The George House Heritage Bed & Breakfast
Dildo, Newfoundland and Labrador
The George family came to Dildo in the early 1800s with Edward George (1769-1839), a native of Wales. However, it was his son, Thomas (1809-1878), and his grandson, Albert (1842-1929), who made their mark in the community. Thomas was a trader and a police constable in the nearby community of New Harbour; his billy-stick is still owned by the family. In 1867 he obtained a grant of 55 acres of land from the Government of Newfoundland to construct a house and start farming. In the same year Albert George married Sarah Ann Davis (1846-1914) of Harbour Grace. He bacame a successful local merchant, with a general store and four schooners that were involved in fishing on the Labrador coast and carring freight to and from St. John’s. He also owned two smaller shops in Dildo that closed because of credit problems. Eventually, all of his businesses ran into credit problems and following the Newfoundland bank crash of 1894, his remaining businesses closed. After this Albert turned to farming; he kept cattle, sheep, hens, ducks, and geese and grew vegetables. As well he had fruit trees, which yielded plums, gooseberries, black and red currents, and apples.
Before this happened, Albert managed to build the house that stayed in his family for more than 100 years. Built in 1885 in the Second Empire style by carpenter Reuben Reid who walked to the community of Hearts Content to pick up the floor plans from the Cable Station. Reid was known as a self-taught wizard. He was the grandson of the first Reid to settle in Dildo around 1815. Both Albert George and Reuben Reid were forty years of age when the house was built. Albert had nine children and Reuben had eleven. The house was and still is one of the best-known landmarks in the Dildo area.
Albert’s son Kenneth (1885-1964) raised his family of six children in the George House during the early 1900s and Kenneth’s wife Ellen Duffett (1892-1976) from Clifton, Trinity Bay operated the local post office from 1920 until 1958. The post office was operated from one of the back porches of the house. Prior to opening the wicket each morning to call out the addressed names on the mail, people would gather in the public area waiting for their mail.
In 1931 Kenneth added the covered veranda to the front of the house. The last George to own the house was Lloyd George (1917-2002) who kept detailed records of his family’s history and was well known as the local historian. In 1965 he married Virginia Rodway (1932-1981) from Kingwel, NL and had one son, Albert, in 1972 named after his great-grandfather. Lloyd was described as an amazing man who was a schoolteacher in Battle Harbour, Labrador, then in Norris Point. In 1952 he worked with the Department of Highways until his retirement in 1977. An active Anglican churchman doing everything from playing the organ to lay-reading and researching church history.
Rosanna Cranford Tizzard and Fred Tizzard purchased the property in 1992 from Lloyd George. Both were retired and enjoyed spending summertime in Dildo. Rosanna enjoyed painting landscape art as well as doing restoration work to the house. It became a Registered Heritage Structure in September 1995 and won the Southcott Award for restoration from the Newfoundland Historic Trust.
In 2003 Todd Warren purchased the property from the Tizzards and converted it into a bed and breadfast named George House Heritage B & B, welcoming visitors from around the globe, offering yesteryears charm with today’s amenities.
If you are ever in the far eastern part of Newfoundland, Canada, stop and visit the small town with the famous name. (Watch a music video about Dildo on YouTube here.) The George House B & B is highly recommended by the staff and management of 101 Bananas.