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John Mifflin House Registered Heritage Structure

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/05/01

View of the side façade of John Mifflin House, Bonavista, NL. Photo taken as part of Bonavista inventory in 1995.; © HFNL 1995
John Mifflin House, Bonavista, NL
View of the left and main facades of John Mifflin House, Bonavista, NL.; © HFNL 2009
John Mifflin House, Bonavista, NL
View of the rear and left facades of John Mifflin House, Bonavista, NL.; © HFNL 2009
John Mifflin House, Bonavista, NL

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2013/03/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

John Mifflin House is a two-and-a-half storey, gable roofed dwelling house with double front peaks. It has a small one-storey porch on the right gable end and a one storey addition on the rear façade. It is located on Church Street, in an historic area within the town of Bonavista, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

John Mifflin House has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador for its aesthetic and historic value.

John Mifflin House has aesthetic value for its style and design and for its association with architect Ronald Strathie. A vernacular interpretation of Gothic Revival style, it was constructed circa 1925 by Strathie, a noted architect and builder in the Bonavista region. Strathie’s legacy in the area can be seen in the unique architectural elements of the buildings he designed. John Mifflin House retains trademark Strathie features, including a steeply gabled roof with double front peaks, gable windows topped with pediments decorated by round decals, rounded arch windows with raincaps and drip mouldings in the peaks and bracketed raincaps above rectangular windows. This house and its neighbours, Frederick Mifflin House and Samson Mifflin House, are the best surviving examples of this style in Bonavista. All are significant for their distinctiveness of detail and as examples of architecture associated with the town of Bonavista.

John Mifflin House has further aesthetic value because of its location within the community. Situated in the historic Church Street district the collective grouping of the three Mifflin Houses make a significant impact upon the landscape with their similarity of size and style.

John Mifflin House is historically valuable for its age and association with its original owner John Mifflin, who was the son of Samson Mifflin, the patriarch of the Mifflin family and the local agent for the West Country English firm of Benjamin Lester.

This house is also historically valuable for its association with master builder Ronald Strathie. Strathie was the grandson of Scottish artisan Alexander Strathie. He was brought to Bonavista by prominent Scottish merchant planter William Alexander in 1814 to build a house worthy of his standing. Ronald, a third generation carpenter, was perhaps the finest builder in the family, and brought the family name and business to its peak with the buildings he constructed. His legacy includes the Anglican Mortuary Chapel, Alexander Chapel of All Souls and the Roman Catholic Parish House – all Registered Heritage Structures. Strathie’s mother, Elizabeth Mifflin, was likely his connection to the Mifflin Estate.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Bonavista - John Mifflin House - FPT 227”

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements of the Gothic Revival vernacular style of architecture, indicative of the Strathie Bonavista style, and executed in traditional materials, including:
-number of storeys;
-steep gable roof;
-double front peak;
-chimney style (corbelled top) and placement;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-corner boards;
-window size, style, trim and placement, including rounded arch windows in peaks and gable windows topped with pediments decorated by round decals;
-bracketed raincaps and drip mouldings;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-size, style and location of small porch on right gable end;
-size, style and location of addition on rear facade;
-dimension, location and orientation of building, and;
-location in the historic area of town on what was traditionally known as Mifflin Estate, surrounded by a picket fence and two other similarly styled Mifflin Houses.



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



Ronald Strathie

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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