The Seal Store is a one-and-a-half storey wooden building with a steep pitched gable roof. It is located along the waterfront in Battle Harbour, NL and is one of several buildings that were part of mercantile operations in the community. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
The Seal Store was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2013 for its historic and aesthetic values.
The Seal Store is historically valuable for its association with several notable merchant firms. Mercantile fishing premises were established at Battle Harbour by the firm of John Slade and Company of Poole, England in the early 1770s. Battle Harbour was a gateway to the rich fishing grounds of Labrador and was a primary port of call for fishing schooners involved in the Labrador fishery. Battle Harbour eventually became the capital of the Labrador floater fishery and developed into a year-round settlement. In 1871 John Slade and Company sold Battle Harbour to Baine Johnston and Co. Ltd., who operated from the site until 1955, when the premises were sold to Earle Brothers Freighting Services, who continued mercantile operations at Battle Harbour until the decline of the inshore fishery in the early 1990s.
The Seal Store also has historic value due to its age and as a physical reminder of a time when the cod fishery was the main industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Studies suggest that the Seal Store, along with other mercantile buildings in Battle Harbour, was built in the first half of the 19th century. It was originally used for processing seal carcasses. For generations buildings such as the Seal Store were a common sight in coastal communities where the fishery was an economic mainstay.
The Seal Store has aesthetic value as it is an excellent example of the type of building constructed by mercantile firms in the 19th century. Built with a steeply pitched gable roof and clad in wooden clapboard, such buildings were designed for practical use and had to endure the rigours of a harsh environment. The Seal Store is also notable as an example of full-studded construction. The Seal Store and other designated mercantile buildings in Battle Harbour are well-known buildings in the province and the entire premises is one of a few intact mercantile premises left in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Battle Harbour – Seal Store – FPT 5087”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the historic and aesthetic value of the Seal Store, including:
-number of storeys;
-steeply pitched gable roof;
-wooden roof shingles;
-original window size, style, trim and placement;
-original size, style, trim, placement and hardware of exterior doors;
-size, style and placement of exterior stairs;
-traditional colour scheme of white with red trim;
-wooden post and cribbing foundations;
-massing, dimension, location and orientation of building, and;
-building’s location in a major complex of related buildings.
Location and History
Not specified (Labrador)
19700101 - 19700101
Rectangular Short Façade