Located at 48 Orcan Drive, Placentia NL, the O’Reilly House Museum was restored by the Placentia Area Historical Society and opened to the public in 1989. It was subsequently designated a Registered Heritage Structure on the 24th April, 1999 by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Originally called “Brefery House,” this Balustrade Queen Anne Victorian house was built in 1902 by W.J. Ellis for the William O’Reilly family of Placentia. William O’Reilly was the Magistrate from 1897 to 1923. After he completed his tenure, the O’Reilly House served as home to the Magistrates of Placentia until the 1970s.
The O’Reilly House Museum captures the trappings of life and the wealth of the owners. Whether it is the stained glass that decorates the entrance on the ground floor, the finely detailed and intricately hand-trowelled mouldings in the parlour or the dental detail notched into the main staircase, the house imparts this richness.
Since being set up as a museum the O’Reilly House has a number of rooms organized to reflect the house as it was in earlier days including living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and a bedroom. Other rooms commenorate the over 450 years of diverse history of the Placentia Area. Displays include such features as approximately 400 year old Basque headstones and a display of the Resettlement of Placentia Bay. Other exhibits remind us of the French, English, Irish and Americans that have inhabited the area.