Lester Garland House, First brick building in Trinity, NLLESTER GARLAND


Site of the First Brick House in Newfoundland


 This large brick Georgian residence was first built in Trinity by the Poole - Newfoundland merchant, Benjamin Lester, in the 1760s, it was the first structure of its kind in the province. It was later refurbished, extended and occupied by his grandson, John Bingley - Garland, the first Speaker of our House of Assembly, and stood as a principal landmark of Trinity Harbour for more than two centuries.

The structure was taken down in the 1960s despite the valiant effort of the Trinity Historical Society to preserve the building. Luckily enough some members of the Society had the foresight to take measurements of the rooms, pictures of the interior, as well as salvaging some of the doors, trim and windows in the hope that some day the house would be rebuilt.

Approximately thirty years later, in 1996/1997, the house was reconstructed to 1819/20 design in the exact location where it once stood through the efforts of the Trinity Trust in Canada and England and the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador. The remaining two front corner walls from the home which were left standing after it was torn down in the 1960s have been reincorporated into the structure. Visitors are able to distinguish between the original end walls and the reconstructed section through the two colours of bricks.

The house now serves as a museum and learning centre. The first two floors have been restored to 1819/1820 and house some of the original furniture that belonged to the family, such as the Lester table which has been made from a log that was eaten away by worms, to a painting from 1795 of Lester’s fleet of 30 ships in Trinity Harbour. The house also provides a visible means of interpreting the historic links between Poole, England and Trinity and illustrates the role of Trinity as a centre of trade and commerce in the 17th - 19th centuries.

The third floor of the House contains the archives for the area which has records going back to the 1750s.

The Lester-Garland House is open seven days a week from May - September from 10 AM - 5:30 PM. Admission to the House and the other six historic sites (Trinity Museum, Interpretation Centre, Green Family Forge, Ryan’s Shop, Cooperage and Hiscock House) is $12.00 per adult. Children 12 and under are FREE. Please drop by for a visit as you never know what you may find