Showing posts with label Convent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Convent. Show all posts

Friday, September 8, 2017

#FoodwaysFriday - When Historic Places Meet Food: Sea Salt and Thyme

Sea Salt and Thyme. Photo by Katie Harvey. 

Sea Salt and Thyme is located on Convent Road in the historic and picturesque community of Brigus, Conception Bay North. Formerly St. Joseph's Convent, this building was constructed circa 1860. On September 11, 1861, four Sisters of Mercy, their reverend mother, and her assistant set out from Portugal Cove aboard the steamship Ellen Gisborn for Brigus. This was to be the first foundation of Mercy to be established outside of St. John's. Upon their arrival, the sisters immediately started their work; visiting the sick and teaching music, art and various other subjects. The convent was closed in 1991 and has since changed ownership several times.

In 2017, the building was converted into a restaurant and B&B by Rod Delaney. On the main floor, you can visit the pub or dine in one of  their multiple dining rooms. The nun's old living quarters on the second floor have been transformed into rooms for guests. Rod explains:

"There's a confession booth still up there and intact. There's a clear outline of crosses on the walls. And some of the details within the rooms are definitely loaning themselves to that time and particular type of history."

Spicy blueberry chicken wings. Photo by Katie Harvey.

This past labour day weekend, on a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive around the bay, we decided to stop in and check out this newly opened restaurant. We sampled a variety of items from the menu including: spicy blueberry chicken wings, pickled onion rings, orange ginger stir fry with seared tuna, a lentil burger and beat salad with croutons and balsamic reduction. For dessert, we ate deep fried oreos with a salted caramel sauce.

Orange ginger stir fry with seared tuna. Photo by Katie Harvey.

Although we weren't able to see the upstairs portion of this building, it was easy to imagine the life this building had previously lived. The well preserved architectural details paid tribute to the fact that this was once a religious building where nuns lived and taught. It is wonderful to see old buildings that are dying adapting with time to remain functional.

-Katie Harvey

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Memory Store: The Archbishop would come here and we would have a special mass...

The week's Memory Store video is the final video in the series.  This one comes from inside the chapel of the Covent of Our Lady of Mercy.  Sister Maura Mason of the Sister of Mercy of Newfoundland describes some of the history and architecture found in the chapel of the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy and she also explains how the space is used.

Watch the video below or click here to watch on YouTube.

Click here for more information about the building's history and architectural style.

If you missed our initial post explaining the concept of the Memory Store clip here to go back to our first blog post with the introduction video or check out our YouTube channel at ICH NL.

Stay tuned for more short stories about historic places in the province, in the form of short oral history interviews conducted with the people who care about those places and if you have a personal memory about a historic place in Newfoundland and Labrador, and want to add your voice to the Memory Store project, let us know at


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Convent Life -- The Witless Bay Folklore Fieldschool

Right now the new graduate students to MUN's Department of Folklore are nearing the end of their second week of the Witless Bay Field School.  This intensive round-the-clock research methods program is three weeks long and is taking place all around Witless Bay on the Southern Shore. The students are staying together in the local convent--a historic building with many rooms, two large staircases, a confession booth, and a chapel, which is serving as their classroom. It's also a building that is no stranger to communal living, so it's essentially perfect housing for the field school participants.

Over the past week, I visited the students a few times to check on their progress and provide a workshop on some of the data entry they will be doing when they are at the archiving stage of their work. Based on my time with them, I must say that I'm envious of the incredible experience they are having. I took a few photographs that I will share below, but they don't really convey the story of their lives in the convent. Lucky for us, the MA students are blogging about what they are learning and who they are meeting, so please follow them here:


MA student Terra Barrett in her sleeping quarters.

Religious artifacts that come with the territory.

MA student Andrea McGuire as she explores the church next to the convent.

Dr. Pocius with some students as we check out the top floor of the Priest's house (currently for sale in Witless Bay!)