Category Archives: Newfoundland+Labrador

Twentythirteen

It’s safe to say that 2013 was the least productive year in our home renovation history. Here’s an itemized list of our top excuses for not making much progress in the past year, interspersed with a few shots of our modest progress. Thanks for checking in, and stay tuned for the master bath reveal (project has been finished for oh, 3 months?! Sorry)

 1. Progress! We sanded, repaired and stained the master bath floors.

1. Progress! We sanded, repaired and stained the master bath floors.

Image

2. Progress! Painted walls, light fixtures installed; a finished bathroom, minus a mirror that was added this summer.

3. I was given the go-ahead to resume gym workouts last spring, for the first time since being diagnosed with lupus 4 years ago. I am so grateful to be capable of exercising without severe limitations, AND that this is my view at the gym.

3. I was given the go-ahead to resume gym workouts last spring, for the first time since being diagnosed with lupus 4 years ago. I am so grateful to be capable of exercising without severe limitations, AND that this is my view at the gym.

Image

4. We joined the local Rod and Gun club, and had fun shooting skeets and targets over a few weekends this spring and fall. We’re looking forward to our Hunter Ed course coming up later this month.

Image

5. My parents visited! Fergus loved meeting them, climbing on them, jumping on them, etc. etc.

Image

6. We spent most weekends at the cabin this summer, which meant that no renovations were made at the house. No regrets!!

Image

7. We also spent a couple spring and summer weekends at dog shows. Fergus received his Canadian Championship title on the day he turned 10 months! He *IS* pretty cute.

Image

8. My longest/oldest (she is neither tallest nor eldest of my friends) /best friend since we were 3 visited me in St. John’s for a whole WEEK this summer! We had an incredible time, and I hope we can do it every year.

9. Back to school! More accurately, STILL in school. I am in a new program, and love being back in the classroom, even if it IS every day of the week.

9. Back to school! More accurately, STILL in school. I am in a new program, and love being back in the classroom, even if it IS every day of the week.

10. A beautiful fall, with too many hikes to count.

10. A beautiful fall, with too many hikes to count.

11. Progress! We sanded the third floor hallways, primed and painted, and stripped the laminate to expose the original pine floors. Watch the blog for updates on this space.

11. Progress! We sanded the third floor hallways, primed and painted, and stripped the laminate to expose the original pine floors. Watch the blog for updates on this space.

12. Christmas! Last year we didn't have a tree for the first time, because we were expecting Fergus on Boxing Day (when we escaped to the cabin for a couple weeks). We took it down on Old Christmas Day- a Newfoundland tradition.

12. Christmas! Last year we didn’t have a tree for the first time, because we were expecting Fergus on Boxing Day (when we escaped to the cabin for a couple weeks). We took it down on Old Christmas Day- a Newfoundland tradition.

13. We celebrated New Years Eve at the cabin for a 6th year in a row. This time last year, Fergus was a tiny, new inclusion, and Penny wasn't sure if she liked him. Flash forward one year, and they are best friends.

13. We celebrated New Years Eve at the cabin for a 6th year in a row. This time last year, Fergus was a tiny, new inclusion, and Penny wasn’t sure if she liked him. Flash forward one year, and they are best friends.

2 Comments

Filed under Newfoundland+Labrador, Photos

Fergus Mór

We’ve been busy over the last few months with a new addition to our family: FERGUS!

Our first photo of Fergus at home, right before we dashed off to the cottage.

Our first photo of Fergus at home, right before we dashed off to the cottage.

Fergus Mór (Fergus the Great in Gaelic) is a yellow Labrador Retriever puppy who’s brought a lot of love and excitement to our household. Our three year old chocolate Lab, Penny, has adjusted to his arrival better than we could have hoped, and they have lots of fun together, all day long.

Penny and Fergus running on a snowy trail

Penny and Fergus running on a snowy trail

Retrieving sticks at the Harbour Grace boathouse.

Retrieving sticks at the Harbour Grace boathouse.

Having a drink after digging a hole in the shoreline ice

Having a drink after digging a hole in the shoreline ice

One of the reasons we love Labradors is our connection to the breed’s heritage, which began right here on the island of Newfoundland! The St. John’s water dog was recognized by the late 1700s as a breed comprised of many varied dogs brought here by early settlers. Fishermen recognized their usefulness in their trade: the dogs were expert swimmers, easily pulling nets to shore, and could help in many other shoreline tasks. The breed became so popular in the early 1800s that the leading Newfoundland merchants brought several dogs back to Poole, England (where J’s family originated!) The lineage continued its development in England, where an aptitude for retrieving waterfowl was developed in the breed.

Labs love chewing on sticks, and Fergus is showing his affinity at an early age

Labs love chewing on sticks, and Fergus is showing his affinity at an early age

Beautiful Newfoundland sunrise at the cottage

Beautiful Newfoundland sunrise at the cottage

The Labrador Retriever is now the most registered breed in North America, and for great reasons; the breed has an exceedingly friendly temperament, they are eager participants in training, and these dogs thrive on attention and activity. They are low-maintenance in terms of grooming (although saved grooming time will be spent vacuuming their fur off everything you own). 5 yellow lab puppy 3 half months Fergus’ breeders asked if he could participate in local conformation competitions, and we’ve agreed. He competed in Baby Puppy Class at the Newfoundland Kennel Club All-Breed show last month, and won breed category (uncontested, hah).

