Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Plaques to be Unveiled for the Burgess Property Registered Heritage Structure in Whiteway

Dr. Lisa Daly, Chair, Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (Heritage NL), invites you to celebrate the designation of the Burgess Property as a Registered Heritage Structure and the unveiling of several heritage plaques.

Please join Heritage NL for the ribbon cutting followed by an open house, Sunday, July 17, 2022 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Burgess Property on Burgess Lane in Whiteway.

In 1862 Charles and Sarah Burgess and their children moved to Whiteway, becoming the community’s first permanent residents. The Burgess property consists of a house, a stable and store, a sawmill, a root cellar, and a fishing stage which were built between 1860-1900. The Burgess family were involved with several industries including fishing, producing lumber for building houses and boats, and Naomi Burgess was a midwife who practiced from the property.

The Burgess Property was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by Heritage NL in 2020 due to its historic and aesthetic value. Restoration of the house and several outbuildings was recently completed, in part through funding from Heritage NL’s Restoration Grant Program.

Learn more about the Burgess Property here and here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Heritage Underground - A History of Root Cellars in Newfoundland and Labrador

Spence root cellar, Brigus.
Heritage NL, 2011.

In their travels, visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador might be surprised to see numerous little doorways peeking out of hillsides across the province. These are our root cellars. While they are not unique to this province, they are a part of our history and are a familiar sight in many communities.

Today, a selection of stories about the history, archaeology and folklore of root cellars go online as part of Heritage Underground - A History of Root Cellars in Newfoundland and Labrador. This exhibition was developed by Heritage NL, with an investment from Digital Museums Canada.

Root cellars are insulated structures built above ground, or wholly or partly buried in the ground. They are used to preserve vegetables and protect them from frost and rot. Root cellars were a crucial part of a subsistence lifestyle, giving fishing families the ability to preserve the food they grew, in order to survive the long winters along the rugged coastlines of the province.

Little Harbour root cellar.
Photographed by Otto Samsome, 2008.

“This website is a great opportunity to share stories about this traditional food storage method,” says Heritage NL Executive Director Dale Jarvis. “Some of the history may be well known, while some of the subterranean folklore about boo-darbies, babies, and silver shovels might be specific to certain communities or regions. All of the information, including five common root cellar styles, is available in both English and French.”

This online project was developed with the support of the Digital Museums Canada investment program. Digital Museums Canada is managed by the Canadian Museum of History, with the financial support of the Government of Canada. This investment program helps build digital capacity in Canadian museums and heritage organizations and gives Canadians unique access to diverse stories and experiences.

Come with us, and explore the fascinating underground heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador’s root cellars.

Heritage Underground - A History of Root Cellars in Newfoundland and Labrador

Patrimoine souterrain - Petite histoire des caves à légumes à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador

For more information or photos, contact:
Terra Barrett
Heritage NL
709-739-1892 x2

Change Islands root cellar.
Heritage NL, 2021.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

June Heritage Update - Historic Paint Colours, Craft Mentorships, and more!


  • Historic Paint Colours
  • Placentia Area Historical Society's birthday
  • Funding approved for craft at risk mentorships
  • The Story of the First Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable
  • Heart and Hand LOL (Loyal Orange Lodge) #9 in Green’s Harbour
  • Jenkins House in Twillingate, and
  • St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Trinity, Trinity Bay

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Public meeting: Restoring the Pouch Cove SUF Hall

The Pouch Cove Heritage Society in partnership with HeritageNL, the Dept. of Tourism, Culture, Arts & Recreation and the Dept. of EIT (Social Enterprise) invites Pouch Cove area residents to a public meeting regarding the restoration of the SUF Hall in Pouch Cove.

Register at this link:

Wed. June 29th
7:30 - 9:30 pm
Anglican Church Hall
Pouch Cove

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Saving Endangered Crafts: Introducing Heritage NL's Newest Batch of Mentor-Apprentice Participants

Mentor and apprentice pair Jennifer Morgan and Virginia Stoddart in Jennifer's printing studio. 

From birch brooms to beading, traditional skills at risk of being lost in Newfoundland and Labrador just got a boost from Heritage NL.

Twenty new projects from all across the province that pair a learner with an experienced craftsperson have been given the green light by Heritage NL, the provincial agency that deals with historic places and living heritage. This adds to a set of partnerships established earlier in the year.

The Heritage NL Mentor-Apprentice Program is a one-on-one immersion program that provides funding up to $10,000 to support the teaching of endangered crafts and skills from an established mentor to an apprentice craftsperson or tradesperson.

“The traditional craft sector is an important part of our contemporary economy, especially in rural areas,” says folklorist Dale Jarvis, Executive Director of Heritage NL. “We are excited to support these tradition bearers and entrepreneurs in learning and promoting skills and crafts that otherwise might fade away.”

