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Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises Registered Heritage Structure

Samuel Abbott House, Bonavista, NL
Samuel Abbott Fishing Premises, Bonavista, NL
Samuel Abbott Fishing Premises, Bonavista, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises is a wooden, two and a half storey house with a steep gable roof and is located at Newman's Point, Bonavista, NL. The designation includes the house, a one and a half storey net store, and fishing flake adjacent to the house.

Heritage Value

Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1998 because of its aesthetic and cultural values.

Samuel Abbott House has aesthetic value as a representative example of a type of house built by fishermen in the region in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It originated as a home built by William Abbott circa 1796. William's grandson Samuel Abbott II relocated and refurbished the building circa 1823. Hence, the dwelling exhibits characteristic elements of the latter period. Such homes employed simple construction techniques, utilized symmetrical design elements and presented a plain, neat facade.

Adding to the aesthetic value of the property are the net store and fish flake. They serve as good examples of intact fishing structures in the region. There are few such structures in the area, or the province in general, left in their original shape and condition. Of particular note is the fish flake associated with the net store. These structures disappeared from the built landscape of rural Newfoundland with the decline of the salt fishery in favour of fresh fish processing, in the mid 1900s. Buildings and structures used in the inshore fishery were designed for practical use and had to endure the rigours of a harsh environment. The use of rough materials, simple design elements and utilitarian construction techniques exemplify these fishery buildings and structures.

Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises has cultural value as it evokes a certain sense of time and place. It stands as a physical and visual reminder of a way of life tied to the sea and its resources. Its location on the waterfront speaks to the importance of the ocean’s resources in the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Several generations of Abbott’s fished from the Newman’s Point property, living within close proximity to the source of their livelihood, a settlement pattern repeated across the province.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Bonavista - Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises - FPT 115”

Character Defining Elements

Those elements relating to the aesthetic value of the house, including:
-steep gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-wooden roof shingles;
-narrow clapboard;
-corner boards;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-chimney style and placement;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.

Those relating to the aesthetic value of the fishing premises, including:
-original form, scale and massing of store and flake;
-use of traditional building materials;
-steep gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-narrow wood clapboard sheathing;
-corner boards;
-red ochre exterior colour;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-roller under upper level window;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-size, style, trim and placement of upper level door leading to flake;
-original form, scale and massing of ramp providing access to flake;
-wooden post structural supports;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.

Location and History

Community Bonavista
Municipality Town of Bonavista
Civic Address Newman's Point
Construction (circa) 1823 - 1823
Builder
Samuel Abbott
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade