Showing posts with label people places and traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label people places and traditions. Show all posts

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

A How-To Oral History Handbook

People, Places and Culture Workshop in New Perlican.
As part of my work with the Collective Memories Project I have been writing and compiling a how-to guide to oral history projects. The Collective Memories 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 main goal of this project is to invite seniors to record their stories and memories for archiving and sharing.

A big part of this project has involved oral history interviews and projects with towns across the province as well as Memory Mug Ups and People, Places, and Culture Workshops. Our office has also worked with communities to digitize materials previously collected by towns and organizations. The new interviews as well as the digitized archived collections can be found on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative at

The third major goal of this project was the oral history guide or toolkit for communities wishing to record and collect their own stories at the local level. This guide will help you start planning your project!

It offers you tips and tricks on how to do interviews, and will help you decide what to do with the materials you've collected to make them publicly accessible. The guide offers useful links guidelines from organizations across Canada and the United States and includes a How-To Guide for the Memory Mug Ups and the People, Places, and Culture Workshops we have been running here at the Foundation.

Click here to find the Oral History Handbook!

~Terra Barrett

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lassy Wall, Crackie Road, and the Unmarked Graves – Stories from Spaniard’s Bay

Workshop participants.
On Wednesday August 24, 2016 Dale and I drove out to Spaniard’s Bay for a short #NLHeritage roadtrip for a People Places and Traditions workshop. The local heritage society invited us out to do a workshop with the community and engage local people with their heritage.
Discussing what to put on the cards for people, places, and traditions.
The People, Places, and Traditions is the first step for communities who want to map out what heritage means to local people. It is a way to get people thinking about the resources in the area. All the people who make the best toutons, build boats, farm strawberries, tell great stories, or have knowledge particular to the area. It makes people think about the places where they swim, berry pick, trout, and about the old names for neighbourhoods and trails, community gathering places, and historic buildings. People remember traditions around bonfire night, Santa Claus parades, hauling wood, mummering, fairies, and local festivals and events.
Brandon and Dale discussing the location of a local sliding hill.
Several great stories came out of last night’s discussion of community heritage including the story of the Lassy Wall. The Lassy Wall below the Holy Redeemer Church was built in 1830 as a retaining wall to shore up the hill from the main road. The people who built the wall were paid in molasses so the wall became known as the Lassy Wall.
The Lassy Wall in Spaniard's Bay.  Photo by Cathy Kleinwort, 2005.  Courtesy of the Town of Spaniard's Bay.
Another story about a place name was about Anthony’s Road which is locally known as Crackie Road. There were two stories about where the name came from. Several of the older community members said the road was called Crackie Road because the people that lived there were “saucy as crackies” while a younger summer student with the heritage society who lived on the street was told it was just because there were a lot of crackies or small saucy dogs on the street.
Plotting the cards on the map.
One story which was not well known in the community was about the unmarked graves on a marshy island in Shearstown Pond. The story that was told was of a family who died of a contagious disease and the people of the community were so worried about catching the disease that they buried the family on the island rather than in the community’s cemetery.
People, places. and traditions.
There were a number of important local characters mentioned such E.H. Vokey who was a teacher, local historian, writer, and photographer. Another woman put down her grandfather who would always bake molasses raisin bread just for her (without the raisins) and would be sure to heat up rocks to send her to bed with at night!
Reviewing the story about the Spaniard's Bay Riot in 1932.
Did you grown up in Spaniard’s Bay? If you have memories of other people, places, and traditions in the area let us know in the comments!
Traditions practiced at the Loyal Orange Lodge.
~Terra Barrett

Monday, August 22, 2016

#CollectiveMemories Roadtrip to Humber Valley - People, Places and Traditions

Discussing people, places, and traditions.
On Wednesday Dale and I headed back to Reidville, the community where we interviewed Clifford Reid, in order to do a second People, Places, and Traditions workshop. We ended up with a smaller crowd due to the size of the town.  This meant that the sixteen of us were able to sit around one big table and have a discussion about some of the town’s history and stories.
Writing on their index cards.
After discussing the people, places, and traditions in the community we handed out index cards for everyone to fill out. Everyone took a couple of cards and wrote out someone, some place, or some tradition which is important to the community. We then mapped the cards on the large map of the community.
The story of Dead Man's Woods.
What was great about this workshop was that the size of the group and the close-knit community meant it turned into a story telling session with people taking turns telling stories from their childhood. Russ Reid told many stories about Mr. Oxford and himself growing up and the trouble they would get into.  The stories ranged from antagonizing the bull in his pen to sneaking up to the lumber camps, there were stories about a child who fell into a well and survived, a woman who gave birth in a canoe on her way to Deer Lake, and almost everyone had a story about stealing apples or fruit from their neighbours’ yards.
Adding stories and memories to the map.
Impromptu story telling around the Reidville map.
Reidville is located on a river and the islands of the river were named as well as the beaches which served as swimming holes or trouting spots. One of the islands, named Grandmother’s Island, was where Mr. Oxford would collect the long grass which would be used in their psalm Sunday services in the school which doubled as a church.
Discussing the future of heritage in the Humber Valley region.
After the session in Reidville Dale and I headed to Deer Lake where we had quick supper, and a poke around the community and two of the local cemeteries before heading to the Grand Lake Centre of Economic Development for a meeting with the Humber Valley Heritage society. We met with four members of the heritage society to talk about the future of heritage in Humber Valley. These women were the people who invited us out to lead the workshops and do some interviews and they are interested in how they can use the information collected at workshops like these. The heritage society is interested in holding similar events around the Humber Valley region in order to work together to promote the heritage of the region. The first thing they plan to do is take the information located on the physical maps and store it digitally. The committee is very interested in using Google My Maps to make this material accessible to and also editable by community members. They want to create a map of the region in order to showcase the agricultural heritage of the region and increase the tourism to all the communities.

