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circa. 1918


Heber Rolls House


The Heber Rolls house is in the neighbourhood of Canaille. This area was traditionally a lower-class neighbourhood populated predominantly by fishermen and farmers. The house is accessible by way of a charming narrow laneway called Rolls Lane. Since the home is perched on the side of a small hill, the home has beautiful views of Canaille and Bonavista harbour from the second floor.

Heber Rolls, a local fisherman, constructed this home at the time of his marriage to Martha Elizabeth Penny of English Harbour, Trinity Bay.  Heber and Martha lived in the home for nine years until Heber's death in 1927. At that time Heber worked on the construction of the stone Anglican Church in Bonavista. He died from septicemia or blood poisoning when a pimple on his nose came in contact with cement. Following Heber’s death, Martha married a Russell, but they did not live in the house as a married couple. Instead, Heber’s unwed sister Lydia Rolls lived in the home. Martha and her new husband moved to another neighbourhood in Bonavista known as Russelltown on Norman’s Lane.

The home was purchased by the Bonavista Historical Society in the 1990s because it was under threat of demolition. Bonavista Living purchased the home in 2015 and has fully restored both the interior and exterior.

The Rolls house is modest in style. It has a traditional steep gable roof and two over two windows with unembellished trims and narrow rain caps. Through the restoration, Bonavista Living has reinstated a traditional cedar roof, traditional clapboard and a two over two window style. The Heber Rolls house has been sold as a private residence.

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