Showing posts with label Tuesday's Folklore Photo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuesday's Folklore Photo. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Heritage Video Screening

I spent Monday morning attending the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives' annual general meeting and today's folklore photo was one I snapped quickly during yesterday's meeting.  I was invited as a representative from the ICH Office as ANLA and the Heritage Foundation are partners and sister heritage organizations.

It was interesting to learn a little more about the organization and to hear some of the triumphs and challenges the organization has achieved and overcome in the past year and where they want to take the organization in the coming year.  One thing which ANLA has been promoting recently are their online webinars so be sure to check out their website for upcoming workshops!

The picture above is from the presentation which occurred during the lunchbreak.  Jenny Higgins from the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Website introduced a series of short films which she has been working on recently.  The videos were on difficult subjects and were incredibly moving.  One touched on the 1914 sealing disaster, another on the great fire of 1892 and the last on the battle of Beaumont Hamel.  Check out some of the videos on their website and stay tuned for more.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Folklore Photo - The Hole In the Floor and Adolphus's Wake

This week's folklore photo might not look like much, but it comes with a great story, and is a very good example of how intangible cultural heritage and our built heritage are intertwined. 

We've been working on an oral history of the Jenkins House in Durrell, Twillingate, which was owned for a portion of its history by Adolphus and Lucretia Jenkins. 

According to oral history, Lucretia contracted tuberculosis and suffered in the home for many years with the disease. She was confined to her bedroom while her daughter Leah Jenkins cared for her, surprisingly Leah never contracted the disease herself. While Lucretia was sick her husband Adolphus passed away. Adolphus was waked in the home, which was tradition at the time. Bedridden and unable to leave the upstairs of the house, Lucretia still wanted to see her husband one last time. The family decided, instead of trying to bring her downstairs they would saw a hole in the floor by the side of her bed so she could rest and still be able to see her husband, so that is what they did. Today, the cut in the floor is still recognizable by the newer boards that fill where the hole once was. 

Corey Sharpe remembers his Grandmother Leah recounting the story;
“Well, I tell you about that now. I never told anybody about it before. When father passed away, they waked him downstairs. So Lucretia was bed ridden upstairs with TB and separated from the family. She wanted to see her husband while they had him waked. So what they did, instead of bring her downstairs, they cut a hole in the floor so she could look down from her bed and see him. So the floors are to stay like that.”
You can download the full oral history report on the Jenkins House in PDF format here.

- Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Folklore Photo - Gertrude and Leah Jenkins, Twillingate, 1930s

This Tuesday in our folklore photo segment, we've got a gem from Corey Sharpe, of Grand Falls-Windsor, who owns and has restored the Jenkins House Registered Heritage Structure in Blow Me Down, Durrell, Twillingate.

The photo shows his great aunt Amelia "Gertie" Gertrude (Jenkins) Hamlyn and her sister, his grandmother, Leah (Jenkins) Sharpe, thought to have been taken sometime in the early 1930s, positioned in front of the Jenkins House.  Gertrude was born in 1919, Leah was born in 1925, and today is her 90th birthday! Happy Birthday, Leah!

You can read and listen to the interview I did with Corey about the house here.

- Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Southern Shore Ship Wrecks

Ferryland [VA 41-21] 1929
Newfoundland Tourist Development photograph collection
Views of Newfoundland by W.R. MacAskil, Halifax, N.S.
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives
Today's folklore photo is of a shipwreck in Ferryland.  I am currently listening to a number of interviews completed in the Cape Race region of the Southern Shore.  I am writing up tape logs for these interview and one reoccurring theme in the interviews are memories of ship wrecks.  There are a number of stories about men saving the people from shipwrecks.  One story in particular is about the Brave Joe Perry who saved a number of men by tying a rope around his waist and being lowered over the side of a cliff and hauled back up with a passenger by the men of the surrounding communities.

Another idea surrounding shipwrecks which is repeated is the practice of wrecking.  For anyone who doesn't know the term wrecking refers to the practice of removing valuables from shipwrecks which have landed close to shore.  One particular story which stands out is of a wrecked ship which was full of pork.  The men of the community came home with chunks of meat for their family's supper after that particular wreck.

Have you heard any stories about shipwrecks?  What about the practise of wrecking?  If so leave a comment below or shoot us an email at


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Red Sky at Night - Weather Lore

Red sky at sunset.
It has been a while since we've posted a folklore photo.  So today I posted a picture taken a couple of years ago at my pop's cabin.  I had a hard time finding a photo which related to Newfoundland weather lore although I came across lots of sources about Newfoundland weather on the DAI.

