The oldest home in North America's oldest city

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Last month, I was working on a story involving Richmond Cottage, a house built in the 1860s.

A conversation about the heritage home with Coun. Frank Galgay — who’s penned numerous Newfoundland history books — led to a discussion about significant city dwellings.

I inquired about the oldest house in St. John’s.

Galgay listed a number, but noted there’s been some debate about it.

He also said he’d check into it a little further.

On Friday, he emailed a list of the three oldest properties in the city and links to details on the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website.

At number three — not to go all Casey Kasem on you — is Martin McNamara House at 15 Plank Rd.

The Heritage Foundation’s description says “built prior to 1849 this home likely dates to the 1700s because of its style.”

The house has an early Irish construction and a central chimney, which heated rooms on both sides of the house.

At number two is Mallard Cottage at Barrows Road in Quidi Vidi Village.

It was built around 1820 and, according to the Heritage Foundation's blurb, the house is the type built here by immigrants from southeast Ireland.

It, too, has a central chimney.

The Mallards, the family it’s named after, lived there for more than 100 years.

At number one is Lady Gaga with... Oops, wrong blog.

The distinction of being the oldest home in St. John’s is held by Anderson House at 42 Power's Crt.

The Heritage Foundation listing says it was built around 1804 and is historic because of its age and former use as a military residence.

The home was built by Sgt. James Anderson, who served in the militia.

It was a prime place for soldiers to stay because of its location.

Many original features are still in place, including an open fireplace in the kitchen.

 

Want answers about something odd or intriguing? Email sbartlett@thetelegram.com.

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  • Mike
    April 03, 2011 - 21:17

    #2 Shaw Street was thr residence of Dr. Gordon Lynch before Sparkes bought it. The whole area is steeped in history from the Tannery to the Mill on the Southside River. Some of the people on Topsail Road were Brewery Owner, City Clerk, Director of Harvey and Company, The Arcade Owner, John Crosbies Aunt, Jewellery Store owner and Ennis from The Telegram. Herder lived on Waterfordbridge Road. More if you want it.