MacAulay House
Mill Pond Road

In the 1830's, a lot of approximately 130 acres was settled by William MacAulay and his family. The family came from Scotland around 1832. In 1854, William deeded the property to his eldest son, Dougald, for 40 pounds. Although he had been in "possession" of this property for as many as twenty years, he had never obtained a grant, so the property was not legally his to give or sell. He, like thousands of other settlers of the time, was a squatter. The lot was surveyed by Donald Ross in 1863. In 1864, Dougald MacAulay petitioned to purchase these 130 acres. On April 23, 1867, Dougald MacAulay died near Sydney Mines on his way home from one of his many sailing trips between Boston and Cape Breton. The steps required to complete his petition to purchase were not yet completed. On December 27, 1872, with the assistance of her brother-in-law, Angus, Margaret MacAulay, widow of Dougald, petitioned to purchase this land. A letter written to Department of Crown Lands by Angus MacAulay for Margaret enclosed $26.00 in payment for the grant. In 1874 the lot was granted by order of the Governor-in-Council. On June 23, 1876, Margaret sold one-half of her property to Angus MacAulay for the sum of $400. Family tradition says that, in exchange for the 65 acres, Angus built for his sister-in-law a house and a barn.

Architectural Comment

This one and a half vernacular style house has a steeply pitched roof. Asymmetrical front, dormer over the ell, shingle clad with corner boards and a variety of double hung and fixed light windows. The house features three brick inset chimneys.

Contextual Comment

Around approximately the years 1914 to 1916, and after the marriage of Flora, Margaret's elder daughter, to Malcolm MacAulay in 1897, the house was moved from below the road to its present site above the road. It is said that the family continued to live in it during the move which was done with the aid of a "stumping machine". After the move, a large kitchen, porch and pantry, with a bedroom above, was added to the original house. No extensive changes were made to this house until around the 1950's when the electricity was installed. From the outside, the structure of the house remains much as it was in 1914-16. After the house was moved, around 1914, the original barn was dismantled and used in the construction of the present barn. It has a cow-stable at one end and a horse stable at the other. The main part of the barn was used for the storage of hay and the floor was often used to flail the oats (separate the oats from the chaff). The flail was two long sticks tied together with a piece of leather. Turnips were also used to feed the animals - after being chopped up on the barn floor. Other out-buldings followed: 1) a large wooden wagon house to store the wagons, sleighs, hay rakes and farm machinery, 2) a small hen house and 3) an ice house which was used until the purchase of the refrigerator in the 1950's when electricity was provided, 4) a milk house/coal house was built in 1930-31, 5) a garage in the 1940's was built near the house and 6) a two-seater outhouse. Today, the only buildings that remain besides the house are the barn, garage and ice house.

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