Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
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.
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.
All those elements which represent the aesthetic value of the Miller House, including:
-number of storeys;
- placement and style of mansard dormers on second storey;
- dormer window size and style;
-return on the eaves;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-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
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- People and the Environment
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
1 Springdale Street
St. John's, NL A1C 5V5
Cross-Reference to Collection