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circa. 1946

57 Rolling Cove

Ralph Hicks House


The Ralph Hicks House is located in the heart of Rolling Cove at the intersection of Rolling Cove Road and a narrow laneway known as Hicks Drung. This laneway is an original narrow carriage road. The house is surrounded by traditional neighbourhood footpaths that zig zag through the densely packed houses within this historic neighbourhood.

Ralph Hicks was known provincially as a master carpenter and sea captain. He was one of the lead carpenters in building the historic Garrick Theatre, Newfoundland’s oldest operating theatre, in 1945 and worked with the Strathie architectural firm. Ralph was known not only for building homes and commercial spaces but also for building boats. Ralph designed and built numerous punts, skiffs and longliners and was often hired as a Captain to sail newly built or purchased ships around the province or to other provinces in the Maritimes.

Ralph’s skills as being a shipbuilder is reflected in many interior architectural details of his home. One of the archways in the kitchen area of his home is a keel arch design, a decorative pointed arch with two mirrored S-shaped that meet at the apex. This design is the same shape like an upside keel of a ship.

The Hicks house is an excellent example of Bonavista vernacular with hints of the arts and crafts movement. The home features piercing dormers on the second floor above the eve line and a mid-pitch roof with truncated gable ends (saddle hip roof) with hand-carved bargeboards. The home also features a unique sunroom style entrance with stain glass sidelights which was added in 1949, the year of confederation.

Through the restoration, Bonavista Living has reinstated a traditional cedar roof, traditional clapboard and a two-over one window style.

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