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Rural Retreat (Peach's Farm) Registered Heritage Structure

Rural Retreat (Peach's Farm), Carbonear, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) is a two storey, hipped roof, Georgian style house prominently located on a high hill on a large expanse of farmland in Carbonear, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the house.

Heritage Value

Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1985 due to its aesthetic and historic value.

Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) has aesthetic value because it is an outport example of a Georgian style, wooden frame house constructed in the early 1800s. The house is capped with a high hipped roof with two chimneys projecting through the ridge. On the front facade is a unique two storey staircase bay for the interior circular stairs, which is unusual for outport homes of the time. Built by the original owner, Robert Pack, this house was constructed to reflect wealth and social status. Therefore, the details used in construction and decoration show this significance. It resembles many of the finer homes once used by St. John’s upper class, though it is unusual to see this style in an outport.

Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) has further aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. It is located on a large expanse of prime farmland in a community that has based much of its economy from the ocean. Because it was one of only a few farms in the area it provided essential foods to the local people. Situated on high, rolling hills the house is a significant landmark that can be seen from the ocean and almost anywhere in Carbonear.

Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) has historic value because it has been an institution in the area since the early 1830's. This property is one of the oldest surviving farms in Carbonear and area, and is significant for this.

It also has historic value because of its association with Robert Pack. The house was built for Pack who was one of Carbonear’s principal merchants. He was an important and respected figure in the town. By 1835 he began cultivating the land for farming and the surrounding area became a frequent site for Sunday School picnics. Pack was locally known for his generosity and was twice elected to the Newfoundland Legislature.

Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) has further historic value because of its association with the Peach family. Robert Pack sold the property to English born Carbonear Methodist minister, Rev. John S. Peach in 1867. Peach had appointments in several Newfoundland communities, ministering in such places as Freshwater, Old Perlican, Burgeo, Grand Bank, and Twillingate. Peach held several prominent positions in the Methodist Church throughout his career. While he was fulfilling his church obligations his son James maintained Rural Retreat, and upon his passing in 1891 the farm was passed on to James. He carried on mixed farming until 1932 when his daughter took over the farming obligations. They provided milk to the community for over 35 years from this farm and each generation of the family has forage farmed up to and including the present day. Rural Retreat has been in the Peach family for more than 138 years, and through five generations.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Carbonear - Rural Retreat (Peach’s Farm) – FPT 1505”

Character Defining Elements

All those elements that define the 19th century farm house with Georgian style architecture, including:
-wooden frame construction;
-high hipped roof;
-two chimneys projecting from the roof ridge;
-single hung 6/6 windows;
-staircase bay;
-two storey bay at rear;
-hipped dormers, and;
-orientation, location, dimensions.

Location and History

Community Carbonear
Municipality Town of Carbonear
Significant 1830 - 1833
Robert Pack
Style Georgian
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade