The Society of United Fishermen Lodge SUF #1 is a one storey, mansard roof, lodge building prominently located in Heart’s Content, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
The Society of United Fishermen Lodge SUF #1 was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1993 because it has aesthetic, social and historic value.
The Society of United Fishermen Lodge SUF #1 was the founding lodge for a fraternal society that, at its peak, had 79 chapters in Newfoundland and 3 in Nova Scotia. The SUF was founded by Rev. George Garland as the Heart’s Content Fisherman’s Society in 1862. This mutual benefit society soon expanded beyond Heart’s Content, becoming the Society of United Fishermen in 1873. The SUF is the only fraternal organization of its kind to have its roots in Newfoundland. It provided fellowship and established a support system for its members at a time when there were few services available to fishermen and their families. The SUF officers provided community aid through duties such as attending to the sick or bringing water and wood to those who needed it. They provided money and support for funerals to deceased members and their families, made available through the collection of annual fees. The SUF also involved itself in projects to benefit individual communities through fundraising, charity work and social events. The Lodge building in Heart’s Content is a reminder of the ways in which small Newfoundland towns built social supports and a sense of community, despite relative isolation and limited resources.
Built in 1868-1869, the Lodge was designed by Rev. George Garland as a meeting hall for members of the Heart’s Content Fisherman’s Society. The lodge building was constructed by society members through the donation of materials and their own unpaid labour. The one-storey, one room wooden structure originally had a gabled roof; this was changed to a mansard roof early in the building’s history. The simple vernacular design of the building is broken by arched Gothic windows and a triangular gable end window high above the wood plank main door. Directly above the main door is an arched sign with the organization’s triangular logo and motto. The triangle was chosen to represent Newfoundland’s approximate shape. Within the triangle appears the Maltese Cross, symbolically representing the eight Beatitudes which members observe. The society’s motto, “Love, Purity and Fidelity” is represented by red, white and blue, respectively. These colors are reflected on the exterior trim of the white building. The Society of United Fishermen Lodge SUF #1 is a fine example of vernacular lodge architecture in outport Newfoundland.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Heart’s Content – Society of United Fishermen Lodge SUF #1 – FPT 1568”
Character Defining Elements
All elements that define the building’s lodge design including:
-simple, unadorned vernacular building style;
-wooden roof shingles;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-wooden corner boards;
-white paint scheme with red and blue trim, representing society colours;
-size, style, trim and placement of pointed arch Gothic Revival wooden windows, with Y-traceried transoms;
-size, style, trim and placement of wooden storm doors;
-triangular gable end wooden window above doorway;
-historic signage above door with society name, emblem and motto;
-grooved interior ceiling, resembling upturned boat;
-visibility from the water, and;
-proximity to other historic structures in Heart’s Content Registered Heritage District.
Location and History
Town of Heart's Content
1868 - 1869
Reverend George Gardner
Rectangular Short Façade