Hill House and 240 Acres
at Beaver Dam Farm
I have a big beautiful property for sale on the Northern Coast of Nova Scotia with so many features that to
describe it needs space lots of space ---- more than allocated in a typical real estate listing. That's why I've included the information on my Art Gallery website.
“Arthur and I have traveled the world and never seen anything like this.” (this farm, the town, and surrounding area)
My name is Carol Naveta Rivoire and these are my thoughts on the property, lifestyle, and local amenities . . .
After living in France for 10 years, My husband, Arthur, and I returned to the States and bought a gorgeous 100 ac. farm in N.H. where we began importing, breeding and selling, Norwegian Fjord Horses. We were successful selling these expensive pure-bred horses all over the U.S. – In 1987, we took a 2 week vacation in Nova Scotia. Just a vacation. No thought whatsoever of moving anywhere. – However, after a week or so in Nova Scotia we were smitten with the beauty, culture, charm of the people, and lifestyle of this part of Nova Scotia.
(pic of me in beach chair on beach)
But, still we didn't think of moving. – That is, until someone persuaded us to look at a 290 ac. Farm outside the university town of Antigonish. – We drove the 12 min. from Antigonish, and after seeing the quality, lushness, and contours of the land, and the totally phenomenal ocean view from the top of the hill . . . . my husband said,” What a place for a house” - The next day we put down a deposit. – And on the drive back to N.H., Arthur said . . . . “We're crazy if we don't buy that place.”
(pic of house we built)
REASON FOR SELLING - My husband of 43 years died in 2012. – I'm selling most of the farm 240 acres + Hill House), but retaining 40+ acres at bottom of hill for myself. There's a small house there, barn, and my art gallery. – I'm 77 years old. I go to Florida in the winter, but wouldn't think of living anywhere else but right here in the other 7 months. Life is just too good here to even think about moving. – However, given my age, I would consider an agreement offering “first chance too buy” to whoever buys the other part of farm.
YOUR OWN FIEFDOM . . . “When you have land, you have possibilities!”
DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES – With 240 acres, there's a lot of potential. Along the farm road to Hill House, cottages or quality houses could be built having the same spectacular ocean view as Hill House. I have been asked why I don't develop the property before selling. . . . The answer is if my husband were still here, we'd no doubt do that.
(photo of land from driveway)
THE LAND - is fertile (oh my God is it ever fertile) --- The contours are gently rolling. - Pleasant to look at, walk on, and totally useable for raising animals and recreation. – 25 years breeding Norwegian Fjord Horses on this farm proved how good the land is for livestock. My horses were beautifully developed which is why I had the top reputation and got top prices.
(pic of horses on land)
In fact, it was the obvious fertility of the land that attracted Arthur and I from the start. Afterall, we were in the business of raising quality horses. – The contrast between this land and New Hampshire land was night and day. Here the topsoil is almost endless. In NH, it was an inch or so deep and then you hit the granite. The soil on Beaver Dam Farm is mostly clay that holds the moisture. Thus, we have lush green grass until mid December. The contours of this land couldn't be much better. Gently rolling I guess is the best way to describe it. No steep hills, no ledges, relatively few rocks in the soil. Most of it is gently rolling, but there are flat places as well. – Ideal, wouldn't you say? – On the piece of land I'm keeping (47 acres), we constructed an FEI Level Dressage Ring 40 meters x 100 meters. (The dressage field and 30 or so acres may also be available for purchase) – There's a wonderful piece of ground in that area of farm we call McArthur's Park. Can't describe it, Come see. . . To call it a “Park” is no exaggeration.
THE ENTIRE FARM IS CLOSE TO 300 ACRES in a rectangular shape - I'm keeping 40+ acres plus the small original farm house, plus the old barn and 2 other buildings where I have my Art Galleries. I ended up with more land than I'll ever need, but had to make big decisions two years ago when I had the land surveyed and sub-divided. – My part is down the bottom of the hill, and does not infringe on the privacy of Hill House.
(Pic exterior of Hill House)
HILL HOUSE was designed by my artist husband to take advantage of the splendid views in all directions. Most people rave about the ocean views which is much more interesting than just a wide open sea view. Our view has green pastures in the foreground, spruce and maple trees and then the harbour with small islands, and after that the sandy beach, then in the distance, Cape Breton Island. Hill House is approximately 2500 sq. ft. - more or less. This does not include the screened porch off the living room, nor the large meandering wrap around deck. Also, not included are the 3 rooms + laundry in the basement. These are all insulated and one room (now a workshop) could be turned into an extra bedroom.
