Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Architecture General

Sketches of Historic Truro

by (author) Joseph M. A. Ballard & Minette Murphy

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


An illustrated history of Nova Scotia's Hubtown, Truro, featuring over 90 profiles of iconic buildings — from grand homes to churches to industrial buildings, from the author of Historic House Names of Nova Scotia.

Welcome to Truro, Nova Scotia, the town of long underwear and condensed milk, of First Presbyterians and Second Empire school buildings. This is where an anonymous journalist's critical descriptions of a resident's ratty fence and the deficiencies of an unkempt flower garden prompted uneasy citizens to seek the scribe's praise — or at least to escape his merciless judgments — by improving their properties.
But Truro's first brush with the improvement ethic occurred in the summer of 1860, when news arrived that the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) would visit the town on his royal tour. The people of Truro mobilized, passing a resolution that everyone should be obliged to turn out with brushes to whitewash the town. Within forty-eight hours, Truro looked like a new place, and in the aftermath of the rush to honour their esteemed visitor, they discovered something about their own dignity. From that day, the people of Truro have taken pride in their town and they work hard to always have it present its best appearance.
With more than ninety meticulously hand-drawn illustrations by Minette Murphy, and featuring Joseph Ballard's carefully researched histories, Sketches of Historic Truro offers a unique and beautiful inventory of Truro's most handsome historic architecture, including the Truro Federal Building (designed by Thomas Fuller, once the Chief Dominion Architect for the Government of Canada), Seton Hall (a wonderful example of a Second Empire -- style mansion), and the Beaux Arts -- style Colchester Historeum.

About the authors

Joseph M. A. Ballard is the author of Historic House Names of Nova Scotia and Fairy Dells and Rustic Bowers. Ballard has served as a director with the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (president), Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia (president), Colchester Historical Society (president), Maritime Institute for Civil Society (VP of Market Development), Town of Truro Heritage Advisory Committee (chair), and a number of other heritage organizations.

Joseph M. A. Ballard's profile page

Minette Murphy is an aspiring architect from Nova Scotia with an interest in heritage. They took up house portraiture as a means for documenting buildings at risk of demolition. This led to many commissioned house portraits, a feature in the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia's quarterly, The Griffin, and this collaboration with Joseph Ballard on an in-depth documentation of some of Truro's most prized buildings.

Minette Murphy's profile page