Showing posts with label gravestone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gravestone. Show all posts

Friday, July 2, 2021

Living Heritage Podcast Ep206 Cemetery Clean Up Tips and Tricks, with Andrea O'Brien and Robyn Lacy


Often well-meaning people clean or “restore” old gravestones in ways that actually damage them or hasten their deterioration by using the wrong methods. In this episode of the podcast we talk with Andrea O’Brien and Robyn Lacy about some tips and tricks for cemetery cleanups including headstone cleaning and repairs. We also learn more about the work happening in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Cape Broyle including some stories of local characters buried in the cemetery.


Andrea O’Brien is Heritage NL’s Municipal Outreach Officer and Provincial Registrar. A graduate of Memorial University, she has a BA focusing on folklore, history, Newfoundland Studies, and English, a Bachelor of Education, and an MA in folklore. She serves as Heritage NL’s Register of Historic Places, Municipal Outreach Officer, Heritage Places Poster Contest coordinator, Historic Commemorations Program coordinator, and web manager.


Robyn Lacy is a PhD student in Historical Archaeology at Memorial University, studying 17th century burial landscapes in North America. She is also co-director of Black Cat Cemetery Preservation which specializes in historic gravestone and monument conservation and restoration in Canada. Wife and husband team Robyn Lacy and Ian Petty, have a combined 20 years of experience in the heritage sector as archaeologists, gravestone conservators, and cultural heritage technicians.

 

Check out our two upcoming cemetery workshops: Headstones Cleaning and Basic TLC for Old Headstones. These workshops are offered by Heritage NL with support of the Labour Market Partnerships program, Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Living Heritage 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 HeritageNL and CHMR Radio.

Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A cemetery visit on Orangeman's Day - the grave of William Janes



Yesterday was Orangeman's Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the curious provincial holidays that some people get off work, and other people know nothing about.  While the Heritage Foundation office was closed, I headed off to Carbonear for a meeting about a possible future oral history project, and a visit to St. James Anglican to meet with their committee about their cemetery cleanup project. We'd blogged about St. James Anglican before (read here) and today was the first day their student workers in place. So off I went to help them make a plan for removing brush, and to prioritize which sections of the cemetery they should work on first.

When I arrived, the students had already cleared away some of the brush from around the memorial stone for William Janes, work appropriate, perhaps, for Orangeman's Day. William Janes was killed in the notorious Harbour Grace Affray, and his marker reads:

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY OF
WILLIAM JANES
AGED
22 YEARS
Who was shot dead whilst
walking in an Orange Pro
cession at Harbour Grace
ON DEC 26TH 1883.


There is a detailed account of the affray here:
http://canadianorangehistoricalsite.com/HabourGraceAffair.php

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Church of England Cemetery in Harbour Breton. #folklorephoto

One of our former board members, Doug Wells, was inspired by the podcast we did last week with archaeologist Robyn Lacy (listen to that interview here). He sent us a few photos of the old gravestones at the old Church of England Cemetery in Harbour Breton, sometimes referred to as the Newman & Co. Cemetery.






Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Heart's Content Graveyard Mapping Workshop and Cemetery Clean Up

Guest blog post by Celeste Billung-Meyer a Folklore student working with the Heritage Foundation this summer:

Last Saturday (July 16 th , 2016), I attended the Graveyard Mapping Workshop and Clean Up in Heart’s Content. It was an event co-organized by the Heritage Foundation and Youth Heritage in order to help Heart’s Content get ready for their 150th anniversary of the first successful landing of a trans Atlantic cable.

We had a fantastic turn out! The majority of our volunteers gathered at the Heritage Foundation for 9 am, where we got on a bus and drove to Heart’s Content. When we arrived and met up with the rest of the volunteers, the weather looked dubious; however, much to our delight, within the hour the sun came out and the day ended up being gorgeous and warm!
Practising gravestone rubbing.
For the morning, the group was split between two activities. One group started cleaning up the cemetery and the other group went with Terra who led a workshop about grave rubbing. As it happened, there was no tracing paper to be bought anywhere in St. John’s during the days leading up to the workshop and so Terra resolved to use exam table paper (found in doctor’s offices) as a substitute.  However, the substitute paper combined with the windy morning (making it hard tape the paper tightly to the stone) lead to mixed grave rubbing results. Nonetheless, everyone came away with a working knowledge of the process and an solid understanding of the value of grave rubbing.
Cemetery cleanup.
Around noon, we were invited to a lunch provided by the Mizzen Heritage Society. Hotdogs for all! After lunch, we had the graveyard mapping workshop lead by Dale and Michael. While this type of mapping is quite a slow and painstaking process, it can be used by anyone with just a couple of tools that are cheap and easily accessible (two stakes, two tape measures, a plumb bob, graph paper, a large clip board, a geometry kit, a scale ruler and a pencil). After the demonstration, the group was split in two again and anyone who wanted to try the mapping first hand stayed with Michael and was given a chance to do so.
Dale and Sarah demonstrating how to map the graveyard.
Michael drawing out the map.

The rest of the group followed Dale on a walk around the cemetery and he explained the meaning behind the symbols on some of the graves!
Dale giving a tour of the cemetery symbols.
Once the tour ended, everyone came together to finish cleaning up the cemetery.
Photo of our wonderful volunteers and the progress of the graveyard!
We finished the day with a walk over to the Mizzen Heritage Society and then the newly renovated Heyfield Memorial United Church and Cemetery. Along the way, we learned a bit about the history of Heart’s Content, some of the ghost lore of the area and a bit about what the Heritage Foundation and Youth Heritage are up to in the next couple of months!

Learning about Heart's Content's history.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Free Graveyard Mapping Workshop - July 16th

Measuring the distance between graves.
The Heritage Foundations of Newfoundland and Labrador, in partnership with Youth Heritage NL, is looking for your help in getting Heart's Content ready for their 150th Anniversary Commemoration Celebration "Connected and Contented"!

We are organizing a cemetery mapping and cleanup for July 16. The mapping workshop will take place in the morning, followed by at short lunch provided by the Mizzen Heritage Society and HFNL, then a cleanup of the cemetery before taking the bus back to St. John's. Help HFNL and YHNL cleanup the cemetery and learn how to map in the process!

There will be a bus leaving 1 Springdale Street, St. John's at 9am and returning around 4pm.

Schedule:
 9:00-10:30 - Travel to Heart's Content
10:30-12:00 - Mapping the cemetery
12:00-12:45 - Lunch!
12:45- 3:30 - Cemetery cleanup
 3:30- 5:00 - Travel back to St. John's

Of course this is not limited to volunteers from St. John's. If you are interested in helping, please contact us at YouthHeritageNL@gmail.com and we will provide details (transportation may not be included depending on your location).

This is an outdoor, hands-on activity, so please have appropriate clothing, workboots, gloves, hats, sunblock, bug spray, etc.

If you want to get involved register here for this free workshop.
Plotting the graves on a map.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday's Folklore Photos - Graveyard Mapping, Recording, and Rubbing

Measuring and mapping the graves.
Today’s Folklore Photos comes from a Heritage Foundation field trip to the General Protestant Cemetery on Topsail Rd, in St. John’s. Yesterday afternoon July 4th, 2016, Dale, Michael, Pei, Celeste, Sarah, and I took a trip to the cemetery to map the cemetery, record the information on the gravestones, and rub some of the stones.
Recording the information.
Pei, an international folklore graduate student, is working with the Heritage Foundation this summer to digitize files. Another project that he is working on is documenting and researching the Chinese graves in the General Protestant Cemetery. Pei is looking for more information on the people buried in the cemetery and is interested in the impact they’ve left on the community.
Plotting the graves.
Yesterday was the first step in finding out more information about the Chinese graves. We measured the location of the 27 graves in relation to one another and the concrete kerbs that are keeping the graves together. Michael plotted this information on a map with each of the graves numbered.
Recording the size, location, symbols, and writing on the gravestones.
Celeste and Sarah mainly focused on recording the information about the graves they could gather leaving the Chinese characters for Pei to decipher. Pei and I reviewed the stones and decided which stones needed to be rubbed in order to gather more information. We used masking tape and put a thick paper over the gravestones. We made sure to keep the paper as taunt as possible in order to have a clearer rubbing of the grave. We then used charcoal to outline the gravestone, and moved across the gravestone horizontally keeping a steady pressure. Once we finished the rubbings we photographed them and rolled the rubbings up for storage. Although rubbings are not always the answer for gravestones they can often allow you to record different information such as the size and shape of the gravestones and can allow you to better see the lettering engraved on the stones.
Sample gravestone rubbing from Cupids.
Demonstrating gravestone rubbing.
If you would like to learn more about mapping cemeteries join the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and Youth Heritage NL on July 16, 2016 for a cemetery mapping workshop, and a cleanup of one of the older cemeteries in Heart’s Content. If you would like more information or would like to register for this free workshop click here!


~Terra Barrett

Monday, June 1, 2015

Witless Bay Cemetery Clean Up

ICH development officer and members of the Witless Bay heritage committee.
Left to right: Peter, Kevin, Dale, Bonnie, Mary.

This morning Dale and I drove out to beautiful Witless Bay on the Southern Shore to meet with several members of the heritage committee.  In a couple of weeks time on June 23rd the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Witless Bay heritage committee are partnering with Memorial University for the second year to do a cemetery clean up as part of MUN’s Make Midterm Matter.  This year students from MUN will have the opportunity to spend the day out of the classroom and in the graveyard engaging with the community while gaining volunteer experience. 

View from the Witless Bay cemetery.

Cemeteries are an interesting part of our past with many stories to tell, however, older cemeteries are often forgotten and fall into disrepair.  Taking care of cemeteries in this province is difficult with a climate which is rough on the gravestones.  However, looking after these gravestones is important as they often offer information which is not found elsewhere.  In order to show the students some of the information which can be learned from the graves we will be doing a couple of gravestone rubbings.  Dale will also discuss the significance of the gravestone symbols and how reading these symbols can give us information about the people who are buried in the graveyard.

Several symbols are displayed on this gravestone in the cemetery.
A cross, an anchor, a harp, a plant and a sacred heart.
The students will be working together to clear brush, mow grass, paint and fix fences, clear garbage and generally tend to the cemetery grounds.  The Witless Bay heritage committee is looking to restore the graveyard to its former glory and any and all volunteers are welcome.  If you are interested in volunteering and wondering how you can become involved send me an email at terra@heritagefoundation.ca


-Terra