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Elegant, Historic, Oceanfront Property - c. 1796 house w/ wharf

5 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights

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Half Baths
Minimum Stay
3 nights


Martins River House Rental Photos and Description

Historic house on Mahone Bay, 3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, (Sleeps 5-6)

Elegant seaside cape-style house perched at the top of a curving drive overlooking the waters of Mahone Bay. Located in the charming village of Martin’s River, minutes from the Town of Mahone Bay, Hill House is an historic home filled with elegance and atmosphere. Built circa 1796, this historic property retains many early features including wide-board floors, two-over-two windows with old glass, six-panel doors, two fireplaces (nonworking) , elaborate mantelpieces and trim, built-in dish cupboard, unique curving staircase, and window ‘lights’ over the front door.

A large deck at the front of the house facing SE overlooks the river and ocean bay, a perfect spot for a morning coffee or an evening cocktail cooled by sea breezes. A smaller deck at the back facing SW off the kitchen gathers all the sun of the day, a place to glory in the sunset over the three-acre meadow and pond. Two small barns with bright red doors house canoes and bicycles, and a walk down the lawn leads to the wharf with floating dock, and deep-water mooring. In summer, the river and ocean basin are filled with beautiful sailboats, and the Annual Martin’s River Regatta (Labor Day Saturday) is a race for classic sailboats, large and small, around the islands of Mahone Bay.

The house, 2000 sf of living space, has living room, dining room, library, study, kitchen, mudroom and two full baths on the first floor with high ceilings, and three charming bedrooms and a powder room on the second floor, tucked under the eaves of the long sloping roof. The entry on the driveway side opens to the mudroom with washer, dryer, and laundry sink, coat storage, and a full bath. The dining room, the largest room in the house, has high ceilings, chandelier overtop a long dining table (seats 8-10), three windows with long French curtains overlooking the front deck and views, a corner cupboard, and a charming built-in dish cupboard. The living room, equally elegant, has a long red, curving sofa for ample seating, a collection of books on art and architecture, and a wide screen LG Smart TV and stereo. From the living room two doors open to the long library with its built-in bookcase filled with history, poetry, fiction, classics and current events. Board games and puzzles, along with bar glassware are housed in a large armoire, and a classic sofa and wing chairs as well as a table for deskwork, complete the library furnishings. A separate study contains music library and a synthesizer keyboard. (Upright, acoustic piano is in the dining room.) The eat-in country kitchen has windows on three sides with views to the water, a Jotul woodstove, and a doorway to the back deck with BBQ and woodshed. A second full bath leads off the kitchen, and access to the full-height basement downstairs to ground level.

The original front entry door with transom window ‘lights’ opens onto the small front foyer and a curving staircase leads to the second floor. Three cozy bedrooms upstairs have sleeping accommodations for 5-6 persons and are beautifully furnished and decorated. The smaller guest bedroom boasts a sweet, antique 3/4 bed, bureau, and desk, with a window that looks out to sea. The larger guest bedroom contains a queen bed with a lovely fabric tester over the head of the bed and a window toward the bay. The large master bedroom (combined from two smaller rooms) is ample in size with a king bed, antique bureau, dressing table, and two draped windows overlooking the barns and the river. A small 2 pc. powder room on the second floor is a convenience to guests at nighttime.

Hill House is furnished with old and new – newer beds and furnishings complemented by lovely antiques and original paintings. A plentiful supply of pillows, cotton sheets and fluffy towels create a comfortable experience.

Local stores carry fresh produce and baked goods, including the Boulangerie De La Vendeenne around the corner. Eat in or explore the excellent restaurants of Mahone Bay, Lunenburg and Chester, just a short drive away.

Great local beaches include Sandy Cove, Hirtle’s Beach, Crescent Beach on Green Bay, Risser’s Beach, Beach Meadows, and the unbelievably gorgeous Carter’s Beach (an hour away) for long strolls.

Details of the property:

Three Bedrooms - all on second floor

• Small Bedroom (3/4 bed), ocean view

• Guest Bedroom (queen bed), ocean view

• Master Bedroom (king bed), river view

• 2 pc powder room

Living Room

• Ocean facing views of Martin’s River and Mahone Bay

• Comfortable seating

• Antique furnishings and original paintings

• Book on art and architecture, and collection of classical and choral CDs

• Large coffee table for board games and jigsaw puzzles

• Smart TV and stereo/DVD system

Dining Room

• Antique corner cupboard and built-in dish cupboard

• Large dining table (w/ removable leaves) seats 8 to 10

• Upright piano


• Beautiful custom-designed bookshelves with collection on history, poetry, fiction

