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circa. 1884


William Cuff House


This property is in the historic Bonavista neighbourhood known as Canaille, which was traditionally a poor section of the community known for public houses and the fishing class. Many homes in this area of town were constructed before roads. Therefore, the narrow laneways snake and wave around the homes today.

William Cuff (1856 - 1928) built this home around the time of his marriage to Deborah Little (1862-1948). The Cuff Family would have been well known in the community as their son, George L Cuff (1893-1917) was one of several in the area to go off to fight in the First World War. George was killed in action at Monchy-le-Preux in 1917.   Reverend  Charles  Lench also mentioned    George on two occasions and in his book,  The Story of  Methodism in  Bonavista, when writing about the First World War.

The home remained in the Cuff family until 1949 when it was purchased by Bennett Hicks. The Bonavista Historical Society later purchased it from the Hicks family to preserve the home. Bonavista Living acquired the home from society in 2014. When gutting the interior, removing features implemented in the 1960s, it was discovered that the walls and original staircases were clearly salvaged from an earlier house. This was common practice when smaller and older homes were dismantled, and carpenters were able to reuse materials. The Cuff home clearly shows evidence of this practice.

The architectural style of the home is a double peak dormer. However, the dormers have a lower pitch than traditionally used by the Strathie firm in the 1880s. It is currently unknown when the dormers were added to the property but because the pitch is low the style is clearly a copy of the popular Strathie design and not actually of Strathie construction. The windows are a traditional two over two styles with very little decoration or embellishment. The home was a simple design for a modest lifestyle.

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