Holyrood Heritage Society
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Holyrood Heritage Society Inc. is located at 429 Conception Bay Highway. Telephone number is 709-229-7725 and email address is hheritageinc@gmail.com. Check out our Facebook Page 

For a mini tour of the Museum, click on the following link Holyrood Heritage Society Museum Gallery and Giftshop April 2023


Chapel Cemetery Municipal Heritage Site

The Chapel Cemetery is located on a small, grassy embankment with several mature trees, eight re-erected headstones, and at least one prostrate headstone.  It is located off Back Road on the north side of the harbour in Holyrood, Newfoundland and Labrador.  The cemetery area is identified in the Holyrood Heritage Society’s Chapel Cemetery Restoration Master Plan dated March, 2005.  This area has been assigned Borden Number CiAg-03 and site name Holyrood Cemetery Site by the Provincial Archaeology Office, and mapped in Figure 1 of the PAO’s site report.  The designated area is bounded by Back Road on the east and south sides, and by fencing on the north and west sides, along the boundary of private property, and the designation includes the mature apple tree and headstones within that area.

Heritage Value

The Chapel Cemetery has historic and spiritual value as the oldest known consecrated cemetery associated with the Roman Catholic faith in Holyrood, a community settled primarily by Irish Immigrants in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  The cemetery is located on a grassy embankment near the shoreline, with several mature spruce trees and a large non-native apple tree, and is marked by an erect wooden cross.  This area is the former grounds of a wooden chapel that was in use from about 1845 to 1879, during which time Holyrood was a mission of the Harbour main Roman Catholic Parish.

The Chapel Cemetery appears to have in use only until about 1860.  The rate at which the cemetery reached capacity in a small community has been tentatively attributed to outbreaks of smallpox, typhus fever and/or cholera which occurred in the region during that period.

The headstones at the cemetery have historic value as artifacts on the landscape, and because they contain genealogical information.   While there are undoubtedly many now unmarked graves in the Chapel Cemetery, nine sizable carved headstones remain, eight of which are legible and record dates of deaths between 1841 and 1857.  Three of the headstones identify the deceased as Irish Immigrants.

The carved headstones at the Chapel Cemetery range in height from approximately one to two metres, and are tablet forms in marble or sandstone, in keeping with their age.  One of the gravemarkers is of a style fairly uncommon in Newfoundland, begin sandstone inlaid with a white marble medallion of a Christian motif known as the Emblems of the Passion.  Two of the marble headstones bear the mark of J. Hay, a stone-carver in St. John’s around the mid-nineteenth century.

The Chapel Cemetery has aesthetic value owing to its location and because its combined elements – terrain, flora, and headstones – evoke the late nineteenth century period when the mission chapel stood at the site and the cemetery was in use.

Fjordheim Property Municipal

Fjordheim is the former home of Captain Olaf Olsen and the current location of the Tea Garden Restaurant at 328 Conception Bay Highway, Holyrood.  The municipal heritage designation includes the remaining original portion of the Olsen house and the former maid house on its grounds, as well as the concrete posts and the rock wall with its arched entry made of whale bones at the entrance to the grounds from the road.

Heritage Value

The Fjordheim Property has historic value for its association with the Carroll family of Holyrood and with Captain Olaf Olsen.

The property was once owned by the entrepreneurial Carroll family, who operated a substantial fishing supply business from the waterside of the property.  The local bait fishery was an historically important industry in Holyrood, offering a supply of species including capelin, herring and squid to fishing vessels stopping at Holyrood.  The Carroll’s supplied bait and ice for the Labrador and Grand Bank fisheries, and Jack Carroll eventually started the first mechanical cold storage facility in Newfoundland in another location in Holyrood.

Jack Carroll sold what became Fjordheim to his prominent friend Olaf Olsen (1881-1945), a Norwegian fishing captain and businessman who was also involved with the cold storage facility at Holyrood.  As well as being active in the whaling and sealing industries, Olsen acted as consul to Newfoundland for Sweden and Norway and vice-consul for Latvia and Finland.  He was awarded the Latvian Order of the Three Stars in 1939, and deemed a Knight of Order of St. Olav by King Haaken VI of Norway.

The house at Fjordheim, which translates roughly as “harbour home”, befitting its location, was built in 1931 by locals Theo and John LaCour as Olsen’s country retreat.  The original building was a wooden, single storey house with a gable roof with projecting eaves adn exposed purlins.  These features are typical of a type of vernacular architecture of Norway.  The original house has been much added on to since, but a portion of the original building is still visible at the front facade.  The origianl maid’s quarters at the rear right of the building remains.  This is a small, wooden building whose design echoes the original house, notably in its roof and eaves.

The most striking original feature of the property is the entrance comprised of a rock wall with an arch constructed from a pair of lower jawbones from a right whale.  The wall was erected in 1934, by William (Bill) Crawley and Steve Austin, using stone gathered around the grounds of the property.  Olsen had the bones shipped from one of his whaling stations.  Closer to the road, a pair of ornamental concrete posts also remain.