Last week's snow and everyone's complaints about St. John's having snow in May made me think of the folk belief that May snow had special properties.  Both folklorist Dale Jarvis and archivist Larry Dohey have written about it in their blogs.  You can click here for Dale's post and here for Larry's for more information.

Today I figured I would ask the question: What beliefs do you know about the weather?

I posted the picture of the sunset with the red sky because as a child I always heard the rhyme:
Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight,
Red sky in morning,
Sailor's take warning.

What are some of the other ways to foretell the weather?  Do you know any other warnings?

I've always heard of galing cats predicting a storm.  Do you know any other animals who can predict the weather?

Comment here or send an email to

Here are two beliefs sent in by Berk Reynolds originally from Salmon Cove, Conception Bay North:
1. Animals, particularly goats coming home from the hills before a storm in summer
(or when you wouldn't expect them)

2. Whatever the prevailing wind direction is at noon on Good Friday so it will be for the summer


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Gosine's Grocery Store, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

This week's folklore photo is of the former Gosine's Store, in Portugal Cove- St. Philip's. Katie Harvey, one of our youth speakers at our upcoming Youth Heritage Forum, collected the photo during her work as heritage researcher for the town.

Katie writes,

"This is a photograph of Gosine's Grocery Store which was located at 25 Hardings Hill in the 1950s. It was a two storey grocery store. The house that is in its location now is brand new, so unfortunately there is no trace of this store left."

The photo will be part of a collection of photographs and interviews from Portugal Cove- St. Philips, soon to be added to Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday’s Folklore Photo - Food Fishery

Courtesy of MUN`s Digital Archives Initiative
Today’s folklore photo is a photo of freshly caught cod being processed in Quidi Vidi during the food fishery. This picture was taken by folklore student Christine Blythe during the folklore field school in the fall of 2013.

I managed to get out on the water over the weekend and I figured this would be an appropriate photo given the ongoing food fishery. The fishery is open until August 10 and opens again September 20 to the 28.

Do you participate in the food fishery? Have you been out yet the year? Did you catch anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Bonus photo:
Breakfast is served!
Here is a picture of the lovely breakfast I was graciously served – including the freshly caught cod tongues and britches seen in the upper left hand corner.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday’s Folklore Photo - Flakes and Fish

Thomas Ruck fonds
VA 45-1; Petty Harbour in the 1860s
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms
Today’s folklore photos are pictures of the flakes, stages and stores of Petty Harbour’s past. Throughout my interviews in Petty Harbour a major change that has been mentioned has been the change in the fishery.  The move from making fish to catching crab has meant a shift in the physical landscape of the harbour.  
Petty Cove [Petty Harbour]
VA 143-18 [between 1892 and 1904]
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms
The loss of the fish flakes from the island rooms has been mentioned in a number of interviews as has the shift in the fishery.  Several of my informants have memories of the responsibilities of making fish and cutting tongues for the fishermen.  
Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn described walking into the Goulds to sell the cod tongues 10 a dozen as opposed to selling the tongues for 10 a pound in Petty Harbour.  He also mentioned making flickers out of his mother’s old cotton reels filled with lead in order to catch tom cods in the harbour.        

Petty Harbour VA 15a-43.1
Newfoundland Tourist Development Board photograph collection
Newfoundland Views Photographs
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms
The lack of children involved with the fishery today has caught the attention of people in Petty Harbour and a non profit organization called Fishing for Success has been established.  Check out their website and facebook page as they reintroduce fishing knowledge to the children of Petty Harbour Maddox Cove and beyond.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: A Collection of Conversations

Today's folklore photo is actually a collection of photos from the past week.  It has been a busy week with the Heritage Foundation.  Last Tuesday was the cemetery clean-up and since then I've been kept busy with interviews!

Ron Doyle
On Wednesday I interviewed Ron Doyle about growing up in Petty Harbour, the changes it has seen and the influence of music on his life and in the community.  Ron described the musical influence of his family and in particular his father, the recitations and songs they would perform and how he began playing at community concerts, formed a band and all the good that came out of the concerts.

Gordy Doyle
Thursday I had two interviews.  The first interview in the morning was with Gordy Doyle and focused on growing up in Petty Harbour, working as a fisherman, the changes in the equipment and methods of fishing and the stories and practical jokes that come with the job.  Gordy also touched on the camaraderie between fisher people and how they would support one another when launching boats and gather together in the twine stores to work and talk.

