Showing posts with label root cellars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label root cellars. Show all posts

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Heritage Update 085 - September 2021: Root Cellars, Research, and Rita Remembers Labrador!


In this edition of the Heritage Update newsletter: our new intern Sarah Roberts brings you up to date on our Digital Museums of Canada project tracking the history and evolution of root cellars in the province; Michael Philpott shares a summary of the research we've been doing on St. George's Anglican Church in Brigus; Lara Maynard has a report on our workshops and training program; Andrea O'Brien documents the work we've been doing with the Town of Fortune to reimagine a purpose for the old Victoria Hall Masonic Lodge #1378; Terra Barrett visits with  Rita Fitzgerald in North River (photo above) and reminisces about life on the Labrador; while Dale Jarvis fanboys about a historic potato. 

Download the pdf here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tk_1whf4VmDLQk_dDhMgOixsXPoDxWEq/view?usp=sharing

Friday, September 21, 2018

A peek at John & Phonse Ducey’s Root Cellar, Keels



If you've followed the ICH Blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that we love root cellars. Like, really, really LOVE root cellars. Well, my mother and father were off for a 50th wedding anniversary jaunt around the Bonavista Peninsula, and Fadder snapped these pics of John and Phonse Ducey's root cellar in Keels, Bonavista Bay. It is of a type we'd call an above ground cellar, but of a specific sub-type that features an exterior wall holding back a layer of insulating sod. The final photos in the series below show the cellar from the rear, where some degradation over time allows you to see the construction process a bit better. The diagonal side braces, acting as a type of buttress, helped keep the outer walls up against the weight of the sod. It is a feature you will sometimes see in old fishing stages called a "side span" -- a wooden exterior brace on the side of a stage which kept the side of the stage from breaking out when a large amount of salted fish was stored inside.

The root cellar was featured in the booklet Living Spaces: The Architecture of the Family Fishery in Keels, Newfoundland which was produced by the first Memorial University Folklore Field School, under the direction of Dr. Gerald Pocius. Then MA candidate Kristin Catherwood, now the ICH Development Officer for Heritage Saskatchewan (insert heart emoji here), wrote the following about the cellar:
The root cellar owned by John and Phonse Ducey is located on the eastern outskirts of Keels. It was built in the early 1950s by Henry Thomas Curtis, a carpenter from the nearby community of King’s Cove for Kenneth Mesh. The bulk of the work done by Curtis consisted of pouring the cement for the interior structure. Roland Mesh, Kenneth’s brother, recalls that the cement was poured first, and left to set for several months. In the meantime, a wooden exterior structure was constructed of spruce split logs cut in the woods surrounding Keels. A space of five feet was left between the cement interior cellar structure and the exterior wooden structure. This space was then filled with turf. Much of the turf was brought from Pigeon Island in Keels’ harbour, since turf was in short supply in the surrounding area of the community itself. The turf was dug by hand and loaded in punts (a type of small boat often used for transporting fish), then brought to the family’s stage on Keels’ shore. 

Thanks, Dad! Happy Anniversary!






Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Memory Store: The root cellar - that is built heritage...

The video for this week's the Memory Store was filmed in Elliston, NL inside one of the many root cellars found in the community. In this clip Don Johnson with Tourism Elliston describes different types of root cellars and how cellars are a form of green energy which keeps vegetables fresh without refrigeration.

Watch the video below or click here to watch the video on YouTube.
Click here for more information about the root cellar's history and architecture.
If you missed our initial post explaining the concept of the Memory Store clip here to go back to our first blog post with the introduction video or check out our YouTube channel at ICH NL.

Stay tuned for more short stories about historic places in the province, in the form of short oral history interviews conducted with the people who care about those places and if you have a personal memory about a historic place in Newfoundland and Labrador, and want to add your voice to the Memory Store project, let us know at ich@heritagefoundation.ca

~Terra Barrett



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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Memory Store: The root cellar capital of the world...

The video for this week's the Memory Store was filmed in Elliston, NL inside one of the many root cellars found in the community. In this clip Don Johnson with Tourism Elliston describes the tourism and introduction of two festivals which developed in the town of Elliston as a result of the abundance of root cellars in the town.

Watch the video below or click here to watch the video on YouTube.
Click here for more information about the root cellar's history and architecture.
If you missed our initial post explaining the concept of the Memory Store clip here to go back to our first blog post with the introduction video or check out our YouTube channel at ICH NL.

Stay tuned for more short stories about historic places in the province, in the form of short oral history interviews conducted with the people who care about those places and if you have a personal memory about a historic place in Newfoundland and Labrador, and want to add your voice to the Memory Store project, let us know at ich@heritagefoundation.ca

-Terra

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Memory Store: Huge, built like a motorboat...

