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Miller House Municipal Heritage Site

Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/12/15

View of the front facade of the Miller House, Topsail, CBS, NL as it appears from Topsail Beach. Photo taken 2010. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2010
Miller House, Topsail, CBS, NL
View of the rear and left facades of the Miller House, Topsail, CBS, NL as they appear from Topsail Road. Photo taken 2010. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2010
Miller House, Topsail, CBS, NL
View of the right facade of the Miller House, Topsail, CBS, NL showing the side porch. Photo taken 2010. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2010
Miller House, Topsail, CBS, NL

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Miller House, constructed in the late 1800s, is a two-storey structure built in Second Empire style with a mansard roof and second storey dormers. It is located at 2342 Topsail Road in Topsail, Conception Bay South, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Miller House has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Conception Bay South because of its aesthetic and historic values.

The Miller House has aesthetic value as a good example of Second Empire style housing in Conception Bay South. This style is also referred to as Southcott style, after architect John Thomas Southcott who popularized the style in St. John’s following the Great Fire of 1892. The house was built circa 1890 by Ananias Miller. The Miller House retains some features of Second Empire styling, including the mansard roof with dormers. Of particular note are the mansard dormers - a rare dormer type not typically used on Second Empire style houses. The house sits on a rock foundation that extends several feet below ground. Much of this underground space was traditionally used as a root cellar for crops grown on the family’s land. A twelve foot well was also accessed in the cellar.

The Miller House has additional aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. Located on a mature plot, the house overlooks the waters off Topsail and offers a spectacular view of Conception Bay. Rather than being oriented to the highway, the main façade of the Miller House faces Topsail Beach, in keeping with an early outport tradition of facing homes towards the sea.

The Miller House has historical value as it is a physical reminder of a way of life once common in the region. The house was home to Ananias and Emma Miller and, like many families in the region, the Millers earned a living through a combination of fishing and farming. The Miller family raised cattle, sheep and horses along with growing root crops. Vegetable gardens and grazing land once occupied the lands around the Miller House – a typical land use pattern in what was a fishing and farming community. Ananias and Emma’s descendents fished and farmed from this house until the early 1970s.

Source: Town of Conception Bay South Regular Council Meeting Motion #09-519 December 15, 2009.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which represent the aesthetic value of the Miller House, including:

-number of storeys;
-mansard roof;
- placement and style of mansard dormers on second storey;
- dormer window size and style;
-return on the eaves;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-corner boards;
-window style, size, trim and placement;
-size, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-transom window on main façade, 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

Peopling the Land
People and the Environment

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer



Ananias Miller

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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