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17 Collins Street

>17-Collins-StreetSTREET ADDRESS: 17 Collins Street

CITY/TOWN/VILLAGE: Yarmouth

MUNICIPALITY: Yarmouth

COUNTY: Yarmouth

YEAR BUILT: 1895-96

ARCHITECTURAL COMMENT:

Queen Anne Revival style, this is a two storey home of brick construction. The symmetric facade has an off center doorway. The eave line is trimmed with an elaborate design inlaid with brick. There is one large, inset chimney also trimmed with decorative brickwork. There are three small, gable roof dormers at the front and one to the rear. The large, double hung windows are trimmed with labels made of stone. Four large, stained glass windows proceed up the stairwell on the west side. There are two half circle attic windows trimmed with stone work and rectangular panels with elaborate designs also worked in stone. The open veranda at front has decorative wooden trim and an unusual balustrade. Stone steps lead up to the veranda and open portico, and additional set of wooden steps lead to the second storey entrance.

HISTORICAL COMMENT:

Built between 1893 and 1895 by Charles C. Richards, a druggist, this house has since had several notable owners. Charles Richards died in September 1918 leaving the house to his son. Bradford Richards had agreed to sell the house to Hohn Kirk on October 9, 1918 for $7.000. Bradford died only two weeks later. On February 10, 1919 Frances Richard (Executrix of Bradford Richards) sold the property to John D. Kirk. The house was owned between 1942 and 1946 by His Majesty (George the Sixth) and used at this time as a residence for the Canadian Women's Army Corps. Between 1946 and 1963 the building was used as a public Library and Museum. In March of 1944 fire broke out in the Y.M.C.A. building, corner of Cliff and Main Streets, where the library was then housed on the second floor. The loss to the library was extensive. In 1946, the Library Association "... was able to purchase, at a mere fraction of its replacement value, the beautiful brick residence on Collins Street, formerly the home of the late C.C. Richards." In these new quarters, the Library reopened to the public on October 15, 1946.

CONTEXTUAL COMMENT:

A modern bungalow has been built very close to the east of this house, a large lawn extends to the rear. Although unique in its brick structure, the Victorian design is well suited to the neighbourhood. This building still remembered by many Yarmouth residents as the Old Yarmouth Library, could be considered a landmark.

PRESENT OWNER: Constantine Kollitus

ADDRESS: 440 West 34th Street New York City New York

ORIGINAL OWNERS: Michael Tavares/Neil Hisgen

OCCUPATION: Druggist

BUILDER: Unknown

ORIGINAL USE: Home

PRESENT USE: Home (multi-family)

HISTORY OF BUILDING
OWNER FROM: TO: OCCUPATION BOOK-PAGE
Charles C. Richards Nov. 27 1893 Sept. 18 1918 Druggist BX 615
Bradford A. Richards Sept. 18 1918 Oct. 22 1918 Physician Will #4589
John D. Kirk Feb. 10 1919 Jan. 27 1923 Accountant DK 386
Harry E. Kirk et. al. (Heirs) Jan. 27 1923 Feb. 17 1923 Merchant N/A
Mary L. Kirk Feb. 17 1923 Sept. 13 1925 Widow DS 431
Bernard Robbins Sept. 13 1925 Nov. 10 1942 Merchant DV 594
His Majesty the King Nov. 10 1942 Oct. 7 1946 King ER 803
Yarmouth Public Library and Museum Oct. 7 1946 May 30 1963 N/A EW 696
Garth Hatfield May 30 1963 Jan. 31 1983 Merchant GG 743
Martin Pink (in trust) Jan. 31 1983 Feb. 28 1983 Barrister NS 31
David Steadman (C.L.U.) Feb. 28 1983 Oct. 9 1988 Life Insurance Agent NS 753
Constantine Kollitus Oct. 9 1988 N/A Entrepreneur 453/403
Michael Tavares/Neil Hisgen Nov. 7 1998 Present Entrepreneurs 575/590

COMMENTS ON HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS:

