Originally established in 1869 by James Ryan Ltd., the Ryan Premises was once the home of one of Newfoundland and Labrador's largest salt fish mercantile firms. The company bought dry salted cod from fishermen, sold provisions and equipment, and exported cod worldwide. The family carried on the fish trade until 1952, and the retail and wholesale distribution businesses until 1978. Designated as a National Historic Site in 1987, the Ryan Premises was restored and re-opened by Parks Canada in 1997. It includes six historic buildings—a house, store, salt storage and various outbuildings. Today, the site commemorates the history of a remarkable Bonavista family and the Newfoundland cod fishery through exhibitions and the collection at the Bonavista Museum.