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Historic Amherst home demolished


House at 196 Victoria Street East was once owned by Pugsley family

AMHERST, N.S. —

Glee Doncaster remembers trick or treating at 196 Victoria Street East in Amherst when she was younger.

The Amherst resident grew up around the corner from the once majestic home and looked on as it was demolished on Oct. 21.

“I was just a kid when we’d go trick-or-treating there. The people who owned were so nice,” Doncaster said. “I never got to go inside, but I always imagined what it looked like. It must have been beautiful.”

The home and garage had fallen into disrepair in recent years and is just one of several buildings owned by Walter Wells that is being demolished under the Dangerous and Unsightly Premises bylaw.

“It’s sad to see it go,” Doncaster said. “It’s part of our history.”

An excavator works on the demolition of 196 Victoria Street East on Oct. 21. The house was built in 1910 by Josiah Black Lusby and was at one time owned by the Pugsley family that operated Pugsley’s Pharmacy in downtown Amherst. The home had fallen into disrepair and was taken down under the town’s Dangerous and Unsightly Premises bylaw.
An excavator works on the demolition of 196 Victoria Street East on Oct. 21. The house was built in 1910 by Josiah Black Lusby and was at one time owned by the Pugsley family that operated Pugsley’s Pharmacy in downtown Amherst. The home had fallen into disrepair and was taken down under the town’s Dangerous and Unsightly Premises bylaw.

In her book Historic Amherst, Pauline Furlong said the home was built in 1910 by farmer Josiah Black Lusby, who bought the land from A. William Black.

It included a trio of two-storey pillars on the façade and a noticeable feature was the circular window in the centre above the pillars.

Lusby ended up selling the house to George Minchin Barker of the Two Barkers, a department store that later became Margolians, Dayle’s Department Store and is now Dayle’s Grand Market.

B.T. Pugsley entered the pharmacy business in 1926 and bought the pharmacy in 1936 with John W. Morrison.

It also served as a bed and breakfast, the Victorian Inn, but reverted to a family residence.

Walter Maltby said the demolition was sad to see.

“It’s sad because the age of the house and the fact it was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Pugsley, who owned Pugsley’s Pharmacy. I used to deliver there every year at Christmas time and different holidays,” Maltby said. “They were two of the nicest people I ever met in Amherst.”

Maltby said his father was a painting contractor who worked in a lot of the houses on Victoria Street East.

The demolition drew a crowd of several dozen people, who stood on the opposite side of the street as the demolition took place.

Dave Slade, a retired ARHS teacher who moved to Amherst nearly 50 years ago, said it’s sad to see older houses have to come down.

“It’s too bad there aren’t people who could buy these places and maintain them,” he said. “I just found out it was owned by the Pugsley family, who operated the pharmacy. That’s part of our history.”

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