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Adams Home Registered Heritage Structure

Adams Home, Cape Onion, NL
Adams Home, Cape Onion, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

Built in 1890, Adams Home is located at Cape Onion, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula. Adams Home is an example of a typical turn of the century merchant/fisherman’s house in rural Newfoundland. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Adams Home was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1989 due to its historic and aesthetic value.

Adams Home has historic value because it is likely the oldest structure in the Cape Onion region. Built in 1890 by William Adams, the house is historically valuable for its longstanding association with the Adams family. The Adams family was one of the most well known families on the Great Northern Peninsula. In particular, both Henry and Ross Adams were noteworthy as master boat builders, merchants and fishermen. Moreover, the two operated a general store in Cape Onion for a number of years and Ross was responsible for bringing the first telephone line to Cape Onion and served as the region’s first social worker. The Adams Home was known in the community as a place for visitors to stay and one of the more famous visitors to the house was Sir Wilfred Grenfell.

Adams Home has aesthetic value because it serves as an excellent example of a typical merchant/ fisherman’s house in rural Newfoundland. The use of local materials in building the house was also typical in rural Newfoundland. The house has a number of unique architectural features that contribute to its value including a loft above the kitchen that was used by Henry Adams as a net loft. Furthermore, the symmetry of the front facade is indicative of the fact that two families once lived in this house. There were two parlours in the house and each had a bay window, there were also two kitchens so that each family could have their own space.

The Adams Home has further aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. The location of Adams Home near the water is important in considering the context of the structure. The proximity to the water made the wharves and stages easily accessible to the family.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Cape Onion - Adams Home – FPT 1499”

Character Defining Elements

All those exterior features which contribute to the aesthetic value of the structure, including:
-location of structure;
-wooden roof shingles;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-window shape, style and placement;
-diamond shaped window in attic;
-steep gable roofline;
-local materials, and;
-3 bay front facade.

Location and History

Community Cape Onion
Significant 1890 - 1899
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
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