The Road House is a two-storey, wooden house with a low pitched roof. It is located at 2453 Topsail Road in Topsail, Conception Bay South, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
The Road House has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Conception Bay South due to its historic and aesthetic value.
The Road House has historic value due to its age and its association with a way of life once common in the region. The house may have been built as early as 1871, as some newspapers taken from the interior walls bear this date. Local oral tradition suggests that the house was once used as a guesthouse that catered to people travelling along the east shore of Conception Bay. Topsail was connected to St. John’s by road in the mid 1800s and by train in the 1880s, and soon became a popular retreat for the St. John’s elite. Some built country homes in Topsail and neighbouring communities, while others rented rooms from locals. Establishments catering to the city visitors, including tearooms and guesthouses, were very common. Along with its natural attractions such as Topsail Beach, the community was the halfway point between St. John’s and Holyrood, another popular vacation spot. As such, many travelers would choose Topsail as a rest point along their journey. The Road House property reportedly had a carriage house and stables for guests to avail of, as well.
The Road House has aesthetic value as a good example of a late 19th century home. During interior renovations, evidence of a third floor was found and it is quite possible that this upper storey was removed in response to changing house styles during the early 20th century. The front façade is symmetrical and features an enclosed one-storey porch with a mansard roof. Column-like cornerboards, wide window and door trim and eaves brackets along the upper eave, on the front porch and above the main floor windows on the front façade, combine to give the exterior a refined elegance. Adding to the aesthetic value of The Road House is its setting on Topsail Road. Located on a mature plot, The Road House is a distinctive property on the main thoroughfare through the town and offers a spectacular view of Conception Bay.
Source: Town of Conception Bay South Regular Council Meeting Motion #08-353 September 16, 2008.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the aesthetic value of The Road House, including:
– low pitched roof;
– number of storeys;
– cornice mouldings along eaves;
– eaves brackets;
– narrow wooden clapboard;
– corner boards resembling columns;
– window size, style, trim and placement;
– size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
– size, style and placement of enclosed front porch with mansard roof, and;
– dimension, location and orientation of building.
Location and History
Conception Bay South (Topsail)
Town of Conception Bay South
2453 Topsail Road, Topsail
1871 - 1871