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St. Anne's Church Registered Heritage Structure

St. Anne's Church, Little Fogo Island, NL
St. Anne's Church, Little Fogo Island, NL
St. Anne's Church, Little Fogo Island, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

St. Anne’s Church is a one storey wooden church located in the resettled community of Little Fogo Islands. Built in 1873, St. Anne’s Church was built as a multi-denominational place of worship by the people of Little Fogo Islands. This designation is restricted to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

St. Anne’s Church was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1995 due to its historic, aesthetic, cultural and spiritual value.

St. Anne’s Church has historic value as one of the few remaining remnants of the community of Little Fogo Islands. Little Fogo Islands is a community that was resettled in the early 20th century, approximately 20 years before the period of government sponsored resettlement in the province. The last permanent family in Little Fogo Islands resettled to Joe Batt’s Arm in 1937 leaving the community empty. St. Anne’s Church is representative of the resettlement that occurred throughout Newfoundland during the 20th century.

St. Anne’s Church has aesthetic value for its simplicity and as an excellent example of a well-preserved mission church. The construction of St. Anne’s Church is simple yet sturdy; it was built to withstand the elements of the harsh Newfoundland climate. The church was built completely by hand by the people of Little Fogo Islands. The church has remained unaltered for over 130 years and this is a testament to the quality of craftsmanship of the local people who built the church.

This church employs the uncommon construction technique of using trunnels. Trunnels are wooden pegs often known as “tree nails.” Holes were bored in the framing timbers and the trunnels were then used to fasten the timbers together. The 6 windows in the church were also made locally. The simple rectangular design of the church is important as it does not reflect any particular denomination and is in turn a testament to the fact that the church was multi-denominational. The church was built to be functional not ornate, and the simple design is reflective of this goal.

St. Anne’s Church has further aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. Located on a high hill in the middle of Little Fogo Islands, it was an important landmark in the community. The Church is visible throughout the community and from sea. It was traditionally used by fishermen for marking fishing grounds and navigating through rocks and shoals. In foggy weather, the local people rang the bell to help guide fishermen back into the harbour.

St. Anne’s Church has cultural value as it is a physical representation of community effort. The community members saw the need for a place of worship and worked together to achieve this goal. The people of the community donated the materials and labour to build this church and this is representative of the community spirit in Little Fogo Island.

St. Anne’s Church has spiritual value as an example of a multi-denominational place of worship. Since the community of Little Fogo Island was quite small there were no churches built in the community. The people of the community wanted a place of worship and were able to see past their religious differences in order to build this church. This is a testament to the importance of religion during this period.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Little Fogo Island - St. Anne's Church – FPT 1584”

Character Defining Elements

All those features that speak to its age, construction, and outport vernacular building design, including:
-wooden trunnel construction;
-returned eaves;
-rectangular layout;
-window style and position; and
-domed ceiling on the interior and interior woodwork.

Location and History

Community Little Fogo Island
Significant 1873 - 1873
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Short Façade