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Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises Registered Heritage Structure

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/04/18

Exterior view of rear facade, Samuel Abbott House, Bonavista, NL; HFNL 2006
Samuel Abbott House, Bonavista, NL
Exterior, front view of Samuel Abbott House and portions of the surrounding property, Bonavista, NL, circa summer of 2004.; HFNL 2006
Front view of Samuel Abbott House, Bonavista.
Exterior photo of the Samuel Abbott Fishing Rooms, showing net loft and flake.; HFNL 2006
Samuel Abbott Fishing Rooms

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Samuel Abbott House is a wooden, two and a half storey house with a steep gable roof and is located at Newman's Point, Bonavista. The designation includes the house, a one and a half storey net store, and fishing flake adjacent to the house.

Heritage Value

Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises is designated because of its aesthetic and cultural value.

Samuel Abbott House originated as a home built by William Abbott circa 1796. William's grandson Samuel Abbott II relocated and refurbished the building circa 1823. Hence, the dwelling exhibits characteristic elements of the latter period, and has aesthetic value as a representative example of a type of house built by fishermen in the region in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Such homes employed simple construction techniques, utilized symmetrical design elements and presented a plain, neat facade.

Adding to the aesthetic value of the property are the net store and fish flake. They serve as good examples of intact fishing structures in the region. There are few such structures in the area, or the province in general, left in their original shape and condition. Of particular note is the fish flake associated with the net store. These structures disappeared from the built landscape of rural Newfoundland with the decline of the salt fishery, in favour of fresh fish processing, in the mid 1900s. Buildings and structures used in the inshore fishery were designed for practical use and had to endure the rigours of a harsh environment. The use of rough materials, simple design elements and utilitarian construction techniques exemplify these fishery buildings and structures.

Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises has cultural value as it evokes a certain sense of time and place. It stands as a physical and visual reminder of a way of life tied to the sea and its resources. Its location on the waterfront speaks to the importance of the ocean’s resources in the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Several generations of Abbott’s fished from the Newman’s Point property, living within close proximity to the source of their livelihood, a settlement pattern repeated across the province.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property designation file M-030-004, Bonavista - Samuel Abbott House and Fishing Premises

Character-Defining Elements

Those relating to the house include:
-steep gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-wooden roof shingles;
-narrow clapboard;
-corner boards;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-chimney style and placement;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.

Those relating to the fishing premises include:
-original form, scale and massing of store and flake;
-use of traditional building materials;
-steep gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-narrow wood clapboard sheathing;
-corner boards;
-red ochre exterior colour;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-roller under upper level window;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-size, style, trim and placement of upper level door leading to flake;
-original form, scale and massing of ramp providing access to flake;
-wooden post structural supports;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



Samuel Abbott

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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