Friday, 1 September 2017

End of the season

Thank you to everyone who came to the museum this summer. We had an amazing year and we hope to see you next summer!

Keep us in mind when planning your summer outings. We take group bookings from schools, summer camps, and senior groups, plus anyone who just wants to visit. And the museum is always free (but donations are welcome).

Have a great fall and winter and see you in 2018!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Agriculture Yesterday and Today at the Agriculture Family Fun Day.

Exhibit openings tend to bring to mind adults standing around nibbling on canap├ęs and drinking wine while they stare contemplatively at the objects on display. But, since our goal as a museum is to engage all ages in the history of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, we decided to do something a bit different when we unveiled our new Agriculture exhibit. On August 20th, we hosted an Agriculture Family Fun Day with activities, food and give-aways to celebrate the exhibit, the history of agriculture and its continued presence in the community and across the province. The event was a huge success with visitors having the chance to see the new exhibit, take part in activities, and even learn a little bit about growing things. 

Take a look at the day in action!

We received donations of a book about the history of dairy farming in Canada that features a Newfoundland family and other goodies from School Milk Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador. Here I am, packing up the cow patterned bags for folks to take home at the event. We still have quite a few left so if you are interested stop on by the museum to pick one up!

Food First NL came and made seed bombs with us. It was a perfect day for being outside and playing with clay and dirt!

Chris from C.D.’s Trees on Marine Drive came explained how you propagate shrubs and showed us how you can prune some types into a fun shape.

Kids had fun using potatoes, turnips, and mushrooms as stamps. Vegetables can be used for all kinds of things!

One of the highlights of the day was the chance to make butter. These happy visitors are shaking jam-jars of whipped whipping cream that after about 5-10 minutes will separate into butter. This activity was such a success that we’ve incorporated sheets with the instructions into the exhibit, so now all visitors can grab a copy and try making butter at home.

What would an exhibit opening be without food? We connected the snacks to our theme of agriculture yesterday and today by making goodies with some of the things that grow in our gardens. As you can see the chocolate-mint brownies were a particularly popular item. 

And the shining star of the day was the updated exhibit. Stop by and check it out yourself. 

A HUGE thanks to Food First NL, C.D.’s Trees, SchoolMilk Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and Dairy Farmers of Newfoundlandand Labrador, the Hebron Way Starbucks, for their donations of items and time to make this even the success it was. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cable at Middle Cove

In July 1866, the first trans-Atlantic cable made it to Heart's Content, Newfoundland, connecting North America and Europe. Over the next century, cables were landed in various coves and bays around Newfoundland, often with some difficulty given Newfoundland's rough waters and rocky shores.
Middle Cove Beach from Marine Drive. Photo by Lisa M. Daly 2017.

One such cable was landed on Middle Cove Beach in 1953. In an article in The Atlantic Guardian titled "Tales of Logy Bay", the story of one of the cable landing attempts is chronicled. This cable was owned by Cable and Wireless Limited, who were once the Direct United States Telegraph Company (DUSTC) then the Imperial and International Communications Company. They operated the harbour Grace station, which closed in 1953. In 1943, the cable that connected Halifax to Harbour Grace failed in 1943 and although attempts were made to repair it, it wasn't until 1952 with the HMTS Monarch that the cable was repaired. The following year, the HMTS Monarch was used to divert that cable from Harbour Grace to Middle Cove where it could be connected to a St. John's office.
Ridley Hall, the cable office in Harbour Grace. Image from Patrick Collins and the Conception Bay Museum.

The HMTS Monarch was the largest telegraph ship in the world. Built in 1946 on the Tyne, the ship had a gross tonnage of 8,065, a speed of 14 knots (cable laying was done at half that speed) and was such a reliable ship that other countries would wait for the Monarch to be available. In this case, the ship and 137 crew were chartered for three months with Cable and Wireless Ltd.
Middle Cove Beach from the HMTS Monarch. From LBMCOC Museum 011.21.3.
On the forth attempt to land the cable at Middle Cove, crews were working quickly to attempt to bring the cable to shore before an impeding gale. A group of fishermen were hired to help from the beach side, and could do nothing but wait to see if the cable would be lowered. Once sailors from the Monarch got their attention, the fishermen moved to the water, ready to haul the cable. The fishermen worked together to haul ropes of increasing size. These ropes were attached to a small tractor to bring the ropes further on shore to a heavy truck which brought the ropes further up the road. The heavy ropes and cables were buoyed by empty oil drums, which, as they were dragged to the beach, were removed by the Newfoundlanders working that day. The drums were brought, by boat, back to the water to be attached once again to the heavy rope.
From Middle Cove Beach. Note the oil drums being used as buoys. From the LBMCOC Museum 011.21.1.
The afternoon continued, and there was no apparent change in the weather, but at 2:15pm, a signal was sent to cease pulling in the cable, and the sailors worked to cut the rope, collect the buoys, and return to the ship. The fifth attempt, a few days later, finally saw the cable land at Middle Cove.
Fishermen cutting a drum from the line. From Strawbridge 1954.
The cable itself was one in in diameter and weighed 2.6 tons per mile. It measured a total distance of 15,252 miles. The core of the cable was insulated with Telcothene, a product developed by Telcon which enabled much higher carrier frequencies meaning more speech channels could be carried over the one conductor.
A view of Middle Cove Beach, the fishermen and sailors working to pull in the cable, and the HMTS Monarch. From the LBMCOC Museum 011.21.2.


Dean, J.N.
2017 The Anglo-Dutch Telephone CableHistory of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications from the First Submarine Cable of 1850 to the Worldwide Fiber Optic Network. [accessed 13 Aug 2017].

Glover, B.
2017 Direct United States Cable Company. History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications from the First Submarine Cable of 1850 to the Worldwide Fiber Optic Network. [accessed 13 Aug 2017].

Strawbridge, M.S.
1954 Tales of Logy Bay. Atlantic Guardian, 11(1): 17-21.

Tarrant, D.R.
1994 Telegraph and Telephone Companies. Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, 5:346-352.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Letters from Father Dan O'Callaghan

Father Daniel O'Callaghan was born January 29, 1875 in South Down, Ireland. He came to St. John's in 1907 on request from Archbishop Howley. He was ordained the same year in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and was appointed to the staff of the Cathedral. He remained there for four years and in 1912, was appointed Parish Priest of St. Bride's Parish in Placentia East where he stayed for five years. In 1918, he was assigned as first Parish Priest for Logy Bay, Middle Cove and Outer Cove and was in charge of organizing the construction of a church, which would be called St. Francis of Assisi Church. He is also credited in the erection of a school and presbytery. He remained at the church for thirty years until his death in 1948.

Father Dan O'Callaghan
©Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum
The museum archives holds two letters written by Father Dan O'Callaghan. One written in 1903 addressed to Right Reverend Howley and the other in 1917 addressed to Archbishop Edward Patrick Roche. Father Dan goes into great detail about his schooling and his desire to come to Newfoundland in the first letter. He started school late due to an illness which prevented him from his studies. Upon entering school later he describes that he is "advanced in his years" and that he "worked extremely hard, in hopes of shortening my college career... So much so, that before Christmas vacation, my eyes became very weak from over study." His writing shows his devotion to becoming a priest. We learn in the letter that his sister has also entered religion and moving to Newfoundland would allow them to live closer together. The letter goes on to describing his sister's credentials and their willingness to move. We know that he indeed made it to Newfoundland!
1903 Letter from Father Dan O'Callaghan
©Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum
The next letter we have is written fourteen years later. This letter is very interesting as Father Dan discusses how the men of Flatrock are subjected to scornful remarks, unfair and unjust treatment from "patriots" because they have not volunteered for the war. It even went as far as Flatrock men being refused ice field berths. One can only imagine how this would have hurt Flatrock men economically! Father Dan discouraged the men of Flatrock from volunteering. He is known to have told his parishioners that there was "no pride in standing under the British rag."
1917 Letter from Father Dan O'Callaghan
©Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum
Another interesting part of this letter is the story about Flatrock men in the Mediterranean and an epic rescue that occurred on November 11, 1916. Thomas Maher saved Patrick Bulger who was thrown overboard into the dark, raging sea after a large wave hit their ship. Thomas Maher was asleep in his bed when he heard shouting and knocking and rushed from his bed in his night clothes and jumped overboard to save Maher. The story goes that,
"after both had been taken under by the heavy seas Bulger gasped out to Maher asking the latter to save himself and let him (Bulger) drown, as (so he thought) it was impossible for both to be saved. But Maher clung to the drowning man and managed to grasp a heavy rope that was flung to him by the Captain, and gripping Bulger around the body with his limbs arranged to fasten the rope under his arms and thus he was taken aboard. Maher following and a few hours later was on duty on time."
A very heroic rescue! Father Dan continues to write that he is looking for Archbishop Roche's influence to get recognition for the men. He also writes, "Your Grace, this deed is not that of a “slacker” as we are termed by some of the “patriots” of St. John’s." These letters teach us a lot about Father Dan as well as what was going at the time in Newfoundland when these letters were written.

The Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum Archives houses a variety of material. If you are interested in reading the full letters or seeing what else we have keep your eye on the Digital Archives Initiative as a lot of our archives will be accessible there. Can't wait? Stop by the museum during our business hours and take a look at what we have!

"A Talk Given at the Banquet Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the First Mass in the Parish Church, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Outer Cove. Given by: Reverend Francis A. Coady, Vicar General, & Former Pastor." Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum Archives, St. Francis of Assisi Church Fonds.

"The response o some Irish Newfoundlanders to the Great War." Archival Moments. Accessed 5 August 2017,

Friday, 28 July 2017

20th Anniversary Party

On the afternoon of July 23, 2017, the sun was shining, the Tely 10 runners were relaxing after a long run, and the community of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the town's museum.
Photo (and cake) by Lisa M. Daly

Throughout the day, those from and new to the community, and those just visiting, came out and played some games,
Photo by Michelle Hickey

had our faces painted by Spry Creations,
Photo by Lisa M. Daly

enjoyed some coffee provided by Starbucks on Hebron Way,
Photo by Lisa M. Daly

sandwiches from Sobeys, Howley Estates,
Museum staff Stephanie Micikyan and Emma Land. Photo by Lisa M. Daly

and cookies made by the museum coordinator and her mother.

Everyone enjoyed the music by Toshio Oki and Glenn Patterson,
Photo by Lisa M. Daly

James and Daniel Cadigan,
Photo by Lisa M. Daly

and Brooklyn Biddiscombe.
Photo by Lisa M. Daly

Later in the day, we honoured the original members of the Heritage Committee who each devoted 20 years to the museum,
Photo by Michelle Hickey

heard a few words from Mayor John Kennedy,
Photo by Michelle Hickey

and saw first hand how the love of heritage is being passed on to the next generation through a wonderful and informative presentation by Aurora Hickey about the Hickey Homestead.
Photo by Michelle Hickey

Finally, Delores Wheeler, chair of the Heritage Committee in 1997, and Julie Pomeroy, current chair, opened the 1997 Time Capsule and shared the wonderful art, poetry and thoughts of the student of St. Francis of Assisi during that Cabot Come Home Year.
Photo by Michelle Hickey

After some cake, it was time to go home.
Photo by Michelle Hickey

On behalf of the museum staff and the Heritage Committee, thank you all for coming out and showing your continued love and support for the museum. This is a community museum, and could never showcase the history and culture of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove without that commitment. Thank you.

And, if you missed the party, not to worry, the contents of the Time Capsule will be on display until the end of August. Then it will be permanently housed in the museum archives for future access.
Photo by Lisa M. Daly

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!

The museum started as a project by a group of volunteers with a passion for history and heritage in the area. After a lot of work and fundraising, the museum was built and opened in 1997. The exhibit was first housed in the main part of the town hall, in a large room off to the side of the lobby. After a little under a decade, the museum had grown so much that it was moved to the basement of the town hall, where we are currently located.

Inside the museum.

