Victoria Road United Baptist Church36 Victoria Road, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 2V9, Canada
DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE
Victoria Road United Baptist Church is a simple wood framed Gothic style chapel that was built in 1853. It is located across the street from the cemetery for Christ Church on Victoria Road, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Victoria Road United Baptist Church is valued for its association with the religious history of many of the Black immigrants in Dartmouth. In the late 1700s and early 1800s many Black Loyalists settled in Nova Scotia following the American Revolution.
Others, such as the Maroons who left Jamaica following the over-throw in 1796 of the Maroon government by the Jamaican government supported by British colonists, also settled in the Dartmouth area, encouraged by the provincial government. Following the end of the War of 1812 roughly 2,000 Black refugees from the United States settled in the Maritime Provinces, including in the Dartmouth area. It is the descendants of these groups who founded the congregation that came to found the Victoria Road United Baptist Church.
Victoria Road United Baptist Church is also valued for its association with Christ Church. Originally Victoria Road United Baptist Church was built in 1853 as a Sunday school hall for nearby Christ Church, the predominant Anglican Church in Dartmouth at the time. In 1905 Christ Church donated the building to the local Black Baptist congregation. The congregation had established a meeting house and cemetery on what was called Coloured Meeting House Road, which is known today as Crichton Avenue. The entire Sunday School building was lifted from its foundations, placed on rollers and hauled by horses for several blocks to its present location on Victoria Road. Today the church is still a religious and community centre for many families in Dartmouth.
Architecturally, Victoria Road United Baptist Church is valued for its Gothic Revival style. The chapel is a simple wood framed building with a gable roof and round headed windows. The church features a steeply pitched false façade to the left of the main entrance. This secondary entrance has a simple pediment style decoration above the doorway. The Gothic Revival style is reflected in the are the windows which include a lancet window with decorative hood moulding on the front elevation and thick fretwork in a wavy pattern along the eves. The building commands attention on the street. reflected in the are the windows which include a lancet window with decorative hood moulding on the front elevation and thick fretwork in a wavy pattern along the eves. The building commands attention on the street.
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