Friday, February 22, 2019

Building heritage partnerships in the Heart's Content to Hant's Harbour region.



On Feb 19, 2019, Heritage NL staff met with representatives from Heart's Content, New Perlican, Winterton, and Hant's Harbour, as a follow-up to the "Building Heritage Together: Heart’s Content to Hant’s Harbour Heritage Area" meeting held last November.

The group met to discuss the recommendations made in the report generated from that earlier meeting, to talk about current plans and needs for the heritage communities in the region, and to make a plan for some future collaborative work.

One of the recommendations that came out of the February meeting was to create a shared Google Calendar of heritage events for the region. You can look at that new (mostly empty) calendar here - if you have events coming up in the area, email dale@heritagenl.ca and we will add them.

Happy Birthday to Darlene King, who celebrated her birthday with us that day!

Minutes of the meeting are available to read right here.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

St. Matthew's Anglican Victoria Jubilee Church Bell, Heart's Delight-Islington



At a recent heritage meeting in the town of Heart's Delight-Islington, I had a chat with Mr. Stan Reid about the old St. Matthew's Anglican Church, and specifically about the old church bell. The church was deconsecrated January 6, 2016, and the future plan is to move the bell to a new bell tower, yet to be constructed in the community.  After the meeting, he sent me a historic photo of the old bell (above).

The bell was cast with the following words:

WEST TROY, N.Y.
AN OFFERING FROM THE WOMEN
OF HEART'S DELIGHT, TO THE
GLORY OF GOD IN MEMORY OF
VICTORIA JUBILEE 1836-1897

HENRY C.H. JOHNSON (RECTOR)
LLEWELLYN JONES (BISHOP)

On the day of the church's 2016 deconsecration - or secularization - Bishop Geoff Peddle wore the pectoral cross that Bishop Jones would have worn. Also used for the ceremony was the same the diocesan crosier — or bishop’s crook — that would have been used by Bishop Jones.

The place of casting indicates the bell was manufactured by the First Meneely Bell Foundry, of New York, which had been established in 1826. There were two competing Meneely bell foundries, across the Hudson River from one another, run by members of the same family.



The ad below for the foundry was printed in the Troy Daily Times May 20, 1891.



According to Sheila MacKenzie Brown's 1981 MA Folklore thesis on bell traditions in NL, there were at that time at least 34 other Meneely bells in local churches, including St. Paul's Church, Harbour Grace, and All Hallows Church, North River. One of the Meneely foundries also cast the fire bell for St. John's, dated 1878.

For more info on Meneely foundries, you can visit the Meneely Bell Online Museum!

Do you have a memory of the church bell in Heart's Delight ringing? Comment below, or send me an email: dale@heritagenl.ca

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Torbay Memory Mug Up


On Monday, February 18, 2019, Dale and I attended a Memory Mug Up organized by the Torbay Public library and the Torbay Folk Arts Council. We were invited out to host the session which saw community members sharing stories about their school days. The Mug Up focused on the students and staff of the Old Northside School and St. Michael's Convent School in Torbay.

Three teachers, and a group of students outside the Northside School, Torbary. 1953-1954

Over 30 people came out to share stories about their school days. These included stories about the long trek to the outhouse and learning about indoor plumbing, bringing splits to school for the fire, dance demonstrations and recollections of school plays at the Parish Hall, and school field trips all the way to Bowring Park in St. John's.
School concert.

As part of the event we also digitized a number of photographs the community members had brought to show the group. There were photographs of playground games, field trips and picnics, classrooms, and school concerts and graduation ceremonies.

Class photo.

If you want to learn more about how to run a Memory Mug Up in your community check out our easy how-to-guide or contact Dale Jarvis at 739-1892 ex. 2 or dale@heritagenl.ca

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday's #FolklorePhoto: Roddickton Quilting

Naomi Wilcox poses for a photo in her sewing shop, 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 Naomi Wilcox about the methods and materials used in quilting click here.
A star patchwork quilt made by Naomi Wilcox, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010
A yellow and red patchwork quilt made by Naomi Wilcox, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010

Monday, February 18, 2019

Listen in: Disaster and Heroism - The Loss of the Truxtun and Pollox #Podcast

The USS Truxtun (DD-229) during the 1930s. Photo from the collection of Donald McPherson, courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center (Charles Haberlein Jr., NHC and Chris Cavas, RoundTower Productions)

On this date, 18th of February, 1942, over 200 American sailors died when the USS Pollux and USS Truxtun ran aground during a winter storm near St. Lawrence, The two ships, accompanied by the USS Wilkes, were headed for Argentia  American navy base carrying war supplies. Due to the rescue efforts of the people of St. Lawrence and Lawn, 186 men survived the ordeal.

In this episode of the Living Heritage Podcast, we chat with local historian and tour guide Carl Slaney about the dramatic event, and the work happening now to ensure that the memory of the Truxtun and Pollux disaster is not lost.

