Built in another day and age, this St. John’s home touches three centuries


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — In rugged little St. John’s, it was a good time to build a house of one’s own. Freshwater Road was meandering west and offering new home sites just beyond “the higher levels.”

On one particular block of land on that road near the junction with Mayor Avenue, all the essentials to build a modest family home in 1875 — mortar, rocks, wide planking and even a complete tree trunk were being pulled together. The hip-roofed house that resulted is part of the neighbourhood to this day.

It has been home to many different owners for nearly a century-and-a-half.

Admittedly, No. 58 Freshwater Rd. has changed a lot in its146 years. But for the discerning eye, the hip roof betrays the home’s antiquity. It’s a style of roof that reaches well back in time. Excellent for handling rain and snow, the design has been neatly described as “pyramid-shaped.”

The year in which this house was built must have been a year with a measure of optimism among the people of the old colony.

That summer, renowned engineer Sandford Fleming was here with a surveying team to map a trouble-free rail route cutting across the island to St. George's Bay. Things were looking good.

Benefits were still being realized from the previous season’s greatest-ever fishery.

While its builder is unknown, No. 58 today is owned (and loved) by Sharilee Anderson, who bought the home a year ago.