Jabish Snow House

112 Main Street, Liverpool


The following is taken, with permission, from South Shore; Seasoned Timbers, Vol. 2, Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, 1974:

In the nineteenth century Liverpool houses grew to two stories, producing an effect much approved by young Captain Moorsom who told his readers in 1830: "The main street of Liverpool is better laid out than any other out of Halifax, and contains many large and well built houses of wood neatly painted white or stone colour ... scarce any two of the buildings being contiguous". Ten years before, Samuel Prescott Fairbanks on his marriage had had a large double house erected just south of this one. Then in 1833, either because of increasing family or improving prospects, Fairbanks had this single family house built.

In 1836 he was elected M.L.A. for Queens, becoming Provincial Treasurer in 1845. Forced to divide his time between Liverpool and the capital, the latter won out. So in 1847, he sold his new house for 950 to Jabish Snow.

In November, the Rev. E.E.B. Nichols paid the new owner a visit. Afterwards he noted, "At Jab Snow's ...originally very plain people, but by industry and prudence under God have become rich". Indeed they had, to judge by the list of furnishings in a trust deed of 1874. Beginning with eight carpets and a pianoforte, it itemizes over one hundred items, including silverware enough to stock a jewellery store. The two front sitting rooms, dining room and kitchen on the first floor would have absorbed much of the list. The scale of these rooms is large. The ten foot high central hall has retained its curved ceiling and massive doors ornamented with stepped panels. The door and windows of the east front room are framed by triple line mouldings with shield bosses in their upper corners. The west room remains quite unaltered. The doorposts and fireplace pilasters are ornamented with the suggestion of a fret; a vaguely Greek device makes a crest above the doorways. The total effect is dramatic. After this room the dining room provides welcome repose.

Mrs. Margaret Inness bought the Jabish Snow house in the 1940s, converting it into a two family dwelling. Mrs. Inness took great pains to retain as many of its original features as possible. Even so, the front stairs had to be removed to effect a workable conversion. The elaborate pediment over the front door dates from this time when an earlier porch was torn down. The doorway's sidelights and transom of interlocking circles of leaded glass appear to be from the nineteenth century.

The Jabish Snow house owes much of its external appeal to its shutters, an appeal shared by early Liverpool houses, large and small.