The Pickersgill Premises consists of two two-storeyed houses and the associated outbuildings, including a store, two sheds and an outhouse. James Burden built the first house in 1912 as a family dwelling. James lived in the house with his wife, Mary Ann, and their two sons, Henry and Harold.
One of the outbuildings is a large store. The store was originally a two-storeyed home owned by Clara Burden. However, James Burden reduced the structure to a single storey and used it for a variety of purposes. This included building boats, mending fishing gear, as a blacksmith shop, as well as a general workshop and storage area. James also owned a second smaller building used to store farming, shoemaking and wool-processing equipment, and a spinning wheel. Burden was a versatile man who, among other things, built the schooner Laverock, which participated in the Labrador fishery.
A fisherman named Andrew Dunn built the second house as a residence in 1914. He lived in the house with his wife, Ellen Sophia Brown, and their six children, Charlotte, Gladys, Lizzie, Harriet Jane, John Sydney and Alexander Stewart (Sandy). Sandy inherited the house after his father's death. Andrew Dunn also owned one of the smaller buildings which he used as a storage shed for his fishing equipment. The present owners have also reconstructed an outhouse that once stood on the site.
Situated on a peninsula that curves back into Salvage Harbour, the buildings were once the centre of the community. However, the area lost its prominence because of depopulation during the government's resettlement program of the 1960s and the arrival of a road from Eastport. By the late 1960s there were only two residences left on the peninsula. In the spring of 1967 ice destroyed the bridge that connected the peninsula to the rest of the community. Four years later in 1971, the last family on the peninsula, Sandy Dunn and his wife Lizzie Mary, moved into the main section of Salvage.
The following year Peter and Lisa Rae Pickersgill bought the Dunn house and have since maintained the properties. The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador recognized their efforts and in May 1997 declared the Pickersgill Premises a Registered Heritage Structure.
Updated March, 2005.