The participants will have up to a year to work together, teaching and learning a variety of skills including spruce root basket making, blacksmithing, coopering, and sealskin work. Applications for this pilot program are now closed. For more information about the Heritage NL Craft at Risk List or Mentor-Apprentice Program see

This program is supported by the Labour Market Partnerships program, Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The approved mentor/apprentice projects are as follows:

Mentor Bonnie Miller, Norris Arm North, with apprentice Starlynn Shears-Osmond, Grand Falls-Windsor.

Mentor Ian Gillies, Conception Bay South, with apprentice Sarah MacAulay, Mount Pearl;
Mentor Dennis Flood, Change Islands, with apprentice Timothy Penton, Joe Batt’s Arm.

Mentor Lester Cooper, Trinity, with apprentice Darren Hookey, Trinity.

Bodhran making (Irish frame drum)
Mentor Paddy Mackey, Flatrock, with apprentice Bryan Poirier, St. John’s.

Komatik building (winter sled with runners)
Mentor Adam Greening, Port Blandford, with apprentice Joey Efford, Port Blandford;
Mentor Walter Fowler, Capstan Island, with apprentice Peter Fowler, South Branch;
Mentor Alfred Winters, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, with apprentice David Chaulk and Francine Winters, Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Letterpress printing
Mentor Duncan Major, St. John’s, with apprentice Katie Butler Major, St. John’s;
Mentor Jennifer Morgan, St. John’s, with apprentice Virginia Stoddard, Bay Bulls;
Mentor Marnie Parsons, Tors Cove, with apprentice Abigail Hann, Port Blandford.

Mi’kmaq style moccasins
Mentor Loretta John, Conne River, with apprentice Kevin Drew, Conne River.

Mentor Charlotte Reid, St. John’s, with apprentice Erica Dawe, St. John’s.

Running birch brooms
Mentor Richard Park, Gillams, with apprentice Michelle Park, Corner Brook.

Sealskin work including slippers and mittens
Mentor Barb Rumbolt, Mary’s Harbour, with apprentice Niki Greeley, Mary’s Harbour.

Spruce root basket making
Mentor Eileen Murphy, Corner Brook, with apprentice Sandi Yates, Gillams.

Weaving skills
Mentor Morgaine Parnham, Bonavista, with apprentice Sylvie Mitford, Bonavista.

Window/Door Making
Mentor David Winsor, Broad Cove, with apprentice Ben Marx, St. John’s.

Wriggle fence building
Mentor Guy Barnable, Ferryland, with apprentice Eric Escudero, St. John’s;
Mentor Jody Chaulk, Bloomfield, with apprentice Gracie Russell, Lethbridge.

For more information or photos, contact:

Dale Jarvis
Heritage NL 

Stay tuned to Heritage NL's social media for updates on our Mentor-Apprentice program!

Photo submitted by Niki Greeley.
Niki is an apprentice in sealskin work including slippers and mittens. 

Tacking the skin on a bodhran drum. Photo submitted by Paddy Mackey.
Paddy is a mentor for instrument making, specifically bodhran drums. 

Ian Gillies with an anvil in Rendell's Forge in Heart's Content.
Ian is a blacksmith mentor.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Heritage NL Revitalization Grant - Pilot Project for community heritage projects involving Registered Heritage Structures

Heritage NL has redeveloped its restoration grant funding to better provide a suite of services to owners of Registered Heritage Structures. The Board is looking for projects that blend the restoration of a designated property with community planning workshops, architectural history research, and opportunities for transmission of traditional skills related to conservation of the site or the site’s history. The grant is intended to direct funding to projects that demonstrate community value as well as a need for material conservation. Project proposals in the $30,000 to $50,000 range will be considered, and successful projects will be funded on a 50/50 cost shared basis. In addition, grant recipients will work with Heritage NL staff to determine what other in-kind supports would benefit the project.

Example: The Salvage Fishermen’s Museum was approved for a grant for exterior restoration of the structure. In addition to the grant itself, Heritage NL worked with the local committee to: run a community People, Places, and Culture workshop; compile a comprehensive architectural history of the structure to aid in the conservation process; conduct research on family names and neighborhoods and develop a map; write a heritage report for the town with recommendations and suggestions for future work; teach a workshop on headstone digitization and facilitate a cemetery cleanup; assist with grant writing to help the museum hire a summer coordinator position; and work with the local committee to organize an official plaque unveiling ceremony at the end of their project.

