St. Joseph's Chapel
(Blackhead, St. John's)
St. Joseph's Chapel was built during the summer of 1879 as a school for the community of Blackhead. At some point in the late 1800s the neighbouring church became unsafe for service, and the building began to serve as a Roman Catholic chapel as well as a school. In 1965, the school closed, and until approximately 1989 the building operated solely as a church.
From 1879-1965 the building served, in effect, as the community centre. Children were educated and learned music there - an old pump organ was available. Concerts were sometimes held in the building, and its grounds were used for garden parties.
The wooden foundation of the building is square, measuring roughly 32 feet by 32 feet. The walls are studded framing with plank construction, lined with birch bark during construction. Numerous alterations have been made since the building's erection, including the removal of two of the building's original nine windows, which will be replaced as part of an ongoing restoration project.
St. Joseph's Chapel, Blackhead is one of the few surviving small wooden chapels in the St. John's area, and is closely linked to the development of the community of Blackhead. In 1999 the building was sold by the R.C. Episcopal Corporation to the Blackhead Chapel Restoration Committee. It was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador on December 2nd, 2000.Updated January, 2006