Showing posts with label Water Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Water Street. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Living Heritage Podcast Ep144 Lewis Ferman and the Merchants of Main Street

In October 2018, Heritage NL staff rushed down Water Street to rescue an old shop sign from the business of Lewis and Grunia Ferman, Jewish merchants and WWII resistance fighters. That event unlocked a flood of stories and memories about the Ferman family, and about other merchants who had business in St. John's and beyond. 

In this episode, we look at the legacy of immigrant merchants in Newfoundland, with clips from interviews about both the Ferman shop, and the multicultural shopkeepers of Windsor who are featured in a new Virtual Museums of Canada exhibit


The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HFNL and CHMR Radio. Past episodes are hosted on Libsyn, and you can subscribe via iTunes, or Stitcher. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Joe Moore remembers the newspaper boys of Solomon's Lane.

Solomon's Lane, 2009. Photo by Alex Pierson/The Scope.
Last week, my friend Karen's father,  Dr. Joseph A. "Joe" Moore passed away. His funeral is today, and I'm on the other side of the province, so I'm sharing this as my way of saying farewell.

In 2009, Joe was one of the participants in the HereSay project started by myself and audio documentary producer Chris Brookes.  The project shared short stories about Water Street via an online map and a series of signposts along the street, each sign with a phone number and a code you could punch in to listen to the tale for that spot.

In this short clip, Joe remembers Solomon's Lane, and his days as a newspaper delivery boy for the Evening Telegram. He describes his route, and finding people to buy his newspapers.

For more on the history of Solomon's Lane, you can read an article about the laneway on the old website for The Scope.

 - Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Water Street, St. John's, 1962 #Folklorephoto

Photograph of Water Street in downtown St. John's in 1962. Shows the Bank of Montreal, VOCM, Ayres, Royal Bank of Canada, and a St. John's Transportation System bus. This image is part of the Allen and Pearl Squires Fonds at the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

St. John's Memories with Melanie Tucker

(01 02 004) Water Street, St. John's. View looking east with Ayre and Sons to the right.
Photo courtesy of Geography Collection of Historical Photographs of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Last week Dale and I presented at The Rooms' Research Workshop on Collecting Community History. In the morning there were presentations from The Rooms' staff on how to use their collections for researching community history. The participants also got a tour of the archives.
Dale Jarvis interviewing Melanie Tucker.
In the afternoon session Dale gave an overview of how to do an oral history project including planning in advance, focusing the project, and support and funding that is available. He also did a mock interview, and explained the process of memory mapping or the People, Places, and Culture workshops we run at the Heritage Foundation. I also gave a brief presentation on what to do with the material once you have completed the oral interviews and how to present the material back to the community. If you want more information on how to complete oral history projects please visit our Oral History Project Guide.
Participants of The Rooms' Research Workshop on Collecting Community History.
Melanie Tucker, an archivist with The Rooms, was interviewed by Dale about her memories of growing up in St. John's, going to school, working with the Provincial Archives, and in particular her memories of Water Street, St. John's. If you want to hear more about buying seal flippers, riding the bus, Woolworth's Department Store and the taste of their donuts, buying shoes at the Arcade, or the sights and sounds of the Mount Cashel Christmas raffle listen to the short interview below!

After the mock interview Dale explained the benefits of having community members think about and map out the important people, places, and traditions found in the community. He explained how you can print large community maps at the Provincial Government's Land Management Division Office. Dale brought a large map of St. John's and gave each of the workshop participants a couple of recipe/index cards to fill out with memories. Once everyone had a chance to fill out a memory they were placed on the map. The participants glued their cards to their map and taped a ribbon to the corresponding building in which the memories took place.. If you want to start an oral history project or run a people, place, and culture workshop give us a call at 739-1892 ex. 5 or email
If you want to know more about People, Places, and Culture Workshops click here!
A recipe card with  Water Street memory.
Recipe card with Water Street memory.
~Terra Barrett

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another peak inside the Marshall Building/Stott Vaults, 123 Water Street #nlheritage #architecture

This week, the NL Historic Trust reported on its Facebook page about the possible upcoming demolition of the old brick and stone vaults located at 123 Water Street, shown in the exterior photo above, from May 2005. The Trust writes:
"St. John's City Councillor Sandy Hickman said today that the developer of the new Alt Hotel - which will likely occupy the vacant lot at the corner of Prescott and Water, the former Marshall Brothers property - considered keeping the vaults on the property but they are not structurally viable."
The Trust included a link to a fabulous set of photos taken by local photographer Paul Kinsman, which you can check out here.

The Trust and Kinsman both refer to the vaults as belonging to the Marshall Bros. store, but the earlier history of the vaults is linked to a merchant by the name of Stott.

The entire area surrounding 123-125 Water was destroyed in the 1892 fire. Prior to 1892 there was a stone structure on the site, which possibly belonged to James Stott, a liquor and spirits dealer. As a result of the fire, Water Street was realigned, so the location of the later-day 123-125 Water Street did not sit exactly on top of the building site that was pre fire. The older structure was set back from the current street line. It is possible that these vaults belong to the stone building that was destroyed in the 1892 fire. This would explain rubble that was uncovered on top of the vaults during the demolition of the building above it, which may have dated to the period of the fire.

