Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Historic Commemorations for Red Indian Lake and Dr. Anna Templeton

For Immediate Release
St. John’s, NL

Heritage NL - in partnership with The Rooms and NL Credit Union - will be announcing this year’s designations to the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program (PHCP) on Wednesday, September 18th, at 7:00 pm at The Rooms Theatre, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, NL. The Hon. Bernard Davis, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation - along with representatives of the heritage, craft and Indigenous community - will join Heritage NL at this year’s event.

The PHCP (administered by Heritage NL) commemorates provincially significant aspects of our history and culture. It is unique in that it also recognizes intangible aspects of our culture and heritage – the customs, cultural practices, traditional skills and knowledge that define our province and our people.

Since the Program's inception in 2010, 35 designations have been made, including the two designations being recognized on September 18th: Red Indian Lake as a Unique Place and Dr. Anna Templeton as an Exceptional Person from the Past.

Red Indian Lake has a place in the collective imagination of this province. It has been a place of refuge and a place of promise. The Beothuk spent the last years of their existence on the shores of Red Indian Lake. A century later, as the railway pushed into the interior of the island, Lewis Miller started a logging operation here. The town named after him would be settled by fishermen who traded skiffs and fishing premises for saws and logging camps. Two decades later a mine was established on the northern shore of Red Indian Lake and Buchans was quickly developed, along with a new “company town” way of life. The railway town of Buchans Junction developed as a branch line from the main railroad was constructed to facilitate the transportation of equipment and minerals to and from Buchans mine. At first glance, these four communities have little in common. But they all have a story to tell about how a hinterland became home.   

Anna Templeton is perhaps best known today for a craft centre named in her honour in downtown St. John’s. But our province's modern crafting scene would not exist as it does today without the woman herself. She was a pioneer of the province’s cottage craft industry. Through her work with the Jubilee Guilds and the Department of Education, Templeton made craftwork accessible and profitable for rural women. She empowered women to learn new skills, gain personal confidence and earn their own income. Anna defied societal expectations of women through her fieldwork and her leadership as she championed the wider recognition of traditional crafts and craftspeople. She contributed to the creation of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and to the textile arts diploma at the College of the North Atlantic. The province’s vibrant craft industry owes its modern prominence in no small part to the foundations laid down by Anna Templeton.

For more information on the Commemorations program visit

Heritage NL is a provincial crown agency with a mandate to stimulate an understanding of and an appreciation for the architectural heritage and intangible cultural heritage of the province. For more information visit

For Further Information Contact:

Andrea O’Brien
1-888-739-1892 ext 4

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Newfoundland word of the day: Suent - possessing a smooth, pleasing curve

Jerome Canning at work, by Tobias Romaniuk

"Suent" is one of my favourite Newfoundland words, and one that I first heard used by master boatbuilder Jerome Canning. In an article in Downhome Magazine by Tobias Romaniuk, he is quoted as follows:

“And all the time you’re looking at it, because you’ve got to trust your eye [that] she was looking good,” Jerome says. “You draw it on paper; you make a model. The boat had to look good, that nothing sort of looked clumsy, that it had a nice, suent look.”

Folklorist David Taylor includes this definition in his MA thesis on boatbuilding in Winterton:

SUENT: a term used in Winterton to describe any surface which has the proper amount of smooth, unbroken curvature. For example, a hull consisting of smooth, "fair" curves would be called a "suent" hull, while a hull exhibiting many humps and hollows, or other signs of unevenness would not. 

And the Wooden Boat Museum of NL gives this:

Suent: A gradual and smooth curve over a surface area or length of plank or board.from 

Have you heard this word used? If so, comment below, or send me a note!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Have you taken the Cod Liver Oil Challenge? You can, this Saturday!

This Saturday, as part of the free-to-the-public event Doors Open, the James J. O’Mara Pharmacy Museum (located in one of our Registered Heritage Structures) dares you to take their Cod Liver Oil Challenge!

"My favourite part about doing the challenge (besides watching the reactions) is hearing about people’s experiences with having to take cod liver oil," says Deanna Walter, Museum Manager. "Whether it was lining up for a spoonful every day at school (apparently they used the same spoon for everyone) or parents and grandparents having a barrel of it on hand for their family. People have very strong memories and opinions about the stuff."

Take the challenge, and get a certificate to prove you downed your dose!

Saturday, September 7th, 10am-4pm

For more on Cod Liver Oil, read Larry Dohey's Archival Moments blog post here.

Dale Jarvis wants your schoolyard stories and classroom memories, this Sunday!

Archives and Special Collections (Coll. 137 26.02.008), Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL

Heritage NL goes Back to School - at the Farmer’s Market!

Do you remember bringing splits to school for the fire, or being in a school play or concert? Did your school have indoor plumbing, or not? Did you take a school field trip to Bowring Park? Are you a retired teacher or educator? Or maybe you were the reason your teacher wanted to retire! We want to hear your memories!

This Sunday, folklorist and storyteller Dale Jarvis is hosting a “Back To School” Memory Mug up at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market, 2pm. You bring a memory of your schooldays, we’ll supply the tea and biscuits, and we will all have a chat. It’s free, open to everyone, and there won’t be a test at the end.

Back To School Memory Mug Up
Community Room, St. John’s Farmers’ Market,
245 Freshwater Road
Sunday, September 8, 2019

For more info:

Dale Jarvis
1-888-739-1892 x2

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Preserves Making Workshop, Brigus, Sept 14th

Landfall Cottage in Brigus is running a preserves workshop! Space is limited if you want to participate!  Info below:

Fairies, fetches, and blasts! #FolkloreThursday #LivingHeritagePodcast

Have you always wanted to know what a fairy blast is? Do you head to the woods with bread in your pockets? Listen to this podcast to learn more about fairy traditions in Newfoundland. Dale and Terra listen to audio clips of local fairy stories, and discuss the beliefs surrounding the fairies in Newfoundland. Tune in to hear about personal fairy accounts, stories of those who were fairy led, and learn how you can avoid fairies in the woods. If you have a fairy story let us know at

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. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Heritage Update Summer 2019 - Heritage colours, crafts, and candy!

In the Summer 2019 edition of Heritage Update: Executive Director Jerry Dick on the revision of Heritage NL's historic paint chart and the evolution of paint in the province; painting and decorating fishing buildings with Andrea O'Brien; intern Patrick Handrigan proposes some adaptive reuses for the Hant's Harbour Post Office Building; craft researcher Rachael Green on the craft-at-risk survey; Terra Barrett on the ladies of the Adler Chocolate Factory; and Terra and Dale Jarvis look at some of the earliest examples of red ochre paint in the province. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

My Summer Work Term 2019!

I've had an exciting summer working for the Heritage Foundation and the Craft Council of NL! I have worked on 2 major projects- the 275 Duckworth Report and our Craft at Risk project. We held a 275 Duckworth Reunion at the building to meet past workers, and 2 Craft at Risk public sessions at the Anna Templeton Center and the Wooden Boat Museum in Winterton to chat about crafts in the province.

Along with this, I got the chance to attend events and outings including Sheep Shearing in Clarkes Beach, Heritage Craft Show-And-Tell in Spaniard's Bay, Tors Cove to visit Running the Goat print shop, Brigus to visit Kent Cottage at Landfall, and a Cemetery Transcription Workshop at St. Francis Assisi Cemetery in Outer Cove. I also got to visit communities such as Hearts Content and New Perlican!

Although I am sad that my work term is coming to an end, my time here has been amazing! I have met some great people and have learned so much. I appreciate all the great help and support from everyone along the way!

Next, I will be continuing my last year of studies at MUN. Im excited to see whats in store for the future!

Bye for now! -Rachael Green

Friday, August 16, 2019

Photographing and geo-locating tombstone data at St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery

Today, we were back at the St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery, continuing on our cemetery transcription project in partnership with the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove museum. For the past two summers, we've been working with the museum to run headstone transcription workshops in the cemetery. The information gathered to date has been entered into a publicly-accessible Google spreadsheet for anyone interested in the data.  If you are doing genealogical research involving that cemetery, you can view all those records here:

This morning, a team of four (myself, LBMCOC museum manager Katie Crane, Terra Barrett, and Rachael Green) returned to test out the free app. The app, available for both Apple and Android systems, allows volunteers to photograph headstones, and then upload the photos of those memorials to the website. It is free to register and upload photos. You can transcribe photos on-site, or you can upload them without transcriptions, either for you to fill in later, or to be transcribed by website volunteers.

Each headstone creates a record, which we can then include as a link on the spreadsheet. In addition, the app geo-tags each photograph, creating a clickable map of the cemetery accessible both online and through the app itself.

As an example, here is the headstone of Seaman Thomas Kelly, which I photographed and uploaded earlier this summer:

That stone now has a record on the site:

If you look at the spreadsheet data link above, check out Marker #3, and you can see we've now included a live link to his headstone photo.

Future researchers or family members can create a free account, and add additional photos, documents, memories, or link Thomas Kelly to other family members captured on the website. If you want to visit the cemetery in person, the app/website also shows you a pin on a satellite photo of the cemetery, to help you locate it amongst the other stones.

In about 30 minutes, the four of us were able to photograph over 400 memorials, and quickly upload them. The longer work of transcribing each stone and linking them to the spreadsheet will come later, but it was impressive to see how quickly a small group of researchers can photograph and create a digital record of the cemetery and the placement of the markers.

This is where you, dear reader, can help!

The cemetery photos are all located right here. Once you log in, you can click that link, then the "volunteer" tab, and then the yellow "transcribe images" button to the right of the volunteer tab. Then, you can help out by entering the Given Name, Family Name, and birth and death dates shown in the photograph!  Help us out!

If you are involved with a cemetery documentation project, and want advice on how you could start a similar initiative in your community, give me a shout at All you need are some smartphones and volunteers! You don't need to worry about data charges either, as you can upload all the photos once you are back home, or somewhere with wifi.

- Dale Jarvis