• Sofa and two wing chairs for lounging or reading or quiet conversation

• Armoire with barware and games

• Large glassware cupboard

• Antique table for study or computer work (WiFi)

• Fireplace (non-working)


• Bookshelves with music collection

• Writing desk with computer keyboard and synthesizer


• Windows with views to ocean and meadow; access to back deck

• Ample cabinetry with all cooking and dining supplies, and pantry

• Appliances: stainless steel stove and refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster oven, coffee maker, electric kettle, Cuisinart, blender, slow-cooker

• Antique 8' farm table with seating for 6-8

• Antique country table island for food prep

• Jotul (Little Bear) wood stove (wood in woodshed beside back deck)

• Bookshelf with sailing books

• 'Ladder' shelves of herbs and spices

• Cuisinart gas grill on back deck


• Two Bathrooms on Main Floor (both 3 pc with shower/tub)

• Powder Room on Second Floor (2 pc)

Ground Floor

• Full height basement, unfinished (with boulder foundation and original cooking fireplace with iron pot crane)

• Picnic supplies and coolers

• Utilities access

• Exterior door

Two Decks

• Front deck with railing overlooks river and ocean. Have a morning coffee or evening cocktail watching the river flow by or the sailboats at their moorings.

• Back deck with gas grill, woodshed, views of meadow and pond, sunshine all day long, glorious sunsets, and spectacular star-gazing.

Wharf, floating dock and deep-water mooring with use of two canoes, paddles, life-jackets.

Keywords: Seaside property, house, oceanfront, historic, cottage, farmhouse, heritage property

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Margaret Race
Member since: 2012
Speaks: english
Calendar last updated:
October 26, 2016

About Margaret Race

We are a couple involved in the arts. My husband is a composer and choral conductor and I am an artist and decorator. We moved from Connecticut in 2007 where we founded a children’s choir and later a commercial music publishing company. We relocated to Nova Scotia when my husband accepted music directorships at two universities in Halifax. Although we were familiar with the beauty of the South Shore, having spent fifteen years with our children on summer vacations in the La Have Islands, we chose to live closer to Halifax when we moved to NS permanently. A property on the water where we moor our 20 ft traditional Cape Cod catboat makes for a happy life, and the waters of Mahone Bay offer some of the best sailing on the eastern seaboard. With six children and four grandchildren, this house is the scene of many happy family gatherings.

Margaret Race purchased this house in 2007

Why Margaret Race chose Nova Scotia

The saying that ‘It's always sunny in Martin’s River’ is true. If there’s sun to be found anywhere it’s along Silver Point Road. We chose the charming village of Martin’s River not only for its sunshine and ocean access but for its proximity to Halifax and the airport, and the Towns of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. Sailing on the waters of Mahone Bay with its 365 islands (some now but a nubble) is an activity we pursue, and an interest in historic architecture (this is a 1796 Cape) completed the picture.

What makes this house unique

The three acre property sits atop a knoll with beautiful views of the islands of Mahone Bay. In fact, one can see all the way to Big Tancook Island from the front deck. The river, with numerous private wharves, flows by the property and our wharf and opens onto a lovely ocean basin, home to numerous sailboats and their congenial owners. The rails-to-trails network, that runs from Halifax to Yarmouth, meanders by Long Cove behind the house, accessed by a beautiful grassy, country lane. A pond on the property fills with wild irises in June, and the birdlife is rich with song. Star-gazing is spectacular on a moonless night and both sunrise and sunset are unequalled from this hilltop setting, high above the water. One of the perks of the neighborhood is being able to call in and pick up an order of fresh baked French bread from the famous Boulangerie de La Vendeenne just around the corner.


based on 5 traveler reviews

Elegant, Historic, Oceanfront Property - c. 1796 house w/ wharf
average rating of 5.0 based on 5 reviews

Fantastic cottage and close to everything in Lunnenburg Co.

  • 5 of 5

Nice getaway close to Mahone Bay. The historic charm of the cottage with all the appointments helped make us feel at home... like staying at a relatives home while they are away. View from the front deck and kitchen window are stunning. Location perfect between Halifax and all the SE sites to see and experience. Would not hesitate to rent this gem again.

  • Submitted: Oct 9, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Martin's River Cape House

  • 5 of 5

We had a perfectly lovely month in this beautiful old Cape House. Furnished elegantly and comfortably, and exactly as in the photos, it had every amenity you could wish for,-a well equipped kitchen, comfortable beds with nice linens, an abundance of plush white towels, wonderful music and books, laundry facilities, boats, and bicycles.

The owners were welcoming, helpful, and interesting. Remarkably, we had no rain, but constant sunshine and moderate temperatures, with sea breezes.

The location is good, with much to see and do nearby. We especially enjoyed the bike paths, with easy rides to the villages of Chester, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg.