Charles Churchill Richards founded a flourishing drug business and took a principal part in organizing the Minard's Liniment Company, one of Yarmouths leading industries during the early part of this century. He was president of the company at the time of his death. He was also president of the Yarmouth's Times Limited, and the Burrell Johnson Iron Co. He was secretary-treasurer of the Old Ladies' Home (now Sunset Terrace) and a valued director of the Yarmouth Hospital. Charles Churchill Richards was one of Yarmouth's more prominent citizens. The son of Mr. and Mrs. John Richards, Charles Richards was born in Milton. As a young man he began work at the drug store of Mr. H.A. Parr and eventually became a certified druggist. IN 1875 he purchased the business from Mr. Parr and continued it in his own name. In 1886 Captain Augustus Cann entered into partnership with Mr. Richards under the name of C.C. Richard's and Company. In 1905 they sold the business to L.C. Gardner and Co. That same year the Minard's Liniment Co. Ltd. was formed and Mr. Richards was made secretary and treasurer. After the death of Captain Cann, Mr. Richards took his place as President of the company.

He also held the position of president of the Liberal-Conservative Association, director of the Yarmouth Hospital and secretary and treasurer of the Old Ladies Home.

Another new residence that adds largely to the attractiveness of our town has just been completed, namely the home of Mr. & Mrs. C.C. Richards. The house is situated on the south side of Collins Street nearly opposite the new Tabernacle Church. It is built of brick with freestone trimmings and is the firs house of this class to be built of that material in the Town of Yarmouth. The surroundings are pleasant and the exterior of the house is very attractive. It is two stories high with pitch roof, and has a veranda across the front of the lower storey and extending partly around the two sides. Entrance is bad by the front door, through a vestibule, fitted with a coat closet. The front door has a leaded glass panel and the inner door a panel of beveled plate glass. The hall is finished in oak. It is nearly square and contains a grate and handsome wood mantel. This room is lighted by three leaded windows of delicate design arranged diagonally over the staircase. Doors open from the front hall into all the main rooms on the lower floor. The parlor is lighted by a bay window the whole width of the room. It connects with the library by folding doors. Both these rooms are finished in cherry. The library also has a large bay window and like the hall has a handsome mantel and grate. A door leads to a snug little conservatory on the veranda, and another door leads to the dining room, an apartment 12 X 18 feet. This room is finished in oak. A door leads to an ample china closet and another to the kitchen. Off the kitchen is a large pantry with all the necessary shelves, drawers, bins, etc. The back door opens to a small veranda on the rear end of the house. Another door opens from the kitchen to a side hall, which communicates with the front hall and also the back stairs and cellarway.

The cellar is deep and light. It contains vegetable closet, coal bins, etc., also the hot water furnace. On the second floor are three large bedrooms, a bathroom, a sewing room and servant's room. The bathroom is furnished in first class style and is handsomely finished in sycamore wood. The other rooms are finished in natural spruce. Large closets are the rule throughout the house. On the third floor are a large smoking den and two large attic rooms. This house is wholly the production of our local workmen - even to the carvings on the freestone - and is the best possible recommendation of their skill and taste. Mr. Amos Crosby was the architect; Mr. Edward Crosby the carpenter; Churchill and Burton the bricklayers; Messrs. Jas. Doane and A.G. Goudey the carvers and stone cutters; Mr. C.E. Filluel (from G.J. Morton & Co's) the plumber; Messrs Thomas and Benj Ritchie the painters; Mr. C.F. Brown installer of electric bells. The mill work was done by the Kinney-Haley Co. and cannot be excelled. The same might be said of the workmanship throughout the entire structure."

Since early spring of 1999, this property has undergone a major restoration. The new owners, Michael Tavares and Neil Hisgen, have taken the house from a near-derelict condition to very near its original grandeur and have landscaped the grounds to create a real show place. This landmark site has already become a popular bed-and-breakfast establishment under the name Charles C. Richards House, thus establishing a viable economy for the property which ensures its continued maintenance.

SOURCES: Registry of Deeds (Yarmouth) Yarmouth Directories (1890)(1895) Yar. Past & Present, J. Lawson The Yarmouth Herald-Telegram - Sept. 17 1947

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