Alphaeus Barbour House Registered Heritage Structure
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Description of Historic Place
The Alphaeus Barbour House is a large Queen Anne style, two-and-a-half house in Newtown, NL. The designation is confined to the property.
The Alphaeus Barbour House was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1986 because of its historic, aesthetic and cultural value.
The Alphaeus Barbour House has historic value due to its association with the Barbour Family. Built in 1904, this house originally belonged to Captain Alphaeus Barbour, one of Benjamin Barbour's sons. The Barbours were considered one of the most important sealing families in Bonavista Bay. Fourteen of the descendants of Benjamin Barbour became captains and ten of those were sealing captains. The Barbours were also involved in trades outside the sealing industry. Most were involved in the fishery, especially the Labrador fishery. The family also established and maintained a business in Newtown, until the early 1990s. As well, the family operated a passenger boat service from 1942 until a road connected all the settlements it serviced. All of this made the Barbours vital to the economic well-being of the small community.
The Alphaeus Barbour house has aesthetic value as it is an outstanding example of Queen Anne Revival style. Being the largest single family dwelling in Newtown, the house speaks of the immense wealth of the owners. Following the Queen Anne style, the house features an irregular roof line and a variety of window shapes and sizes, set in an asymmetrical pattern. Bay windows, floral glass work and two large conical towers reflect, again, the economic standing of the occupants.
The Alphaeus Barbour house has great cultural value within the community of Newtown. One of the most intricately-designed houses along the northern Bonavista Bay shoreline, it has been the subject of paintings by famed Newfoundland painter, David Blackwood. Built on a hill close to the water, it once overlooked many stages and wharves and was a landmark for fisherman at sea. Today it serves as an interpretation center for the community and local tourists interested in the development of Newtown.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Newtown - Alphaeus Barbour House – FPT 1462”
Character Defining Elements
All original features of the house which relate to age, location and construction in the Queen Anne style, including:
- Irregular roof line including dormers
- Two towers
- Narrow clapboard
- Asymmetrical window placement
- All original windows
- All original doors
- Ornate decoration typical of Queen Anne style
- Large pediment over partially enclosed porch
- Two toned paint scheme typical of Queen Anne style
- Location on land in relation to water
- Unimpeded view of harbour
- Fencing surrounding property
Location and History