Home / Accueil

Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Upper Barn, Office and Shed Municipal Heritage Site

Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/09/09

View of the front and right facades of Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Chamberlains, Conception Bay South, NL. Photo taken 2009. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2009
Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn
View of the left and front facades of Metcalfe Upper Barn, Chamberlains, Conception Bay South, NL. Photo taken 2009. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2009
Metcalfe Upper Barn
View of the right facade of Metcalfe Shed and the front facade of Metcalfe Office, Chamberlains, Conception Bay South, NL. Photo taken 2009. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2009
Metcalfe Shed and Office

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/11/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Dating to the mid 1900s, Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Upper Barn, Office and Shed are four, wooden-frame buildings situated on a hill overlooking Chamberlains, Conception Bay South, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the slaughter house and barn, the upper barn, the office and the storage shed.

Heritage Value

Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Upper Barn, Office and Shed have been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Conception Bay South due to their aesthetic, historic and cultural values.

Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Upper Barn, Office and Shed have aesthetic value as good representative examples of the type of buildings used by local butchers in the Conception Bay South area. There are very few examples of a commercial agricultural property such as this with its outbuildings still remaining. The largest building is the slaughter house and the office is the smallest. All have low pitch gable roofs and are painted in a red and white colour scheme - the traditional colours for outbuildings in the region. Enhancing the aesthetic value is the context in which the buildings are located. Situated on a hill overlooking the waters off Chamberlains, the buildings exist in a very traditional setting, with outbuildings in close proximity to each other and close to the family home. The outbuildings on the Metcalfe property were designed for practical use - employing rough materials, simple design elements and utilitarian construction techniques.

Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Upper Barn, Office and Shed have historical value as they are a physical reminder of a way of life once common in the Conception Bay South area. Nicholas Metcalfe (1879-1937) was the first generation of this family to set up a butchering operation. He had a small slaughterhouse, locally referred to as a shamel. His son Thomas (1906-1983) built the bigger slaughterhouse that stands today and Thomas’ son David continued the business until the mid 1990s. The Metcalfes received hundreds of cattle from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - by boat in the early years, then by train and later by truck. Along with supplying their own meat market called “Metcalfe and Roberts” on New Gower Street in St. John’s, they also supplied supermarkets run by the Ayres company. They also dealt with independent farmers from Topsail to Bay Roberts who travelled around the Avalon Peninsula selling vegetables, eggs and meat products. Known individually as the “Meat Man,” these farmers would buy cattle from the Metcalfes at auctions held on the property. They would arrive at the office on Mondays to pay for their purchases, often settling their bill after they had sold their products. The Metcalfes would butcher the animals and often store the meat on their premises until it was picked up by the farmers. Three men worked full time at the slaughter house butchering the animals and preparing the hides for shipment to shoe makers in Montreal. Throughout the year, several young men were also hired to help herd the cattle from Talc Ville in Long Pond to the Metcalfe’s barn, where they were auctioned off.

Metcalfe Slaughter House and Barn, Upper Barn, Office and Shed have cultural value as they are physical reminders of an earlier time and place. Butchering and farming were once essential occupations in the Conception Bay South area. With the introduction of chain supermarkets and competition from mainland suppliers, local meat production lessened. Local butchering operations like the Metcalfe’s began to shut down. The collection of outbuildings at the Metcalfe property is a lasting testament to this important era in Conception Bay South’s history.

Source: Town of Conception Bay South Regular Council Meeting Motion 08-353 September 9, 2008.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which contribute to the aesthetic, historic and cultural value of the property, including:
- low pitch gable roofs;
- number of storeys;
- wooden clapboard;
- corner boards;
- red and white colour scheme on exterior walls;
- window size, style, trim and placement;
- size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
- dimensions, locations and orientations of buildings, and;
- association with the Metcalfe family.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date

2008/09/09

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type

Current

Residence
Outbuilding

Historic

Industry
Animal Products Processing Facility

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Thomas Metcalfe

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

NL-4551

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

SEARCH THE CANADIAN REGISTER

Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Find Nearby PlacesFIND NEARBY PLACES PrintPRINT
Nearby Places