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Gorman/Hynes House Municipal Heritage Site

Harbour Breton, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/07/22

View of the front and right facades of the Gorman/Hynes House, Harbour Breton, NL.; Doug Wells 2009
Gorman/Hynes House, Harbour Breton, NL
View of the front facade of the Gorman/Hynes House, Harbour Breton, NL.; Doug Wells 2009
Gorman/Hynes House, Harbour Breton, NL
View of detailing on the Gorman/Hynes House, Harbour Breton, NL.; Doug Wells 2009
Gorman/Hynes House, Harbour Breton, NL

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/09/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Gorman/Hynes House, constructed in 1912, is a two-storey structure built in the Second Empire style with a Mansard roof, second-storey bonnetted dormers, and first-storey bay windows. It is located at 10 Gorman Place in The Arm area of Harbour Breton, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Gorman/Hynes House has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Harbour Breton because of its aesthetic and historic values.

The Gorman/Hynes House has aesthetic value as a good example of Second Empire style housing, which is also referred to as Southcott Style, after architect John Thomas Southcott who popularized the style in Newfoundland following the St. John's Great Fire of 1892. The house was built in 1912 by local builder Mr. Julian Augot, known locally as Junior Augot, for the local customs officer, Mr. James B. Gorman. The Gorman/Hynes House retains many features of Second Empire styling, including the Mansard roof with dormers, three-sided bays on the first storey, decorative brackets and ornamental mouldings. The house is the only example of the Second Empire style in Harbour Breton and is a rarity in the region.

The Gorman/Hynes House has historical value because of its association with notable Harbour Breton residents, particularly customs officer James B. Gorman and Mr. David G. King, the first mayor of Harbour Breton and long-time school teacher who lived in the house in the 1930s. In 1945, the Gormans sold the house to Mr. Stephen Hynes of Harbour Breton. Two years later, Stephen married Melita Barnes from Brunette Island. They had eight girls and four boys, all who were raised in this house. On October 22, 1964, Stephen died suddenly at the age of 44 years and Melita was left to raise the family on her own. At the time, the oldest child was 18 years old and the youngest was 18 months.

The Gorman/Hynes House has further historic value due to its connection to a significant event in Harbour Breton’s past. The house was originally located on the south side of the community, where a tragic landslide occurred on August 1, 1973. The landslide was dangerously close to the Gorman/Hynes House (then occupied by the Hynes family) and the area near the house was considered at risk for future slides. Melita Hynes was given a choice of taking her house down or having it moved to a new location in town. In 1974, preparations were made to move the house to The Arm area, on a parcel of land set aside for homes relocated from nearby communities as a part of the provincial government sponsored resettlement program. By November of the same year, Melita and her family moved back into their relocated home, on a street fittingly named “Gorman Place” after the original owner of the house, James B. Gorman.

Source: Town of Harbour Breton Regular Council Meeting Motion #09-049 July 22, 2009.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which represent the aesthetic value of the Gorman/Hynes House, including:

-number of storeys;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-moulded corner boards resembling columns;
-mansard roof;
-cornice mouldings along eaves;
-eaves brackets;
-return on the eaves;
-3 semicircular dormers on second storey main façade;
-gingerbread detailing on dormers;
-window style, size, trim and placement;
-one-storey, three-sided bay windows (including paneling details and wide mouldings);
-size, style, trim and placement of rectangular main door with panel detailing, large mouldings; resembling columns, brackets, sidelights and transom window, 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



Julian Augot

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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