Cyril Whitten
Thursday afternoon I met Cyril Whitten in his cottage in Saint Luke's.  Cyril's friends stopped in to
have a boil up and put some freshly caught lobsters on the stove.  Cyril and I discussed his life in Petty Harbour, the games he played as a child, his memories of the community concerts, fishing in the community and his time as Mayor.  Cyril contacted me and said he would like to meet again and said he had much more to say about Petty Harbour.  I'm looking forward to interviewing Cyril again this week.

With my feed of lobster.
In true Newfoundland hospitality I was invited to stay for a feed of lobster with Cyril and his friends' Dennis Madden, Peter Squires, Richard Murphy and his cousin Muriel Andrews.  When I left they insisted I take a meal of freshly caught and cooked lobster home with me.  This was definitely a highlight of my week and a great example of Newfoundlander's warmth and generosity.

Betty Cheeseman
Monday's interview was with Betty Cheeseman and Betty had vivid memories of her time in Petty
Harbour.  Betty described growing up in a musical family with a mother who played the accordion and a father who danced.  She also described being in the community plays, listening to the concerts and the intensity of the card games played in the community.

I'm looking forward to meeting and interviewing more people from Petty Harbour as well as working on the interviews I have already completed. The interviews need tape logs and all the necessary metadata so they can be published on MUN's DAI. If you have memories of growing up in Petty Harbour please contact me at or (709) 739-1892.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Folklore Photo - Painting the Jenkins House, Twillingate

I have been working on compiling an oral history of the Jenkins House in Blow Me Down, Durrell, Twillingate. The above photo is of the house at the end of its restoration project. Here, owner Corey Sharpe talks about how he selected the colour for the house, in consultation with George Chalker, HFNL's Executive Director:
So colour was another thing. What are we going to put on it for colour? I can remember it always being white. So I said, “I’m not a big fan of white. White’s everywhere. It’s not even a colour, in my opinion. But anyway, it did look nice on the house and stuff.” So I said … I spoke to George Chalker, and he said, “Well, take a look at those heritage colours that we had Templeton’s do for us.” I said, “Yeah, I’ll do that.” 
So I picked out a colour. I think it was Dory Buff or something like that. Am I going to drastically change the colour of the house, or what am I going to do? So the siding, the local siding, had been replaced on the house in different places on the house over time. It was never all stripped and replaced. I could do one side one year, then 15, 20 years later they probably did a patch on the other side, whatever. So anyway, I got down to a patch that was original to the house. It had the cut nails, and I said, “What colours were on that house?” So I slowly scraped the paint down. When I got down to the last colour, apart from say the red ocher-ish stain that they had on it, that was the colour. It was almost like exact. That just made up my mind right there. So that’s the colour we painted the house.

Photos courtesy Corey Sharpe.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Folklore Photo - Engine Rock, Petty Harbour, Newfoundland

This week's folklore photo is of Engine Rock (or Indian Rock, depending upon who you ask), overlooking the town of Petty Harbour.  I've written about this rock before, and I'm still interested in knowing more about any stories associated with it, and I'm especially curious about where the name comes from.

I was in Petty Harbour last week, with some colleagues from the Wooden Boat Museum of NL. We're looking into a possible intangible cultural heritage project there later this year, so stay tuned to this blog for more details!

- Dale

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Folklore Photo - Heritage Lighthouse in Heart's Content

I wrote the other day about how we took a group of public folklore grad students out to Heart's Content.  Today is folklore photo day, so here is that group of students, in front of the Heart's Content Lighthouse. The lighthouse was constructed in 1901, and is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building.

You can read more about the lighthouse here and on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

- photos by Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Somebody's Home

Photograph of a heritage structure submitted by Teri Delaney.
A few weeks back Teri Delaney stopped by our Springdale office to drop something off. She noticed a photograph on the wall of one of our designated heritage buildings. She said that she took a photo of that same building, and hadn't realized that it was a provincially recognized structure. I asked her to send along a copy to share on the blog. Her photograph "Somebody's Home," reminds us that many of the province's surviving historic buildings once served as year-round homes for families. This one, it seems, is still in use. Thanks for sharing your photograph, Teri.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Folklore Photo: The Cupids American Man circa 1930

Today's folklore photo comes courtesy of the Newfoundland Historical Society archival collection. The photo shows the "American Man" - a cairn of stones located at the top of Spectacle Head, in Cupids. The original photo was taken by A.C. Hunter, and the back of the photo has an inscription which reads:

Photo by A.C. Hunter, about 1930
The "American Man" on the hill between Cupids +
Clarke's Beach. Mrs Hunter in photo
There was another one between Brigus and Cupids.
They were used as landmarks for Vessels
coming in, we supposed. We also wondered if
they came from "Marking Man"???
                             Muriel H. Hunter, 1976
Negative of this is in the A.C. Hunter Collection, Memorial Univ.
                                                                                Audio Visual.