Download the podcast 



###

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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Listen in: Remembering Lewis Ferman and the Merchants of Main Street. #podcast

In October 2018, Heritage NL staff rushed down Water Street to rescue an old shop sign from the business of Lewis and Grunia Ferman, Jewish merchants and WWII resistance fighters. That event unlocked a flood of stories and memories about the Ferman family, and about other merchants who had business in St. John's and beyond. 

In this episode, we look at the legacy of immigrant merchants in Newfoundland, with clips from interviews about both the Ferman shop, and the multicultural shopkeepers of Windsor who are featured in a new Virtual Museums of Canada exhibit





###

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's #FolklorePhoto: Sewing in St. Anthony

Clara Tucker poses with one of her afghans, St. Anthony. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010.
Today's Folklore Photos come from St. Anthony collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative. St. Anthony is located on the northeastern tip of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. This site was first given the name of 'St. Anthony Haven' in 1532, for the way in which the area operated as a safe landing point for fishing fleets. The region was initially settled based on the fact that there were rich cod fishing grounds in the vicinity, a move that helped to establish a productive fishery that would last for several centuries. Despite the eventual collapse of the cod fishery, St. Anthony has had many development successes, making it a vital service center for residents of the broader GNP region.

Another important feature of St. Anthony is the community's historic affiliation with the legacy of Dr. Grenfell. Wilfred Thomason Grenfell (1865-1940) - a British doctor-arrived in St. Anthony in 1892 as a medical missionary, sent by The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Within a year of his arrival, Dr. Grenfell commenced building a medical system that eventually grew to serve the regions of Northern Newfoundland and Labrador. As his medical mission grew, his mandate expanded to include the development of schools, cooperatives, industrial work projects, an orphanage, and other social programs. One such program involved utilizing local textile-based craft skills to help sustain the region's economy. Grenfell style embroidered coats and hooked rugs with Grenfell inspired designs are being produced by residents of the Great Northern Peninsula to this day. These objects are now referred to as being a part of the 'Grenfell tradition' and can be seen and purchased at Grenfell Handicrafts, located in St. Anthony.

The St. Anthony 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 patchwork quilts, knitted items, and Grenfell-style hooked rugs. 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 Clara about the methods and materials used in various sewing, knitting, crocheting, and quilting projects click here.
A pot holder made by Clara Tucker, St. Anthony. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010
An orange triangle motif quilt made by Clara Tucker, St. Anthony. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010

Thursday, February 7, 2019

“Remembering the Merchants of Main Street” explores the diverse history of Grand Falls-Windsor


Photo courtesy of Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. 1965.

A new online exhibit by Heritage NL invites you to take a walk down Main Street with the residents of Windsor, Newfoundland, and to explore the vibrant history of this shopping district. The site combines recent and archival photographs from community members and the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society’s collection with written and audio memories about the food, shops and entertainments of Main Street.

Remembering the Merchants of Main Street” is a partnership between Heritage NL and the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society (GFWHS). Developed with the assistance of the Virtual Museums of Canada Community Stories Investment Program, the exhibit helps visitors discover the stories behind the street’s many businesses, and learn how immigration and development have impacted the community.

The community of Windsor grew with the establishment of a railway station and the development of a paper mill in the early 1900s. From its inception, Windsor provided home and opportunity to immigrants, including people who travelled from China or war-torn Europe to find safety and livelihoods for their families. Their surnames have become part of the fabric of the town: Basha, Becker, Chow, Cohen, Münch, Riff, and others.

“Stories like the ones in this exhibit help us understand our relationship to local heritage,” says Heritage NL public folklorist Terra Barrett. “It showcases lesser-known aspects of the community in a way that is accessible to those from Grand Falls-Windsor and beyond.”

The Community Stories Investment Program helps smaller Canadian museums and heritage organizations work with their communities to develop virtual exhibits that engage online audiences in the stories, past and present, of Canada’s communities.

The “Remembering the Merchants of Main Street” virtual exhibit can be viewed at:

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/home/

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/virtual-exhibits/exhibit/remembering-the-merchants-and-memories-of-main-street-windsor/

Historic foundry that cast the 1845 Petty Harbour church bell under threat. #SavetheBellFoundry



Here is an interesting little news story in the built heritage and intangible cultural heritage world.  I while back, I blogged about the 1845 Whitechapel bell at St. George's Anglican Church, Petty Harbour.  Back in 1981, the bell had been identified as one of at least seven Newfoundland Whitechapel bells.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry has a very long and impressive history, and the Petty Harbour St. Andrew’s bell has some very historic counterparts, as the foundry produced such notable bells as Big Ben and the Liberty Bell. The business has been on its present site since the mid 1740s, is one of just two remaining bell foundries in Britain, and the foundry is reportedly the oldest manufacturing company in the UK.

Currently, the building and business are in danger of closing and being turned into a boutique hotel, even though there is a partnership proposal in place by the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust to keep the site open as a working foundry.

An online petition to save the foundry is rapidly gaining signatures.