Lulah-Oh/Carroll Property

The Lulah-Oh/Carroll Property is a collection of 1940s structures and wooden building located at 19 North Side Road, Holyrood.  The buildings include a two-storey house and four outbuildings: two barns, a garage and a cookhouse.  The structures include a decorative retaining wall, a large metal water tank, the remnants of a cottage, and concrete steps.  The designation includes all the aforementioned buildings and structures, as well as a mature apple tree behind the larger barn.

Heritage Value

The property has historic value though its connection to the local economy and hte entrepreneurial Carroll family, in particular well known businessman Jack Carroll (1897-1977).  By 1918 Carroll took over his father’s business, which included the cold storage of bait and ice.  He expanded in 1932, building a larger facility with modern refrigeration equipment.  Around 1944 the Carroll Cold Storage Plant was taken over by Fisheries Products Limited; Carroll stayed on as manager until his retirement.  The Lulah-Oh! Property was constructed in the mid-forties so Carroll could be closer to the business premises.  Its name is Portuguese and translates as “Squid-Ho!” in connection to the family’s link to the bait fishery.

The inshore cod fishing industry was never the mainstay in Holyrood that it was for many of Newfoundland’s coastal communities.  Instead, the local bait fishery offered caplin, herring and squid to fishing vessels stopping at Holyrood.  Carroll Cold Storage Company Limited and Fisheries Products Limited were central to this local industry.  Some of the building and structures on th Lulah-Oh! Property were used to support cold storage operations.  The large water tank behind the Carroll house supplied fresh water for washing bait, two bunkhouses once on the property housed workers and the still standing cookhouse provided meals.

Holyrood historically had a heavier reliance on commercial and subsistence agriculture than most areas of the province, and Jack Carroll also engaged in agriculture.  He had a farm on Salmonier Line and also kept animals at his home property, which retains two barns.  Carroll was also known as a buyer of local berries for resale.  A mature apple tree behind the larger barn ties into the agriculture use of the site.

Jack Carroll and his home were well-known to Holyrood residents for other roles.  Carroll was a Justice of the Peace.  His home is said to have functioned as the town’s first post office.  The property also hosted the local Catholic parish’s annual garden party.

The property has aesthetic value as an unusual, intact collection of 1940s buildings and structures.  The four wooden outbuildings exhibit a combination of aesthetic appeal and utilitarianism.  The rock and concrete wall to the left of the house has a practical retaining wall function, but also considerable aesthetic appeal due to the use of beach rocks in its construction, which links to the coastal location of the property.

Veitch Property Municipal

Veitch House is a two-storey, detached, wooden home with a mansard roof and dormer windows overlooking the bay at Holyrood.  The Veitch property is located at 5-7 Station Road, on the north side of teh road.  The municipal heritage designation includes the house, outbuilding remnants, retaining wall remnants, old cart road remnants and mature trees on the lot.

Heritage Value

Veitch House has historic value as one of the oldest buildings in Holyrood and because of its association with the Veitch family and local business.  The Veitch (also historically known as Wetch or Witch) surname was reportedly established in Holyrood with George Veitch in the 1700’s, who settled under the prominent landmark since known as George’s Cove Mountain.  Veitch House may have been built by either George’s son John (1801 – 1866) or by his grandson, Philip Veitch.  It was built by the late 1800’s, and once had a nearby sister house owned by another Veitch relative.

Philip’s son John (Jack) Veitch and wife Annie (O’Neil) Veitch lived in teh house for many years.  Annie was also from one of Holyrood’s oldest families, and became proprietor of the business known as Veitch’s Hostelry or the Seaview Hotel, which operated from the house during the 1920’s – 40’s.  The property’s proximity to the former Holyood Railway Station was no doubt an advantage in that regard.  Annie was know locally for her community work and business sense, and the building hosted special events like wedding receptions.

Veitch House also has architectural value as an example of Second Empire style wooden housing in Newfoundland.  It features the characteristic mansard roof pierced with dormer windows.  Other structural and aesthetic elements of the building include ornamental eaves brackets, returns and trims, ornamental front door surround, and a symmetrical front facade with large windows.  It is one of the most intact examples of heritage architecture in Holyrood.

The property features the distinct remnants of two outbuildings (likely dug cellars), as well as a field stone retaining wall and a former cart road behind the house.  This road connected the north side of Holyrood with the main harbour.  The large, mature Scots pines, maple trees, linden trees, plum trees, apple trees, and other cultivated deciduous trees underline the age of the property and add to its aesthetic appeal.

All of these features combine to make the Veitch property a distinctive site in Holyrood’s cultural landscape, and it is visible from numerous locations throughout the community.

Family Business Heritage

Celebrating the Link between Family and business Town of Holyrood.

Frankie Bennett’s Taxi
1944Ford Station Wagon
Purchase Price $ 2 446.00 new
Licensed for eleven passengers

Dunphy’s Funeral Home and Ambulance Service
Circa 1907

The Bennett Inn

Stop for Jockey Club
Circa 1930

Hickey’s Funeral Home
Circa 1940
Hatching, Matching and Dispatching

North Arm, Holyrood
Circa 1930

Furey’s Bus Lines