The cairn, which has been rebuilt several times since the 1930s, is much taller today, and a secondary, smaller cain has also been constructed nearby.  I've heard it referred to as both the "American Man" and the "Merican Man," and have also heard the theory, given by locals, that it is indeed a corruption of "Marking Man."

Here is how the structure looked during the Cupids 400 Celebrations in 2010. I believe the photo is by Dennis Minty:

At some point after the 2010 celebrations, the structure was damaged by vandals, and rebuilt by local volunteers. Here is what the cairn looked like on 13 October 2013. Note that it is slightly more symmetrical here, than in the 2010 photo.

This note is the first I've heard of a similar structure located between Brigus and Cupids. If anyone knows of that particular cairn's current or previous location, email me at

- Dale Jarvis


On 5 February 2013, Mike Sexton wrote me and noted the following:
"...years ago I met an Icelander in L'Anse Aux Meadows, he was on the hill looking for a third cairn at the viking site. He was an old mariner and he told me that there should be three if they were used for navigation. they always have the sky as a background,and you have to keep one in the middle for safe water. This one in the middle could be a considerable distance behind the ones closest to the coast. so you sail by, and when you have them positioned right you turn towards shore. (Safe water)"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Construction During Winter

Pictured above is the Port Union salt fish plant and retail store during construction. Though the photograph is undated, Edith Samson from the Sir William Coaker Foundation noted that the retail store (on the left) is shown here as a 4 story building indicating that this photo was taken at the time of the original construction project. In 1945 this building was rebuilt but only as a 3 story structure.

This photograph was donated to the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and will be added to the Port Union collection on MUN's Digital Archives Initiative.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: This is Mr. TB Germ

Educational booklet published by the Newfoundland Tuberculosis Association.
Ca. 1950 
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Newfoundland had a very high rate of tuberculosis infection and death, much higher than that of Canada, Great Britain or the United States. Several factors contributed to the spread of  TB in Newfoundland and Labrador. One was the custom of large families spending a lot of time in the kitchen, especially in winter, when all would gather to socialize and stay warm. A person with active TB would then expose their family and visitors to the disease.  A monotonous diet that lacked fresh food and important nutrients also weakened immune systems and left Newfoundlanders vulnerable to the disease. Tuberculosis was also difficult to detect until it became active and at this point was much more difficult to treat. Also, severe isolation in Newfoundland and Labrador meant there was little or no access to medical services and to top it off,  there was little understanding of the causes and prevention of TB. 

Educational booklet published by the Newfoundland Tuberculosis Association.
Ca. 1950 
The Newfoundland Tuberculosis Association, a dedicated anti-TB group founded in 1944 by Ted Meany, released publications to educate the community about the spread and prevention of the disease. The booklet featured in today's folklore photo was published by the association ca. 1950. 

Educational booklet published by the Newfoundland Tuberculosis Association.
Ca. 1950 
Tuberculosis continued to be a leading cause of death in Newfoundland and Labrador well into the 20th century, only being overtaken by heart disease and cancer in the 1950s. From 1901-1975, just under 32,000 people died of TB in Newfoundland. Often the victims were males aged 15 to 45, the wage earners of their families, so the social and economic costs of TB were great. It wasn't until the 1970s, with advances in pharmaceuticals, living conditions and through the efforts of the Newfoundland Tuberculosis Association, that Tuberculosis was defeated.

Click here to read the full booklet! 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: That's one dirty old...shut your mouth!

When I happen to have a boil up with folks from away I can't help but point at the kettle on the fire, lean in close and whisper mischievously, "Do you know what we call that in Newfoundland"?

They, of course, say "no" and I giggle like a child who just learned about beaver architecture, the actual name for a female dog and donkey synonyms all in one glorious afternoon.

I blurt out, "It's called a slut!", while thinking, "please ask me why it's called that, please ask me why it's called that."

The inevitable question follows and I practically explode.

"Because they're fast and dirty"!!

I sit back then, far more proud than I should be of this awful one-liner. Who do I think I am? Henny Youngman?

But I can't help myself so I giggle and ask, "Do you know what we call dandelions here"?