(pics interiors of HH)
Hill House was designed to take advantage of ALL the views that surround it. The magnificent water view is just the beginning. Standing in the expansive living room or dining room, just turn your head to see it all - ocean, pastures, hills.
HILL HOUSE is being sold entirely furnished including all original art, antiques, oriental rugs, furniture, kitchen equipment - Everything !
BEDROOMS - Hill House has 4 bedrooms, and sleeps 8. More if you use the sleeping couch in the den. A large master bedrooms on 1st floor, and another large master on 2nd floor. Downstairs master has an ensuite bathroom. 2nd floor has a full bath and 2 medium sized bedrooms.
(pics of bedrooms)
BATHS - 2 full baths and a guest powder room. (full bath on second floor has a handpainted mural on the wall. Depicts Bayfield Wharf which is where you'll go to buy your lobsters off the boats.
TACKROOM/EXERCISE ROOM/DEN- There's a room off the side entry that we used for years as a tackroom, exercise room, extra bedroom. It's good sized with 2 casement windows plus a bank of 3 casement windows. The room is pine panelled and has pine floors stained barn red.
LIBRARY - The beautiful and cozy library has a bow window between the bookcases and a casement window on the end. The hand crafted bookcases are floor to ceiling on two sides. There are small paned French doors leading into the library. All doors and trim in Hill House are cherry wood stained a golden color
FLOORING - The hall, kitchen and dining area are tiled in Vermont slate which needs no care except sweeping and an occasional washing. No sealing product has ever been used, and it looks great. – The rest of the floors are wide board pine - some stained a color - the rest stained a golden shade.
(pics kitchen & dining area)
THE LIVING ROOM is gorgeous! It's big, square with windows on all sides --- Yet, with plenty of wall space for art. This huge room which flows onto the screened porch, and into the dining area, which flows into the cooking area . . . . Is the ideal space for entertaining. The living room, dining area and kitchen have antique beams which were harvested right here on the farm about 170 years ago. They were spares left in the old barn loft since 1845 when it was built.
( Pics livingroom )
COMMENTS FROM VISITORS
“This is the coziest,most homey house I've ever seen.”
“the most beautiful house in Antigonish County”
“Is this an old house you've renovated or a new house you've made to look old?”
“My God, what a spectacular view.”
Arthur designed Hill House, but I chose the size and style of the windows - I once read a book by Louis Bromfield. He'd lived in Europe for a long time then returned to the States to buy an Ohio farm and build a family home. – He said some things I never forgot.
“Windows in a house should be long and low so you can sit in a chair and see the ground outside.” The windows in Hill House are long and low. Bromfield was right.
“A new house shouldn't look new. It should look lived in.” (Bromfield chased his 3 dogs through his new house to scuff the floors a bit) - We followed his lead.
OPEN CONCEPT - living room, kitchen, dining area flow into each other Windows everywhere. 4 of the windows in living and dining area are angled to take in even more of the views. (This is a perfectly wonderful feature of the house that was part of Arthur's artistic and archtectural genius.) The angled windows make the rooms round, open, and inviting. -
THE KITCHEN is wonderful to work in. Mark Gabrieau, Nova Scotia's #1 chef said . . . . “This is a perfect working kitchen.” --There's a black glass cooktop installed in 2016 with exhaust fan. New dishwasher, two sinks, and a wall oven. Imported Dutch tiles surround the cooking area. Cupboards and open sheving are all hand crafted.
THE DECK - It's long and wide. We often entertained 12 or more people for dinner. – The deck is surrounded by hardy, perfumed rose buses. Blowsy, old-fashioned blooms. The ocean view is phenomenal off the deck. – We discovered a deck like this while driving our horse through the trails in Southern Pines, NC. We loved it, so built one like it on our new house. Deck faces northeast, so is delightful foreground breakfast and all morning. --Of course, it's facing the ocean. And just below the low railing are mases and masses of old-fashioned hardy roses.
(pic screened porch)
SCREENED PORCH - The west facing screened porch is accessed off the livingroom through French doors. It “is” the place to be for summer cocktails and dinner. The porch faces west on one side looking up through the pastures to the hayfield, and out on the ocean on other side. The sunsets are glorious. Arthur and I used to make our grandchildren sit on the couch and wait for the sunset. Something they didn't like at first, but then really got into the nightly show.
INSULATION – Hill House is well insulated. We have lived in the house from mid April to mid November. The Vermont Castings wood stove heats well, but you'll probably want to install more electric heat if you stay winters. - There is electric heat in the two master bedrooms, the two baths, the tackroom, and the library. – No electtric heat in the kitchen, dining area, and two twin bedrooms on second floor. – This is easily and inexpensively installed.
