Bay Roberts names first residential Municipal Heritage site
Caplin/Myers property recognised for its rich heritage
A home in Bay Roberts has been designated as the town’s first residential Municipal Heritage site.
The Calpin Myers property, which consists of a two-storey wooden house and a one-storey wooden shop, received the official title during a town council meeting in Dec. 2009. Recommendation for the title came from the Bay Roberts Heritage Advisory Committee.
Located on Water Street, the Calpin/Myers house was constructed in the mid to late 1800s while the shop was built in 1932.
“ The building was recognized as a Heritage Designation site because of its age and many unique features, it has a lot of character,” says Philip Wood, chair of the Bay Roberts Heritage Advisory Board. “ We’re really proud to have this house named as our first residential municipal heritage site. In fact it’s a big moment and a first step for members of the Heritage Advisory Committee because we’re hoping it will encourage other home owners to consider allowing their homes to be designated as a heritage site as well.”
The town recognised the Calpin/Myers property for its aesthetic and historic value.
The property’s aesthetical valuable comes from it being a good example of a mid to late nineteenth century home and a mid twentieth century mercantile premises. The house has a steep gable roof pierced by a low pitch roof, twostorey bay windows, central front door with stoop porch, and a linhay on the rear facade. Other features include narrow wooden clapboard, wide corner boards and wooden eaves troughs. The original house is believed to have had a steep gable roof, which was modified years ago. The shop, built in 1932, served as a general store until the 1960s. The building features a false wooden front rising above the roofline which makes it appear taller. The shop is covered with narrow wooden clapboard and has a central dou- ble door topped with a transom window. Two large display windows and mock columns on the front corners also add to its uniqueness.
Some of the Calpin/Myers property’s historical value stems from its age. Local historians believe John Hurd built the house in the 1850s. The dwelling was moved to its present site on Water Street during the late 1800’s and purchased by Thomas Calpin. Thomas and his wife Caroline lived on the property until 1916, when they moved in with their daughter Helena Calpin Myers on Cable Avenue. When the couple passed away, (1916) their daughter Helena bought the family home and remained there until she died in 1988 at the age of 98.
The shop was owned and operated by Helena and Roy Myers from 1932 until the early 1940s when Susie Windsor took over and opened a dry goods store. The business closed in the early 1960s.
Descendants of Thomas Calpin currently own the house.
The Calpin/ Myers Property’s historic value also comes from its connection with Thomas Calpin, a local blacksmith and inventor of the Calpin Patent Anchor. During the 1880s, Calpin started to promote the anchor he had designed, first by copying it on the back of invoices sent out by his business, and later through promotional tours. In 1884 the anchor was patented in Canada and two years later Calpin travelled to the United States and Canada to further promote the anchor. Advertisements for the anchor describe it as “ being compact and useful for fishing from the largest ship to the smallest dory. Just the thing for trap or trawl anchors and, when on the bottom, cannot be swept or tripped by chains or cables of other crafts, having no stock or top flukes to hitch. When in the boat it lays flat on the deck; nothing to hitch lines or sheets, or trip or stumble over. And last, but not least, a 56 pound anchor has been proved to hold a greater strain than a hundred weight common anchor.”
Calpin’s anchor was well received and copies were sent to England, however little else is known of its success.
Wood, who is also the deputy mayor, feels the preservation of his- toric sites in the town is extremely important for future generations.
Maintaining the historical integrity of our buildings is just one way of showing we take pride in our town, says Wood. “ The Calpin/ Myers house and shop is just one of the many beautiful homes in our town that’s full of history. We ( heritage committee) want to make sure that history and the history of all the buildings in our town will be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
HERITAGE SITE - The Calpin/Myers property, located on Water Street, Bay Roberts has been designated as the towns’ first residential Municipal Heritage site.
HERITAGE PLAQUE - From left: Mary Myers, Sylvia (Myers) Grant and Derrick Myers, owners of the Calpin/ Myers property in Bay Roberts receives a plaque from Andrea O’Brien, Heritage Foundation NL, naming their home as the towns’ first residential Municipal Heritage site. Also on hand for the presentation was Philip Wood, Chairman of the Bay Roberts Heritage Advisory Committee (right) and Eric Jerrett Advisory Committee member.