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1879 Bird's Eye View

This pictorial view of the Town was drawn by A. Ruger and shows most of the urban area as it was developed by 1879. Houses are shown in considerable detail and 27 building complexes are identified by name.

It is interesting to compare this 1879 view with the earlier Church Map (c1864) and the later 1890 Bird's Eye View. It can be seen, for example, that the southern and western part of the Old Town were quite fully developed by the 1870's whereas the northeastern end of the Town on the lower slopes of Blockhouse Hill remained relatively undeveloped. The 1890 Bird's Eye View (BEV) shows the rapid infill which occurred in the northeastern are of the next 11 years.

The 1879 View also shows the Nictaux and Atlantic Railway line which terminated at that time at the foot of  and Kaulback St. The line was not extended along the waterfront until a few years later and the 1890 View shows how the character of the waterfront area changed over that 11 year period. Also, note that the government wharf, with its angular projection at the foot of Hopson St. had not yet been built.

The burgeoning New Town settlement can be seen on the left-hand side of the Bird's Eye View and some of the properties appear to be quite well developed with established trees and landscaping around them. The New Town was 15 years old when Ruger's drawing was made. BEV illustrates also how rapidly the New Town developed over the next 11 years.

It is also interesting to compare the 1879 and 1890 BEV's with respect to the change in architectural character of the Town which took place in the 1880's. In 1879, the building stock of the Town was comprised predominantly of buildings designed in the late Georgian or Classical Revival styles. Most were single or two storey structures with gable rooves and regular fenestration, perhaps with an added Gothic dormer for decorative effect. Only a few buildings had the additional projecting frontispieces, towers, or overhanging dormers so characteristic of many of the buildings which were built only a few years later. In contrast, the 1890 BEV shows many new buildings with these features and many older buildings with the features added to them obviously some time in the 1880's. Thus the two Bird's Eye Views illustrate the many physical changes which came about in the Town as a  direct result of the boom in the fishery which was taking place at that time.

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1879 Map of Lunenburg - Bird's Eye View
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