AIR CONDITIONING - Ha! Ha! . . . . In 30 years we've never needed it. Once in a great while in July for a couple of days, you might make use of a fan.
BASEMENT - There is a full basement insulated and gyprocked under all the house except the livingroom. 2 large storage rooms, a laundry, and workshop.
PERENNIAL GARDENS - There are a huge number of hardy rose bushes I've planted over the last 30 years. Also, lilacs, other flowering bushes, apple trees, blackberries, currents, and lots of perennials.
(pics of gardens)
OUTBUILDINGS - A stable with 4 box stalls plus two other box stalls that we've used as a woodshed and tackroom.
(pic of stable)
ARTIST'S STUDIO - My husband was a serious artist and his studio has been described as “a jewel”. It's insulated, heated, and air conditioned. Surrounded by a terrace overlooking the harbour and rose bushes. It could be converted to a guest cottage.
(exterior and interior pics of Artist Studio
Arthur and I bought the farm in 1987, and immediately began calling it Beaver Dam Farm II. The original BDF was in New Hampshire. We moved to our Nova Scotia farm in 1991 with 18 horses, 3 cats, an old dog, and all the furniture, machinery and stuff from the NH farm.
We loved it from Day 1, and it only got better each year. The best location, and the best community anyone could hope for.
“The day we moved in. . . .We entered the house and found a sign on the wall from the neighbors. It said . . . WELCOME HOME! – On the kitchen table was a pot of clam chowder and a platter of homemade biscuits. --- That was our introductioin to life in our village of Pomquet, Nova Scotia. – During our first year at the farm, the neighbors kept bringing gifts . . . .Queen Crablegs, wild blueberries, wild mushrooms, and homemade baked beans. – You can understand why we were/are so in love with life here”
THE VILLAGE - Pomquet is a small, but bustling Acadian village of about 700 people. The people are mostly Acadian heritage – meaning their ancestors immigrated to Nova Scotia from France over 400 years ago. They have built a wonderful modern school from K – Grade 12. It has all the bells and whistles. There are always concerts and celebrations going on in the village and all are welcome. This village of 700 people even hosts a Winter Carnival.
POMQUET BEACH PARK – is 10 min. down the village road and it's a wonderful 4 mile beach = famous for it's Piping Plovers. There's parking, interpretive boardwalks, changing rooms, toilets, and lifeguards. – There are never a lot of people on the beach, and often you have it to yourselves. The water temperature in mid summer to mid fall is almost tepid. – Our 3 yr. Old granddaughter froliced in the ocean mid October.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION - We feel we have the best of all locations - Out in the country with privacy, space, ocean views, birds and bees, yet we have nighbors close by, and the university town of Antigonish where everything happens is 15 min. away. We've truly loved the unique combination of peace, privacy, but with neighbors. Nova Scotia is full of beautiful views and land, but mostly those places are way off the beaten track. – We have the security of interested, friendly neighbors. – If anything happens, somebody will notice and help.
We're 5 min. from the village church and activities – 10 min. from Pomquet Beach Park – 15 min. to Antigonish Golf & Country Club – 15 min. to all the shopping, the university, live theatre, trestaurants, galleries, etc.
BEACHES - Besides our own beach, there are 9 other beaches all within a half hour from the farm. To name a few . . . Boy Scout Beach, Bayfield Beach, Crystal Cliffs, Beach, Mahoney's Beach, Dunn's Beach, etc.
FISHING VILLAGES - Ballantyne's Cove, Livingston Cove, Cribbon's Point (fishing ports) are half an hour from the farm. Bayfield fishing wharf is 10 min. away. ---You can go to any of the ports and buy live lobsters right off the boats --- But, get there early.
(pics of fishing villages)
SIGHTSEEING - We're half an hour from Cape Breton Island, and an hour from the Prince Edward Island ferry. Two spectacular destinations that attract visitors world-wide.
AIRPORT – 2 hours from Halifax International Airport, and 2 ½ hours from the city. Port Hawksbury Airport (½ hr. from the farm accommodates private planes.
HOSPITAL – St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish is 15 min. from the farm. An excellent facility
SAFETY - Crime is almost unheard of in our area. I believe I'm correct in saying that in the 30 years we've lived here, there have only been 2 murders, and to hear of any crime at all is wonderfully rare.
SCHOOLS - Public schools in Canada are excellent! Our village of Pomquet has a large, modern French speaking school K- 12. School buses to Antigonish where the schools are first rate.
