Monday, November 14, 2016

Forgotten heritage: Exploring Signal Hill's vanished neighbourhood

Dwellings on Signal Hill 1946. Photo courtesy of City of St. John's Archives.
Geo Centre and surrounding area where the community of Signal Hill was located.
In August Dale and I were contacted by Cindy Snow who wanted to tell her story about the resettlement of the community of Signal Hill. Cindy grew up on the hill and left on June 11, 1964 when her family moved to the centre of St. John’s. In September Cindy and I walked around the Geo Centre in the area where the community of Signal Hill  was located.  Cindy pointed out where houses were located, places where they would play as children, and described growing up on Signal Hill. Following the walk I interviewed Cindy about her life on Signal Hill. This interview focused on Cindy’s memories of growing up on Signal Hill - playing jacks and hopscotch, swimming, sliding, and skating. Cindy also described the different families who lived in the community, the shops in the area, and what it was like to leave Signal Hill and move into St. John’s.
Cindy Snow on Signal Hill.
Cindy has done a lot of background research on the resettlement of Signal Hill and wrote an article titled, “WHY DID WE HAVE TO LEAVE? The story behind the relocating of the families on Signal Hill, Newfoundland”. This article and the interview have been digitized and are available on Memorial University’s Digital Archives. If you would like to read Cindy’s article click here or if you would like to listen to the audio interview click here. Cindy also provided a number of photographs of the people and houses of Signal Hill prior to the resettlement of the community which have also been placed online.

Although not much remains of the houses, the community has left a lasting impact on those who grew up on Signal Hill. I encourage you to check out the collection on the Digital Archives to learn more about the community and the resettlement, see photographs, and listen to Cindy's story.
Frog Pond now the Geo Centre. Geneva Bowring in the foreground, c.1947.
Boys playing hockey on Frog Pond. Lewis Smith and Connor's boy, others unknown.
Frog pond in 2016. 
Remnants of a house on Signal Hill. Geo Centre in the background.
~Terra Barrett

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