Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Heritage Update June 2021: Sticks, Stones, Hidden Shoes, and the Heritage of Poly Bond!

We've been busy at Heritage NL, researching heritage places and planning a fun series of workshops. In this edition of our Update, we've got a story about a headstone in a meadow, a preview of our cemetery conservation, fence making, and dry stone wall repair workshops, reports on heritage buildings (and hidden shoes) in Holyrood and Twillingate, and a short history of Halls Town, Conception Bay. We'll also explore the smell of auto body repair, and why it reminds one reader of Spring!

Download the pdf here.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Call for Photos and Info on the Placentia Convent

HeritageNL is doing research on the Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent building in Placentia. Completed in 1864, this building is one of the oldest surviving stone buildings on the island of Newfoundland. The building was expanded several times throughout its history to add a school, a chapel, and connections to nearby buildings. 

If you, or anyone you know, has any photos, memories, or stories about the convent building and the nuns who lived there please reach out to our researchers by emailing


Thursday, May 6, 2021

People, Places, and Culture of Twillingate - a workshop to share Twillingate memories!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 Meeting room, Anchor Inn Hotel  Path End, Twillingate 7 pm 

Register at: 

On May 19th, residents of Twillingate will tell some tales and start to map out what their heritage means to them, with a little help from Heritage NL and its “People, Places and Culture” workshop.

The living heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador is rich and diverse. It includes historic buildings and places, accordion playing, knitting, mummers and jannies, berry picking, boat building, life on the sea,and much more. We tell stories, make clothes, build stages,split cod, 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 communities lose these important parts of their living heritage, they will also lose important resources that can keep their communities going culturally, economically and socially. But where does a community start?

Heritage NL will be leading a community conversation about historic places, trails, old stories, place names, traditions, and local knowledge, and need local input from people of all ages and backgrounds to help document all this  important cultural information. 

“We’ll put on the kettle, and you come with your memories of growing up and living in Twillingate,” says folklorist Dale Jarvis, Heritage NL’s Executive Director. “Your stories will help us develop a plan for safeguarding the historic places and living heritage of this important place.”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Meeting room, Anchor Inn Hotel 

3 Path End, Twillingate

7 pm 

The workshop is free to attend (wear your mask, please) and will respect social distancing guidelines. The event is a partnership between Heritage NL, Grow Twillingate, and the Town of Twillingate. 

For more info contact:

Dale Jarvis, Heritage NL,

Wilma Hartmann, GrowTwillingate,

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Home Grown Knits in Red Cliffe, from Sheep to Socks



A flock of sheep in Frenchman’s cove (“Sheep on the Winterland Pasturelands.” Decks Awash. (1989). Vol. 18, No. 05: 18.)

Sheep have played an important role Newfoundland’s economy for centuries, with as many as 130,000 sheep living across the island at their peak in the 1930s. Sheep are a particularly versatile and easy animal to raise in Newfoundland, both because they can be raised both for meat and for wool, and because as hardy little animals they have an easier time adapting to boggy fields across the island and require very little oversight.

From February to April of 2021 HeritageNL researcher Maryssa Barras interviewed Hilda and Dorothy Quinton about the Quinton Premises. Throughout these interviews Hilda and Dorothy shared some interesting memories and facts about the Quinton premises, their work in the shop, maintaining the gardens, and cooking food, all centered around a general theme of sustainability and local living. As Dorothy put it, “there’s not much we had to buy really,” since most things could be grown or made locally, including the wool used to spin the yarn used to make people’s clothes. 

As conversations progressed, Dorothy and Hilda shared some interesting memories on their recollections of traditional spinning and carding, and the importance of sheep in outport Newfoundland life. Using the information they shared, and some research on shepherding, knitting, and spinning, heritage in Newfoundland this article explores the ‘farm to table,’ or better yet, ‘sheep to sweater,’ this new article walks through one aspect of the sustainable way of life people in outport communities led until very recently. 

To access this article, follow this link:

To access the three interviews conducted with Dorothy and Hilda Quinton, follow these links:

Interview 1 

Interview 2 

Interview 3 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Job Posting - ICH Researcher

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HeritageNL) is a non-profit organization which was established in 1984 to stimulate an understanding of and an appreciation for the heritage of the province.

Heritage NL is hiring an Intangible Cultural Heritage Researcher, who will be working on projects to document untold histories, traditional skills, and the associated narratives of Newfoundland and Labrador’s historic places. 

The applicant must have excellent oral and written communication skills; a strong understanding of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on ICH and Heritage NL’s ICH Strategy; good knowledge of Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets; valid driver’s licence and use of automobile (if possible); availability to travel throughout Newfoundland & Labrador. Previous experience with a heritage organization is an asset, as is an educational background in public folklore, public history, or public archaeology. 

The applicant must have in place the practical and technical skills which will allow them to complete the following projects by the end of the contract:

  • Write, edit, and manage the formatting/uploading of a Virtual Museums of Canada project on the history of root cellars in NL;
  • Complete a community heritage booklet in cooperation with the Town of North River;
  • Complete and disseminate the 2021 Craft at Risk study;
  • Compile metadata for digital files for inclusion on Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative;
  • Assist with the editing and preparation of a community heritage booklet on the history of Lebanese businesses in NL;
  • Produce weekly episodes of the Living Heritage Podcast in partnership with CHMR Radio;
  • Provide social media support for HeritageNL programs and events;
  • Assist with other HeritageNL projects as directed by the Executive Director. 

This is a full-time 52 week contract, at a rate of $30/hour. Heritage NL values diversity in the work place and is an equal opportunity employer.

Deadline for applications 5pm, Friday May 7th

Applications to: 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

I'm Telling Mom! A Virtual Memory Mug Up with Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
Free Online Event!

Register at: 

Mother’s Day will soon be upon us, and this is the perfect time for sharing memories or stories of your mom (or tattling on your siblings). 

Did you know the modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia? It’s true, and Anna’s long-lost fifth cousin twice-removed* Dale Jarvis, folklorist with Heritage NL, will act as host for an afternoon of sharing stories all about your mom! 

This is a group storytelling event for all ages, but primarily meant as a way to preserve and share the stories of our seniors. We’re keeping our moms (and us) safe by chatting virtually on Zoom this coming Tuesday.  So, register for the session, put on your kettle, and we’ll settle in for a chat and some family gossip. 

An online partnership between NL Public Libraries and Heritage NL’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program. 

For more information contact: 

*this may or may not be true. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Living Heritage Podcast Ep205 The Devon Rural Skills Trust, with Chris Baker

Stone walling training course, south Devon.

Many of the traditional features of the English countryside such as dry stone walls and hedge banks were originally created and maintained by rural craftsmen, using the skills that were passed from father to son. In recent years, these skills have been at risk of being forgotten. The Devon Rural Skills Trust was established in 1980 with a view to safeguarding the future of those traditional skills while the men and women who practiced them were still able to pass on their knowledge. 

Laying hazel with a billhook on a south Devon farm from one of the DRST training courses.

DRST’s 2019 hedge laying competition, showing bank with small trees/shrubs laid on top.

During this time the Trust has trained thousands of people, providing them with the skills and knowledge to practice traditional rural skills. One of those people is Chris Baker, the Trust’s Publicity Officer. We chat about the work of the Trust, hedges, stone walls, Devon’s link to Newfoundland, and cabbages. 

Credit: All photos courtesy Chris Baker, used with his permission. 

Finished product of a wattle hurdle course


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.

Monday, April 19, 2021

So, what is a Folk School anyway? Join us on April 28th, and find out!

Amidst a resurgence of interest in everything from knitting and baking to blacksmithing, Heritage NL is hosting an online discussion about how folk schools in other parts of the world teach those kinds of traditional skills. “Folk Schools and Crafts Education” is scheduled for the evening of April 28th, and attendees are encouraged to think about how the folk school model might be applied in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Over the past 20 years, a growing interest in the folk school model and creative education has contributed to supporting, encouraging, and revitalizing craft and handmade skills,” says Dr. Kelley Totten, Assistant Professor of Folklore at Memorial University, one of three panelists participating in the session. Totten has been a student and employee of folk schools in the United States, wrote a dissertation about folk schools, and is currently expanding that research to look at folk schools in Canada. 

The other two panelists are currently working at folk schools in the US. Jessa Frost is Program Director at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where they teach a range of skills including timber framing, outdoors skills, art and traditional crafts like leatherworking, tinsmithing, soap-making, net-making and basketry. And Martha Owen is a Resident Artist at John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina who specializes in everything related to wool, from keeping her own flock of sheep to spinning, knitting, dyeing and feltmaking. 

"Traditional skills and crafts are at the heart of Newfoundland and Labrador's heritage," says Heritage NL folklorist Dale Jarvis. "We are very excited to host this session to share ideas on how we can continue to nurture those skills for the next generation.”

Folk Schools and Crafts Education will be hosted on Zoom at 7pm on April 28, 2021 and is open to anyone with an interest in learning about the folk schools model or supporting local crafts traditions and skills training. It’s free but registration is required and details are on Heritage NL’s website and Facebook page or you can register directly at

Friday, April 9, 2021

Living Heritage Podcast Ep204 Dry stone wall building and its place in Newfoundland's heritage

For over 40 years, Dan Snow has been building dry stone constructions in his native Windham County, Vermont and beyond. From the practical to the fantastical, his works in stone fuse vanguard vision with old world techniques and traditions. His work has been the subject of articles in numerous journals, including “This Old House”, "Vermont Magazine" and “Vermont Life” magazines, and the “New York Times" and the "Boston Globe.” 

Way back on 18 August 2010, Dan and provincial folklorist Dale Jarvis sat down for a chat at the Two Whales Coffee Shop in Port Rexton about the tradition and the art of stonework, the place that dry stone wall building holds in the heritage of Newfoundland, and Dan's dry stone courses taught in partnership with the English Harbour Arts Centre. 


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.