GROCERY SHOPPING There are two large supermarkets in Antigonish, 15 min. from farm. The Farmer's Market every Saturday is enormously popular. The place to be Saturday mornings to meet and greet and buy produce and crafts.
SHOPPING - Antigonish has Galleries and lots of stores of all types.
MUSIC – Gaelic, classical, pop, jazz. As we found out, there are not enough days in the week to take in all the culture locally available.
LIVE THEATRE - The Bauer Theatre is on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University 15 min. from farm. – They do wonderful, professional productions all year long. Highly recommended!
THE UNIVERSITY - St. Francis Xavier University - As everyone knows, it's extremely desirable to live in a university town. This one is gorgeous and famous. Prime Ministers have graduated from STFX. Big things happen here; such as famous personalities speaking. The campus is classic and beautiful, and the facilities are often available to all. Such as the indoor running track, the pool, convention center.
RESTAURANTS - Good restaurants in Antigonish town, including the Award Winning Gabrieau's Bistrot. There are great funky cafes and pubs, usually with music.
ATMOSPHERE IN THE TOWN - Antigonish is a university town, so it's busy and lively with students, professors, as well as town and county people. – Very friendly and open place.
POTENTIAL USES FOR THIS PROPERTY - “When you have land, you have possibilities!”
Family Home or Vacation Retreat
Hobby or professional farm
Development with Cottages or Housing
What we did with this property . . .
BEAVER DAM FARM FJORDS II – is the name of this farm. We started breeding Norwegian Fjordhorses at the original BDF in
New Hampshire, and did so successfully for 12 years there. – In 1990, we moved BDF to Nova Scotia and began calling it Beaver Dam Farm Fjords II. We were uncertain whether we could continue to operate at a good profit moving out of the U.S. and so far from our market which at that time was the U.S. – But, having already succeeded selling our horses from coast to coast in the U.S. made me think we could do the same thing in Nova Scotia. – I started advertising that we were moving to a fabulous vacation area with uncrowded beaches, clean air, no crowds, golf courses, theatres, good restaurants, art and shopping.
As well as . . . . lobsters, good seafood, wild blueberries, live theatre, galleries, and soaring eagles. When we made the move, our horse sales did drop off for a while, but that was more the fault of being occupied getting set up here, building fences, stables, etc.
In less than a year, we were back selling our horses better than ever. We were selling all over the U.S. and well into Canada. Good sales from Newfoundland to California. U.S. sales all over the States. Canadian sales in Nova Scotia (Cape Breton Island), Newfoundland, Ontario, and Alberta. We sold from 12 horses to 26 horses a year, average price $10,000
In 1998 I wrote a book called “The Fjordhorse Handbook” – The book helped to popularize the horses (ours and other breeders) as well as showcase Nova Scotia.
Raising horses on this farm was satisfying, successful, and economical. They grazed the quality pasture, and ate no grain.
ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF RAISING ANIMALS HERE . . .
- Abundant grasslands pasture
- large acerage with extensive open grazing land
- contours of land ideal for developing horses
- good help easy to find and not expensive
With this amount of land we were able to configure our pastures so that the horses were encouraged to run up and down the hills developing strong bones, heart and lungs. – Soon Beaver Dam Farm had earned a solid reputation for the top Fjordhorses in North America. We retired in 2010, selling all but two of our horses. They are still here with me.
NOVA SCOTIA BEGINNER DRIVING VACATIONS - We created this program around 1992 and continued for 18 years . My husband was an avid sailor and a subscriber to “WOODEN BOAT MAGAZINE”. We patterned our “learn to drive horses” vacation after the Wooden Boat building vacations on the coast of Maine. – Wooden Boat picked a charming seaside site for their vacation program. We have the same situation here in Antigonish, NS. A learning vacation in a great vacation place with lots to do for a partner who may not be into horses or wooden boats. A significant number of our student/guests ended up buying a Fjordhorse after doing the our day vacation at Beaver Dam Farm. – One family of four from New Jersey bought 7 Fjords at the end of their stay here, and two months later bought 6 more. – They are now well-known breeders at their new farm in NJ.
OLD BARN GALLERIES & GARDENS at Beaver Dam Farm is my new passion. I am an artist, as was my husband, and the year before he died, I started an Art Gallery in the old 1845 barn on the part of the property not included in the sale. I now have four galleries on the farm and am successfully selling my paintings.
American Dream has moved up North - It's now the Canadian Dream
Canadians have a higher life expectancy - Life is easier in Canada
International HUMAN FREEDOM INDEX - Canada 13th highest in world. U.S. 26th highest in world.
Health - Canada does much better on half the money spent
Safety - Canada's crime rate is much lower than U.S.