Friday, September 21, 2018

A peek at John & Phonse Ducey’s Root Cellar, Keels



If you've followed the ICH Blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that we love root cellars. Like, really, really LOVE root cellars. Well, my mother and father were off for a 50th wedding anniversary jaunt around the Bonavista Peninsula, and Fadder snapped these pics of John and Phonse Ducey's root cellar in Keels, Bonavista Bay. It is of a type we'd call an above ground cellar, but of a specific sub-type that features an exterior wall holding back a layer of insulating sod. The final photos in the series below show the cellar from the rear, where some degradation over time allows you to see the construction process a bit better. The diagonal side braces, acting as a type of buttress, helped keep the outer walls up against the weight of the sod. It is a feature you will sometimes see in old fishing stages called a "side span" -- a wooden exterior brace on the side of a stage which kept the side of the stage from breaking out when a large amount of salted fish was stored inside.

The root cellar was featured in the booklet Living Spaces: The Architecture of the Family Fishery in Keels, Newfoundland which was produced by the first Memorial University Folklore Field School, under the direction of Dr. Gerald Pocius. Then MA candidate Kristin Catherwood, now the ICH Development Officer for Heritage Saskatchewan (insert heart emoji here), wrote the following about the cellar:
The root cellar owned by John and Phonse Ducey is located on the eastern outskirts of Keels. It was built in the early 1950s by Henry Thomas Curtis, a carpenter from the nearby community of King’s Cove for Kenneth Mesh. The bulk of the work done by Curtis consisted of pouring the cement for the interior structure. Roland Mesh, Kenneth’s brother, recalls that the cement was poured first, and left to set for several months. In the meantime, a wooden exterior structure was constructed of spruce split logs cut in the woods surrounding Keels. A space of five feet was left between the cement interior cellar structure and the exterior wooden structure. This space was then filled with turf. Much of the turf was brought from Pigeon Island in Keels’ harbour, since turf was in short supply in the surrounding area of the community itself. The turf was dug by hand and loaded in punts (a type of small boat often used for transporting fish), then brought to the family’s stage on Keels’ shore. 

Thanks, Dad! Happy Anniversary!






Thursday, September 20, 2018

Heritage and Environmental Conservation with Megan Stuckless


Megan Stuckless began working with Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2007 and her appreciation for the cultural and environmental well-being of our beautiful province, as well as the as the not for profit sector, has grown with each passing year. As the current Programs Manager she finds great value in being able to support and advance the goals of the organization. Being a mother and working with youth inspires her to continue working toward sustainability and cultural and environmental integrity for those to come. In this episode, Megan talks about the intersections between heritage and environmental conservation, and the different job and internship opportunities with the CCNL. Special thank you to the CCNL, which made the Living Heritage Podcast Broadcast Assistant position possible.


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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, September 19, 2018

Memories of Georgestown Walking Tour - Sept 29th



Memories of Georgestown: A walking tour of Georgestown
Saturday, September 29th
1 pm
The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road 

Free event! 

For the month of September graduate students of Memorial University’s Folklore Department have been learning about and researching historic and contemporary Georgestown. They will share their discoveries of the neighborhood in a public walking tour on Saturday, September 29th at 1pm. Tour begins at the Lantern, 35 Barnes Road. In case of rain, students will present their findings indoors. Tea, coffee, and conversation at the Lantern following the tour.


photo: Rawlins Cross, St. John's, circa 1930. Parsons family collection S.H. Parsons and Sons sous fonds, Community views and sportsmen activities Series, Item E 20-8. The Rooms.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday's #FolklorePhoto: Hard Bread and Hand-knit Sweaters

A sweater made by Doris Norman, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010
Today's Folklore Photos come from the Roddickton collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative. Roddickton is a community located between Main Brook and Englee on the eastern side of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula.

This community got its start with help from the Grenfell Mission when in 1906, when they built a sawmill operation in the region. Setting up this land-based industry was a direct attempt to address the uncertainties of the fishing industry. Previous to this development, the Main Brook area was known as Easter Brook and was mostly used by residents of Englee as hunting and fishing grounds. The name Roddickton was given to the new settlement in honor of a Grenfell Mission supporter named Thomas G. Roddick. The town was officially incorporated under the name of Roddickton in 1953.

The sawmill history of Roddickton is one riddled with contrasting times of growth and decline. The original sawmill only lasted until the early 1920s-a closure that saw most of the residents evacuated. This economic slump was temporary, however, as within four years, the Bowater Company moved into Roddickton to establish new mill operations. This industry motivated consistent growth for the community until the 1970s when Bowater too, was forced to shut down. Roddickton now operates as a service center for the greater region, helping to sustain the local population.

The Roddickton inventory is part of a founding collection for the Great Northern Peninsula Textiles Archive and Learning Center. This project, based in Conche, NL, is an on-going initiative to document and preserve the textile-based crafts that are being created on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula. The items in this collection were gathered between May and July of 2010 and include photographs of textile craft objects such as the Newfoundland Quilt, patch work quilts, and knitted items. This inventory also includes audio clips of craftspeople discussing their particular textile-based skills and practices.

If you want to learn more about this collection click here and if you want to listen to an interview with Doris Norman about quilting, and tole painting click here.
A country themed patchwork quilt made by Doris Norman, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010
An applique Purity bag from a Newfoundland quilt made by Doris Norman, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Designate a Person, Event, or Site in Your Community; Shannon Lewis-Simpson Tells Us How!


Dr. Shannon Lewis-Simpson is the Newfoundland and Labrador representative for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Board declares and commemorates sites, events and people of national significance. In this episode, Dr. Lewis-Simpson explains how you can nominate a person, place, thing for designation (write a letter to the Board!). She also shares some of the Board's recent designations and projects, including reviewing plaques across the province, recognizing the shore crews in the Grand Banks, and the designation of Indian Point, Newfoundland as a cultural landscape.

Dr. Lewis-Simpson is also a Coordinator, Community Engaged Learning, Student Life, and Adjunct Professor of Archaeology at Memorial University. Her research interests are in the medieval and early modern North Atlantic, naval history, and the history of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Download MP3


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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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Frances and Willie Cadigan #FolklorePhoto


This week's #FolklorePhoto comes from the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum's collection. Pictured are Frances and Willie Cadigan on Marine Drive in Logy Bay.

Friday, September 7, 2018

What's happening in the ICH Office? Let us tell you!



We've said goodbye to our fabulous Conservation Corp Heritage Broadcast Intern, Natalie Dignam, but you haven't heard the last of her. She worked on a score of new Living Heritage podcast recordings, which will be coming to you each week, including a series of podcasts featuring the St. John's Community Market.

Terra Barrett is working away feverishly on our Virtual Museums of Canada exhibit on the merchant life of Main Street, Windsor. We're still a bit away from our launch date (after Christmas, hopefully) but we'll soon have everything ready to send for French translation.

Dale Jarvis is hosting an event this coming Monday, in partnership with the Georgestown Neighbourhood Association and the Memorial  University Folklore Fieldschool. At 7pm, Monday, Sept 10th, we'll be at The Lantern (35 Barnes Road) with a crowd of people sharing stories and memories of growing up in the neighbourhood. It promises to be a very entertaining evening, and you'll get a chance to meet all the new folklore grad students who are studying and working in Georgestown for the first three weeks of September.

If you grew up in the Georgestown area of St. John's, and would be interested in sharing your stories and/or being part of an oral history interview, you can email Dale at dale@heritagenl.ca




Sangro, the 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment Monkey. #monkeylore




Here is your slice of offbeat Newfoundland history for the week, courtesy of the Newfoundland Quarterly (Spring Number 1945), all about a monkey and the 166th Royal Artillery:

A pet monkey that thrives on a diet of peanuts, roast potatoes, bully beef, milk and vermouth has been mascot of the 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment, R. A. for the past year.  
Named "Sangro " because she was found in an enemy gun position during the Sangro River crossing near Ortona last year, the monkey has long since been taken on strength for discipline, rations and quarters. Lance-bombardier Tasker Cook of Woodland Farm, St. John's East, who owns the monk, claims "she's as cool as any gunner in the battery. I hope I can bring her home with me."  
Before the war Bdr. Cook worked at dairy farming and though he admits he had many kinds of pets, a monkey is something new to him.  
Gnr. Jack Hayworth of St. John's and Gnr. Avalon Frampton of 5 Long Street, St. John's also bunk in with Cook and Sangro. Gnr. Frampton is one of the Monk's best friends- "She's a very clean monkey, and she has never had a flea since we got her."  
Before the war, Gnr. Frampton was a dry goods clerk at James Baird, Ltd., Water Street. He is a transport driver now with the regiment. His brother, Ralph, is in the Canadian Merchant Navy.

If you have a Newfoundland monkey story (maybe a memory of the Bowring Park monkeys?) I'd love to hear it!  dale@heritagenl.ca 


Photo: Royal Artillery Trainees, May 1940.  Fifteen signal trainees with nine officers outside Redford Barracks at Bollington. Archives and Special Collections (Coll. 217 3.04.001), Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Music and Travels of Andy Irvine

Andy Irvine is a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians. Although an integral part of the finest Irish bands of our time, including Sweeney's Men in the mid 60s, Planxty in the 70s, his duo with Paul Brady in the later 70s, as well as Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island, Andy Irvine continues along the path he set for himself so long ago - a vibrant career as a solo artist in the old style, a teller of tales and maker of music. In this episode, Andy talks about his upcoming Woody Guthrie album, his travels, and his music. Andy performed at the 2018 St. John’s Folk Festival.




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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.