Showing posts with label Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2019

In Memoriam: George Courage (1943-2019)

A dark-bearded George Courage with the board of the NHT, 1981! (Source: The Trident)

George Robert Courage
November 24, 1943 - April 05, 2019

I was saddened today to hear of the passing of George Courage, one of the great supporters and animators of the heritage conservation movement in St. John’s. I met George shortly after I started working at the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1996. It wasn’t hard at that point to cross paths with George in heritage circles; he seemed to be everywhere I went.  At that point, he had already been involved with the heritage community for decades.

In the 1980s, George had been one of the Newfoundland Historic Trust volunteers who had organized their downtown historic walking tours, and had helped organize the first Old Home Renovation Fair. He was a dedicated heritage volunteer, and I was fortunate to serve as a board member under him during his (second) time as president of the Trust. He served twice as president, at least once as treasurer, and fulfilled other committee positions. He was on the Association of Heritage Industries Steering Committee, was secretary of the Newfoundland Historical Society, treasurer of HFNL, and a volunteer with Doors Open.

I probably got to know George best a few years after I met him. In 1999, he headed up a project on behalf of the Trust for Soiree 1999 to commemorate the fiftieth year of Confederation. George had an idea to curate an exhibit of house models, and he roped me into his scheme. He scoured both Town and Bay to find models and miniatures of traditional Newfoundland houses and buildings: everything from doll houses and church models to pieces of folk art he convinced people to let him borrow off their lawns. He, along with Nancy Cook and Ruth Canning, wrote up a catalog with a history of each of these quirky pieces of art, and the whole thing went up on display at the old Art Gallery in the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.  In 2001, George was awarded the Manning Award by the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador for the exhibit, recognizing him for Excellence in the Public Presentation of Historic Places.  It was a lot of fun, and a great introduction to the sort of engaging programming that a young public folklorist like me might be able to do in the future.

For the past two decades, I was sure to run into George at heritage events, markets, downtown rambles, and city meetings. He was eternally active, engaged, and curious, and always had a moment to chat. He was a gentleman.

I’ll miss him, and his infectious grin. Thank you, George, for being one of my heritage mentors.

- Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Custard Head Fishing Premises Before and After. Hant's Harbour, 1995. #Folklorephoto

In looking through images I recently scanned at the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation, there are many buildings that were on the verge of demolition. The 35mm slides taken from 1993-1996 include many boarded up homes, stores, stages, and sheds that are no longer part of the Baccalieu Trail landscape. This building in Hant's Harbour is an exception.

In 1999 the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador designated the Custard Head Fishing Premises as a Registered Heritage Structure. Built by Joseph Francis in 1909, it is a perfect example of traditional, vernacular outbuilding construction.

To see what the fishing premises looks like today, and read more about the structure, visit the Heritage Foundation website.


Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween - Ghost Stories and Urban Legends

In celebration of Halloween, today I've pulled together some audio clips recorded in the Newman Wine Vaults from the Young Folklorist Program in May 2011. The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador ran this program as a part of the enrichment program for Junior High students. The clips include an urban legend, a terrifying story of a Bell Island hag, and a story of a ghostly nun.
Recording of an urban legend told by Emma Burry, a Grade 9 student at Leary's Brook Junior High. Emma writes, "I heard this story from one of the counsellors at the summer camp I went to one year. It takes place at Sunshine Park in the summertime, approximately 20 years ago. It has to do with the actual camp I went to and one of the events that they do every year."

Photo of local craftperson Janet Peter's old hag dolls. 
Recording of a ghost story told by Nicole Doyle, a Grade 9 student at St. Michael's Regional High. Nicole writes, "This story takes place on Bell Island, Newfoundland. It is a very small island with very big mysteries. The island is a very woodsy area and it has been told that there are hags, fairies, witches and more in the woods. I never believed that i would be a victim of one of these ghostly encounters. Though, one night I wanted to walk home through the woods, and saw the scare of my life! I had witnesses, so I know that I wasn't just seeing things. I went back to make sure that it was not just an illusion. Well, it was definitely not an illusion!"

Recording of a ghost story told by Jordan Moss, a Grade 9 student at Leary's Brook Junior High. Jordan writes, "My mother told me this story about how she was on her way to work and a nun looked at her and she had no face or feet."

~Terra Barrett

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Life-Changing Experience: Memories of City of St. John’s Volunteers Booklet Launch

Lossie Trask, Linda Furey, Marie Ryall, Ruby Hann, Terra Barrett, Dale Jarvis, and Mayor Dennis O'Keefe at the booklet launch. 
On Tuesday the Heritage Foundation and the City of St. John’s Community Services Department launched the booklet A Life-Changing Experience: Memories of City of St. John’s Volunteers. The booklet launch took place in the Foran Green Room of City Hall at the Council Meeting. The five volunteers who were interviewed for the booklet came out and were treated to some snacks before being invited into the Council Meeting where the booklet and the women were recognized.

A Life-Changing Experience: Memories of City of St. John’s Volunteers is the first booklet in the Collective Memories Series produced by the Heritage Foundation. This booklet focuses on the experience of five City of St. John’s volunteers and their reflections and advice on volunteering in the community. The bulk of the work for this project was completed by Conservation Corps summer student Sarah Hannon who completed interviews, transcribed, and edited the booklet.

The volunteer booklet is part of the foundation’s Collective Memories Project. This project is an initiative of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, with funding provided by the Department of Children, Seniors, and Social Development. The Collective Memories Project invites seniors to record their stories and memories for sharing.

If you want to learn more you can head to to hear the full interviews or you can check out PDF here!

~Terra Barrett

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Living Heritage Podcast Ep049 Heritage Foundation NL Programs

Andrea O’Brien is the municipal outreach officer and provincial registrar for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. She comes from a background in folklore, history and Newfoundland Studies. She has been involved in the province’s heritage sector, both academically and professionally, for 20 years. We discuss how Andrea got her start in folklore and heritage, provincial and municipal heritage designations, interesting municipal designations, Andrea’s favourite designation, cultural landscapes, graveyards, fisheries heritage preservation program, and the links between tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Listen on the Digital Archive:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Livyer's Log - Issue One

The Livyer's Log
The Livyer’s Log is a newly developed bi-annual electronic newsletter for owners of Heritage Structures. It is intended to provide useful information to the owners of designated Registered Heritage Structures in Newfoundland and Labrador. The goal is to build a “community of heritage property owners” that will collectively create a forum of shared experiences and information about their heritage properties.

In this edition of The Livyer’s Log, there are articles on practical things such as: how to approach the hiring of a contractor for heritage preservation work; building tips; and how to make heritage properties more energy efficient. As well, we examine the importance of heritage designation and how to navigate grants that are available to heritage properties.

This first edition was created and edited by Celeste Billung-Meyer a summer intern with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Although Celeste is finishing her position shortly she worked tirelessly to bring this newsletter to fruition!

Click here to check out a pdf version of the newsletter or register below to receive our newsletter.
If you would like more information about Heritage Designation please contact our Built Heritage Officer Micahel Philpott at or 1-888-739-1892 ext. 3.

Jerry Dick, Andrea O’Brien, Michael Philpott, Celeste Billung-Meyer, Dale Jarvis.

Subscribe to our mailing list* indicates required

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Successful Forum with the Baccalieu Trail

This past Monday the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation, with some help from us here at the Heritage Foundation, held a forum for representatives from the 70 communities around the Baccalieu Trail. The aim of the forum, subtitled "Preserving the Past and Looking to the Future", was focused on discussing matters related to community heritage, future plans and how best to realize them, and opportunities for communication and collaboration within the region.

We had 50 participants for the forum, which consisted of a morning of presentations and an afternoon of open discussion. Speakers in the morning included Charlie Adams and William Gilbert from the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation, Jerry Dick from Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Dale Jarvis from the ICH office at the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Beverly King from the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Jim Prowse from Canadian Heritage.

The afternoon was formatted as a conversation cafe-styled cafe, where the participants table hopped while answering questions related to the heritage in their area, what struggles they have, and how the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation can help. The afternoon concluded with everyone returning to their original tables, and sharing the most interesting things they heard or learned that day. Each table narrowed that down to a top three, which was shared with the full forum during the final wrap up.

In the near future a report will be compiled of all of the information that was gathered during the forum; a preview of the results will be available in the March issue of the ICH newsletter!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Folklore Photo: Nan's Cookbook in the Digital Age

A recipe for light cake belonging to Bernice Miles,
 who attended the digitization workshop on February 22, 2014.

This past Friday, The Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives and The Intangible Cultural Heritage Office provided a digitization workshop in St. John's. This workshop focused on digitizing  family cookbooks and handwritten recipes and recipe cards.  Participants were encouraged to bring along their own family collections to share and scan.  Presenters Mary Ellen Wright (ANLA) and Nicole Penney (ICH-HFNL) led this hands on workshop, which taught participants how to create and preserve digital copies of their documents. We also discussed  how to best preserve the original copies of these important family and community heirlooms.

Mary Ellen Wright discusses preservation techniques
Photo Courtesy of: Sarah Ingram

Nicole Penney showing participants how to scan original documents
Photo Courtesy of: Sarah Ingram

We will be holding a similar event at the Cupids Legacy Centre on Friday March 21, 2014. Join us from 3-5 p.m. for some tea, buns and reminiscences about cookbooks and cooking. We’ll also talk about how best to preserve the original documents. Participants are encouraged to bring examples from their own homes or collections. The event is free to attend with coffee, tea and snacks provided.

Workshop participants Joan Mowbray and Amelia Reimer share their family cookbooks
Photo Courtesy of: Sarah Ingram

If you wish to attend the Cupids event, please RSVP to Sarah Ingram: or (709) 739-1892 ex. 5

Friday, June 14, 2013

Historic Plaque Program: LSPU Hall

For many years, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador has been placing historic plaques on registered heritage structures throughout the province. Over the years, some of these plaques have gone missing, are out of date or have fallen into disrepair. Over the past year we have been identifying which structures need plaques. We recently received our first order of shiny new bronze plaques and the first one we gave out was to the LSPU Hall.
LSPU Hall staff posing with their brand new bronze plaque
 (L-R): Suzanne Mullett, Peter Rompkey and Katie Butler Major
Like many other buildings in downtown St. John's, the LSPU Hall currently stands on a site that has a history stretching back hundreds of years. In the case of this building, the use of the site traces back to 1789 when it was the location of the first Congregationalist Church in Newfoundland. Several of the structures built on the site were destroyed by fire over the decades. The current building was constructed between 1923 and 1926 after it was destroyed by fire in 1922.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo

Have you ever wondered what the oldest structure is St. John's is? Anderson House, built circa 1804-1805, is most likely the oldest in the city. The structure was built for James Anderson who was a sergeant in the militia at the time. Anderson House was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador on March 23, 1996.