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.

1 comment:

Tammy's Thoughts said...

Thank you, Mr. Wells, for coming to our Grade 4 classroom and sharing the story of Pierce's store. It is great when young children can learn about the history of our community.

Mrs. Baker