A house without clear origins, Gover House is one of three older private dwellings that exist in the centre part of Trinity.
No one knows the exact date of Gover House's construction. It was before 1860 because of the dates on newspapers found in the house. Its neighbour, Campbell House, was built around 1840 so it is possible that Gover House was built at approximately the same time.
Nor is it known for whom the house was built. One speculation is an employee of Robert Slade, a powerful merchant from Poole, England, occupied the house originally. Although a neighbour of the prominent Campbell family, it is possible the occupant of the house was not in the same social strata as Campbell.
The ownership of the house is also murky. It is suspected the house somehow became part of the estate of James Campbell. Later Arthur Power sold the dwelling to Robert Fowlow in 1917. Since Fowlow's daughter married a Gover, the house was probably a wedding gift.
The house remained in the Gover family until 1979 when Robert Gover sold it to Christina Gow. At the time Gow purchased the house it had been abandoned for four years. This abandonment, along with the Govers' neglecting regular repairs whilst living there, led to the house being on the edge of collapse. Short-term repairs saved the house from collapsing, but Gow was not able to fully restore the house until the early 1990s. Along with nearby Campbell House, Gover House is now used as a bed and breakfast.
Gover House is located in the centre of Trinity and has an impressive view of the community and the harbour with easy access to the beach. Thanks to the restoration efforts of the Gow family, the house is now in excellent shape and resembles what it might have looked like in the mid-1800s.
Gover House is similar to nearby Campbell House. It is a two-storeyed wooden house with a gable roof with chimneys at opposite ends of the gable. The house is fully studded, which is common for older houses in that part of Trinity Bay. The house also has a linhay restored during recent renovations.
The original windows have been replaced and the original double-hung six-over-six style has been restored. The dormer windows are among the most distinctive features of the house and are set halfway between the roofline.
Gover House was recognised as a Registered Heritage Structure in September 1993.
Also view Gover House Registered Heritage Structure on the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador web site. The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site has on its site only a portion of the registered heritage structures in Newfoundland and Labrador. To view a complete list or search for a particular structure visit the Heritage Foundation's Property Search page.