Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Calling all tailoresses and newspaper boys: 275 Duckworth Reunion

Calling all tailoresses and newspaper boys: 275 Duckworth Reunion

Did you or one of your relatives work at 275 Duckworth Street, St. John’s? If so, you are invited to a party! To celebrate the history of their new home at 275 Duckworth Street, the Craft Council of NL is hosting a building reunion in partnership with Heritage NL.

Perhaps best-known as the home of the Evening Telegram newspaper, the building was constructed circa 1911 for the Newfoundland Clothing Company. Tailoresses busily churned out suits for export, while the cardboard box factory in the basement fabricated the boxes in which to ship them. The business continued till the 1950s, when the fabric merchants moved out, and the newspaper moved in. Scores of paper boys delivered their goods based out of Solomon's Lane, while reporters and printers plied their trade inside. In the mid 1980s, locals dined and danced at The Dallas Lounge or The Reporter, and later still, students made their way through the Compu College doors.

If you remember any of these workplaces, we'd love to meet you! Come along for a chat, some cake and a cup of tea, and meet the others who shared experiences at 275 Duckworth. If you have photos or memorabilia, we'd love to see it!

If you have questions or a memory of the building you want to share, contact Rachael Green craft@heritagenl.ca or call toll-free 1-888-739-1892 ext 6.

Thursday, August 1st
Craft Council of NL Gallery
275 Duckworth Street, St. John's

Eventbrite listing

Facebook listing

Friday, June 21, 2019

Remembering the Hant's Harbour Post and Telegraph Office, an interview with Clarence Snook.

On 10 June 2019, Dale Jarvsi sat down for a chat with Mr Clarence Snook, of Hant’s Harbour, NL, at his apartment at the Admiral's Coast Retirement Centre, Conception Bay South. Now in his 90s, Mr Snook had been the telegraph operator and postmaster in Hant's Harbour for 11 years,  starting before the end of the second World War. This is his story of how he got started and of the women who trained him in. 

Well the lady retired through illness and I had been interested in telegraph, in Morse telegraphy at the time. I was training through another lady, an ex-school teacher over there who also was a postmistress at one time. She was proficient in Morse code, so I went through all one winter and trained under her to learn the Morse telegraphy.

So the following spring, the lady there, Miss Melina Critch, she had been there for many years and her health broke down, and the secretary of... telegraphs – who was the Newfoundland government at that time – called, and wondered if I could struggle through with it even though I hadn’t been officially in the office but I had been trained.

So I said, “Well I’ll try to get along with it,” and I did, and I was there for 11 years, just about 11 years.

I’d just finished high school. I suppose I was probably 18? I had trained in telegraphy independent of the post office that winter. I was attending classes for this lady who’d – I don’t know where she came from, somewhere from out in the community – and I knew that she was proficient in telegraphy. And by arrangement with her schedule I used to go there nights, and eventually I became I suppose proficient in the Morse code.

I was there all long winter, you know, spasmodic right? I didn’t go there every night now but pretty well I’d be there three or four times a week, you know? And it went over very well. She was good as a teacher. And then of course I went over – when Miss Critch [left] – she must’ve been there for I’d say 25 or 30 years.

She was what I would term almost a Florence Nightingale of the community. In those days everybody were letter-writers, and if there was somebody who couldn’t express themselves very well in a letter, they’d go to Melina, Miss Melina, and ask her to write the letter.

She spent hours and weeks I suppose that she never got paid for, nor did she charge for. She was just an angel; that’s the way to put it. She was the nerve centre of the community. In those days were only two radios, not short-wave but long-wave radios, in the community, and she would have to take the news, so-called, and like this time of the year when the sealing ships were out there, the Imogene and the Kyle, etc., etc., they would report back and she would record this in long foolscap books and hand-write it, believe it or not.

This was for the information of the public, to go to the public of the post office and read this. That was the news centre.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Living Heritage #Podcast: Summer Update and Request for Help!

In this episode we discuss some of the projects the ICH (Intangible Cultural Heritage) Office is working on this summer. First up Dale, and Terra discuss their research in Bay Roberts on significant sites in the town. These include memories from the chocolate girls about their time working in short-lived Adler’s chocolate factory, stories of the jacky lanterns of Fergus Island, the Klondyke causeway, and the history behind the mummer murder gate. During the second part of the podcast, Dale introduces Rachael, who is working out of our office this summer in collaboration with the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. Rachael is working on two projects including craft at risk, and the history of 275 Duckworth Street. She is working to create a database of craftspeople around the province and identifying crafts at risk. Rachael is also researching the history behind the Craft Council’s new building. So if you have memories of, or worked in the Newfoundland Clothing Factory, The Telegram, or Compu College on Duckworth, or have memories about the sites in Bay Roberts let us know at livingheritagepodcast@gmail.com.

Download the mp3


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 HeritageNL 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.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Remembering the Hant's Harbour Post and Telegraph Office

One of the projects Heritage NL has been working on involves the old one-room post office building in Hant's Harbour, Trinity Bay (shown above).

Earlier this week, I sat down for a chat with 93-year-old Clarence Snook, the former postmaster and telegraph operator who worked out of this building in the 1940s and '50s.

When I arrived, Mr. Snook had written out some of his memories for me, which you can read here in pdf format.

If you have a memory of the old Hant's Harbour post office, send me an email at dale@heritagenl.ca. Or, even better, send me a postcard at PO Box 5171, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5!

- Dale Jarvis

Did you work at 275 Duckworth Street, St. John's? Researcher looking for memories!

Hi! It’s me again, Rachael, Craft Researcher for the Craft Council and Heritage NL!

In my last post I mentioned a little about the Craft Council’s current home, 275 Duckworth Street. My hopes for this post is to uncover more information on this historic building!

One of my projects for this summer is to create a historical report on the structure. So far, my potential occupied dates are:

1911 - 195? The Newfoundland Clothing Factory
195? - 1981 The Evening Telegram
1985  The Dallas Lounge
Mid 1980s - 2010 Compu College
2018-present The Craft Council of NL

I have done some research myself, but I need your help! If you or anyone you know has worked in this building, and has any memories regarding their time here please contact me. You can reach me by email: craft@heritagenl.ca, or telephone: 739-1892 ext. 6. Any information helps!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sheep Shearing #FolklorePhoto

Shearing sheep
Today's folklore photos come from last week when we had the opportunity to watch and assist in sheep shearing. Dale, Rachael, and I were able to stop in to see and photograph the process of removing the woolen fleece of a sheep with shears. The sheep in this flock were mostly Icelandic and are shorn or sheared by hand with blade shears twice a year. Once in the spring, and again in the fall. This sheep shearer often keeps the wool to spin, and then knit products for herself, family, and friends.
Shearing the back and rump
Dale assisting with the shearing process by holding Luna the sheep steady

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Perlican Field Trip

Jillian, Rachael, Eileen, Betty, Ruth, Kelley, and Dale talk with Ches Peddle of New Perlican.
On Tuesday, June 4, I headed out to New Perlican, Trinity Bay with Dale, our new summer student Rachael, and two professors in the folklore department. We were taking Dr. Jillian Gould, and Dr. Kelley Totten from Memorial University's Folklore Department to meet with members of the community in order to explore future partnerships between the heritage committee and the folklore department.

St. Augustine's Anglican Church
Our first stop was the town hall where we met with four members of Heritage New Perlican to talk about the possibility of the two groups working together on a future folklore field school. After our formal meeting we explored the community with a stop in St. Augustine's Anglican Church. This church was built in 1927 and is set to be deconsecrated this month.

Ches Peddle
Our next stop was one of the colourful stages that dot the harbour of New Perlican. Ches Peddle, who showed us around his stage, grew up and lives in Vitters Cove, New Perlican. He worked on boats, and spent time in the north with the Hudson Bay Company. Ches also builds boats, and each summer he places a flag on the local landmark, Peter's Finger. Ches took us through his stage, explained the different fishing gear, and pointed out who built some of the boats, and stages in the harbour.

Grave located on private property.
We made a quick stop in St. Mark's Anglican Cemetery. This cemetery was part of a clean up project in 2017. The project was another partnership with Heritage New Perlican, and Memorial University. We also stopped to see a lone grave from 1816 which is located on private property. Our last stop of the day was stop at Ron Peddle's and the St. Augustine Anglican Cemetery as no trip to New Perlican is complete without goats. Unfortunately we didn't see any cemetery goats! We did however see little Bella, who is a pet pygmy goat owned by a community member.

Folk art in New Perlican by George Burrage

Friday, June 7, 2019

Introducing our new Craft-at-Risk researcher, Rachael Green

Hi! I’m Rachael Green. I study Archaeology/Geography at Memorial University. As a Co-operative Education student, I am currently interning as a Craft Researcher for the Craft Council in partnership with Heritage NL. The creativity of the craft has always inspired me. I'm thrilled to learn and broaden my horizons of all things craft, folk, and heritage!

My major goals for the summer are: Firstly, to recreate “The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts”, NL style! In hopes to allow the public a better understanding of crafts at risk, all while creating an organized database of craftspeople around the province. Secondly, to conduct research on the craft council’s new home, 275 Duckworth Street, and create storyboards of the history of each level of the building. Then, to obtain enough information to eventually create a historical report. To give a little overview on the building, it was initially built 1908-1911, homing the Newfoundland Clothing Factory, The Telegram, and then Compu College. If you have any information or questions on my upcoming projects, my email is craft@heritagenl.ca.

As my first week here comes to an end, I couldn't have asked for a better start! So far, I have visited the quaint town of New Perlican. Here, we roamed and spoke to locals on the towns fishing heritage, as they recalled stories of the true beauty of growing up in the area.

I also got the chance to visit some Icelandic sheep, and witness sheep shearing! I will never forget the experience, and the wool was just incredible. We were provided with substantial knowledge on the breed of sheep, as well as, the correct way to shear for a safe and positive experience for both yourself and the animal.

I'm super excited to spend the summer working with the Craft Council and Heritage NL. I’m looking forward to all the exciting adventures to come!

- Rachael

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Memory Mug Up at the Market - Sunday, June 9

Poster design by Graham Blair.
Have you had the opportunity to join us for a Memory Mug Up at the St. John's Farmers' Market? This weekend is your chance!

Come to the community room at the St. John's Farmers' Market for our Memory Mug Up at The Market. This is a free and informal story sharing session where people gather, have a cup of tea, and share memories. You bring a memory of growing up, organizers in partnership with vendors at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market supply the tea and local food, and everyone has a chat. Following the sessions, those who are interested can set up a time to have their stories recorded and archived by one of our story collectors. These stories will be edited into a booklet, which will be launched during the final storytelling session in March 2020. 

Heritage NL is partnering with the St. John’s Farmer’s Market, and the St. John’s Storytelling Festival to host a monthly Memory Mug Up at The Market. This Mug Up will take place the second Sunday of each month from 2-3 p.m. at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market, 245 Freshwater Road.

If you have any older photographs you would like scanned bring them along and we will scan them and provide you a digital copy!

For more information please contact Terra Barrett with the Heritage NL toll free at 1-888-739-1892 ext. 5 or email terra@heritagenl.ca