The oldest house in Sydney looks much as it did when the colony’s Anglican garrison chaplain, Reverend Ranna Cossit, built it in 1787. Reverend Ranna Cossit received land grants from the Crown-1000 acres on the Louisbourg road, and three town lots on North Charlotte Street- as an inducement to move to Sydney. However, Reverend Ranna Cossit found problems in Cape Breton when Governor Des Barres reneged on his declaration to build a house for Cossit and his family and a church for the congregation. After an interval spent in New Hampshire, from November 1785 to the spring of 1786, the Reverend returned and built the house at his own expense. The government agreed to refund Cossit 200 pounds for the cost of the house. The Church was built in 1788, at a cost of 500 pounds.
Cossit’s wife, Thankful, died in the childbirth at 46, after having thirteen children, two of whom died in infancy. After her death, Reverend Cossit became the leader of a struggle for political and social control of the colony between 1794 and 1800. Bishop Inglis made a special trip from Halifax to persuade Cossit to leave Sydney. He was finally transferred to Yarmouth in 1800 and remained there until his death in 1815.
Cossit House has since been restored with costumed guides and authentic 18th century furniture. The Old Sydney Society operates Cossit house.
Please explore The Nova Scotia Museum website for more information on Cossit House at:https://cossithouse.novascotia.ca
Join the costumed staff for demonstrations of 18th Century home life – Daily
Hours of operation:
June 15 – October 29th
Monday through Saturday: 9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.