Influenced by Victorian Gothic style elements, Pelley House is a one-and-a-half storey wooden building with a steep gable roof and two-storey bay windows with pedimented roofs. Located in Boyd’s Cove, NL and built in 1917 it is one of few examples of Victorian Gothic style in the region. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Pelley House was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011 due to its aesthetic and historic value.
Pelley House has aesthetic value as a good example of outport merchant class housing from the early 20th century – the scale and style of the house are indicators of the status of the owners. Built by Alexander Coffin of Fogo Island, the home has many features of the Victorian Gothic style, including a steeply pitched gable roof and a pair of two-storey, three-sided bays with classical, pedimented roofs on the front façade. A partially enclosed porch on the right façade is balanced by an open, covered porch on the left façade, offering a symmetrical appearance to the front façade.
Pelley House has historic value due to its association with the 20th century merchant class in the Notre Dame Bay region. The home was built for fish merchant Uriah Freake, who outfitted schooners for the Labrador and French Shore fisheries. In 1921 Freake sold his house and waterfront fishing premises at Boyd’s Cove to Edgar Pelley from Lewisporte. Pelley was a veteran of World War One who had been wounded and received some financial compensation from the government. During the Great Depression fire destroyed the waterfront premises in Boyd’s Cove. Edgar then built a small general store and he and his wife Myrtle Bartlett ran Pelley House as a boarding house. Edgar later became a forest warden, while Myrtle continued to operate the boarding house until Edgar’s death in 1953. For five years following his death, Myrtle became matron of Bishop Jones’ hostel in St. John’s, a boarding house for students attending Bishop Spencer College and teacher training at Memorial University. Myrtle eventually returned to Boyd’s Cove and continued to operate Pelley House as a boarding house until 1974. Many prominent people stayed at Pelley House over the years, including doctors, magistrates, judges, other government officials and visiting professors.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Boyd’s Cove – Pelley House – FPT 1436”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the aesthetic and historic value of Pelley House, including:
-steeply pitched gable roof;
-return on eaves;
-number of storeys;
-chimney style and placement;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-two-storey, three-sided bays;
-pedimented bay roofs;
-decorative clapboard pattern on pediments;
-wooden window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior wooden doors;
-veranda on front façade;
-partially enclosed side porch on right facade;
-open porch and veranda on left façade, and;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.
Location and History
Not specified (Newfoundland)
1917 - 1917
Rectangular Long Façade