Newman’s Flagpole Rock Municipal Heritage Site
Harbour Breton, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0H, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located at 9 Newman’s Lookout, Harbour Breton, NL, is a rock outcrop known as Newman’s Flagpole Rock. This rock was the location of Newman and Company’s flagstaff from circa 1790 to circa 1907. The designation is confined to that piece of land known locally as Newman’s Flagpole Rock and a five metre buffer zone extending out from the base of the rock in all directions.
Newman’s Flagpole Rock has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Harbour Breton because of its historic and cultural values.
Newman’s Flagpole Rock has historic value due to its association with Newman and Company, one of the largest English West Country merchant firms to operate in Newfoundland during the nineteenth century. Newman and Company did business with fishermen along the south coast, especially those in Fortune Bay. The firm operated its import and export business in Harbour Breton for over 100 years (circa 1790-1907). Newman’s Flagpole Rock was the location of Newman and Company’s flagstaff for its operation in Harbour Breton and was located in front of the Big House, as the manager’s house was referred to, and overlooked the entire Newman and Company plantation and the entrance to the harbour. The flagstaff was approximately 9 metres high and was anchored to the rock by six stays. The stays were connected to six small iron ringbolts in the rock, which are still there today.
Circa 1892, Miss Elizabeth Holman, daughter of a Newman and Company plantation manager, reported that the Company would fly the Union Jack flag from this site when British navy ships entered the harbour. The Newman and Company blue and white checkered house flag was also flown from the flagstaff whenever a Newman and Company merchant vessel arrived in Harbour Breton. The practice was the same when vessels departed the harbour.
Newman’s Flagpole Rock has cultural value as it was an old courtship site. It was a popular rendezvous site for some of the young girls who were part of the domestic staff at the Big House and was witness to the initiation of some romantic relationships in the community.
Source: Town of Harbour Breton Regular Council Meeting Motion #09-059 August 19, 2009.
All those elements which represent the historical and cultural values of Newman’s Flagpole Rock, including:
-association with Newman and Company;
-iron ringbolts in rock;
-unobstructed view of Newman’s Flagpole Rock from Newman’s Lookout, and;
-location, orientation and dimensions of the rock.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
1790/01/01 to 1907/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Nature Element
- Food Supply
- Fisheries Site
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