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Randell House Registered Heritage Structure

Randell House, Port Rexton, NL
Randell House, Port Rexton, NL
Randell House, Port Rexton, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

The Randell House is a two-and-a-half storey, saltbox style house located in Ship Cove, Port Rexton. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Randell House has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador because of its historical and architectural values.

Historically, this house is of importance because of the prominent figures associated with it. Captain Isaac Robert Randell, son of the second John Randell, was born in this house in 1871. In his lifetime he was the master of a number of ships, and led several Arctic voyages for the Canadian government. He also served two terms as a member of the House of Assembly and was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1931. Another prominent citizen, Mary Patience, sister of Capitan Isaac Robert Randell, lived in this house for many years. During the First World War she served as a nurse and, upon her returning to Newfoundland, she worked as a teacher. Additionally, Mary Patience used a portion of this house as a post office and telegraph office, the first of its kind in Port Rexton.

Architecturally this house is significant to the area because it is one of the few surviving Saltbox style houses in the region. Built in 1852, this house was constructed using mortise & tendon stud framing while the linhay was constructed using balloon framing. The exterior design is simplistic with a symmetrical front façade, reflective of the outport construction mentality at the time. John Randell, son of the original owner of the house, made several changes to the interior of the property including the removal of a stairway and a large central fireplace. On the exterior he added a front porch, complete with stain glass windows. In the following years, after the house became the property of Mary Patience, a bay window was added to the front of the house. Decorative eaves brackets were added along the roofline of the bay window, adding to the visual appeal of the front façade. From 1943 until 1995 the house was uninhabited and fell in to structural despair, that is until Florence Severs bought it and began to restore it back to its former condition. In 2000, Florence Severs was awarded the Southcott Award for Restoration by the Newfoundland Historic Trust for her work in preserving and restoring the property.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “ Port Rexton - Randell House – FPT 1608”

Character Defining Elements

All elements that define the buidling's Saltbox design including:
- saltbox roof;
- symmetrical facade;
- window placement;
- porch and Bay window additions;
- narrow clapboard;
- wooden shingles on roof;
- original windows and doors;
- stain glass windows in porch;
- simplicity of exterior detailing;
- location within the town, unimpeded view of town.

Location and History

Community Port Rexton
Municipality Town of Port Rexton
Civic Address Ship Cove
Construction (circa) 1852 - 1852
Isaac Randell
Isaac Randell
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade