Thursday, December 13, 2018

Pyrex Nerds: Folklorist Terra Barrett on her Love of All Things Vintage



Terra Barrett is a public folklorist with Heritage NL. She is researching the folklore and oral history of the province. Terra holds a BA in Folklore and French and a MA in Public Folklore from Memorial University. She is a lover of all things vintage and an avid Pyrex collector. In this episode, Terra talks about the history of Pyrex, how she became a collector, and the thrill of the hunt for new (and old!) pieces and designs.
###

The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HFNL and CHMR Radio. Past episodes are hosted on Libsyn, and you can subscribe via iTunes, or Stitcher. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A note on the Bauline funeral hand-barrow, biers, and catafalques.




Last Thursday, we were in Bauline making a preliminary research trip to look at the old, unmarked Methodist burying ground. While there, we got a tour of the local United (originally Methodist) Church. The cornerstone of the church was laid November 12th, 1919 by A. Soper, Esq, and the inscription on the stone reads “Thy house shall be a house of prayer.” Construction was finished  sometime between 1920 and 1921 (a banner inside the church gives a date of 1920, while other records indicate 1921). The building was expanded, a basement was hand-dug with pick and shovel, and a new concrete block foundation was put in place in 1985.

Whilst exploring the basement, we were able to take a few photos of Bauline’s funeral hand barrow. Its exact age is unknown, but it was recovered a number of years ago from a nearby shed, and was restored by Mr. Alton King.

According to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, a hand-barrow is a flat rectangular wooden frame with handles at each end for two men to carry cod-fish, seal 'pelts' and other bulky materials. The Bauline funeral hand-barrow differs from a regular fisheries hand-barrow in that it is slightly longer, as it would have been used to carry a coffin to the cemetery, and in that it features a centre bar that swivels out, allowing for an additional two men to act as pall-bearers.




In other places, this piece of technology is often referred to as a “bier” - a stand to support a corpse or a coffin prior to burial. The term “catafalque” is sometimes used interchangeable, or to describe a decorated bier on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral.

Biers like the Bauline example were used in various locations around the province. One good example of the use of a bier is found in the description of the 1887 death and funeral of Captain Alonso Francis of the steamer Curlew:
Before dying the captain, feeling perhaps that death was approaching, had ordered the ship back to Harbor Briton, and it was just outside the heads of that port he died. The body was placed in a coffin as soon as possible, after which the steamer left for St. John's. On arriving here last night Mr. Carnell's hearse was in waiting, and in a short a time as possible the body of the dead seaman was lifted from the life-boat and laid on the bier. The ensign enshrouded it and it was borne on to the wharf by six of the seamen of the Curlew. The wharf was crowded with people, for the dead captain was greatly beloved in St. John's. The scene was weird and awful in the extreme.
- The Colonist, vol. 02, no. 134 (17 June 1887) p 4
Another example of the use of a bier is found in the description of the 1918 Holyrood funeral of Seaman Francis Peddle of the Canadian Naval Reserve:
...when the funeral service had been recited over his bier the body was borne to the hearse in waiting by the pallbearers and the funeral cortege continued its route to Holy Cross Cemetery where the remains were interred beside those of his wife Mary Quinlan who predeceased him nine years ago.
- Evening Telegram (St. John's, N.L.), 1918-10-25 page 9
Other examples of these can be found online, such as the 1800s funeral bier below, from a Welsh chapel, used to carry the coffin during a funeral service and to the site of burial (photo courtesy Caerphilly County Borough Council Museums & Heritage Service).  It does not feature the additional swivel handle of the Bauline example, but is very similar in construction otherwise.



If you know of another example of one of these devices somewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador, contact dale@heritagenl.ca

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Launching the "Maxwell Roy" - 1940s. #FolklorePhoto





These photos show the boat "Maxwell Roy" about to be launched. The Maxwell Roy was the last ship to be launched by Martin Gosse of Spaniard's Bay. The photos were taken sometime in the 1940s. The two main buildings shown in the background of the second photograph were still standing in 2018.

Photo courtesy Daphne Robinson. Photos collected as part of the "Lassy Days Photo Scanning Pary" held Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 at the Wesley Gosse Heritage Museum. If this photo elicits memories for you, or if you'd like to arrange a photo scanning party for your community, contact Dale Jarvis at dale@heritagenl.ca

Monday, December 10, 2018

Bauline Burial Ground

Group in the unmarked cemetery.
On Thursday Dale and I met with three archaeologists from Memorial University, and three residents of Bauline to discuss the possibility of completing a project in an abandoned cemetery in the community. The unmarked cemetery is an old Methodist burying ground which predates the old United Church cemetery in the community.

Measuring out the cemetery. The rock walls delineating the cemetery can be seen in the foreground.
We met beside the United Church and walked down to the site which is on an incline and is only marked by a short rock wall. One of the residents pointed out two rocks which he was told by an older community member was the entrance to the graveyard.

Reviewing the church floor plans.
After a trip through the graveyard and a discussion of what the next steps were we visited the United Church building. The church is due to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020. Dale is completing some research on the history of the church itself and we were able to find some floor plans of some alterations done in the 1980s.

Undenominational Cemetery. 1925.
Once we finished exploring the church we took a quick detour on the way back to town to visit an undenominational graveyard where several goldpreachers or coonies are buried. We are also interested in learning more about this religion and are looking into where else there were goldpreachers practicing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

One of three marked stones in the undenominational graveyard.
Several unmarked stones are also located in the small graveyard.
Stay tuned for more updates on the church and the graveyard! But in the meantime if you have any information about either please reach out to Dale Jarvis at 739-1892 ex. 2 or dale@heritagenl.ca

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Something's Brewing in Newfoundland: Atlantic Canada's First Cicerone Talks Craft Beer


In 2013, Mike became the first certified cicerone in Atlantic Canada, a certification commonly understood as the equivalent of a sommelier in the craft beer world. Mike is also the co-founder of The Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal Special Order Beer Club, a special order club that allowed people to order beers that were not available through the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC). In addition, he is the founder of The Beer Thief, an online forum that connects craft beer enthusiasts. In this episode, Mike talks about his training as a cicerone and the origins of the Special Order Beer Club, as well as the recent decision to have the club take a break as the craft beer scene in Newfoundland continues to grow.

###

The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HFNL and CHMR Radio. Past episodes are hosted on Libsyn, and you can subscribe via iTunes, or Stitcher. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Digital Storytelling: 1968 Oxfam Walk with Palma Mercer


Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their own family and community history. Many people have stories about family members and local places that often go untold. Digital storytelling helps interpret and make community history accessible.

Palma Mercer tells the story of the 1968 Oxfam Miles for Millions Walk.



Or click here to watch the video on YouTube.

Photos and audio courtesy of Palma Mercer. Photos collected as part of the Digital Storytelling workshop held Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. If this video elicits memories for you, or if you'd like to arrange a digital storytelling workshop for your community, contact Dale Jarvis at dale@heritagenl.ca

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Skipper Martin Gosse, Spaniard's Bay. #FolklorePhoto



Photo of Skipper Martin Gosse (middle), son Roy (right), and son-in-law Allan Jerrett (left). Early 1950s.

Photo courtesy Daphne Robinson. Photo collected as part of the "Lassy Days Photo Scanning Pary" held Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 at the Wesley Gosse Heritage Museum. If this photo elicits memories for you, or if you'd like to arrange a photo scanning party for your community, contact Dale Jarvis at dale@heritagenl.ca

Monday, December 3, 2018

Update on the Lewis Ferman & Co. sign, Water Street, St. John's

Back in October, folklorist Terra Barrett and I rushed down the street to prevent an old shop sign from being sent to the local landfill. That opened up a flood of stories and memories, and we are pleased that the sign will eventually be displayed at The Rooms here in St. John's. If you missed the story, you can read about it here:

First, the sign itself:


It might not look like much at the moment, but this is the first part of the restoration project underway at The Rooms by their talented conservators. Here, the sign has been tented with plastic and rehydration is taking place to allow the paint to relax so that it can be reattached. Thanks to Maureen Peters for sharing the photo with us. 

Next up, an old photo, sent to us by grandson Michael Ferman. He writes, "While the image quality is poor, the photo clearly shows the original sign, and I would suspect it is most likely Lewis Ferman in the photo due to his signature of the back."


Lastly, something of a treat! Here is a photo that comes to us from Brenda Simms Flood. Left to right, the photo shows her mother, Joan Simms; Lewis's wife Grunia Ferman, and Doris Snelgrove. All these ladies were neighbours here in St. John's, and the photo was take at St. John's airport, 1995, after Grunia received her honorary doctorate from MUN at the Fall Convocation: three friends who were Protestant, Jewish, and Roman Catholic. 



I'm still collecting memories and photographs, so if you have something to share about the Fermans, or about any of the other Jewish merchants in St. John's or throughout the province, you can get in touch with me via email at dale@heritagenl.ca or phone 1-888-739-1892 x2. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Armistice100 On Air - the podcast



On Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, Heritage NL folklorist Dale Jarvis interviewed special guests Darlene Redmond and Michael Pretty at the Annex, Admiralty House Communications Museum, as part of a live audience recording of the Living Heritage radio show and podcast to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice.

Darlene Redmond is an artist who has always had a keen interest in history and war. She admires the care and dedication given by the people of this province in preserving the history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and created the series to contribute to a proud legacy. She lives with her husband and children in Mount Pearl. Darlene's work will be featured in Admiralty House's new exhibit "Armistice 100."

Michael Pretty is the founder of The Trail of the Caribou Research Group Inc. (TCRG). TCRG is a not-for-profit volunteer organization and a registered charity. Their mission is to raise awareness of the accomplishments and sacrifices of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in military conflicts and peacekeeping missions over the past 100 years. All TCRG initiatives are founded on values of fellowship, inclusion and respect.

The Armistice 100 exhibit at Admiralty House runs until Nov 30, 2018



###

The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HFNL and CHMR Radio. Past episodes are hosted on Libsyn, and you can subscribe via iTunes, or Stitcher. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.