Thursday, July 15, 2021

Known burials at the Old Methodist Cemetery at Jimmy Gilbert's Garden, Come By Chance


Heritage volunteers in the town of Come By Chance have been busy cleaning up an old, overgrown, Methodist cemetery. There are ten marked graves, with a number of other spaces which could possibly hold other burials. Parish records identify an additional eight individuals buried in the cemetery, without markers. Most are members of the Adams and Gilbert families, with a Dicks and Stanford also buried there.

You can see the headstone data for the Cemetery here:

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Job Posting: Young Canada Works Historic Places Intern with Heritage NL

Job Posting: Historic Places Intern with Heritage NL

Heritage NL is a non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and awareness of Newfoundland and Labrador's historic places and the safeguarding of its Intangible Cultural Heritage. In addition it operates the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program. Heritage NL is seeking a qualified individual for the position of Historical Researcher to undertake a number of projects that will support the various programs of the foundation. These will include the development of short research papers on historical subjects, the rewriting of descriptive texts on designated properties, documentation of Registered Heritage Structures through field study, archival research, and oral histories.

Eligible candidates should have an undergraduate or graduate degree in a relevant field such as: history; archaeology, folklore; architecture; cultural geography; archaeology or other related field. Candidates must meet eligibility requirements under the YCW program and be a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador (although they may be enrolled in an educational institution outside of the province). The job will be situated at the Heritage NL offices in downtown St. John's. 

This is a 26 week position for 35 hours/week @ $20/hr.

In addition to registering with YCW, a resume and accompanying letter should be submitted to by July 23, 2021.

Note well: Applicant must fit the following criteria:

·       Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or have refugee status in Canada (non-Canadians holding temporary work visas or awaiting permanent status are not eligible);

·       Legally entitled to work in Canada;

·       Will be between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment;

·       Willing to commit to the full duration of the work assignment;

·       Will not have another full-time job (over 30 hours a week) while employed with the program;

·       Unemployed or underemployed;

·       College, CGEP, or University graduate;

·       Not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits while employed with the program.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Living Heritage Podcast Ep207 Traditional Fence Building in NL


In Newfoundland and Labrador, fences were built for a number of reasons including keeping animals out of gardens and delineating property lines. In this episode of the podcast we learn about traditional fence types, the importance of fences in the cultural landscape of the province, and in particular the way to build a traditional wriggle fence.

We talk with Andrea O’Brien and Dale Jarvis of Heritage NL, and hear audio clips from Kevin Andrews of New Perlican. Andrea O’Brien is the Municipal Outreach Officer and Provincial Registrar, and Dale Jarvis is the Executive Director of Heritage NL. Kevin Andrews of New Perlican learned how to make wriggle fence by helping his uncles and grandfather make their own. He and George Burrage of New Perlican will be leading a wriggle fence making workshop on July 17, 2021. This workshop is a partnership between Heritage NL and Heritage New Perlican and is offered with support of the Labour Market Partnerships program, Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.    

Learn more about the wriggle fence – also known as a wiggling, wriggling, wiggle, or riddle fence – by watching this 1977
Wrigglin' Fence video. This short film, directed by Newfoundland artist Don Wright, follows the Paddy Brothers of Port Kirwan, Newfoundland, as they build a traditional 'wrigglin' fence around their garden. Often built without nails, they are one of the most unique of NL fence types and useful in your garden to support climbing plants, to keep animals out, or for a bit of a wind block.


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 6, 2021

Victoria Lodge Show and Tell Night, Fortune

July 15th, 2021

7pm at the Fortune Fire Hall

Victoria Lodge #1378 was constituted on July 17, 1871 in Fortune under Master James P. Snook, and predates the Masonic lodge in neighbouring Grand Bank, which was started as an offshoot of Victoria Lodge. Victoria Hall was home to the Masons from the time of its construction circa 1883 until 1996, when membership had declined and Victoria Hall was closed. 

Today, the future of Victoria Hall is uncertain, though we would love to see its history preserved and to find a new use for this historic building. To start things rolling, we are hosting a Show and Tell to share stories and memories of the lodge and its members, and to get your ideas on what you’d like to see happen to the building. 

How can YOU help?

We want you to come with your memories of activities in the hall such as dances, weddings and other events! Did you have wedding photos taken at the hall? Bring them along! Was your father, grandfather, or uncle a member of the Lodge? We’d love to scan any photos of them or any Lodge certificates or plaques you might have!  We’d also love to see any photos you might have of old Masonic parades or funeral marches. 

The staff of Heritage NL will be on site to scan your photos and documents to share online, or to take photos of any artefacts you might want to show off! Whatever you bring with you, you will take home at the end of the night, we’ll only be collecting digital copies! 

Come have a cup of tea and a chat about one of Fortune’s most historic properties.

Free event. Register at: 

Did You Know?

The building was designed by Henry J. Haddon, a respected figure in Fortune’s history. Before the construction of Victoria Hall, meetings were held in his home. Haddon played an instrumental role in the social and cultural development of the community. He initially came to Fortune to pursue a teaching career but resigned in 1863 to become the town’s Justice of the Peace.


Please remember to wear a mask while at the event and to respect social distancing. 

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.


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, June 22, 2021

So, you want to clean up an old cemetery? A free webinar June 28th


When: Jun 28, 2021, 7:00 PM Newfoundland and Labrador

Topic: So, you want to clean up an old cemetery? 

Is there an old or abandoned cemetery in your community that you want to see fixed up? Does your town, parish group, or heritage committee have questions about how to go about cleaning up a cemetery that is overgrown? Tune in to this free webinar with Heritage NL folklorist Dale Jarvis about where to get started (and the things you should definitely Not Be At!).

There are two ways you can take part in the webinar:

Join on Zoom:

Watch on Facebook Live:

Monday, June 21, 2021

Resources on the history of blacksmithing and forges in Newfoundland and Labrador


"Douglas Pinkston owns the last forge in Brigus." circa 1986

Someone came looking for information on the history of blacksmith's shops, forges, smithies, whatever you wish to call them, so I figured I'd share it here! This is a list-in-progress, so if you come across other online resources that we can share, let me know - 

Green Family Forge, Trinity:

Rendell Forge, Heart's Content

Littlejohn's Forge, Bay Roberts

Pinkston Forge, Brigus interview

Decks Awash article on Pinkston Forge:

Blacksmithing Living Heritage podcast

interview with Ian Gillies, NL Blacksmith

John Rodway House, Baine Harbour

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