Originally built for a teacher in the community of Trinity 150 years ago, Campbell House has recently been restored from a state of near collapse.
The house was built for James Campbell, who was originally from Duncannon, Wexford, Ireland. The exact date the house was built is not known, but is suspected to be around 1840. In 1836 Campbell married Mary Coleman. The house's builder and architect was a member of the Coleman family, and it is assumed that the house was built in the years immediately following the marriage.
During his time in Trinity, Campbell was in charge of the commercial school. According to the records of people who knew him, Campbell was an excellent teacher and possessed a fair knowledge of French and Latin, but an excellent knowledge of mathematics and navigation. One record called Campbell "one of the most capable teachers of navigation that Newfoundland ever possessed."
Campbell eventually left Trinity in 1859 to move to St. John's where he lived until his death in 1876. Campbell's son, also named James, became well known because of his time spent in charge of the General Post Office in St. John's.
After the elder Campbell moved to St. John's, the house went through a series of owners. They included the Powers, the Meanys, the Hoskins and the Hiscocks.
In 1990 the house was sold again. By this time it was in a state of disrepair, having remained unoccupied for 15 years. It was eventually purchased by the Gow family, who had bought the Gover House next door several years earlier. After extensive renovations, Campbell House was restored to its 1850 state. It is currently being used as a bed and breakfast by the Gow family.
Campbell House is one of three houses positioned next to each other that are approximately the same age and style. Located in the centre of town, the house has an impressive view of the harbour and is one of the most important houses in the community.
A two-and-a-half-storeyed wooden structure, the house has a gabled roof with chimneys at opposite ends of the gable. There is a linhay at the rear of the structure which has been completely restored. The house is also fully studded, a feature common to many of the older houses in the community. The windows were restored to their original six-over-six style.
Campbell House was recognised as a Registered Heritage Structure in June 1991.
Also view Campbell House Registered Heritage Structure on the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador web site. The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site has on its site only a portion of the registered heritage structures in Newfoundland and Labrador. To view a complete list or search for a particular structure visit the Heritage Foundation's Property Search page.