According to research submitted by Neachel Keeping of the City Archives on June 6, 2005, the building over top of the vaults was owned and let to a variety of tenants. From 1880-1918, the owner/occupier was James Stott, General Merchant (Stott rebuilt on same site after 1892 fire). From 1918-1921, the owner was still listed as James Stott, but from 1923-1963 it was owned by the Stott Estate (Stott died sometime between 1921 and 1923).

This is what the interior looked like in October of 2003, prior to the demolition of the building above it:

Additional photos taken November 2004:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Folklore Photo - Bowring Park Horse Trough

This week's folklore photo is of the Bowring Park horse trough, sent to us courtesy of Gayna Rowe, Office Administrator with the Bowring Park Foundation. The horse trough once stood on Water Street, to service the working horses of the day. Over time, as the use of horses declined, the trough was used less and less, and eventually was moved to Bowring Park, where is today. Currently, the park has plans to revitalize the trough, and may convert it as a drinking fountain for thirsty dogs out for walks with their owners.

We here at the Heritage Foundation's Intangible Cultural Heritage office are thirsty for memories, photos, stories and locations of old wells and springs. If you have a memory of a spring or well, let our researcher Sarah Ingram know.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A 1950s trout basket, bought on Water Street, St. John's.

I couple days ago, I got an email from Leslie (Les) Winsor, of Mount Pearl. He had seen some of my posts about the basket research we were doing, and had a trouting basket to share.

Les's father Francis (Frank) was from Central Street, his father before him from Carbonear. Les didn't have a lot of information on where the basket originated. It was probably bought in the late 1940s or early 1950s at the Sports Shop on Water Street, one of the few places to buy that type of equipment, according to Les.

If you know anything about this type of basket, or have a memory of buying one on Water Street, email me at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walking on Water: Vernacular Architecture walk of St. John's

Last week, I met up with students of Gerald Pocius's Vernacular Architecture graduate level class, and gave them an overview of the Heritage Foundation's work, and a tour of a few sites in along the west end of Water Street.

Tomorrow, we're heading east, and I compiled a list of places we'll pass by for the participants. I thought that since I had it, I'd share it with you, my beloved blog audience, so you can take a little virtual walk along historic Water Street from the comfort of your computer screen.

On the route tomorrow:

Murray Premises

O'Dwyer Block,Block

Yellow Belly Brewery

Grace Building (Model Shop)


O'Brien's Music

Rocket (Neil Soper Hardware/Auntie Craes)

Commercial Chambers Building

And I'll also be talking about the [Here]Say project.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Panelists bios for the Sept 30th #sjtweetup

On Friday, September 30th, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland Historic Trust, will be hosting a St. John’s Tweetup event at the Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site on Water Street as part of Culture Days. It is a chance for anyone to learn more about how social media is being used in the arts and culture sector in St. John’s, and to meet those people face-to-face that you’ve only ever talked to in 140 character tweets. As part of the event, folklorist Dale Jarvis will moderate a panel discussion with people in the cultural sector on the role of social media in local arts, how it is working, and where it is going.

The Tweetup doors open at 6:30pm, with the panel discussion starting at 7pm.

Who are the panelists?

Jennifer Barnable (@JennaOfAvalon) is a writer, photographer and communications professional from Ferryland, Newfoundland who now resides in downtown St. John's. With degrees in cultural anthropology and public relations, Jennifer has spent most of her career working in the arts and cultural industries.

John Gushue (@JohnGushue) is an online editor with CBC News in St. John's, and contributes regularly to radio and television programming. He writes a weekly column on digital culture for the St. John's Telegram, and publishes a blog called Dot Dot Dot.

Elling Lien (@thescopeNL) is editor of The Scope, a weekly, independent alternative newspaper which focuses on local arts, culture, and current affairs in the St. John's region, and which provides live tweets of St. John's City Council meetings.

You can RSVP for the event here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#SocialMedia #sjtweetup @newmanvaults for @culturedays

A tweetup and panel on social media, the arts, and culture in St. John’s

Friday, September 30th, 6:30 pm
Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site
436 Water Street,
St. John’s, Newfoundland

What is a Tweetup?
A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person. At a tweetup you meet the people you might only otherwise know virtually. A tweetup is a great opportunity to connect with people in your online network. There have been a few tweetup events organized for St. John’s so far, with meeting places as varied as a local restaurant and a local beach.

What is Culture Days?
Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Annual, Canada-wide Culture Days events feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community.

What’s happening in the Newman Wine Vaults?
On Friday, September 30th, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland Historic Trust, will be hosting a St. John’s Tweetup event at the Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site on Water Street as part of Culture Days. It is a chance for anyone to learn more about how social media is being used in the arts and culture sector in St. John’s, and to meet those people face-to-face that you’ve only ever talked to in 140 character tweets. As part of the event, folklorist Dale Jarvis will moderate a panel discussion with people in the cultural sector on the role of social media in local arts, how it is working, and where it is going.

Panelists TBA in a future posting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More photo treasures from the Newman Wine Vaults

A while back, I posted about a small digitization project we were undertaking with Provincial Historic Sites and the Newman Wine Vaults. Those photos have been scanned and placed online as part of Memorial's Digital Archive Initiative. They show the interior and exterior of the Vaults and adjacent buildings, and show that the Vaults were used for storage of more than Newman's Port, including things like Javex bleach and potatoes!

This exterior photo, taken from Water Street, shows the west end of the Vault warehouse, and two now-demolished buildings. Also visible is the "Book and Bible" shop, located where Babb Lock and Key is now.

Any vintage car experts out there? I'd love a rough date for this one! Post your suggestions.