Links and documents
1931/01/01 to 1934/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Fjordheim is the former home of Captain Olaf Olsen and the current location of the Tea Garden Restaurant at 328 Conception Bay Highway, Holyrood. The municipal heritage designation includes the remaining, original portion of the Olsen house and the former maid house located on the property, as well as the concrete posts and the rock wall with its arched entry made of whale bones at the entrance to the grounds from the road.
The Fjordheim Property has historic value for its association with the Carroll family of Holyrood and with Captain Olaf Olsen.
The property was once owned by the entrepreneurial Carroll family, who operated a substantial fishing supply business from the waterside of the property. The local bait fishery was an historically important industry in Holyrood, offering a supply of species including caplin, herring and squid to fishing vessels stopping at Holyrood. The Carrolls supplied bait and ice for the Labrador and Grand Bank fisheries, and Jack Carroll eventually started the first mechanical cold storage facility in Newfoundland in another location in Holyrood.
Jack Carroll sold what became Fjordheim to his prominent friend Olaf Olsen (1881-1945), a Norwegian fishing captain and businessman who was also involved with the cold storage facility at Holyrood. As well as being active in the whaling and sealing industries, Olsen acted as consul to Newfoundland for Sweden and Norway and vice-consul for Latvia and Finland. He was awarded the Latvian Order of the Three Stars in 1939, and deemed a Knight of the Order of St. Olav by King Haaken VI of Norway.
The house at Fjordheim, which translates roughly as “harbour home,” befitting its location, was built in 1931 by locals Theo and John LaCour as Olsen’s country retreat. The original building was a wooden, single storey house with a gable roof with projecting eaves with exposed purlins. These features are typical of a type of vernacular architecture of Norway. The original house has been much added on to since, but a portion of the original building is still visible at the front facade. The original maid’s quarters at the rear right of the building remains. This is a small, wooden building whose design echoes the original house, notably in its roof and eaves.
The most striking original feature of the property is the entrance comprised of a rock wall with an arch constructed from a pair of right whale lower jawbones. The wall was erected in 1934 by William (Bill) Crawley and Steve Austin using stone gathered around the grounds of the property. Olsen had the bones shipped from one of his whaling stations. Closer to the road, a pair of ornamental concrete posts also remain.
Source: Town of Holyrood town council meeting minutes of 2008/05/13
All those exterior elements connected to the historic significance and unique features of the property, including:
-remaining original portion of Olsen’s house, including portion of facade and the projecting eaves with visible purlins;
-original maid’s house, including its dimensions, wood sheathing, window placement and gable roof with projecting eaves with visible purlins;
-rock wall of fieldstone with whalebone arch entrance;
-and the concrete posts near road.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Eating or Drinking Establishment
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Holyrood
P.O. Box 100
Holyrood, NL A0A 2R0
Cross-Reference to Collection