose & Kettle Tearoom.