Temperance Street Houses
(31, 33, 35, 37 Temperance Street, St. John's)
The Temperance Street Houses, from 31-37 Temperance Street, are also known as the Samuel Garrett Houses after their designer and builder. Garrett built the homes for his four daughters as wedding gifts.
Garrett's most famous work was Cabot Tower, which was begun in 1897 in commemoration of the four-hundredth anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland. Surplus stone from Cabot Tower, and stone remaining from the recently destroyed St. George's Hospital, provided the materials for the homes.
Garrett built the three-storeyed, red-sandstone and slate home from stone two ft. thick. An air gap between the stone and the interior wooden framework provided insulation and protection from rot. Bedrock from the cliff on which he built the dwellings, is incorporated into the basement. Garrett covered the homes with a mansard roof with dormers.
The first two dwellings, 31 and 33, were completed before construction began on Cabot Tower, and work on the third home, 35, had already begun. The 35 Temperance Street structure was not completed until 1901, when his newly-wed daughter, Lauretta McFarlane, moved into the premises.
The adjacent home, 37 Temperance Street, was home to another daughter, Emily Dewling. The other two homes, 31 and 33 were never occupied by Garrett's daughters. One of them, Eliza continued to live at Garrett's house at 2 Duckworth Street with her mother. His remaining daughter, Mary, died of a contagious disease when she was 24. The two homes were rented until Garrett's grandchildren, Alex McFarlane and Nellie Molloy, were old enough. Gladis McFarlane lived at 35 Temperance Street until her death in 1982.
Judith Bobbitt now owns 35 and 37 Temperance Street, while her research company, OCEANS Ltd., owns 31 Temperance Street. Samuel Garrett's great-granddaughter continues to live at 33 Temperance Street with her father.
The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador designated the four Temperance Houses/Samuel Garrett Houses as Registered Heritage Structures in October 1988.