Isaac Smith House is an early nineteenth-century residence with a steep pitch gable roof and a rear linhay. Located in Battle Harbour, NL this building was built on a grassy hill near the road and is between the Grenfell Cottage and the Ranger Station. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Isaac Smith House was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008 for its aesthetic and historic value.
Isaac Smith House has aesthetic value as a good surviving example of a traditional, modified saltbox. A steep pitch gable roof, sheathed in wooden shingles and punctuated by a single centre chimney, is met at the rear by a shed-roofed linhay built some time after original construction. This house was built with balloon frame construction and the major wooden members are secured by mortise and tenon joinery. While not a true saltbox, it derives from that style. The narrow wooden clapboard, wooden 6/6 windows and wooden plank door are typical features for this type of building. The lack of ornamentation or detail suggests the owner was not of the merchant class.
Isaac Smith House has further aesthetic value for its contribution to the cultural landscape of Battle Harbour. The house is representative of the community and its origins as a fishing port. It resides in the collective memories of the community as a physical symbol of Battle Harbour’s beginnings. I
Isaac Smith House has historic value due to its age. Built sometime between 1830 and 1850, this house is the oldest standing residence in Battle Harbour. Local tradition says the house was built by George Smith, Isaac’s father. Isaac Smith, for whom the house is named, was born in the house, and it is he who is most associated with the building.
Isaac Smith House also has historic value because of its associations with the development of the community of Battle Harbour. The mercantile saltfish premises at Battle Harbour were established by the firm of John Slade and Company of Poole, England in the early 1770s. As the community developed, offering shelter, trading posts and commercial opportunities, the local population increased and Battle Harbour eventually became known as the regional capital. The Isaac Smith House represents the pioneers who first set down roots by building permanent residences.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Battle Harbour – Issac Smith House – FPT 4347”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements of 19th-century vernacular, outport architecture, including:
-mortise and tenon joinery;
-steep pitch gable roof with wooden shingles;
-central, single chimney extending above the roof ridge;
-narrow, wooden clapboard;
-6/6 wooden windows and their original openings;
-wooden, four panel doors and their original openings;
-wide, flat mouldings around windows and doors;
-wide corner boards;
-rear linhay with a shed roof and small 2/2 wooden windows;
-the wooden, four panel door in the linhay, and;
-absence of ornamentation or decoration on the exterior.
Location and History
Not specified (Labrador)
1830 - 1850
Rectangular Long Façade