Scott Manor House is a registered provincial and municipal heritage property, owned by the Halifax Regional Municipality and managed by the Fort Sackville Foundation, a local Bedford history group and registered charity.
This wonderful old home is the only full two-and-a-half story gambrel-roofed colonial building in Nova Scotia, and possibly in Canada. The house has two lateral wings. Visible in the attic are the two wishbone chimneys where the flues from nine fireplaces (five in the north chimney, and four in the south) join to permit smoke to exit above the roof. Original hand hewn beams and attic floor boards remain, as does the original kitchen fireplace and bake oven. There is a full, fieldstone basement.
The manor house was built c. 1770 as the family home for Joseph Scott and his wife Margaret (Cottnam), beside Fort Sackville. Scott was an Irish settler who arrived in Halifax in 1749 with Edward Cornwallis. He was a merchant who later received several land grants, establishing saw mills and a grist mill on the Sackville River. He was appointed as a lumber surveyor, a justice of the peace, and a judge of the inferior court of common pleas, and was elected as a representative to the House of Assembly for Kings County. He also served in the militia.
After Joseph Scott’s death in 1800, his house and lands had several owners. One owner, George Lister shaped the community by selling some of the land as building lots in Bedford’s first subdivision in 1856, after the railway arrived. At the time of Confederation, the manor house was used as Willow Park Summer Hotel. The Ternan family lived at Scott Manor House the longest (from 1870 to 1945), adding a portion of the adjacent Fort Sackville site to the property in 1906. The next owners, Richard and Elsie Churchill Tolson restored the house, saving this important piece of Nova Scotia’s built heritage. After the Town of Bedford bought the property in 1992, it was named “Scott Manor.” Open to the public in the summer, visitors can tour the house and enjoy the grounds, visit exhibits, and access local history resources.