This museum is a project of love by part and present members of the LBMCOC Heritage Committee, who volunteer their time to maintain and preserve the museum, plus select and supervise seasonal staff. Over the years, the museum has shifted to a seasonal museum, instead of open all year round, but our summers are now filled with group visits and activities for all ages. Over the years, many people have managed the museum, most notably, the late Sheila Ozon, who ran the museum for almost a decade and brought it from upstairs to its expanded location under the town hall.

Sheila Ozon did a lot of great work for the museum. This painting of hers is proudly displayed.
This weekend, we are celebrating the museum's 20th anniversary. On Sunday, from 12 until 6, we will have live music, a face painter, activities for all ages, as well as snacks, tea, coffee and juice. At 4pm, we will look to the opening of the museum and will open the time capsule created by the students of St. Francis of Assisi in 1997. What treasures did the students put in? Were you one of those students? Care to give us a hint?

Once we have time to explore the 1997 time capsule, we'll be refilling it and resealing it with objects created and selected by the current LBMCOC Summer Camp!

Come out, stop by anytime between noon and 6pm for games, music and fun! All are welcome, and like all activities at the museum, admission is free!

A notice for a garden party at St. Francis in Outer Cove. From The Evening Telegram, 20 Aug 1921, p1.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

From the Program Coordinator Emma Lang:
Have you ever wondered why museums do what they do? What do staff do when the visitors aren’t around? These questions fascinated me as a kid and when I started working at museums when I was 15 learning the answers was just as exciting as I thought it would be. Over the summer I’m going to share some stories of behind the scenes at LBMCOC Museum.  Let you peak behind the curtain and learn about more about the work that we do and why we made some of the decisions we’ve made. First up, the story behind our new program Objects Up Close.

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to old tools, particularly household items, sewing machines, cast iron pots, egg beaters etc. I always preferred tin baking sheets to non-stick ones, typewriters to computers. Our museum has many of these objects on display and as part of my job as Program Coordinator I wanted to come up with a way to bring you, our visitors, up close to the objects, to see how they work and hopefully, be inspired to learn more about the objects in your own homes. I decided to start with of objects in our Lifestyles section, to see what I could learn about who made them and bring in working versions I have at home that to share.


 2 of the museum’s 3 sewing machines. 

By the early 20th century Singer sewing machines were ubiquitous in homes across Canada, the UK and US and the houses of Logy Bay Middle Cove and Outer Cove were no exception. The LBMCOC Museum has three of these machines in our collection. With access to the shops in St. John’s and the opportunity for women in the communities to make money by doing laundry and mending clothing for the well-off of St. John’s, owning a sewing machine was both economically possible and could help to bring in money for families year-round. Lucky for me, Singer machines are well documented and easy to research. Each machine has a serial number that can be used to look up where and when it was made as well as the model number of that specific machine. 

The serial number on the museum’s treadle sewing machine

With the help of the lists included on the International Sewing Machine Collectors website at,  I was able to establish that our treadle sewing machine was made in June 1910 while one of the two hand crank machines was made in February 1909. The other hand crank has a damaged ID number but my current guess is that it dates from 1904. We tend to think of treadle sewing machines like this one IMAGE as pre-dating smaller more portable machines such as the hand cranked ones, but in actuality they were being manufactured at the same time, and in the same factories. Just as today people choose between laptops and desktop computers for a wide range of reasons, those purchasing a sewing machine in the early 1900s would choose a portable or treadle sewing machine depending on what their needs were.
While many of our younger visitors have seen their nans or moms use a sewing machine, watching them look at in amazement at the heavy metal machines we have on display and try to figure out how they worked led me to create the Objects Up Close program. I brought in my still functional 1950s Singer featherweight which—save the lack of crank or treadle—looks almost identical to the machines on display and now visitors of all ages can see how the machines would work and see how portable they could be. 

My 1953 featherweight electric Singer sewing machine (left) and the museum’s 1909 portable crank Singer sewing machine (right)

As Objects Up Close continues over the summer visitors will have the opportunity to see up close others of our objects and even try out modern versions of the same items.