Fergus' breeder and handler showing him at the NKC All-Breed show

Fergus’ breeder and handler showing him at the NKC All-Breed show

Thanks for letting me share way too much info about our new dog, and stay tuned for a post on our newly finished master bath project!! Read more about Labrador Retrievers here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Retriever http://www.labradorretrieverclub.ca/Welcome.html http://www.alllabs.com/labrador-library/history-of-the-lab

Leave a comment

Filed under Newfoundland+Labrador, Photos

McAlpine Directories

The McAlpine Directories were a series of registries that listed civic and business addresses of individuals residing in the Atlantic provinces (referred to as the maritime provinces in the inaugural directory). Widely available to residents of St. John’s, the directories were commonly used to locate particular business or household provisions, to send correspondence, and for many other purposes.

The first McAlpine Directory was issued in 1870-71, published by David McAlpine of Halifax; The Center for Newfoundland Studies at MUN has the document available to view in its entirety here. The sections specific to Newfoundland are here. For a note on the earlier Hutchinson’s Newfoundland Directory for 1864-65, see bottom of page.

The documents are searchable, so it’s easy to locate particular streets or surnames (‘search this object’ in menu at left). This allows access to a wealth of data; not just who lived in our home through the last 15 decades, but also can provide information on past socioeconomic profiles of particular streets and neighbourhoods.

Example of listing from 1870-71 McAlpine Directory for Newfoundland

Of course, this information wouldn’t be useful without knowledge of streets and neighbourhoods that existed at the time; Newfoundland GenWeb has a list of former street or property names, and their current counterparts. The list was generated through information outlined in Paul O’Neill’s book, The Oldest City The Story of St. John’s Newfoundland.

Our street name hasn’t changed since the city’s founding, but the residents of our house have changed hands many times. Here’s a list of the names, occupations, and address number of the residents of our street in 1870-71:

Edward Flynn, labourer, civic address #1
Thomas Flynn, labourer, 1
John Lundergan, labourer, 1
Water Company’s Store, 1
George Forward, Sailmaker, 8
John Forward, Sailmaker, 8
George Hutton, groceries and provisions, 9
Robert Hutton, clerk, 9
Thomas Waymouth, shoemaker, 10
Charles Ryan, planter, 15
Malcolm McDaggart, engineer, 16
James Walsh, 17
Thomas Walsh, fisherman, 17
Charles Ghent, Cooper, 20
Edward Power, labourer, 26
Margaret Delany, dressmaker, 27
Mary Ann Delany, wid, 27
Patrick Dillon, ship carpenter, 28
Charles Williams, salesman, 28
James Wallace, fisherman, 29
John Carter, cooper, 30
Rbert Graham, shoemaker, 34
James Dobbin, shoemaker, 34
Michael Purcell, mariner 40
George Anthony, Tallyman, 42
Lawrence Murphy, fisherman, 50
John Ryan, fisherman, 52
Michael Ryan, fisherman, 52
Pierce Ryan, fisherman, 52
Thomas Ryan, fisherman, 52
John Cummins, fisherman 54
Peter Dillon, tinsmith, 54
John St. John, carpenter, 56
Thomas St. John, joiner, 56
James Mullowny, cooper, 58
Beckford bros, fisher and mariner, 59
James Dunn, fisherman, 60
Thomas Hand, fisherman, 61
Elias Grishey, labourer, 63
John Malone, fisherman, 65
Michael Malone, labourer, 65
Daniel Shea, mariner, 66
Jeremiah Dunn, labourer, 66
william Dunn, labourer, 66
Nathaniel Bradbury, labourer, 68
William Heany, Fisherman, 68
Edward Scott, mariner, 69
John Smith, labourer, 71
Israel Squires, shoemaker, 73
George Lilly, carpenter, 75
Albert Wiltshire, blacksmith, 77
Ishmael Wiltshire, carpenter, 77
John Wiltshire, fisherman, 77
John Ready, labourer, 79
Charles Brine, gardener, 80
Thomas Kennedy fisherman, 81
John Cahill, schoolteacher, 85
Robert Dunn, fisherman, 88
James Kennedy, fisherman, 89
Andrew Evi, fisherman, 90
Michael Dickson, labourer, 91
John Skiffen, fisherman, 92
Patrick Walsh, printer, 94
John Walsh, shoemaker, 94
Michael Walsh, mariner, 94
Nicholas Walsh, Fisherman, 94
Patrick Walsh, printer, 94
Daniel Curtain, fisherman, 95
John Griffin, fisherman, 95
John Murphy, fisherman, 95
Patrick Roach, labourer, 97
Anastasia Durney, widow, 99
James Rahill, printer, 99
Michael Mulcahy, porter, 101
Nicholas White, servant man, 103

One-hundred and forty two years ago, Mr. John Cahill, schoolteacher, resided in our house:

This is further evidence that our house is likely an older construction than we initially thought! Our street was dominated by fisherman and labourers, but also several carpenters and shoemakers. Note the many families living together, often sharing the same line of work.

