The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse is a one-and-a-half storey, gabled roof building with a small enclosed porch, situated in Battle Harbour, NL. It is connected to the community and the waterfront by means of a boardwalk, and overlooks this historic economic and social centre of the southeastern Labrador coast. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008 for its historic and aesthetic values.
The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse has historic value because of its associations with the development of the community of Battle Harbour. The mercantile saltfish premises at Battle Harbour were established by the firm of John Slade and Company of Poole, England in the early 1770s. As the community developed, offering shelter, trading posts and commercial opportunities, the local population increased and Battle Harbour eventually became known as the regional capital. In 1871 the Slades sold Battle Harbour to Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. who operated the site in much the same way the Slades did until 1955.
It was Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. who built the Bunkhouse/Cookhouse for food preparation and service, as well as sleeping quarters for the workers of Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. and the local population. In 1955 the premises were sold to Earle Brothers Freighting Services who continued the site’s operation until the decline of the inshore fishery at the start of the 1990s. The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse was used by the men who worked with Baine, Johnston and Co. and Earle Brothers, as well as the locals and any fisherman who might be in the area and looking for a place to have a cup of tea.
The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse has aesthetic value because it is a good example of vernacular, outport utilitarian architecture. Built of wood the building is one-and-a-half storeys. Gable end chimneys top the ridge of the steep gable roof, while small, wooden, multi-paned windows are scantily adorned with wide, flat mouldings and wide sills. Simple plank doors further emphasize the utilitarian purpose of this building. This property was restored after 1997, following Battle Harbour’s designation as a National Historic District, and it stands as a testament to the Labrador fishery.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Battle Harbour – Bunkhouse/Cookhouse – FPT 4345”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements of vernacular, outport utilitarian architecture, including:
-steep pitch gable roof with wood shingles;
-multi-paned windows, including 3/6 and 2/2; -wide, flat mouldings surrounding windows and doors;
-wide sills on windows;
-narrow wood clapboard;
-enclosed porch with shed roof;
-one-and-one-half storey construction; -general massing, dimensions and location;
-orientation towards the harbour, and;
-location in a cluster of other related buildings.
Location and History
Not specified (Labrador)
19700101 - 19700101
Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd.
Rectangular Long Façade