~Terra Barrett

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Workshops and Interviews on the West Coast

Sandra Wheeler, Crystal Braye, Terra Barrett, and Dale Jarvis.
Dale and I are out on the west coast of the province as part of the Collective Memories Project. Tuesday afternoon after a breakfast with folklorists Crystal Braye and Sandra Wheeler we headed to Reidville in the Humber Valley. We met with another folklorist Amanda-Marie Hillyard who is from the community and set up an interview with Clifford Reid, a local history buff and a descendant of the original Reid’s of Reidville. Following the interview Clifford took us on a tour of the town pointing out how the land was originally parceled out, the location of the old tram system, and where people would the leave the community to paddle their canoes to Deer Lake.
Dale Jarvis and Clifford Reid.
Clifford described how the community was settled by his grandfather and his uncles in the 1930s following one uncle’s move to Junction’s Brook across the river from the land that became Reidville. Clifford’s uncles and his grandfather moved to the area in order to work as loggers and farmers. The main work in the area was at the lumber camps feeding logs into the river system bound for the mill in Corner Brook. Clifford described the 20 mile tramway system which ran from Reidville to the lumber camps near Adie’s Lake (locally spelled Aides and pronounced Eddys) where the Humber River starts. This tramway was built by Bowater in order to bring supplies to the logging camps.
Adies Lake Tramway about 1940. Courtesy of Bowater's Wood Department.
Clifford also added his own memories of growing up in the community such as the best spots for swimming and trouting, going to school in the small community, and riding the horses that ran wild in the community in the summers. He also mentioned that with no church or graveyard no one died the community! Listen to the clip below to hear a story Clifford told about some mystery snoring heard by his uncle and friends at a woods camp in the winter.

In the evening we headed to Pasadena for a People, Places, and Traditions workshop where there were over 30 people in attendance. We had the group separate into smaller groups and cluster around three tables. One focused on people, one on places, and one on traditions. Each group wrote their thoughts and memories on index cards which they then placed on large maps of the community. They connected their index cards with a ribbon to the location where the people discussed live/lived, the important places in the community, and where traditions took place.
Dale telling a story.
There were business owners, principles, farmers, crafters, heritage society members, and active church members were placed on the map while parks, community centres, and the concrete rock were mapped out. The concrete bottom is where locals would go swimming and it got its name for a rock on the bottom of the pond which is flat almost like poured concrete. There were traditions such as heading to the dump to watch the bears play, trapping rabbits, and taking part in festivals such as the winter carnival, the strawberry festival, and the Santa Claus parade.
Mapping memories.
Reviewing the maps.
After the mapping a couple of community members shared stories and memories stirred up by the session and one gentleman told of how his mother and him were planting potatoes in the field where the community centre now lies and she gave him her wedding ring to wear while she planted. He put the ring on, watered the potatoes and when they finished planting the garden went for a swim at concrete rock. He came home after swimming only to find he had lost the ring. His mother told him to tell all the boys who went trouting if they came across a ring in the belly of a fish it was her wedding band. Unfortunately to this day the ring is still missing. If you ever come across a ring while trouting in the area be sure to call the local heritage society to ask about this story!
The story of the ring and the trout.
~Terra Barrett

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

People, Places, and Traditions Tea

Dale and I are out on the West Coast this week doing some interviews, workshops, and meetings in Corner Brook, Pasadena, Reidville, and Deer Lake.  We are hosting a couple of People, Places and Traditions Workshops and invite everyone in the area to come out and talk about your community.

Tonight we will be in Pasadena from 6:30-9:30pm at Pasadena Hall and tomorrow afternoon we will be in Reidville in the Community Hall from 1:30-4:30pm. Drop by, have a cup of tea, and share some memories of your community!

