Description of Historic Place
The Xavier Blanchette Barn is a simple, symmetrical, one-and-a-half-storey building with white, painted, clapboard and vertical plank siding and contrasting exterior trim, and a gable roof. The building also features an entrance to the henhouse on the lower level, and a separate entrance to the barn on the upper level. The Xavier Blanchette Barn is part of a grouping of buildings that includes the Xavier Blanchette House, a shed, and a garage, which are located on a steep slope along the shore of the Gaspé Bay at Grande-Grave, within Forillon National Park. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building
The Xavier Blanchette Barn has been designated a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values:
The Xavier Blanchette Barn is indirectly associated with the national theme of the cod fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which was the main activity and the driving force behind the Gaspé economy for several centuries. Once owned by a family of fishermen and customers of the William Hyman & Sons Company, the building is part of a property which, like the other buildings in Grande-Grave, illustrates the pivotal role played by cod exporters and merchants in the settlement of the region, and the social structure and economic dynamics that shaped traditional Gaspé fishing villages like this one.
The Xavier Blanchette Barn is a good example of a vernacular building type. This simple building is built into a steep slope, enabling it to accommodate a henhouse in the basement, and a separate entrance from the barn above. This conventional building is in good condition, attesting to the quality of its construction.
The Xavier Blanchette Barn reinforces the present character of Grande-Grave which still evokes the former settlement, and blends with the marine landscape of Forillon owing to its design which is compatible with other buildings in Grande-Grave, and to its siting which is well-integrated with the site's topography. The relationship between the building and its landscape is relatively intact, and the configuration of the Xavier Blanchette complex is characteristic of the settlement pattern of local fishing families. The Xavier Blanchette Barn is the last in a string of buildings along the coast that characterize the cultural landscape of the south shore of the Forillon Peninsula. The value of the barn as a major landmark in the area lies in the fact that it is part of what is considered to be the most important architectural environment in Grande-Grave, the symbolic scope of which transcends regional identity.
Roch Samson, Christine Chartré, Michel Bédard, Paul Trépanier, Yvan Fortier, The Houses and Outbuildings
of Grande-Grave, Forillon National Park, Québec. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report
Xavier Blanchette Barn, Forillon National Park, Québec. Heritage Character Statement 01-066h.
The following character-defining elements of the Xavier Blanchette Barn should be respected, for example:
-The influence of Neoclassicism on Quebec vernacular architecture, as seen in the simple massing of the
-The components that illustrate the building methods and techniques that are specific to this vernacular
neoclassical tradition, in particular the use of wood as a building material, the shingled roof, the white,
painted, clapboard and vertical plank siding, and the contrasting exterior trim;
-Features specific to use of the building as a barn including the smaller openings and direct access to both
levels, which demonstrates a clever use of the natural topography of the site;
-The great similarity of style, form and materials that creates the overall harmony of the buildings in Grande-
-The relationship of the barn to its setting which consists of a rugged coastline, as well as its relationship to the
spread-out settlement of Grande-Grave.