Monday, February 27, 2017

Pierce’s Fish Store - Saved from Demolition. #NLheritage

Pierce’s Store on the north side of Harbour Breton, 1990s. (Doug Wells photo)
Special report by Doug Wells.

Seeing it is Heritage Week in NL, I visited the Elementary classes (Grade 4,5,6) at St. Joseph’s Elementary in Harbour Breton. We discussed the history of Pierce’s Fish Store and how the building was saved from demolition, relocated and restored. This community landmark is more than 100 years old and has changed hands three times in its history. It was built by a local sea captain, Mr. George Rose who needed a store for curing fish and storing fishing supplies, etc. In 1944 it was sold to another local fishing Captain, Pius Augot who used the store for 20 years. The last owner was the Pierce family of Hr. Breton, a fishing family. It has been known as Pierce’s store since 1964. However, its purpose had diminished after the construction of the new fresh-fishplant in Hr. Breton during the 1960s and time was started to show its effects on the old wooden structure. With limited use and showing signs of deterioration, the Town of Hr. Breton offered to purchase the building and make it a part of the Elliott Premises on the other side of the harbour. The Town wanted to preserve the heritage of this community landmark. Its present location was not suitable for restoration work or accessibility. After the fishplant (FPI) closed down in 2004, displaced workers were employed in the project of relocating it and restoring it. The photos will show the steps in the relocation. All work was done by local workers who had knowledge of tides, boats, and floating platforms, etc. They were very proud of their successful effort as the photo shows. In 30 minutes it was floated, transported across the harbour and put on the new foundation.

No longer is it a fish store but rather a modern facility on the interior and restoration work done to the exterior. It is well equipped and suitable for various group gatherings and performances.


Moving Day – August 16, 2005

On August 16, 2005, after 8 weeks of preparation, floating docks were slid under Pierce’s Store waiting for the tides that would lift it from its foundation.

After many attempts, and while time and tide wait for no one, it was freed from its shores with a resounding crack. Settling back in the water many wondered whether or not it would stay afloat.

A short 30 minutes later the Moving Crew celebrates with the rest of the community for the successful relocation.

With its move came a complete makeover and is now a part of the Elliott Premises in Harbour Breton.

Class photo: Grade 4 and 5 students, St. Joseph’s Elementary, Hr. Breton. It was anti-bulling day.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Heritage Week - Pasadena Collection #nlheritage

Collecting memories at a People, Places, and Culture workshop in Pasadena, 2016. Photo by Terra Barrett.

Today is the final say of Heritage Week 2017!

As part of the Collective Memories project the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is helping community organizations, municipalities, and church groups digitize their oral history collections to make them accessible for future generations. Collected stories are made available through Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative, which is a free, public website where the HFNL stores the photos, videos, and interviews it collects. If you have something to be digitized - get in touch!

One of the collections we have digitized is the Pasadena collection which consists of thirty eight audio interviews with full transcripts.  These interviews were completed by the Pasadena Heritage Society from July 2014 to August 2016 and they focus on the growth  and changes of the community. They discuss the development of groups such as Girl Guides, Lion's and Leo Club, Glee Club, and Army Cadets, the local library and fire department, how the holidays were celebrated and community events such as the strawberry festival and winter carnival.

Click here to learn more about the community of Pasadena!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Heritage Week - Petty Harbour Memories with Betty Cheeseman. #nlheritage

Betty Cheeseman in the Heritage Foundation office. Photo by Terra Barrett.
On June 30, 2014, as part of the Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove Oral History project, I interviewed Betty Cheeseman of Petty Harbour about growing up in the community, children’s games and social events such as community concerts, Christmas baking and visiting, and household chores such as gardening, cooking, and washing clothes.

In describing her childhood Betty said:
There was no pavement then. It was all dirt road and we would play in the schoolyard. Hopscotch. We would draw out the hopscotch with our sticks in the sand and we had lots of time and lots of fun.

Listen to Betty interview here on Memorial University’s Digital Archives.

~Terra Barrett

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Booklet Launch - Merchants and Memories of Main Street, Windsor

Main Street, Windsor. 1944. Photo courtesy of GFWHS.
The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) and the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society present a booklet launch at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Grand Falls-Windsor on Saturday, March 4th, from 2:00-4:00pm.

“A Little Montreal: Merchants and Memories of Main Street, Windsor” is the third booklet in the Collective Memories Series produced by the Heritage Foundation. This booklet focuses on the memories of people who grew up, lived, worked, and shopped on Main Street with a particular emphasis on the merchants and shops of Main Street, Windsor.

“It was very small but it was like a little MontrĂ©al. A lot of different cultures and sights and sounds,” described Corey Sharpe. “The business owners on Main Street came from China, Lebanon, Syria, Russia, Norway, Ireland, United States, England so it was a melting pot of cultures.”

Sharpe was one of several residents of Grand Falls-Windsor who were interviewed as part of the oral history project completed by HFNL in conjunction with the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society.

“This booklet developed as a result of conversations with the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society,” says Terra Barrett, a researcher with the foundation. In recent years the Heritage Foundation has assisted with the digitization of some of the Society’s archival materials but most of that material focused on the AND company, the mill, and the former town of Grand Falls,”“This project focused on Main Street in order to showcase and learn more about the Windsor part of the community.”

The Main Street booklet is part of the foundation’s Collective Memories Project. This project is an initiative of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the HFNL, with funding provided by the Department of Children, Seniors, and Social Development. The Collective Memories Project invites seniors to record their stories and memories for sharing.

The booklet launch is open to the public and will include light refreshments. There will be copies of the booklet available at the launch as well as a PDF version which will be placed online. For more information please go to or call Terra Barrett at 1-888-739-1892 ext. 5.
Several members of the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society with Heritage Foundation staff. Standing L-R: Joe Shapleigh, Jim Locke, Dale Jarvis, Brian Reid, Terra Barrett, John Blackmore. Sitting L-R: Cathy Simpson, Audrey Burke. 2016. Photo by Kelly Drover.

Heritage Week: Clarenville Oral History Collection

Interviewers Megan Vardy, Stephen Bonnell, and Sam Adey
Over the summers of 2014 and 2016, nine oral history interviews were conducted in Clarenville by Sam Adey, Stephen Bonnell, Dale Jarvis, and Megan Vardy. Most of the interviewees talk about growing up and life in the community and surrounding areas. Where Clarenville acted as a travel junction, the railway is an important aspect of the interviews, effecting those who worked with the railway and those who used it. Albert Noseworthy, Lindo Palmer, and Baxter Tuck talk about their work with the railway. Another industry important to Clarenville is the emulsified asphalt and creosote industries, which is the focus of John Stanley's recording. Victor Pittman talks about health and medicine in the area, where his Uncle Jim was a self taught medical practitioner. Gord Tilley talks about his ancestor Joseph "Scholar John" Tilley, who is considered a founder of Shoal Harbour. Gloria Downey is interviewed about growing up in Clarenville, her favorite pastimes, and her experiences acting with the local theater group To Be Announced. As a significant business person in the area, Geneva Cholock talks about being a photographer and the various shops she has owned through her life. Joan Tilley's interview focuses on her experiences growing up in Scotland, moving to Newfoundland as a war bride, and the changes she has seen over the years.

To listen to these interviews, visit the Memorial University of Newfoundland Digital Archives Initiative.

~ Kelly

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

From Syria to St. John’s: Newfoundland Foodways Workshops. #NLheritage

From Syria to St. John’s: Newfoundland Foodways Workshops

When most people think about the food culture of Newfoundland and Labrador they think about Jiggs Dinner, toutons, and tea buns but rarely do they think about  shawarma, falafel, and baklava.  Immigrant culture is an important part of our community that often goes unnoticed. Here in Newfoundland there is a strong international community, which is slowly growing.

