Sealladh Na Mara
Old Route 5
1830

The house was built in the early 1830s by John MacDonald. He is generally regarded as one of the first settlers in the Big Bras dOr area. He received 196 acres of land in 1826. He is mentioned in the book Cape Breton Ships and Men. He and his sons were once the principal ship builders in the Big Bras dOr Area. The house remained in the MacDonald family until 1915 when it was sold to Mary MacKenzie. Gothic Revival in design, this is a two storey house with a steeply pitched gable roof with return eaves. There are two brick insert chimneys, and the foundation is on the original mortared stones. There is one large pointed Gothic dormer on the front elevation which extends to the ground floor and incorporates an entry porch. The dormer has both fan lights and side lights. The windows are double hung 2/2 with hoods. The house features original wooden shingles and corner boards. Jim MacKenzie who acquired the property in 1939 recounted what the house was like when he lived in it. On the first floor was the living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and a large pantry. The pantry was divided with one end used to store flour and molasses and the butter churn. The other part has a bench used for kneading bread. The wash was also done in this section. There were shelves for dishes, a cast iron sink and a double action hand pump. One point of interest in the kitchen was a large mural that was painted on the wall. The painting done by Fraser MacDonald was of water, seagulls and land. He was also the one who painted the large letters Sealladh Na Mara that were once visible on the barn. Upstairs were four large bedrooms and two smaller bedrooms over the kitchen. There was a veranda on the back. Many renovations have taken place since the house was originally built, many features still exist, but things like windows and some trim have been replaced. Original are the hardwood floors, staircase and the decorative trim which frames the three point window in the front of the house.

Architectural Comment

Circa 1830s Gothic Revival 2 storey house. Steeply pitched gable roof with return eaves. Single centrally placed gothic dormer on the front elevation, with a pointed arch window. The windows are double hung 2/2, with hoods. Exterior wooden shingles with corner boards. Home features two brick chimneys

Contextual Comment

Sealladh Na Mara, the house with a view of the sea. This is one of the nicest examples of historic architecture on Boularderie Island. Set against the backdrop of the Bras dOr and Kellys Mountain, this house is located along Old Route 5 in Big Bras dOr. Also on the property is a beautiful barn that is referred to as the carriage house.

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