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Bernard Kavanagh Premises Municipal Heritage Site

Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/05/02

Southeast facing view of the front facade, Bernard Kavanagh Premises, Ferryland, NL. Photo taken May 2006. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2006
Bernard Kavanagh Premises, Ferryland, NL
Southeast facing view of the front facade, Bernard Kavanagh Premises, Ferryland, NL. Photo taken May 2006. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2006
Bernard Kavanagh Premises, Ferryland, NL
View of the Bernard Kavanagh Premises, Ferryland, NL looking southeast from the Southern Shore Highway. Photo taken May 2006. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2006
Bernard Kavanagh Premises, Ferryland, NL

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/06/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bernard Kavanagh Premises is a two storey wooden structure with a low pitch gable roof. The two storey section that comprises the main facade was built during the 1920s with a large, one storey warehouse section added during the 1930s. A link between these two sections was completed in the 1960s. Located along a cobble beach in Ferryland, NL, the designation includes the building and an associated parcel of land.

Heritage Value

The Bernard Kavanagh Premises has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Ferryland because of its aesthetic, historic and cultural values.

The Bernard Kavanagh Premises has aesthetic value as a representative example of mercantile architecture in the region. Premises of this type were a common site along the Southern Shore during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They were used for the storage of salt fish, which had long been the economic backbone of the region, and often included a shop front for the selling of dry goods and fishery supplies. With the collapse of the salt fish industry, much of this type of architecture disappeared from outports along the Southern Shore.

The Bernard Kavanagh Premises has additional aesthetic value due to its environmental setting and landmark value. Located along the waterside in an area known as The Pool, the Bernard Kavanagh Premises is a well known landmark to residents in the community and in the greater region. This large building is clearly visible from approaches to The Pool and from the Southern Shore Highway. One side of the building runs parallel to a cobble beach, another abuts a public road and an open space to the northwest allows an unrestricted view of the front facade. The islands which dot Ferryland Harbour are clearly visible from this latter elevation as well.

The Bernard Kavanagh Premises has historic value due to its ties with the Goodridge merchant firm and with the fishing industry along the Southern Shore. The premises in The Pool were built by the Goodridge firm circa 1920. The Goodridge family’s involvement in the Newfoundland fishery dates to the first decade of the nineteenth century, when Henry Goodridge of Paignton, Devon established a fishing business at Renews. Over the next century the Goodridge name became well known in mercantile circles, the success of their company reaching favourable highs and crushing lows. By 1917, the Goodridge firm had undergone several reorganizations and Ferryland native son George Carter had become a partner. The Goodridge firm would undergo further restructuring and name changes, including Renews Trading Company (1922) and Tors Cove Trading Company (1926). Around 1936, the newly formed Ferryland Co-op Society (later the Southern Shore Trading Company) acquired the Goodridge premises. In the early 1960s, North East Fisheries of Harbour Grace was operating a fish-buying business at the site. In the early 1970s, Bernard Kavanagh purchased the premises and began a wholesale and retail business, the last commercial enterprise to operate from the site.

The Bernard Kavanagh Premises has cultural value as it is a physical reminder of a particular time and place. Premises like this were focal points in a community, being social gathering places as well as commercial sites. The Bernard Kavanagh Premises supplied not only the community of Ferryland but surrounding settlements as well, providing a place for people to maintain social contacts with acquaintances in neighbouring communities. The varied ownership of the premises is reflective of the economic changes in the region since the mid 1900s. From the time of its construction, the premises has witnessed the shift from an inshore based salt-cod fishery to a fresh fish industry, the cod moratorium and the resultant struggle for diversification in the fishing industry. These changes have had lasting economic, social and cultural effects on outport communities like Ferryland.

Source: Town of Ferryland Regular Council Meeting May 2, 2006

Character-Defining Elements

All original features which relate to the age and style of the building including:
-low pitch gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-corner boards and wide eaves trim;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-simplicity of exterior decoration;
-dimension, location and orientation of premises.

All those environmental features that embody the purpose of the building, including:
-unobstructed view planes to and from premises;
-location and orientation of premises in respect to the surrounding environment;
-the geographical setting of the premises in The Pool; and
-the location along a cobble beach at the edge of Ferryland Harbour.



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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Food Supply
Fisheries Site

Architect / Designer




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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