Owners of any previously-designated Registered Heritage Structure may apply for restoration funding. An easement on the property must be in place to be eligible. Priority will be given to small to medium sized projects that:

  • Clearly demonstrate broad community involvement and support;
  • Will benefit from the provision of advice, research, and training from Heritage NL staff and the organization’s related training or Intangible Cultural Heritage programs;
  • Are located in areas that have been under-represented in previous grant cycles, including Western and Central Newfoundland, and Labrador;
  • Address or represent themes that have been under-represented in previous grant cycles, including Indigenous history, women’s history, and multi-ethnic heritage;
  • Represent outstanding examples of the built heritage of the Modern/Industrial period or agricultural sites;
  • Represent sites which include significant cultural landscapes as part of the designation.

Applications will be juried in a competitive process by the Board of Directors of Heritage NL. Funding is limited, and application does not guarantee funding. Approved grants are good for two years from the date of a signed Grant Contract agreement, and work must abide by the conditions of the Contract and follow the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. Grants are paid following the successful completion of work and submission of a Final Project Report and all required documentation.

Deadline to apply: 27 May 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Historic Paint Colours of Newfoundland and Labrador Launch, April 28th

Heritage NL & Benjamin Moore Paint Shop Release Historic Paint Colours of Newfoundland and Labrador booklet.

Mount Pearl, NL (April 27, 2022) You are invited to attend a virtual launch of the Historic Paint Colours of Newfoundland and Labrador booklet.

Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador is proud to partner with the Benjamin Moore Paint Shop to present the Historic Paint Colours of Newfoundland and Labrador booklet. The Paint Shop is an NL company that has been in business for almost 50 years. With nearly 40 locations, the Paint Shop remains committed to growing in this province while continuing to expand into Atlantic Canada. Kerri Hodder, Marketing Manager with the Paint Shop, says, "This partnership with Heritage NL solidifies our commitment to being the keepers of the colours of Newfoundland and Labrador."

With locations in larger centres and some of our most historic communities like Twillingate and Bonavista, the Paint Shop was the natural choice to partner with for this booklet. 

Whether you are looking for Dorset Gold HC-8 to match your pop's dory buff or Watermelon Red 2087-20 to fit in on Jelly Bean Row, you'll find them all at the Paint Shop along with our Historic Paint Colours of Newfoundland and Labrador booklet.

The booklet will be launched via Zoom on Thursday, April 28th, 2022, at 3 pm.

Please click the link below to join the webinar: 


For information, please contact;

Kerri Hodder, Marketing Manager, Paint Shop


Andrea O'Brien, Outreach/Provincial Registrar, Heritage NL


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

From horrid dogs to dangerous youngsters: telling back lane tales in Harbour Grace

Row of headstones in the Bennett's Lane Roman Catholic Cemetery.
Bennett's Lane is visible in the background. Photo taken: February 2022

Harbour Grace, NL -  From horrid dogs and dangerous youngsters, to casket makers and compassionate doctors, the back lanes of Harbour Grace have seen it all. The old stories of the laneways are coming to light once more, with a little help from graduate students enrolled in Memorial University’s Department of Folklore.

The project is a cooperation between students of FOLK6740: Public Folklore, the Town of Harbour Grace, and course instructor Dale Jarvis of Heritage NL. The idea emerged from discussions following a 2018 Heritage NL People, Places, and Culture workshop in the community.  The storytelling project focuses on the historic laneways and paths that run between many of the buildings within and bordering the town's Registered Heritage District.

Students Than Brown, Roshni Caputo-Nimbark, Meaghan Collins, Emma Kwok, Denise McKeown, and Anna Reepschlager interviewed locals, conducted archival research to uncover hidden tales, and created a wiki to document their finds. 

“This research project uncovered some fascinating information from both historical sources and residents’ memories,” says Matthew McCarthy, Economic Development Officer with the Town of Harbour Grace. 

“These areas are such treasure troves of stories, past and present,” says McCarthy. “We think there’s great potential to reanimate these footpaths for both residents and visitors through thoughtful public infrastructure.”

One of the laneways documented in the project is Doctor’s Lane, named in honour of the many early doctors who lived in Harbour Grace. This included Dr. William Stirling, born in Harbour Grace, who eventually settled in Twillingate. He and his wife, Anne Peyton, had ten children, the youngest of whom became Newfoundland’s first opera singer, Georgina Ann Stirling, “The Nightingale of the North.”

The back lanes, while under-developed today, invite exploration. 

“Right now, we have some significant private investment coming to the area, with Yellowbelly’s restorations of the old Courthouse and Immaculate Conception Cathedral,” says McCarthy, “and this project is another important piece of the municipality’s long-term plan to revitalize the downtown Registered Heritage District. We’re excited with where things are headed.”

The students’ wiki page is viewable at: 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Job Posting for Built Heritage 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. 

Heritage NL is seeking a qualified individual for the position of Built Heritage Intern 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, and the 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. The job will be situated at the Heritage NL offices in downtown St. John's.

$20/hr, full time, ending March 31, 2023

Deadline to apply April 25, 2022

Apply directly though the Young Canada Works portal: