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Kean's General Store

Brookfield, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/06/06

Exterior photo, main facade, Kean's General Store, Brookfield, Newfoundland.; Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Kean's General Store, Brookfield.
Exterior detail, main facade, Kean's General Store, Brookfield, Newfoundland.; HFNL 2006
Exterior detail Kean's General Store, Brookfield.
Interior photo of Kean's General Store, Brookfield, Newfoundland, showing Janet Davis, proprietor of the Norton's Cove Studio, which operates out of the building.; HFNL 2006
Interior photo, Kean's General Store, Brookfield.

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Kean’s General Store is a one and a half storey, wooden building with a gable roof. Built in 1890 for sealing master and merchant Job Kean, Kean’s Store sits on the main road in Brookfield and served the needs of the community for over 75 years. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Job Kean’s General Store was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure for its historic associations, architectural, and environmental value:

Kean’s General Store is historically valuable due to its association with the Kean family. The Kean family are well known in Newfoundland as one of the most successful sealing families in the province. Kean’s Store is one of only two remaining buildings in Bonavista Bay associated with the Kean family. The shop’s original owner, Captain Job Kean was a successful businessman in Brookfield and owned and operated eight fishing vessels out of the town. Kean’s General Store supplied these vessels and others with various goods and supplies.

Kean’s General Store is also historically valuable to the community of Brookfield as it served the needs of the community for over 75 years. The store supplied the community with dry goods and supplies as well as a variety of women’s clothing and hats, and a telegraph and post office were operated from the store.

Kean’s General Store is architecturally valuable as an excellent example of typical 19th century commercial property in Newfoundland. While the general store front is typical of commercial stores during this period, there are also some decorative features that indicate creativity on the part of the architect such as decorative mouldings, and a 6 sided corner bay with a domed roof.

Kean’s General Store is a landmark in the community of Brookfield. Located on the main road of the town, Kean’s General Store overlooks the harbour and was easily accessible to vessels that purchased their supplies at the store.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador unnumbered property designation file, "Brookfield - Kean's General Store."

Character-Defining Elements

-All exterior features(recessed doorway, transom window, large shop windows etc.) that are representative of a traditional store front;
-narrow clapboard exterior sheathing
-6 sided corner bay on south corner of shop
-location within community
-decorative moulding on eaves
-dentils at eaves
-”J Kean” sign above front entrance
-traditional single hung 1/1 windows
-all interior features that are representative of traditional outport shop



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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

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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