Check out this great advertisement included in the 1870-71 Directory:

The 1894-97 Directory for Newfoundland can be found here. This guide is especially useful because the Great Fire of 1892 displaced many residents and businesses; this volume reflects some of the changed locations. Our street was largely spared in the Great Fire, partially evidenced through the unchanging civic addresses from the 1870 volume to this volume. Also, there are notes about afflicted businesses moving to our street directly after the fire.

The 1894-97 Directory lists a new occupant of our house: John Grace, a labourer. Oooh!

The 1898 Directory for Newfoundland is available here. John Grace is now “time keeper”

It’s interesting to see some of the other new and changing professions of residents on my street, 110 years ago:
Thomas Wilson, engineer, #8
James Culleton, baker, 12
Henry Moore, bicycle repairer, 14
Deni Coffee, pensioner of H.M. Service, 30
John Coffee, plumber, 30
Thomas Collingwood, accountant, 48
William Collingwood, storekeeper, 48
William Fitzgerald, storekeeper, 49
Michael Cahill, labourer, 50
Peter Cahill, wheelwright, 50
George Button, car man, 54
Daniel Curtin, clerk, 56
Mary Devereaux, widow, 81
John Geary, cooper, 95
Robert Duff, clerk, 107

The 1904-05 Directory for Newfoundland can be found here. Some interesting occupations of residents of our street include:
Philip Hanely painter, 5
Alexander Forward, Engineer, 6
John Donnelly, sea capitain, 14
Charles Gear, H.M.C., 24
Francis Knight, H.M.C., 26
John Martin sail maker, 28
Miss Mary Martin, clerk, 28
George Hennebury cooper, 30
Maurice Hallern, carpenter, 46
David Kinsella, miner and prospector , 50
Catherine Coffee, grocer, 52
Miss Annie English Prop. Terra Nova Hand Laundry (w/ ad), 75
Mr. Cahill, wheelwright, 77
John French, teacher, 81
William March, joiner, 83
John Grace, storekeeper City Works, 85
Joh Hillyard teacher, 107

Pretty cool: in 1904, John Grace was still living in our house: he had upgraded from his 1885 occupation as city time keeper, to storekeeper for City Works.

I love this ad for Terra Nova Hand Laundry, on our street:

The 1908-09 Directory for Newfoundland can be found here. It seems that Mr. John Grace is still the occupant of our house, but he’s now a Sanitary Department watchman!

Lastly, the 1915 city Directory for St. John’s is available here. John Grace is not listed in the directory, and two new residents appear to be living in our house:

Mr. Power:

…and Mr. Green:

Another great ad for a store on our street

If the McAlpine Directories help you to flesh out the story of your house, leave a comment!

*The earlier Hutchinson’s Newfoundland Directory for 1864-65 is available here. This directory is much more business oriented than the later McAlpine Directories, and far fewer individuals are counted in its survey. Nevertheless, it is a good resource for historic research.

2 Comments

Filed under Newfoundland+Labrador, St. John's, We Love Local

Summer Foraging

After an incredible summer of sun and heat, we’ve been further rewarded with a bumper crop of berries in the Cove! Before the berries came the wildflowers:

A patch of heather at the cottage

To dry heather: cut stems, tie in bunches of 3-4. Place bunches in 1/4 inch of water, let evaporate. I’ll take an ‘after’ shot when we visit the cottage this weekend.

After: the 1/4″ of water had evaporated, and the colour was as vibrant as ever!

The raspberries were plump and plentiful, first emerging at the beginning of the month

The Chuckley Pears are almost as big as grapes! They’re known as Saskatoon berries throughout Canada, and service berries in the USA

Chuckley Pear crisp

These red currants will make their way into some muffins

Coastal blueberry patch behind the cottage: first blueberries of the season!

Wearing my blueberry picking camouflage

This past weekend, I picked 2 gallons of blueberries with J’s mom in the ‘secret’ spot.

Blueberries topped with Acadian Maple infused whipped cream

2 Comments

Filed under Food, Newfoundland+Labrador

More Seaside Slacking

As we continue to have the warmest, sunniest summer on record in Newfoundland, J and I have banished any notion of home reno progress in favour of weekend slacking at the cottage. The first round of recreational cod fishing runs from July 21 to August 12, and we’re lucky to have family willing to share their catch!

5am sunrise in the Cove; boats are already in the water, baiting the lines.

Watching the traffic from the deck

Gorgeous day on the water!

Two filets for us; thanks, cousin Barry!

Classic pan fried cod

Walking to the Cove Beach

She was alternating between ocean and sand immersion

Swimming off the rocks behind the house

We named the beach Starfish Beach because we always find so many there!

Thanks to Ardis at Rustic Retrievals for this lovely potpourri lantern, included in a backyard prize pack she generously sent earlier this month! Check out her shop here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Newfoundland+Labrador