Powell House (Carbonear)
Prominent local businessman and engineer J. P. Powell owned this house, one of the few examples of late Victorian architecture remaining in Carbonear.
© 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Powell was born in 1866 and was one of Carbonear's leading citizens. He was involved in the Reid Newfoundland Company and, at the turn of the century, built some of the earliest hydro plants in Newfoundland. He became famous for designing the Trinity Loop, a stretch of the Bonavista branch railway line that is unique in North America because it circles a small pond to obtain a decrease in elevation of 10 m. (approximately 34 ft.). Powell also became one of the principals in Saunders and Howell, a major construction and building supply company, in 1908.
In 1899 Powell hired Phillip Saunders to build a house, and it was finished that same year. Powell and his wife lived there until his death in 1955. They had no children; consequently Powell's nephew, George Hall, inhabited the house, and he and his family lived there until 1975.
Powell House was built on Water Street East, the most prestigious area of Carbonear during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The house and surrounding land are considered one of the most substantial properties in the area. Powell is credited with obtaining from England the maple trees that line Water Street East.
The house is a two-and-a-half-storeyed subdued Victorian house made with a wooden frame with decorative fluted wooden shingles. While some changes have been made to the exterior since its construction, none have altered the house's appearance substantially. The land surrounding the house has also been well cared for, with numerous shrubs, plants and trees decorating the lot. It is the last of its kind in the neighbourhood.
Powell House became a Registered Heritage Structure in April 1990.