Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site of Canada
Bethune Memorial House
Maison Commémorative Bethune
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site, the original manse of Knox Presbyterian Church, is located in the older residential district of Gravenhurst, Ontario.
Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site of Canada was commemorated in 1996 because:
- as a memorial, it embodies and interprets the national historic significance of Dr. Norman Bethune,
- as a memorial, it embodies and interprets his ancestral roots, formative years as a minister's son in small-town Ontario, love of the outdoors and restless mobility, and
- as his birthplace, a site valued and revered in China, it captures the symbolic significance of Dr. Bethune to the Chinese.
The heritage value of this site resides in its associations with Dr. Norman Bethune and its illustration of his childhood environment. The Bethune family only lived in this house a short time (1890-1893) before moving on to a new parish in another small Ontario town. Dr. Norman Bethune is revered by the Chinese for the time he spent in China serving on battlefields, training medical personnel, and setting up medical programs and hospitals. He is considered a role model by Chinese society.
Source: HSMBC Minutes, June 1996.
The features of the house which remain consistent with the Bethune period of occupancy (1890-1893), including:
- the simple L-shaped asymmetrical massing and modest scale of the house,
- the vertical emphasis of its design, enhanced by a steeply pitched roof,
- the longstanding features which enrich its design (symmetrical window placement, bay windows, ornamental porch and vergeboard),
- the modest original wood materials of the exterior (clapboard siding, wood details, windows),
- the intact original features of the house interior (layout around an entrance hall and stairs, undisturbed surfaces of most rooms),
- its setting in a small scale residential neighbourhood with tree-lined streets,
- the continuity of the memorial's setting which has changed little since Dr. Bethune was born there.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1890/01/01 to 1893/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Canada and the World
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Commemorative Monument
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
Sited in a landscaped garden amongst mature trees in a residential Gravenhurst neighbourhood, Bethune House is an attractive L-shaped, timber structure. Its gable roof is steeply…