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Kean's General Store Registered Heritage Structure

Kean's General Store, Brookfield, NL
Kean's General Store, Brookfield, NL
Kean's General Store, Brookfield, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

Kean’s General Store is a one-and-a-half storey, wooden building with a gable roof. Built in 1890 for sealing master and merchant Job Kean, Kean’s General Store is located along the main road in Brookfield, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Kean’s General Store was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1988 due to its historic and aesthetic value.

Kean’s General Store has historic value due to its association with the Kean family. The Kean family are well-known in Newfoundland as one of the most successful sealing families in the province. Kean’s General Store is one of only two remaining buildings in Bonavista Bay associated with the Kean family. The shop’s original owner, Captain Job Kean, was a successful businessman in Brookfield and owned and operated eight fishing vessels out of the town. Kean’s General Store serviced these vessels and others with various goods and supplies.

Kean’s General Store has further historic value to the community of Brookfield as it served the needs of the community for over 75 years. The store carried dry goods and other supplies. A telegraph and post office were also operated from the store.

Kean’s General Store has aesthetic value as an excellent example of a typical 19th century commercial property in Newfoundland. While the general store front is typical of commercial stores during this period, there are also some decorative features that indicate creativity on the part of the architect - such as decorative mouldings and a 6-sided corner bay with a domed roof.

Kean’s General Store has further aesthetic value as it is a landmark in the community of Brookfield. Located on the main road of the town, Kean’s General Store overlooks the harbour and was easily accessible to vessels that purchased their supplies at the store.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Brookfield - Kean's General Store – FPT 1446”

Character Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's outport vernacular design including:
- steep gable roof on main section and flat shed roof on others;
- number of storeys;
- 6-sided corner bay topped with dome on south corner of shop;
- narrow wooden clapboard;
- wooden corner boards;
- decorative cornice moulding on eaves;
- dentils and band at eaves;
- size, style, trim and placement of 1/1 wooden windows;
- large wooden shop windows and panels below them;
- size, style, trim and placement of exterior wooden doors;
- recessed doorway with transom window;
- “J Kean” sign above front entrance;
- all interior features that are representative of a traditional outport shop, and;
- dimension, location and orientation of building.

Location and History

Community Brookfield
Municipality Town of New-Wes-Valley
Construction 1890 - 1890
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
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