As one of the few surviving courthouses in Bonavista Bay, the Greenspond Courthouse's architecture and history make it unique.
Built between 1900 and 1901, the building served several purposes. Its primary function was as a courthouse where criminal and civil trials were held. The building also housed some people, although not all of them stayed voluntarily. There were cells for temporary imprisonment. There were also living quarters in the building for a jailer and his family. The building was also used as a temporary morgue when bodies were being recovered from shipwrecks.
After serving the needs of the people of Bonavista North for decades, the building was transformed into a museum. The museum contains artifacts from the Greenspond area, as well as from other parts of Newfoundland. Items range from those used in the courthouse to fishery and household items.
The courthouse rests on top of a hill overlooking Greenspond Harbour and Bonavista Bay. It is the only old courthouse of its kind along the northeast coast and displays an architectural design common in Newfoundland during the turn of the century. It is a two-storeyed building with a mansard roof, bay windows in the front and the back. It also has a walk-in tower on the front facade.
The Greenspond Courthouse became a Registered Heritage Structure in October 1988. It received the Southcott Award for Restoration in 1998.
Also view Greenspond Courthouse 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.