The Lawrence House - A Nova Scotia Day Tripper Destination
As the Nova Scotia Day Tripper travels along route 215, the historic village of Maitland awaits. Victorian architecture, antique stores, and the highest tides in the world, teasing with rafting adventures, will inspire and delight.
Open June 1st through to mid October, the Lawrence House Museum will delight the visitor with tales from long ago, when Maitland thrived with the riches of the ship building industry that would cement her place in history.
On October 27th, 1874, over 4000 people ventured to the tiny shipbuilding town of Maitland, Nova Scotia to see history in the making. On that day, W.D. Lawrence launched the largest, full-rigged ship to ever be constructed in Canada up until that time.
Weighing in at 2,459 tons, the ship that shared its builder's name, was twice the size of most other Canadian ships on the water at the time. The launch was a success, but Lawrence would not soon forget the obstacles and doubt he had overcome to see his dream set sail.
The money and wealth that was flowing through Maitland during her successful shipbuilding years is obvious in the grand Victorian homes that make up the majority of her architecture, but most prominent, sitting on its hill overlooking the bay, is the home of W.D. Lawrence.
During these times, the village of Maitland, on the banks of the Bay of Fundy, was a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean, and in turn the world. Overlooking the steep banks that contain the highest tides in the world, the Lawrence house stands as a testament to the wealth and affluence that was enjoyed by the community residents as a result of the wealth afforded them by the shipbuilding industry.
Lawrence was a strong minded and opinionated man, and it was no secret he was strongly opposed to the idea of confederation, believing the politicians had sold out his native province to the interests of Central Canada. His great ship was his thoughts materialized, in an attempt to make a statement in regards to Nova Scotia's maritime power.
Along with his strong opinions, Lawrence was also considered to be a man of good taste. As the visitor tours through the Lawrence house, the opulent furnishings and formal design and layout of the home will impress. Exotic souvenirs decorate the majority of the rooms, and speak to the wealth and fine taste of a man who, according to local legend, can still be heard playing his violin on unsettled evenings when a storm charges up the bay.