Built in the Second Empire style, St. Gabriel’s Hall is a two-and-one-half-storey building with a hipped-roof. Constructed between 1915 and 1919 the structure is situated in a highly visible location in Marystown, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
St. Gabriel’s Hall has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Marystown because of its historic, cultural and aesthetic value.
St. Gabriel’s Hall has historic value as it is a physical testament to a way of life once common in small communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Founded in 1909, Sacred Heart Parish was in its infancy when Rev. E. J. Wilson called for the construction of a parish hall. All able-bodied men were requested to cut the wood needed for the project. With horses, slides and saws, men from Little Bay, Beau Bios and Marystown headed off to Garnish Pond to fell the timber. Four years later, reportedly on March 24th – the feast day of St. Gabriel, the new hall was opened. Such community efforts to erect public buildings were once a common practice in small communities and they speak to an earlier way of life which is waning.
St. Gabriel’s Hall has cultural value because of the social function it has served in the community from the time of its construction. Originally maintained by Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Parish, the building has been used to host dances, weddings, concerts, garden parties, fall fairs, agricultural fairs, bingo games and meetings of community groups such as the Sea Cadets. Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day concerts were particularly popular, as were adult dances. The events financially helped the Roman Catholic parish and provided a source of entertainment for community residents. In the early days of the hall, before the introduction of telephones in the 1950s, events would be announced by raising a flag on the hall’s clock tower. The flag could be seen on both sides of the harbour and was a welcomed signal of upcoming social events.
St. Gabriel’s Hall has aesthetic value as an example of a rural parish hall influenced by the Second Empire style. The building stands two-and-one-half-storeys, featuring a hipped roof and symmetrical lines. It has further aesthetic value as a well-known landmark in the community of Marystown, recognized for its size and shape. At the time of its construction, it was one of the largest structures on the Burin Peninsula. It remains an imposing structure and its placement allows for it to be seen from many vantage points throughout the community.
Source: Town of Marystown Regular Council Meeting Motion #MMC 2006 09 05/007R, September 5, 2006.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements reflective of Second Empire style, including;
– hipped roof;
– two-and-one-half storey construction;
– original-style, narrow wooden clapboard;
– original-style, wooden corner boards;
– original window size, style, trim and placement;
– original size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors, and;
– dimensions, location and orientation of building.
Location and History
Town of Marystown
Ville Marie Drive
1915 - 1919
Parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish
Rectangular Short Façade