Greenwood Cottage was completed in the early 1870s for John and Sarah Cumminger who moved there from Renova Cottage. John Cumminger (1827-1892) was part owner of a lumber mill and had shares in goldmining. He and his brother Samuel (1838-1879) owned Cumminger Brothers’ General Store. John was also a shipbuilder. John and his wife Sarah did not have children.
Now part of Sherbrooke Village, Greenwood Cottage has been restored and decorated in keeping with a the Cummingers’ middle-class status. The Cottage’s front door and side windows made of etched glass are original to the house. The inside door with stained-glass panels was replaced around the 1920s. The stair rails have been redone to look like ashlar stone. All the woodwork has been re-grained.
The only original fixtures in the house are the two gas fireplaces in the parlors, which ran by a carbide generator in the basement. The formal parlor was used to entertain important visitors, members of the clergy, and business associates. The room is decorated with Eastlake furniture from England, which is upholstered in horsehair. There is also a pump organ from the 1870s and a framed biblical scene done in needlepoint, signifying the Cumminger’s religious devotion.
The informal parlor was used to entertain close friends and family. The room features furniture from the 1850s, a stereoscope for entertainment, and a Victorian-era mirror from Yarmouth.
In the dining room, the table dates back to 1860 and the chairs to 1817. The dishes on the table are in the Grecian Key pattern. The two closets were used for extra dishes and linens.
Hanging on the wall in the hallway is a picture from the Crimean War, which took place from 1854-56 near the Baltic Sea. This first reprint is captioned “Defence of Kars,” and depicts Sir Fenwick Williams in a hat, who was knighted for the war. Sir William was born in Annapolis Royal and went on to become Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia from 1865-67.
Upstairs are two guest bedrooms, the master bedroom, and a bathroom. The upstairs hallway was referred to as the relaxing room where Sarah would sit and read or to do needle work. She could also look down the street and see over to her husband’s store. There would have been a stove in the hallway to heat the upstairs.
John and Sarah had two maids and a gardener. The kitchen was in the basement as was the maids’ quarters. The gardener’s room was in the attic, which has four circular windows and a central Gothic window.
The servants always used the back stairs. The maids cooked meals in the basement kitchen and then carried the food up to the serving room next to the dining room, where it was kept warm until served. The maids also had to carry water for the bathtub up the back stairs and back down again once John or Sarah had finished their baths.