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John Quinton Limited
(Red Cliffe)

The structures that once housed John Quinton Limited are a group of attractive, well-kept buildings that dominate part of the harbour in the community of Red Cliffe. They are also among the few remaining business structures from the nineteenth century still standing in southern Bonavista Bay.

John Quinton Limited
John Quinton Limited
© 2004 Heritage Foundation
of Newfoundland and Labrador

(27 Kb)
The construction of the series of buildings that became the heart of the Quinton family's life was begun in the 1840s. The first of the structures was a residence with a steep gable roof (which was later converted into a shop) and a salt store built sometime between 1840 and 1850. The next was a post office built in the 1870s. Finally, the new residence for the Quinton family was built in 1884.

The Quinton family began fishing out of Red Cliffe in the late 1700s. The family gradually expanded from fishing to becoming merchants in the area. John Quinton started a general store in 1884 and rapidly became a prominent supplier of general merchandise and a buyer of salt fish, squid and other products. Serving some 20 communities for over a century, John Quinton Ltd.'s business peaked in the 1950s when nearly 7,000 quintals of fish were purchased and packed for export. Although the business has since closed its doors, the residence is still occupied by Gerald Quinton and his wife Hilda.

The buildings dominate the part of the harbour in which they are located. Reflecting the fact that the area was first used as a fishing room for the Quinton family, the buildings practically hug the sea.

Residence
John Quinton Residence
© 2004 Heritage Foundation
of Newfoundland and Labrador

(47 Kb)
The earlier structures are of local design and workmanship dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The residence itself was the work of David Marshal, who built several memorable churches during the period. The residence, constructed in the Second Empire style, is the largest and grandest of its type in the area. All of the buildings have timber frames and are constructed of wood. The residence and the post office have not been changed, but some of the other buildings were expanded as the business became more successful over the years. All of the structures are in good shape, but in need of constant maintenance.

The Quinton Premises, recognised as Registered Heritage Structures in June 1994, stand as an important part of the built heritage of the Bonavista Peninsula and of the province as a whole.

Article and images updated September, 2004


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