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Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 Municipal Heritage Site

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4, Bonavista, NL
 Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4, Bonavista, NL
Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4, Bonavista, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Description of Historic Place

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4, also referred to as the Orange Hall, is located at 012-014 Sweetland’s Hill, Bonavista, NL. The hall is a prominent, wooden, two-storey, gable and hipped roofed building with a four-storey domed roof tower. The municipal heritage designation is confined to footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Bonavista due to its historical, aesthetic and cultural values.

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 is historically valuable for its association with the Loyal Orange Association, a fraternal organization whose lodges began to spring up in Newfoundland during the nineteenth century. The Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 in Bonavista is the largest of its kind in Newfoundland and has been called “the most remarkable in the Orange world” by historians. It is likely that during the early twentieth century, at 475 members, it had the largest membership of any Orange Lodge in North America.

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 also has historic value for its association with the Fishermen’s Protective Union, a fraternal/occupational benevolent organization founded in the Trinity Bay area of Newfoundland. The Lodge was the site of the 1912 annual meeting of the FPU where Sir William Coaker presented the “Bonavista Platform.” The document served as the FPU’s political, economic, and social manifesto, demanding changes in the structure of the fishery, government and Newfoundland society.

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 has aesthetic value as one of the finest examples of fraternal hall architecture in Newfoundland, and may be the largest gathering hall constructed of wood in Canada. It is a two storey building with a four storey domed-roof tower at the front, and a steep gabled roof that intersects with a hipped roof at the rear of the building.

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 is also has aesthetic value due to its associations with Ronald Strathie, the most prominent member of the Strathie family of builders, who also designed and constructed a number of other significant buildings in the Bonavista area. The building’s interior provides an excellent example of Strathie’s style of craftsmanship.

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 has further aesthetic value as a well recognized landmark. The size of the Lodge makes it an enduring landmark on Bonavista’s cultural landscape, and fishermen of the community are said to have used it to guide their boats back into the harbour from the fishing grounds.

Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 has cultural value as it has been a centre of social activity in Bonavista since its construction, used for public functions including concerts and plays. On a broader scale, the physical size of the Loyal Orange Lodge as well as its historically large membership gives testimony to Bonavista’s status as Newfoundland’s largest and most prosperous inshore fishing town during the early twentieth century.

Source: Town of Bonavista Town Council meeting minutes of 2006/08/14

Character Defining Elements

Exterior elements including:

-institutional scale and appearance of the building;
-building height and dimensions;
-gable and hip roof lines;
-clapboard sheathing;
-tower with domed roof;
-arched window in tower;
-window shape, style and placement;
-and the location of building within Bonavista.

Notes of Interest

Location and History

Community Bonavista
Municipality Town of Bonavista
Civic Address 012-014 Sweetland's Hill
Construction 1907 - 1907
Ronald Strathie
Style Victorian Eclectic
Building Plan Rectangular Short Façade
Website Link