For keen swimmers, this may not be the best spot. On a tidal river with a rather mucky bottom, access to the water is best from the jetty. But there was no ladder. We understand that one will be installed.

  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Washington DC

Outstanding Home - Highly Recommended

  • 5 of 5

In four years living in the United States we have been fortunate enough to stay in a number of great holiday rentals across North America. However, this house was, by a very long way, the best. What made it so special?

Firstly, the location. It sits on a small hill, away from the minor access road, with magnificent views over the river and out to sea. It is a short drive from Mahone Bay shops. You therefore have the convenience of the (really interesting and charming) town without any of the traffic.

Secondly, the house. It has real character. You feel as though you are living in history. It is extremely clean and very well equipped. You will not want for anything. The beds are super comfortable and, combined with the silence, you will sleep really well.

Thirdly, the things to do. There is a canoe and rowing boat on a quay just down from the house. If you don’t want to go out on the boats you can sit on the quay and toes the sun going down with a glass of wine. There is a very large garden and a great walking trail next door.

Finally, the people. Meg and Paul are very generous and very interesting hosts. They will make you feel very welcome.

In summary, this is an extraordinary holiday home located in a beautiful part of the world. It is highly recommended. We certainly cannot wait to go back.

  • Submitted: Jun 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nova Scotia

The house suited us perfectly

  • 5 of 5

Dear Meg and Paul,

Thank-you for the use of your house. It suited all of us perfectly.

It was good to meet you on Saturday night as we felt so much of your presence in the house. Thanks to you, Meg, for being such a sterling hostess.

- The Murphy Family

  • Submitted: Oct 21, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Excellent. Relaxing. From a storybook.

  • 5 of 5

I rented this property for 3 days as a change from my normal hotel stay while traveling. What a delight!! Upon my arrival, I was greeted with a semi - personalized document (they greeted my dog and left her a treat) outlining everything I possibly needed to know about the house and property.

The house is huge, beautiful and well decorated. The house is decorated with such precise beautiful detail. Honestly- like a storybook. What an interesting house! What an interesting property! The property is set on a quiet river with many quaint and beatific properties. There is a row boat and canoe available for guests to use.

Mahone bay is probably 5 minutes away by car. Bridge water is about 20-25 minutes away.

I would recommend this house for anybody who wants a quiet, relaxed getaway. The only regret I had was not being able to stay longer.

  • Submitted: Jul 8, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so pleased to have shared the loveliness of this area and the gracefulness of this old house with a thoughtful and welcomed guest. We hope this, our first review, helps others to get a sense of the home we offer.
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Nearest Airport
100 Kilometres
Halifax International
Nearest Motorway
5 Kilometres
103 (Exit 10)
Nearest Restaurant
7 Kilometres
Mahone Bay
Nearest Beach
15 Kilometres
Bachmann's Beach on Second Peninsula
Nearest Point of Interest
Old Station Lane (grass)
Nearest Point of Interest
St. Martin's Anglican Church
Nearest Point of Interest
Martin's River Fire Dept and Hall
Nearest Point of Interest
Star Convenience Store
Nearest Point of Interest
Wharf and dock
Nearest Point of Interest
Rail Trail
Car: recommended

The scenic towns of Mahone Bay (7 km), Lunenburg (15 km), and Chester (20 km) are nearby, offering a wealth of scenic beauty, architectural interest, groceries, restaurants, antique shops, music festivals, art festivals, boat festivals, bicycle rentals, whale watching tours, kayaking, and sailing. And, the body of water known as Mahone Bay is a sailor's paradise, hosting eastern Canada's largest sailing regatta each August.


Rates & Availability

Martins River House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $299
Pet Fee $37
Cleaning Fee $75

Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Martins River House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Ocean View ...
  • Oceanfront ...
  • Village ...
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet
  • The two full baths are on the first floor. The powder room (2 pc) is on the second floor with the bedrooms.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Master bedroom - 1 king
    Guest Room 1 - 1 queen
    Guest room 2 - 1 double , actually a three-quarter bed (42"w) - one adult, comfortably
  • King size beds (1), Queen size Beds (1), Full (3/4) Bed (1)
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Tennis ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
We invite you to enjoy our home, a charming 18th century historic house. This house is cozy when its cold and cool when the weather heats up - must be due to the 6 inch thick plank walls. Two decks - one at front and one at back - allow you to enjoy sunrise over the water with your morning coffee and sunset over the back fields with your evening cocktail. Or, sit out by the river in chairs on the floating dock (cool off with a swim) and view the world from sea-level. Views abound from every part of the property. We happily live in this little paradise year-round but are happy to share it with others during our beautiful summer seasons.

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