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The James House Museum PDF Print E-mail

RICHARD JAMES (1796-1856) & JAMES HOUSE (1835)

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James House from southern direction
Richard James was born in Woolwich, England in 1796. He joined the British Army and served in England and India. While in India, Richard was assigned to the Benevolent Orphan’s Society, an organization run by the British Army.

Around 1829, Richard married Mary Lomax, the daughter of a merchant in the London, England area.

Thomas James, Richard’s older brother and a retired military officer, settled in the Bridgetown area. Around 1834, Richard and his family also moved to this area. Richard and Mary had eight children. In 1835 James built a house on Queen Street on land purchased from Thomas Quirk.

After his wife’s passing in 1846, Richard brought his sister, Eliza, from England to assist with his family. Angelina, the James’ youngest daughter, and Eliza continued to live in the James House. Angelina died in 1922.

 

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Angie
The James House features an unusual combination of bay windows and an upstairs gallery. The original floor plan allowed space for a shop or office on the north side of the ground floor. On the second floor, large doors made it possible to combine the front rooms into a single ballroom which opened onto an exterior balcony through two sets of french doors.

It was during the 1870’s that Angelina James had the house converted into a two-family residence. Since then the house has served as a home, a tea room, a doctor’s office, an art gallery, and a flower shop. In 1979, after standing vacant for two years, the house was saved from demolition when Mr. Clyde Everett purchased the property. He then graciously donated the property into the care of the Bridgetown & Area Historical Society which had been established as a volunteer organization just one year earlier. James House is now a registered Provincial Heritage Building and is our community’s Museum. As such, it serves as the depository and archive for many artifacts, documents, photographs, etc., the “stuff” that symbolizes and reminds each of us about the Community’s near and distance past...our history.

An important part of that history is our military history preserved within James House in the Memorial Military Museum, sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 33. A small Victorian garden is maintained behind the House.

The Bridgetown and Area Historical Society cares for the building and it is now a designated Provincial Heritage Property.