This year, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) wants to celebrate Newfoundland foodways traditions with a series of baking workshops in St. John’s.  The first two workshops will share some of the food being baked in the city.  The first will be a workshop on traditional Newfoundland tea buns, and the second on Syrian baklava.

"Through this project we hope to celebrate the variety of traditions and cultures in  Newfoundland and Labrador today," says Dale Jarvis, folklorist with the foundation.  "These are important traditions which are a part of the changing culture of St. John’s.  The food we eat is an important part of the culture of any place and is often an expression of identity.”

Tea buns are a staple in the province with many mothers and grandmothers handing down recipes to their children and grandchildren.  Baker Alanna Wicks of The Rolling Pin Bakery, who learned her great-grandmother’s recipe from her father, will teach students the basics of tea bun baking including her family’s secret ingredient.

Abir Zin, a recent immigrant to the province, has perfected her rosewater cream cheese filled baklava recipe since her move to St. John’s.  Abir will teach participants how to make baklava, a sweet Turkish pastry, popular in the Middle East.  This recipe has been perfected by Abir since her family’s move, and is adapted from her mother and mother-in-law’s recipes.  

Registration for each workshop is $20, which includes detailed instruction, a copy of the recipe, and all supplies.  While we wait for the buns and baklava to bake we will also have a chat about the food traditions of Newfoundland and Syria.  

Newfoundland Tea Bun Workshop
Wednesday, March 1, 7:00pm
Canon Wood Hall, St. Thomas’ Church, 8 Military Road
Register for the Newfoundland Tea Bun workshop here.

Syrian Baklava Workshop
Wednesday, March 8, 6:00pm
Canon Wood Hall, St. Thomas’ Church, 8 Military Road
Pre-registration is required, and there are limited tickets per event. You may register online, or contact Terra Barrett at the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador at 739-1892 ex.5 or

Heritage Update - Special edition on Heritage & Municipalities #NLheritage

In this edition of the Heritage Update, we celebrate Heritage Week by focussing on the special role that municipalities have to play in safeguarding the heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • What Municipal Governments Can Do To Foster Their Heritage Resources;
  • Documenting and Digitizing Intangible Cultural Heritage in Municipalities;
  • Municipal Stewardship of Heritage Structures;
  • Designating Municipal Heritage Sites; and,
  • How Towns Can Run a "Memory Mug Up" Event
Download the newsletter in PDF format here.

Heritage Week #Folklorephoto Bringing Heritage out of the Attic #NLheritage

This photograph shows artifacts in the attic of Brett House in Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island. Since this photo was taken by Gerald L. Pocius in 1992, the house has become the Brett House Museum and in 2003 was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Brett House also received a Southcott Award in 2007. Brett House is part of the Brett Property Municipal Heritage Site, which includes the house, two outbuildings, and fencing.

For more information on Brett House visit the Heritage Foundation and the Town of Fogo Island. For other material on Joe Batt's Arm, check out the ICH material on the MUN DAI.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Heritage Week - Cape Race Collective Memories #NLheritage

VA 55-3.4; Cape Race [lighthouse], Newfoundland.  Photo courtesy of The Rooms.
As part of the Collective Memories project the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is helping community organizations, municipalities, and church groups digitize their oral history collections to make them accessible for future generations. Collected stories are made available through Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative, which is a free, public website where the HFNL stores the photos, videos, and interviews it collects.  If you have something to be digitized - get in touch!

One of the collections we have digitized is the Cape Race collection which consists of nine interviews from the area.  These interviews focus on some of the communities on the southeast tip of the Southern Shore such as Portugal Cove South, Drook (Druke), and Long Beach.  There are a number of stories about fishing, farming and keeping animals, shipwrecks, and memories of working at the Cape Race Lighthouse.  If you want to hear stories about cases of beer and whole hams being salvaged from shipwrecks then have a listen to the Cape Race Collection.