The video for this week's the Memory Store was filmed in Elliston, NL outside one of the many root cellars found in the community. In this short clip Don Johnson with Tourism Elliston describes the construction of root cellars including how the large porch stones were put in place by a local strongman by the name of Jimmy Chant.

Watch the video below or click here to watch the video on YouTube.

Click here for more information about the root cellar's history and architecture.
If you missed our initial post explaining the concept of the Memory Store clip here to go back to our first blog post with the introduction video or check out our YouTube channel at ICH NL.

Stay tuned for more short stories about historic places in the province, in the form of short oral history interviews conducted with the people who care about those places and if you have a personal memory about a historic place in Newfoundland and Labrador, and want to add your voice to the Memory Store project, let us know at ich@heritagefoundation.ca

-Terra

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Discovering the Discovery Trail

Asset mapping in Champney's West
Ready to map the living treasures of the community
It’s been a whirlwind two days of work here in Champney’sWest.  Dale and I headed out Thursday morning for a weekend of oral history interviews, asset mapping, and an oral history workshop.  On Thursday evening there was a public asset mapping workshop held in Champney’s West to see what heritage means to the people of the community.  There were three tables of locals with a moderator taking notes on the community’s cultural organization, creative cultural industries, spaces and facilities, festivals and events, cultural heritage sites, natural heritage and intangible cultural heritage. 
Discussing the community's cultural assets
Checking out the map of Champney West's living treasures
After the community brainstormed the important cultural assets of the community the residents received a recipe card and were asked to think of a living treasure in the community.  Living treasure just means someone in the community who is knowledgeable about a particular topic or skill and why they are important.  The residents then mapped these local treasures on a map of Champney’s West.  After the map was completed everyone enjoyed a little lunch and cup of tea before heading home for the evening.

Friday morning and afternoon Dale and I interviewed two older residents of the community brothers Ben and Roy Hiscock.  Both brothers were great storytellers and told stories about growing up in the community, local shipwrecks, memories from the Second World War, and jokes from local characters.  Be on the lookout for clips of these two interviews!
Checking out Elliston, the root cellar capital of the world!
Don Johnson and I outside one of Ellison's many root cellars
Between the interviews with Ben and Roy we also headed out to Elliston to talk with Don Johnson from Tourism Elliston to do a short interview on root cellars in the root cellar capital of the world.  Don showed us a couple of cellars and explained their importance to the community in the past and to the present community.  He explained their upcoming festivals and took us out to see the puffin site and the new sealers memorial.  

The Sealers Memorial in Elliston
Puffin site in Elliston
After a lovely supper at the Bonavista Social Club we were back in Champney’s West for the first coffee house of the season.  It was a great evening with live music, jokes, stories and another small lunch.  After lunch we were in for a special treat as local characters Martha and Bertha put on a skit.  They discussed the “h’asset mapping” and the ‘eritage of the community.  They even mentioned the out of town folklorist who wrote a book on mummering.  This is when it got interesting as Bertha bet Martha he couldn't even mummer.  Let’s just say a nice bit of dress up and dancing ensued!  Check out the pictures below!

Local fiddler
Martha, Dale Jarvis and Bertha
Plankin er down!
Thanks to Champney’s West for a great two days!  Today we've got a couple more interviews and an oral history workshop in Port Union.

-Terra

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wednesday night Root Cellar talk and tour in Cupids


This Wednesday, September 24th, myself and folklorist Crystal Braye will be hosting an event all about root cellars at the Cupids Legacy Centre, at 7pm.  The event will include a tour of two cellars at the Cupids archaeological site, a presentation on root cellars, and a discussion of local traditions around root cellars and food preservation. Tickets are $8 at the door, and include light refreshments after the talk and tour!

See you in Cupids! - Dale


Monday, August 25, 2014

My Woody Point Summer Excursion

Woody Point is a registered heritage district located within Gros Morne National Park. The community is near the tablelands, which offer the region a different kind of physical landscape than other place in Newfoundland. It is a popular tourist destination in the summer, particularly around the time of the Woody Point Writer's Festival, but many people might not know that it has heritage district status. To help promote the district, I recently visited Woody Point to get to know its history, its historic buildings, and some of its residents.

It was a fruitful trip: I returned with 500 archival photographs as well as 100 pages of handwritten local stories, all of which were collected by local heritage enthusiast Charlie Payne. I also gained access to 52 archival interviews (belonging to Parks Canada) from the 80s and early 90s,  and did a number of interviews with residents on my own. Over the next few months, I will slowly be cataloguing all of this data for permanent storage in MUN's online digital archives. As this work is completed, I will be posting links so that it can be viewed by anyone interested.

