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Charles Macdonald’s Concrete House:
Museum, Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden
Centreville, Kings County, Nova Scotia

A Nova Scotia cultural and artistic landmark
Nova Scotia's most unique home

On the road to Halls Harbour, north of Kentville, is a delightful landmark in our cultural landscape. Known locally as the “concrete house with the deer in the yard,” this unique property is surrounded by concrete lawn sculptures of deer, a mountain lion, giant mushrooms, and other fanciful figures and furniture.

Inside, the house is as it was built: every surface lovingly fashioned from cement and finished smooth with paint.

A decorative instinct is evident from mantle to newel post, from chimney to dovecote—the impression is of a magical, sculpted cottage, tailor-made for an uncommon individual.

Chris Reardon photo  

 Cementing the Future: Repairing the concrete sculptures at the
Charles Macdonald Concrete House Museum
(576 k PDF)

Chris Reardon photo

An uncommon common man

Charles Macdonald travelled the world as a ship's carpenter at the end of the age of sail. The places he visited, the people he met and the sights he saw made an impression on this artistic young man.

He returned home with a head full of ideas about how to shape an ideal life. He established a concrete brick factory in what later became his home for over 40 years, and is now open as the Charles Macdonald Concrete House Museum.

His views on labour and democracy make his story one particular to his times, and of interest to us today. His philosophy resulted in improvements to the quality of lives of his workers and to the community to which he dedicated his life. His artwork, sculptures, paintings, and rugs hooked by his wife Mabel provide a record of rural life and give importance to the landscape and values of Nova Scotians in the middle part of the last century.

Find out more about Nova Scotia’s uncommon common man.

Related Links:

Local Area information:
Evangeline Trail Tourism Association
Destination Nova Scotia

Museums of related interest:
Nova Scotia Museum
Kings County Museum
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Yarmouth County Museum
Age of Sail Heritage Centre
Avon River Heritage Museum (email link)

The Charles Macdonald Concrete House is operated by the Charles Macdonald House of Centreville Society and funded in part by the Community Museums Assistance Program of the Nova Scotia Museum.

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All contents © 2003 Charles Madonald House of Centreville Society