Showing posts with label Avondale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Avondale. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2014

Calling all Conception Bay girls! Do you know a tradition about dolls and candy?

I got an interesting message today from textile artist Susan Furneaux, an instructor at the Anna Templeton Centre for Craft Art and Design. She has taught textile workshops for various professional craft and art organizations throughout Newfoundland Labrador, Canada and the United States. Today, she wanted to talk dolls.

Susan is looking for information on a tradition in Conception Bay Centre, and possibly other places, where girls went around with their dolls, all dressed up,  and knocked on doors, asking for candy. 

Susan believes it may have been attached to a saint's day. She writes,
"Someone from Avondale told me that they did it as girls, like the boys did with the wren. The woman who told me was still bitter because the boys got money (for the wren) but the girls just got sweets... Not sure what time of the year it was."
Does anyone have any idea what this is called, or have any memories about this tradition? 

If it rings a bell, leave a comment, or email Susan directly at

Sunday, July 21, 2013

More on abandoned mines, including one at Blow Me Down Bluff

On Friday, I posted about a trip to an abandoned 19th century copper mine in Avondale. I concluded that post by asking if anyone had information about that mine or other abandoned mines in the area.

Several people responded, including Mr Craig Moore, who had done some research on the Avondale mineshaft in the mid 1990s. At that point, Moore had been told by the property owner, Greg Deveraux, that the shaft was the remains of an exploration site for a copper mine, dating to 1899. He corroborated that local knowledge holds that the offshore sand bar was the remains of the excavation, and concluded his note with a bit of a mystery. Apparently, a ship left the area in 1899 headed to Wales with a load of ore samples from the exploration site, but the ship never reached its destination.

Other people responded with information about different abandoned mines. Some told me about abandoned mines in Tilt Cove, Marysvale and Brigus. Susan Furneaux wrote,

"When I lived in Colliers I was told about an abondoned mine that was there...which kind of makes sense considering the name. Not sure if it exists. It was supposed to be on the Northside of the harbour a ways out. There was an old path that went along the shore, beyond where the old settlement was. I have wondered about it often over the years."

In addition to these emails, Linda Lewis sent me the above photo, with this note:

"At Blow Me Down Bluff between Holyrood Bay & Chapel’s Cove is an abandoned mine. The attached pic of of Ed Fahey back in the 50s who was trying to attract attention to the mine at that time. It was mined back in the 1800s and is mentioned in the will of Msgr. Wm Veitch of Holyrood"

You can read Mr Veitch's will online here.

If you have heard a story about any of these mines, email me at I'd be particularly interested in knowing the exact location of the Marysvale/Colliers/Brigus mines, if you've seen them in your own explorations, or in other old photos of mining activity in Newfoundland and Labrador.

- Dale

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo

This detailed little scene is a Heritage Fairs project created by Mr. Noel Strapp's Newfoundland Studies class at Roncalli Central High School in Avondale. This adorable diorama is an example of a traditional outport community in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information on the Heritage Fairs, check out the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Photo courtesy of: Sarah Wade, Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador