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Nurse Myra Bennett House Registered Heritage Structure

Nurse Myra Bennett House, Daniel's Harbour, NL
Nurse Myra Bennett House, Daniel's Harbour, NL
Nurse Myra Bennett, Daniel's Harbour, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

The Nurse Myra Bennett House, located in Daniel’s Harbour, NL is a two storey house with a low pitched, hipped roof and was the home of Nurse Myra Bennett and her husband Angus for almost 70 years. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Nurse Myra Bennett House was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1991 due to its historic and aesthetic value.

The Nurse Myra Bennett House has historic value for its association with Nurse Myra Bennett. Nurse Bennett was born in London, England – where she trained as a nurse and midwife. In 1921 she accepted a position as district nurse on the Great Northern Peninsula. She had initially intended on travelling to Saskatchewan, until she became aware of the dire need for nurses in rural Newfoundland. Nurse Bennett was responsible for providing medical attention to people in communities from Bonne Bay and north. Nurse Bennett’s reputation as a caregiver preceded her and she soon became known throughout the region simply as “the nurse.” It has been said that during her career as a nurse in Newfoundland she delivered over 5000 babies and extracted over 3000 teeth. Often referred to as the “Florence Nightingale of Newfoundland,” her story has been told in articles, books, documentaries and plays. The Nurse Myra Bennett House was home to Nurse Bennett and her husband Angus for almost 70 years and the house also held a small clinic that Nurse Bennett used to treat patients in the area. The house was also a place for travellers to stay, including members of the Grenfell Mission during the winter. The Nurse Myra Bennett House stands as a physical testament to her legacy.

The Nurse Myra Bennett House has aesthetic value as it is a good example of an owner built house in rural Newfoundland. Built by Nurse Bennett’s husband, Angus the house has few remaining contemporaries in Daniel’s Harbour and in its day it was likely an ambitious project for a resident of this community. It is a conventional double-bayed, stick framed dwelling with a low pitch, hipped roof with an attached clinic that is representative of the way in which the Bennetts lived, there was no distinction between work and home.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Daniel’s Harbour - Nurse Myra Bennett House – FPT 1528”

Character Defining Elements

All those features of the building which speak to its simple, vernacular design, including:
-low pitched, hipped roof;
-attached clinic;
-three bay front façade;
-single hung 1/1 windows;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-hipped roof bays;
-building height, massing, and dimensions; and,
-wooden construction.

Location and History

Community Daniel's Harbour
Municipality Town of Daniel's Harbour
Construction 1921 - 1924
Builder
Angus Bennett
Style 20th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Short Façade
Website Link http://www.nursebennett.ca/