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circa. 1874


John Sweetland House


The John Sweetland house located at 24 Bland Lane, within the Bonavista municipal heritage district has a unique architectural past. Constructed around 1874, with a high peak gable roof, likely lacked significant architectural detail. John Sweetland (1846 -1935), a fisherman, constructed this double bay home close to Bonavista harbour in an area of the community known as Sweetland’s Bank which has been occupied by the Sweetland Family for centuries.

Restoration began on this property in the fall of 2014. During the process, it was discovered that the home was insulated with rope and oakum. Oakum has a long and distinguished history for use in shipbuilding and the repair of various sea-going vessels. As a fisherman, Sweetland likely saw this as a natural choice of insulation for the home as it was readily available to him.

Of John’s seven children, his first son James inherited the home and occupied it from 1914 onward after his marriage to Jesse Little. During this period James altered the home to incorporate the double peak front, a popular new design feature attributed to master builder Ronald Strathie of Bonavista.

Once the home was fully restored several features common throughout Bonavista were reinstated. This includes two over two windows with wide trims with oversized rain caps.

Another unique feature of the property is the presence of an original early 1900’s carriage house with a mid-gable roof pitch. 

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