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Chisholm House Municipal Heritage Site

Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/06/15

View of the front and right facades of Chisholm House, Manuels, CBS, NL. Photo taken 2009. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2010
Chisholm House, Manuels, CBS, NL
View of the front facade of Chisholm House, Manuels, CBS, NL. Photo taken 2009. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2010
Chisholm House, Manuels, CBS, NL
View of the front facade of Chisholm House, Manuels, CBS, NL prior to renovations. Photo taken 2004.; HFNL 2010
Chisholm House, Manuels, CBS, NL

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Influenced by Victorian Gothic style elements, Chisholm House is a two-storey, wooden house with a steep gable roof, two-storey bay windows with pedimented roofs and a cross-gable on the rear façade. It is located at 45 Conception Bay Highway in Manuels, Conception Bay South, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Chisholm House was designated a municipal heritage building by the Town of Conception Bay South due to its historic and aesthetic value.

Chisholm House has historic value due to its association with Nova Scotia-born physician Dr. Archibald (Arch) Chisholm. Dr. Chisholm came to Newfoundland in the 1890s on a summer relief position for his cousin Jim, who was a doctor in Brigus. Unfortunately, Jim drowned in Sydney, Nova Scotia while on his summer vacation. Arch stayed on in Newfoundland and set up his own practice. He served patients from Manuels to the Bay of Islands, travelling on the railroad that snaked across the island of Newfoundland. It is said that on one of his journeys he attended to a woman giving birth in Gambo, and that the child he delivered was Joseph Smallwood, who would later bring Newfoundland into the Canadian confederation and become Newfoundland’s first premier. On October 7, 1928, Dr. Chisholm died of a heart attack. Then in his late 60s, the doctor was still seeing patients, and on this day he was in Whitbourne on route to a medical emergency in New Harbour, Trinity Bay. A contemporary of his wrote in The Daily News of October 11, 1928 that Dr. Chisholm’s death was “a national loss” and that “from St. John’s to Port aux Basques his name is held in reverence by all with whom he came in contact.” The article goes on to describe the doctor’s work: “In a dingy freight car, or with the engine crew on a locomotive he made his way back and forth among his patients. Many a night he knew no other pillow than the hard bench in some little wayside railway station…Such a man was Dr. Archibald Chisholm, a credit, and an honour to his country, and his high calling. Among the truly great of Newfoundland and the Empire the name of Archibald Chisholm will hold high place. His is a name worthy to be placed with that of Grenfell of Labrador and other noble characters who have devoted time and talent to the service of man, and of God.”

Chisholm House has aesthetic value as a good example of an early 20th century home with Victorian Gothic influences. Designed by Margaret (McNeill) Chisholm, wife of Dr. Archibald Chisholm, this steeply pitched, gable roofed house also features a cross-gable on the rear façade. The front façade has a pair of two-storey, three-sided bays with classical, pedimented roofs. A sunroom on one gable end is balanced by a small porch on the opposite gable, offering a symmetrical appearance to the front façade.

Source: Town of Conception Bay South Regular Council Meeting Motion #99-419 June 15, 1999.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which represent the aesthetic value of Chisholm House, including:
-steeply pitched gable roof;
- cross-gable on rear façade;
- number of storeys;
- narrow wooden clapboard;
- two-storey, three-sided bay;
- pedimented bay roof;
- window size, style, trim and placement;
- size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
- sunroom;
- enclosed side porch, and;
- dimension, location and orientation of building.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Margaret McNeill Chisholm



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
1 Springdale Street
St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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