The Tales of Gros Morne storytelling event at Lobster Cove Head.
 One other thing that came out of my time in Woody Point was a storytelling event held in collaboration with the HFNL and Parks Canada at the Lobster Cove Head lighthouse. This event was a celebration and discussion of some of the superstitions and ghost/fairy stories from the region. We had a good turn out, with lots of stories shared and exchanged -- I hope to do similar collaborations in the future. Thanks to Parks Canada for helping to make this event happen.

Some Parks Canada employees and a few parks visitors sitting around the campfire.

 Please scroll down to see a number of photographs from this field excursion: look at all of the amazing and generous people that I was lucky enough to spend time with and learn from in Woody Point!
Nicky and Mackenzie give amazing tours of the historic Roberts house.

Margarete Sheppard, long time resident of Woody Point, shared with me her life story.

Charlie Payne, a member of the HFNL board of directors, showed me the root cellar he recently made.

Ella Moores, Woody Point's oldest living resident (almost 100!), with Shelley Roberts.

Jack and Sue Parsons in their home near the lighthouse, after sharing their knowledge of the local history.

Brenda Young telling me tales about working at Aunt Jane's Bed and Breakfast in the heritage district.

Robert and Jeanette Rowsell after a wonderful tour of the Prebble house, a municipally designated building.
Thanks for viewing this and please stay tuned for more of what I learned and experienced in Woody Point.
-Lisa

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Science You Eat - A Newfoundland root cellar in Ottawa!




If you've followed the ICH blog for any length of time, you'll know that we love root cellars! A few years ago, we partnered on a root cellar research project with the Agricultural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, and that information has been added to a root cellar collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative, over 500 photos, interviews and floor plans, much of it collected by folklorist Crystal Braye and cultural geographer Julie Pomeroy.

Now, some of that info has made its way to Ottawa, where a new exhibit is nearing completion, which will include a life-sized replica of a Newfoundland root cellar.

Suzanne Beauvais is a curator with the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, and one of the people who has been researching and building the model root cellar. She writes,
Have you ever wondered why storing cucumbers in vinegar keeps them edible for longer? Or whether canned food lasts forever? Our ancestors preserved food using several different methods but did not know that scientific principles underlie food preservation. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, located on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, is opening a new exhibition — Food Preservation: The Science You Eat — that answers these questions and much more. The exhibition explores traditional and modern preservation methods, both at home and in industry, and explains the scientific principles behind food preservation using artifacts, videos, interactives, and audio recordings of people sharing their memories. A particularly interesting feature is a replica 1890s root cellar, such as those found in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador, where visitors will experience the cold, damp, and dark of this food storage structure common to homes of the time. This replica has been made according to the historical information provided through the generous collaboration of the Agricultural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
So, if you are in the Ottawa area this summer, check out the Elliston root cellar. The exhibit opens officially on May 13th.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - An Old School Root Cellar



Last week I had the opportunity to go back out into the field and get my hands dirty with some serious archaeology. My graduate supervisor Barry Gaulton has been going out to a site in Sunnyside, Newfoundland, for the past several years with Steve Mills, and each time he goes out into the field he brings eager graduate students with him: this year it was my turn! The site is a 17th century winter house in the woods near the water, and based upon some of the artifacts we found it probably dates to the 1660's, and was probably used for only a year or two.

One great discovery this season was the location of what was most likely a root cellar to the west of where the house was. It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but this root cellar is built from mounded earth, and we uncovered a section of staining in the earth that was likely a 4 foot span of wooden flooring in the center. Although there isn't any remains left, the top of the root cellar would have been built of a combination of earth, rock and wood, drawn from the local resources at hand.

Root cellars would have been just as important 350 years ago as they were 50 years ago, or even today, especially during a cold winter with limited access to supplies other than what you could hunt or gather for yourself. I decided to share the photo I had of the root cellar this week for the folklore photo as a teaser for a blog post later on this week about my trip out to Sunnyside, and because root cellars are cool, and full of folklore-y goodness! And you can't go wrong with one from the 17th century.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exploring Our Roots: A Heritage Inventory of Newfoundland’s Root Cellars


In 2011, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) hosted the agricultural-themed folklife festival, Seeds to Supper, to celebrate farming and gardening traditions in the province. To complement these celebrations, an architectural inventory of over 150 root cellars was conducted and has been added to Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative (DAI).

The research was conducted by Crystal Braye, hired through MUN’s Division of Co-operative Education, in collaboration with Julie Pomeroy of the Agricultural History Society (AHS),

Crystal has recently completed a report on her root cellar work with HFNL, and we are pleased to release it as the third in our Occasional Paper on Intangible Cultural Heritage series. If you have an interest in root cellars, folk architecture, or traditional knowledge, give it a read!

Download Occasional Paper 003 as a pdf

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Root Cellars Rock The Rooms


Coffee and Culture: Root Cellars
March 14, 2:30pm
The Rooms Theatre


How do you keep vegetables fresh without electricity? In a root cellar of course! From use in years past to modern day, root cellars have become iconic in Newfoundland and Labrador. Folklorist Crystal Braye and Sarah Ferber from Root Cellars Rock will be at The Rooms to tell you all about them. Presented in collaboration with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

 


Root cellar photos courtesy of Crystal Braye.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Century Farms, Newfoundland ponies, a building floats to a new home, and more


In this edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: the Seeds to Supper Festival gets underway with a workshop on culinary tourism, featuring Canada's Top Chef participant Todd Perrin; we celebrate our agricultural history with an evening of stories of farming past, present and future; a local woman keeps the tradition of Newfoundland ponies alive; news on the Culture, Place and Identity at the Heart of Regional Development conference coming this fall; a historic merchant's shop is hauled (and floated) to a new home; and, our root cellar roundup.

Download the pdf

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Add to the collaborative Root Cellars of Newfoundland and Labrador Map!

We are just launching our collaborative Root Cellar Mapping Project! Do you know where there is a root cellar, somewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Map it!  You'll need to be logged in to your Google account to add a spot on the map, which is at:

http://tinyurl.com/rootcellarmap

If possible, we'll visit your root cellar in person and add it to the digital root cellar we are building as part of Memorial University's Digital Archive Initiative. Got a memory about a root cellar that no longer exists? Map that too!

Rules are simple:

* Root cellars only
* Don't move other people's pins
* Don't be a jerk

We'll delete anything that we feel doesn't fit.

Once you are looking at the map, hit the "Edit" button, which should be visible if you are logged in to your Google Account. Select the blue pin from the menu. Stick it where your root cellar is (or was) and tell us about it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Root Cellar Typology for Newfoundland and Labrador


We are digging away on our root cellar project, documenting different root cellars, taking photographs, making measurements, and interviewing people about root cellar traditions.

One idea we've come up with is to create a map of root cellars across the province, to see what kind of root cellars are most common where. So, I've taken a first stab at creating a root cellar typology, listing out the different kinds of root cellars we've found to date.

If you know of a different kind, or have a suggestion for a root cellar for us to look at, or root cellar owner to interview, contact Crystal Braye, our down-to-earth folklore co-op student, at folklore.coop@gmail.com.

Dual Entrance Cellar - set into the ground and lined with rocks/concrete. A shed is built over top of the cellar, with its own door. Access to the cellar is through a ground-level door into the cellar, and through a hatch door incorporated into the floor of the shed.

Hatch and Shed Cellar - set into the ground and lined with rocks/concrete. Beams and planks are laid over the hole, with a hatch door incorporated into the ceiling/floor, along with a ladder for access. A shed is then built over the top of the cellar.

Hillside Cellar - dug out of a hillside, lined with rocks or concrete, and then a ceiling is attached to overhead beams. Access through a ground-level door on the front.

Above Ground Cellar - freestanding cellar, covered thickly with sod on the outside, lined inside with rocks/concrete, with access through a ground-level door on the front.

Above Ground Hatch – like the Above Ground Cellar, but with access from a hatch at the top.

Walk-in Cool Room – Insulated room, part of a house or outbuilding.

Barrel Cellar – A small root cellar made of a converted barrel or drum.

Unidentified Ruin

Others?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Digital Root Cellar storing memories as part of Memorial's Digital Archives Initiative


This abandoned root cellar, located on Thorpe's Road, St. Phillip's, is one of the root cellars that will be documented as part of this summer's Seeds to Supper Festival.  This year, the province's third annual folklife festival will celebrate agricultural traditions past and present.

The root cellar research project is being conducted by Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) folklore coop student Crystal Braye, and Agricultural History Society intern Julie Pomeroy.  The pair will be photographing, measuring, and drawing cellars wherever they can root them out, as well as conducting interviews with root cellar owners and farming families.

All collected photographs, drawings and audio interviews will be stored, nice and cool, in our digital root cellar, as part of Memorial's Digital Archives Initiative and HFNL's ongoing Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory.  The research is funded in part with grants through the Department of Tourism's Cultural Economic Development Program, and the Helen Creighton Folklore Society.

If you have a root cellar and are interested in participating, or for more information, please contact Crystal Braye via email folklore.coop@gmail.com or telephone at 709-739-1892 ext. 5