Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital is a multi-storey, multi-gabled wooden structure with a white exterior, located on Hospital Road in Norris Point, NL. The designation is limited to the footprint of the hospital building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Norris Point due to its historic and aesthetic value.
Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital has historic value as one of several cottage hospitals established by the Commission of Government (1934-1949) to provide public health services in rural Newfoundland. Construction began at Norris Point in 1939 on a budget of ten thousand dollars. The hospital opened that same year, though some construction continued into 1940. The facility served communities from Belburns to Trout River until its closure in 2001, making the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital one of the longest serving hospital facilities of its era and type in the province.
Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital also has historic value within its region due to its connection with the local citizens who established and operated it. William Prebble, the son of medical practitioners in the region and himself a noted lay practitioner as well as a prominent local businessman, donated the six acres of land on which Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital was erected. Prebble was also the hospital’s first Secretary-Treasurer. James Shears of Rocky Harbour was employed to oversee construction, while volunteers from the Bonne Bay region supplied the required lumber and labor.
Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital also has aesthetic value. Although extensive additions and alterations have been made to the structure and sheathing of the hospital building over the years, the building retains its original form. The design of a central, three-storey section with a mid-pitch peaked roof, flanked by two-storey wings with low-pitch peaked roofs, all with rectangular windows, is from building plans supplied by the Commission of Government. Some original interior features, including narrow wooden staircases, doors, moldings and low ceilings also remain.
Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital has further aesthetic value due to its environmental setting and as a familiar local landmark. Its institutional appearance makes it distinctive amongst the area’s buildings, and, given its important original function, it has a significant place in community memory.
Source: Town of Norris Point Council Meeting 2001/03/20.
Character Defining Elements
Exterior elements of the original portion of the hospital as per the Commission of Government cottage hospital building plan, including:
-form, height and number of storeys;
-and the placement and size of windows.
Original interior elements identified within the original portion of the building by the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation, including:
-narrow staircases, including wooden railings, balustrades and newel posts;
-and low ceilings.
Location and History
Town of Norris Point
002-006 Hospital Road
1939 - 1940
James Shears, local volunteers