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James Groves House Registered Heritage Structure

James Groves House, Bonavista, NL
James Groves House, Bonavista, NL
James Groves House, Bonavista, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

James Groves House is a wooden, two storey Second Empire house located at 99 Church Street in Bonavista. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

James Groves House was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1994 because it has aesthetic, historic and cultural values.

James Groves House has aesthetic value because it is a good example of an early Second Empire merchant house. Built by third generation carpenter Ronald Strathie around 1895-1900 it features his characteristic attention to detail and the typical Bonavista gable-end roundel motif. The large house features a three-bay facade with bay windows extending in two storey bays. Two original profile chimneys protrude above the concave, cedar shingled mansard roof and shed-roofed dormers sit centrally on both front and rear facades. The front door features original colored glass and embossed sidelights and transom.

James Groves House has historic value as it signifies the introduction of the Second Empire style to the area. Because it was designed and constructed by Ronald Strathie it is a reminder of the Strathie family’s creative and proficient architectural influence in Bonavista.

The original owner, James Groves, was a local fishing merchant who had the house constructed as a duplex to house his family and servants. It is typical of merchant houses of the time and represents the elitist architectural designs of the day.

Culturally, the house is symbolic of a class system where the local merchant was of a wealthier status than the local residents. The house represents this class difference in its dual use as a merchant’s residence and a servant’s residence.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Bonavista - James Groves House - FPT 134”

Character Defining Elements

All those elements that reflect the Second Empire architectural style, including:
-Mansard, concave roof;
-cedar shingles;
-3 bay facade;
-2 storey bay windows;
-2 chimneys with original profiles;
-gable-end roundel motif;
-dormer windows;
-wood and colored glass front door;
-narrow wood clapboard;
-single hung 2/2 windows;
-water table.

Location and History

Community Bonavista
Municipality Town of Bonavista
Civic Address 099 Church Street
Construction (circa) 1895 - 1900
Ronald Strathie
Ronald Strathie
Style Second Empire
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade