Friday, November 24, 2017

Living Heritage at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, with Gabe Newman

Gabriel Newman is a storyteller, actor, and educator based in Vernon, British Columbia. For the past fourteen years he has led the historic and paranormal walking tour, Ghost Tours of Vernon. He also created a community based storytelling food project called Social Potluck, which had him trading food for stories in order to create intimate mini community performance projects. His day job is as the Educational Coordinator at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives where he creates and presents educational programming for students and adults. We talk about the museum, their innovative programming, and the art of straight razor shaving and sharpening scythes!

Download the mp3

Monday, November 20, 2017

Heart's Content Heritage District Community Meeting

Please join The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador on Wednesday, November 22 at 7:00pm at the Heart's Content Town Hall (154 Main Road) for a community meeting.

Meeting will entail:
  • A presentation of the Heritage District Inventory and launch of inventory booklet (copies of the inventory booklet will be available at the meeting) 
  • Potential new Heritage Structure Designations and information on Restoration Funding
  • Next steps to realize the full potential of the Heart's Content Heritage District

All are welcome! If you require more information please contact Jerry ( or Katie ( or call 709.739.1892.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Safeguarding Living Heritage in Saskatchewan, with Kristin Catherwood

Kristin Catherwood is the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for Heritage Saskatchewan. She studied Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and has a particular interest in vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. Born and raised in the deep south of Saskatchewan on a family farm, Kristin is passionate about the cultural landscape and folk life of the rural prairies. Her graduate thesis, “Every Place had a Barn: The Barn as a Symbol of the Family Farm in Southern Saskatchewan” resulted in the The Barn Hunter blog which chronicled her cultural explorations of rural life.

In her work with Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), Kristin uses storytelling as a tool to connect people with place, and believes in empowering communities to tell their own stories and curate their own heritage. Her love of and respect for rural life is at the heart of her work, and she once again calls the rural prairies home.

Download the mp3

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tales from Afar: The Legend of Dog Lady Island. #FolkloreThursday

"Tales from Afar: Old Stories from New Residents" is a project to share traditional stories which have come from away, created by the St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership and the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is one of the tales we’ve collected so far. 

The Legend of Dog Lady Island
As told by Jill Jablonski

In Monroe, one of Michigan’s oldest counties, one can find the house of General Custer, many ghosts drifting along the River Raisin, and a certain island in the middle of Plum Creek. On the island, there are Native American artifacts, trash from partying teenagers, the shells of burnt out homes, the remains of mutilated small game, like raccoons and rabbits, and Dog Lady. Dog Lady Island may sound like a wasteland, and perhaps it is. Once upon a time ago, it was known as Fox Island and housed a mansion that served as a religious school for women. In the 1800s the rich Kausler family bought the island and renamed it Kausler Island. They lived in the mansion and had two caretakers. A husband and a wife.

Over the years, it became apparent that nothing would thrive on the island. Pig farms failed as well as dumps, as well as the Kausler family. Not only was their attempt to develop the island by building cheap houses on it a failure but also, their mansion burned to the ground. With no mansion and an island of disappointment, the family moved to town in the 1930s. In fact, everyone on the island moved away. Well, everyone but the husband and wife caretakers.

Some say, like everything else on the island, the marriage failed, and the husband left his wife. Other say that he simply died. Either way, the devastated woman was left completely isolated from society, and with no humans on the island, she turned to dogs for company. She befriended the feral Doberman Pinschers that inhabited the island with her, and then went feral herself, becoming not an owner, but a pack member, walking on all fours, barking, and snarling.

Sadly, as everything else on the island, this relationship with her dogs, would end in failure. One day, the old caretaker tried to eat the kill of the day, which was a raw raccoon, before the senior members of the pack got their fair share, and the dogs turned on her. They bit her tongue and ripped it out of her mouth before going for the eyes and blinding her. Or at least that is the less gruesome theory. Indeed, for if it was not the dogs, then it was the Iron Coffins biker gang, who briefly took over the island, and tortured anyone who trespassed on their territory, especially teenagers. As for why they would have mutilated the woman, the answer is simple; they did unspeakable things to the old woman, and to stop her from talking, they cut out her tongue and blinded her so she could never identify them.

Without her ability to speak, the woman became even more animalistic. She began barking and howling like her dogs. She would jump on cars belonging to teenagers who tried using the island as a lover’s lane, scratching their windshields. Also, when teenagers partied on the island, she would descend upon them like a ferocious beast, and try to maul off their faces. This went on for years, and her apparent hatred of teenagers was exacerbated by the youths themselves. Indeed, Dog Lady did not take too kindly to being prank called by local teenagers who wanted to hear her snarls over the phone.

Eventually, the Iron Coffins tortured Dog Lady to death and put her remains in a wooden coffin that they hid on the island. Because of her violent death, she did not find eternal rest. Now, she roams the island as a vengeful spirit, eating small creatures, tormenting teenagers, and running with her dogs. 

Jill Jablonski is an international student working on her MA in Public Folklore at Memorial University.  

How can I share a story?

Stories can be submitted in written form, or participants can sit down with a collector and record a spoken version of their story. To share a story, you can:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Waste Not: The Ropes, Rags, Rugs, and Recycling Podcast!

Dale Jarvis (l) talks to Ruth Green and Trent Hardy. Photo by Gabriel Newman.

In the past, the Newfoundland and Labrador household had to be versatile in order to survive. People made do with what they had and turned old objects into new items. It’s a centuries-old tradition of adaptive reuse and creativity that continues today. On Oct 26, 2017, host Dale Jarvis sat down for a chat at The Rooms with two of Newfoundland and Labrador’s crafty recyclers: Trent Hardy, mat maker and owner of Waste Knot Want Knot; and Ruth Noseworthy Green, artist and rug hooker.

Trent Hardy founded his braided mat-making company on the principle that we should not be simply throwing away materials that can still be used, turning old fishing rope into modern floor mats. Ruth Noseworthy Green’s hooked mats have been exhibited in the Arts and Letters Competition, The Bonavista North Museum Gallery, the Kildevil Far, and hang in private collections across Canada. We talked about the tradition of reuse, reinvention, ropes, rags, and rugs!

Call for Photographs and Memories of St. George's Church in Petty Harbour

Rear view of St. George's Church in Petty Harbour. October 2017. Photo by Terra Barrett. 
Do you have photographs, stories, or anything related to the history of St. George’s Church or School? Did you attend ACW garden parties or Fall sales, concerts or dances at St. George’s Hall? Were you or any of your family a member of the ACW (formerly the Church of England Women’s Association), the Society of United Fishermen (SUF), the Girl’s Friendly Society (GFS), the Church Lad’s Brigade (CLB) or the Select Vestry? Do you have any memories of the Church Wardens or the Church bell ringers?

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in conjunction with members of St. George’s Church are hosting a photo sharing and oral history event on Sunday, November 12, 2017 from 2 to 4 PM at St. George’s Church. Please come and share your stories and bring any photos or other items related to the church or school. The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is recording the history of St. George’s and is looking for the help of local community members to gather the information. Please come on November 12 between 2 and 4 PM and share your memories, photos and other moments.

If you are unable to attend on November 12 and have memories about St. George’s please contact Terra Barrett with the Heritage Foundation at 739-1892, extension 5 or toll free 1-888-739-1892 or by email

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tales from Afar: The Blind Wolf. #FolkloreThursday

"Tales from Afar: Old Stories from New Residents" is a project to share traditional stories which have come from away, created by the St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership and the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is one of the tales we’ve collected so far. 

The Blind Wolf
As told by Moaweya Alahmad 

Many years ago, there was a rancher who lived with his wife in a small village. He was not satisfied with his job. Every morning, before the sun rose, he would wake up. He would gather the herd of sheep, and take them out of the village to the mountains. Then, in the evening, he would bring them back in the darkness.

His work was difficult, but they needed food, clothes, and other things. His wife said, “you must be patient.” He looked at her, and thought to himself, “For how long?”

After a few weeks, something began to happen. Every two weeks, one billy goat or nanny goat or sheep would be lost. Why, he didn’t know, and neither did the people the village. So he thought to himself, “Why are the animals getting lost?” He decided to find out.

One evening, in the dark, he walked home behind the herd. Suddenly, one of the kid goats stopped, and headed towards the mountain. While the man watched, the kid entered a cave, and began to cry out “ma ma ma ma maaaaa” in the cave.

Suddenly a wolf appeared.

“Oh oh,” the man said. But how was this possible? The wolf was blind.

The man thought about that for a long time, and then in the morning, he went back to his house. He decided to quit his job.

“If my God sends food for a blind wolf in a cave,” he said, “he can send food to me.”

One week passed.

Two weeks passed.

But there was nothing new.

So on the third week, the wife decided to take a job as a woodcutter. After a few days working, she hit the ground with the axe, and the axe went down into a hole. When she looked into the hole, there was a jar of gold.

She went back to her home, and when her husband saw the gold, he said:

“Thank you my God!”

Moaweya Alahmad, originally from Syria, is an adult level 5 English student with the Association for New Canadians. 

How can I share a story?

Stories can be submitted in written form, or participants can sit down with a collector and record a spoken version of their story. To share a story, you can:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Tales of the River" - Manuals River Memory Mug Up

A Memory Mug Up brings people together to tell their stories and experiences. If you have memories and tales about growing up and living near Manuels River or along “the shore” please join us for an enjoyable afternoon of sharing. Hosted by Dale Jarvis of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, this Memory Mug Up includes an informal story circle and a cup of tea and a snack.  This program is offered free or by donation. No pre-registration required.

When: Wednesday, November 152:30-3:30pm
Where: Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre, 7 Conception Bay Highway

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Looking for Informants - The Newman Building and The Press Club

The Newman Building c. 1970. Photo courtesy A.C. Hunter Library. 

Over the years, The Newman Building has functioned in many different ways. In 1969, the Press Club moved into the building. Formed in 1954, The Press Club was open to all employees of newspapers, magazines, radio and television persons in public affairs. They remained in The Newman Building until 1976.

Do you remember when this building housed the Press Club? If so, please contact Katie at 709-739-1892 ext. 6 or email