Inventory Site Forms: Sample 4 – East Kemptville

STREET ADDRESS: Pr. Cd. 95-200315-000-000-000
CITY/TOWN/VILLAGE: East Kemptville
COUNTY: Yarmouth

PRESENT OWNER: Poole, Ruth & Others
Note: See date of compilation at end of form

ADDRESS: Box 1105, RR#5, Yarmouth County, NS B5A 4A9

ORIGINAL OWNER: Hurlburt, James

OCCUPATION: Farmer / Woodsman / Sawmill owner & operator

BUILDER: Probably James Hurlburt

ORIGINAL USE: Residential PRESENT USE: Residential




This house is a very interesting one architecturally. The main house is one and a half stories of wood construction with a steeply pitched gable roof. This part of the house has a symmetrical five bay facade with a central doorway, and one large central dormer with a peaked roof. There is an ell which extends from the rear of the main house, as well as an ell which extends from the south end wall of the main house, and this ell also has an open porch built on at the rear of the structure. The facade of this ell is a symmetrical three bay facade. All of these ells or extensions appear to have been built at the same time that the main part of the house was. These extensions give the house a large sprawling presence, not usually associated with the Gothic Revival house. The end walls of the structure show an unusual placement of some of the windows. All of the windows are decorated by very plain hoods.


This is one of the oldest two houses in Kemptville, having been built sometime in the early 1830′s by James Hurlburt, one of Kemptville’s very earliest settlers. He received this grant of land, which originally consisted of 200 acres on 1 March 1824. James Hurlburt built and owned the second sawmill to be established in this village, and as such he was an important man in the early development of the place. This mill would have been erected sometime around 1830, and it seems likely that he built his house one or two years later. He raised his large family in this house, and five of his sons also built large substantial homes in Kemptville. Only two of those five houses, and this house, still survive. A sixth son of James Hurlburt, Rowland C., came into possession of this house after his father. He lived here and operated his father’s sawmill which was located nearby. After the early death of his wife in 1881, Rowland Hurlburt moved with his two young daughters to the U. S. He was living in Massachusetts in 1889 when he sold the property to his brother-in-law, John T. Gavel. The genealogical story here is an interesting one, especially in terms of the strong family affiliations with the house to the present day. John T. Gavel married 1st to Sarah J. Hurlburt, a daughter of James – and lived in this house for many years, and raised their family here. After the death of Sarah J. (Hurlburt) Gavel, John T. Gavel married a 2nd time to a widow, Alva (Allen) Jeffery. She came with her three daughters to Kemptville, and she and John T. Gavel had one son of their own. After John T. Gavel’s death Alva (Allen) (Jeffery) Gavel married a 3rd time to a widower, and blacksmith, Randall Jeffery. Mr. Jeffery in turn came to Kemptville with his seven children. After a gap of some 13 years, as can be seen from the title search, Randall & Alva Jeffery purchased this house, and the family lived here. Alva Jeffery created a warm, hospitable home and summers were always a grand time in this house, when members from all parts of this complicated family would gather at different times under this roof. John Jeffery, a son of Randall Jeffery, eventually came into possession of the house. John Jeffery was Kemptville’s last working blacksmith, and came from a long line of blacksmiths in the Jeffery family. All of the Jeffery blacksmiths were considered highly skilled craftsmen. John Jeffery’s children now own this property, and use it as a summer home.


This house is beautifully situated on a lot which sits high above the road, with trees surrounding some of the house. The facade of the house commands an impressive view of Pearl Lake. Any alterations to this house appear to have taken place before 1900, as a photograph taken in 1899 shows the house to be exactly as it is today. This is a valuable heritage property within this community.


Poole, Ruth;
Jeffery, Randall;
Jeffery, Wayne;
Walsh, Phyllis;
Prosser, Jean (children of the late John Jeffery)
23 June 1980 – Present Heirs Bk. MM p.295
Jeffery, John 3 July 1930 – 23 June 1980 Blacksmith / farmer Bk. EC p.85
Jeffery, A. Randall & Alva 14 Sept. 1918 – 3 July 1930 Blacksmith / farmer Bk. DL p.157
Gray, Dennis A. & Lois B. 11 July 1905 – 14 Sept. 1918 Farmer Bk. CR p.69
Gavel, James Alfred 15 Aug. 1901 – 11 July 1905 Farmer / woodsman Bk. CL o.541
Gavel, John T. 20 Dec. 1889 – 15 Aug. 1901 Farmer / woodsman Bk. CL p.527
Hurlburt, Rowland Crocker 6 Feb. 1865 – 20 Dec. 1889 Farmer / carpenter Bk. AO p.727
Hurlburt, James & Jemima 1 March 1824 – 6 Feb. 1865 Farmer / woodsman / sawmill owner Land grant records from P.A.N.S.

SOURCES: Yarmouth County Deeds; Historical essays written by Kemptville students circa. 1905; Essay written by Milledge C. Earle, 1931; The Murray-Hurlburt Homesteads by J. Roland Murray (1982)

Compiled by: Peter Crowell

Date: 11 April, 1985