Nova Scotia Archives

Built Heritage Resource Guide

"Banks House, at Annapolis Royal... Said to be the Oldest Habitable House in Canada."

The Banks House, now known as the de Gannes House after its original owner, was built in 1708 and is "the oldest documented wooden structure in the province." The de Gannes House, built during the French regime in Acadia, is described by owner Jim How in Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, Affairs with Old Houses, pp. 122-135.

Nova Scotia Archives's Virtual Exhibit "Acadian Heartland: Records of the Deportation" includes a sketch of a log house entitled "A Habitant's Home", 1777.

In general, French Colonial buildings, 1604-1790, have the following characteristics:

- log or stone construction
- raised basement
- usually 1 ½ storeys
- absent or small symmetrical dormer
- one large central chimney, later variation have two end-wall chimneys
- centered doorway, symmetrical or asymmetrical 3 or 5 bay facade

Date: 1958

Photographer: E.G.L. Wetmore

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Annapolis Royal: Houses: Banks House / negative N-7161

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