~Terra Barrett

Thursday, July 14, 2016

People Places and Traditions Workshop

As a part of the Culturalis Borealis Summer Institute, myself, Terra, Andrea and Dale hosted a People, Places and Traditions Workshop with a fantastic group of 7-12 teachers at the District Conference Center on Strawberry Marsh Road last Wednesday. I started work with Dale on July 4th as a Cultural Conservation intern with the Conservation Corps ECHO program, and over the Summer I’ll be helping to do research, conduct oral interviews, participate in and learn to conduct workshops like this one.
Andrea, Terra and Dale discussing the workshop
We met with the teachers participating in the Summer Institute to get them started thinking about how our intangible cultural heritage is reflected in the important people, places and traditions of our communities.

Ready to get started!
Equipped with two large-scale maps of Newfoundland (and one of Labrador!), some ribbon, craft glue, and pens, our participants were ready to get started on the workshop! We divided everyone up into three groups - one each for People, Places and Traditions. Our first group brainstormed about people with special cultural knowledge or skills in their communities. Rather than listing 'famous' figures or officials, we asked them to think about things a little closer to home. Who among your friends and family might have special localized knowledge or skills? who are some 'unofficial' but well-known tradition-bearers in your town?

Our workshop participants glued index cards with people, places and traditions on them to the maps.
One of our participants from St. John's wrote about Joe Planchet of Canary Cycles here in St. John’s, while another wrote about the schooner fishermen in Bay Roberts who brought back their stories about trips to Labrador. One participant from Cape St. Georges wrote about a favourite teacher with a wealth of historical knowledge about the area.

Once they finished writing their stories, the participants attached their cards to a map of Newfoundland (and one of Labrador!) and used ribbon to link each card to the right community.

Our Labrador team with their map
A closer look!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cupids Workshop - What's in a Name?

This Thursday, June 23rd, residents of Cupids will start to map out what their heritage means to them, with a little help from folklorist Dale Jarvis.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, our living heritage is rich and diverse. It includes historic buildings and places, ballad singing, snowshoe-making, accordion playing, knitting, mummers and jannies, berry picking, boat building, and much more. We tell stories, make clothes, build stages, shear sheep, and spin yarn. We have a complex knowledge of place, the seasons, and the movements and patterns of animals from moose to cod fish. If we lose these important parts of our living heritage, we will also lose important resources that can keep our communities going culturally, economically and socially. But where do we start?

Dale Jarvis, folklorist with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be leading a community conversation about historic places, trails, old stories, place names, traditions, and local knowledge.

Come for a cup of tea, and tell us what matters to you in Cupids. It will be a FREE and FUN community workshop with snacks and door prizes, sponsored by Cupids Historical Society Inc.

Thursday June 23rd
Legacy Hall, Cupids Legacy Centre

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

#NLHeritage Road Trip

Heart's Content Graveyard
My name is Terra Barrett and I have worked with the Heritage Foundation for the last two summers. I am back again working with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office on a new project called Collective Memories. Stay tuned for more information about this project in the coming weeks as I will be updated the blog with updates about the work of the ICH Office over the summer.
Dale, Andrea, and Michael in the graveyard
This past weekend Dale Jarvis, Andrea O’Brien, Michael Philpott, and I headed out of St. John’s for a heritage road trip with stops in Heart’s Content and New Perlican. Our first stop on Friday afternoon was the Heart’s Content graveyard where the community is looking to do some work. We had a look at the graves and the state of the grounds and discussed the possibilities of a clean up or workshop in the graveyard. After reviewing the graveyard we had a supper of hot turkey sandwiches, fish, chips, and milkshakes at Legge’s and headed on to New Perlican.
Community members at the People, Places, and Traditions workshop.
Important places in the community.
Mapping their heritage.
New Perlican’s heritage committee asked the Heritage Foundation to come out and help the committee prioritize their community heritage to do list. On Friday evening we hosted a People, Places, and Traditions workshop in order to get the people of the community thinking about the assets in their community. We had three tables set up with large maps of New Perlican and had each table focus on either the people, places, or tradition in the community.
People in the community.
Important traditions.
Reviewing the maps.
Everyone contributed ideas and wrote out their descriptions on recipe card which were then placed on the large maps. In the end we ended up with three community maps one with the important people in the community such as past lighthouse keepers and bread bakers, one with places like the sitting rock and local swimming holes, and one with traditional nicknames in the community and the tradition of using goats to haul wood from the woods. We placed these maps around the room and had a discussion of what had been identified.
Saturday we were back in New Perlican for a prioritizing session with the community's heritage committee. We whittled their wish list from twenty odd items to three major project to focus on over the next few years. After lunch we walked through the harbour in order to see where most of their work was focused. It was a productive weekend and I am looking forward to seeing where the committee takes their projects over the next few years.
Walk to the New Perlican Harbour.

Do you want a People, Places, and Traditions Workshop in your community? Or want some advice on where to go next?  We’d love to help! Contact the Intangible Culture Heritage office of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador for more ideas or assistance.

~Terra Barrett