Showing posts with label Burin Peninsula. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burin Peninsula. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Volunteers collect shipyard memories as part of the Marystown Oral History Project.

Construction of the Marystown Shipyard circa 1965

Marystown, located on the Burin Peninsula, has a long history related to the ship building industry. Concerned that some of these stories might be lost, volunteer Patrick Baker has been working with community members to record interviews with local citizens.

To date, 12 of these interviews have been placed online as part of Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative, where they are accessible to researchers, students, and anyone interested in Marystown's rich heritage.

You can browse the collection at:

Interested in starting a similar project in your community? Email 

Photo credit: The History of Shipbuilding in Marystown, NL

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#Folklorephoto Under The St. Lawrence Umbrella Tree

While scanning slides from the St. Lawrence Historical Advisory Committee, two photos of a tuckamore tree sparked my interest. The tree stands in manicured field, wrapped in a colourful pennant banner. After some quick research, I found that the tree has been given the name The Umbrella Tree, because of its unique shape.

One of the first results that show up when searching the St. Lawrence Umbrella Tree, is a 2014 article by Paul Herridge in The Southern Gazette. The article talks about the importance of the tree to those in the St. Lawrence area and their concerns for The Umbrella Tree's health. The reporter stated that provincial forestry officials had inspected the tree and had estimated it only had two years of life left.

Do you know the status of this tuckamore tree? What makes this tree important to the community? Do you have any memories of The Umbrella Tree? Email

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#Folklorephoto Do you recognize this St. Lawrence area woman?

I have had the pleasure to be given the task of digitizing slides from the St. Lawrence Historical Advisory Committee. The boxes contained 141 slides, likely taken around the late 1990s or early 2000s by a unidentified photographer. They show a variety of businesses, historic sites, and important natural landmarks in the St. Lawrence area. Along with the slides of natural and built St. Lawrence sites was one photograph of a person, a woman in a red sweater and holding a piece of rope, who looks to be sitting in the grass at the edge of a beach. Do you recognize this woman or the photograph? If so contact Kelly by email or by phone at 1-888-739-1892

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who has contacted us to identify this woman as Philomena Quirke!

- Kelly

Friday, November 11, 2016

#CollectiveMemories Roadtrip to St. Lawrence

Terra Barrett and Kelly Drover with the material to be digitized!
Last Thursday Dale, Kelly and I took a drive down the Burin Peninsula to meet with the St. Lawrence Historical Advisory Committee. When we arrived on Thursday afternoon we stopped in to their office in the town hall where we sorted through the material they needed digitized. We ended up taking 20 VHS, 21 CDs and DVDs, 4 cassettes, 4 Kodak slide carousels filled with slides and a small box of assorted slides. This material will be digitized over the next little while and will certainly keep Kelly busy. After this successful visit we drove to Burin in order to take a couple of photos of the designated buildings in the community. We also stopped in to the Heritage Café for a delicious supper.
Public meeting on oral history projects.
In the evening we met with community members in the St. Lawrence Public Library in order to discuss how to do an oral history project. Dale gave an introduction to oral history interviewing including how to focus the interview, reasons to conduct an informal “pre-interview” and the sort of questions to ask. We also ran through the basics of consent forms and how to process the material once you collect it. This included an explanation of tape logs and suggestions of ways to use the material such as booklets, audio clips, etc.
ThérèseSlaney and Dale Jarvis.
Reviewing Herb Slaney's plans.
The following morning we had an interview with Thérèse Slaney about growing up in St. Pierre, her move to St. Lawrence and marriage to Herb Slaney, a description of the first autopsy performed in the community and its importance to miners, an explanation of how the tradition of Mardi Gras started in St. Lawrence, and her husband Herb’s work engineering the cross and grotto in the community. Thérèse was a wonderful woman to chat with and described delicious French foods over a cup a tea in her kitchen.
St. Lawrence's grotto.
The cross in St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Cemetery.
After our interview with Therese we had a look at the community’s grotto and cross engineered by Herb Slaney and visited a couple of graveyards. Our last stop on the drive back to St. John’s was to the community of Petite Forte to photograph another designated building and take a look at the beautiful harbour. All in all a very successful trip to the Burin Peninsula!
Petite Forte
~Terra Barrett

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#Folklorephoto of St. Lawrence Grotto

The detailed design work of Herb Slaney for the St. Lawrence Grotto. One of the technical drawings shown to us by his wife, Therese Slaney after her oral history interview with Dale Jarvis.

The completed Grotto which was dedicated by Archbishop James H. Macdonald on August 15th, 1995. Erected by the Priest, parishioners and friends of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and designed by Herb Slaney.