Sunday, 20 September 2015

Doors Open at the Logy Bay-Middle Cove- Outer Cove Museum

Photo by Annemarie Christie

The museum took part in the St. John’s Doors Open event again this year, as it did in 2013. It is a wonderful event to take part in; it is advertised all over the city and reaches a wide audience. The turn out at the museum this year was great, especially in the afternoon! For a lot of people it was a first-time visit, and the visitors consisted of a nice mix of locals and people from the city; a more diverse group than visits the museum, generally speaking, children and adults both.

Photo by Annemarie Christie

People really liked the new Outer Cove Plane Crash exhibit. A few of the return visitors had come specifically to see it! People loved hearing an embellishment on the exhibit: I passed on the story I had heard from Robert Angus who heard the story from Mike O’Rourke. Mike’s father was one of the men who went out in a boat to try to save the pilot. The pilot had not survived, but they brought him back in. One of the men held onto the pilot, off the side of the boat. He was still in his seat. They could not haul him into the boat, as this would have upset them into the sea…

I had an interesting chat in the afternoon with a woman who is a pilot. She had shared the link about the upcoming exhibit on the plane crash and her friend, Pete Barfoot, shared it with the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA 97) Facebook page! Pete also attended Doors Open. The pilot offered an explanation as to why the pilot was in his seat still, and his head was injured.  Her thought was that even though he had apparently not ejected, she thinks he tried, and the cockpit roof did not have time to open and let him out before crashing into the sea (where of
course, it could not open)-- and thus was he fatally injured. 

Photo by Annemarie Christie

People enjoyed other exhibits as well, especially the ever popular women’s and children’s artifacts: the beautiful gold teacup, the tiny, handcrafted leather baby shoes, the dolls and the antique treadle sewing machines!

Members of the LBMCOC Heritage Committee volunteered for the day, which allowed for the museum’s participation in Doors Open. Besides myself, Julie Pomeroy, Michelle Hickey, Craig Power and Laurie Roche-Lawrence (in the above photo!) helped out by talking with and guiding visitors, as well as opening and closing the museum. It was a great day. Many thanks to Katie Harvey, the Museum’s Coordinator, who arranged for the museum to take part in Doors Open 2015!

See you at the next one!
-- Annemarie Christie

Monday, 7 September 2015

First Time Curation: The Trials and Tribulations

For the majority of my life, I have romanticized about being a curator. I have always loved the idea of collecting beautiful, old objects - objects with their own past, and a narrative to tell - and displaying them in an interesting and informative way.

This summer I was given the opportunity to curate my very first exhibit here at the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum.

Curator, Katie Harvey, putting the finishing touches on The Mysterious Outer Cove Plane Crash exhibit. Photo by Kenneth J. Harvey

The idea just sort of fell into my lap. Gary Hebbard wrote an article for the Telegram early in the summer about a military plane that crashed into a house in Outer Cove in 1956. One of the members of our Heritage Committee sent it to me to put in our archival collection. 

And so it began.

I decided my first step would be to interview people in the community who could supply me with first-hand accounts of that day. 

Easier said than done. The plane crash happened in 1956, so not many people who would have been old enough at the time to remember it are still alive today. I was lucky to find three wonderful informants who shared their memories with me.

Kenneth J. Harvey was kind enough to offer his time and talents, as he came along to each of my interviews (some scheduled very last minute, might I add) and took portraits of each of my informants.

Initially, I was at a loss for what sort of artifacts I would display in this exhibit. I wrote a blog post earlier in the season called Searching for Plane Crash Relics. It focused on the day Gary and I scoured the crash site with a metal detector for relics of the T33 aircraft. I hoped to find even a small fragment of the plane, but we had no such luck.

My next thought was to have a model built of the plane, and Gary put me in contact with the International Plastic Modellers Society. They were enthusiastic to help, and the finished product was more amazing than I could have ever imagined.  

The research and writing was much what I expected. For me, research is always pleasant and rewarding. I believed I was wrapping things up when I finished writing the exhibit text. Boy, was I wrong.

When I went to the sign shop to have the exhibit text printed, I realized I knew absolutely nothing about measurements, fonts, colours, design, tools, acrylics, foam core, pvc, standoffs, and the list goes on and on. So I returned to the drawing board, and I researched all that I could find about proper exhibit design and display techniques. 

I have to say, my romanticized notion of curation has dissipated a little. It is incredibly tedious work, and you can't be afraid to get your hands dirty.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to curate my first exhibit on a topic that is so personal to me. My maternal grandfather's family is originally from Outer Cove, and my great uncle was actually one of the men who recovered the pilot's body from the ocean after the crash.

My advice for first time curators: have a plan. Find a place for everything before you start. Leave plenty of time to remedy errors (because I guarantee there will be many). Always have a back-up plan. Research, research, research. Measure twice, cut once. Also, tools are required.

-Katie Harvey

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Delores "Tubby" Kinsella

The daughter of a woman who taught at St. Francis of Assisi donated a series of hand-made yearbooks to the museum last week. When reading through these books, I came across an entry that was made by our very own former Heritage Committee Chair, Delores Wheeler (nee Kinsella).

Her entry reads:
     "My name is Delours 'Tubby' Kinsella. My eyes are green and my hair is brown.
     I was born on August 7th 1958 in St. Claire's Hospital.
     We have ten in the family, nine girls and one boy.
     The hobby I like most is collecting stamps to help the sick.
     I have something that interests me and that is swimming. It interests me because it is something to do in the summertime. 
     My favorite joke is
     Q, What did the man say when he threw the clock through the window
     A, He said, 'See how time flies?'" 

I asked Delores where the nickname "Tubby" came from, and she replied:

     "I was a little 'chunky' when I was young and one of my nicknames was 'Tubby'.   We all had nicknames that suited different occasions back then."

She went on to explain the mispelling of her name in the entry:

     "You'll notice my name is spelled different from now. When I got in Grade 7 my teacher told me I was spelling my name wrong.  I started spelling it the correct way"

Delores was on the original Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Heritage Committee. She, and the other members, established this museum in 1997. A trip to Trinity made her realize that her own community needed a museum to preserve its rich and unique history.

It seems Delores has always liked helping others, as her childhood hobby was "collecting stamps to help the sick." Delores retired from the committee this year, after twenty years of devoted service to her community. She is an incredible woman, and as you can see in the photo above, an adorable little girl. 

-Katie Harvey

Friday, 7 August 2015

Regatta History: The Outer Cove Fishermen's Crew

On this day in 1901, history was made.

It was the 85th annual Royal St. John's Regatta.

"Not a cloud was visible in the blue canopy of the heavens and the
sun shone so hot that one could scarcely turn his eyes towards the
skies for its dazzling brightness. Just a slight breeze was blowing 
which covered the lake with gentle ripples and added fourfold to its great natural beauty." - The Evening Telegram, 1901

A rivalry between Outer Cove and Torbay had been ongoing for years. Torbay had beaten Outer Cove by the slightest of margins in the morning race, so tensions were running at an all time high.

The Outer Cove Fishermen's Crew was made up of the following men: Walter Power, coxswain; John Whelan, stroke; Daniel McCarthy, No.5; Denis McCarthy, No. 4; Denis Croke, No. 3; John Nugent, No. 2; Martin Boland No. 1. 

They entered the waters that afternoon for the championship race in their soon-to-be-famous vessel, the Blue Peter. They were facing off with their sole competitor: Torbay. It was said that no other team would dare to face off with these outstanding crews. The rivals anxiously awaiting the piercing gun shot that signified the start of the race. 

The two crews were neck in neck, until the very end, as Outer Cove crossed the finish line, setting a new record time of 9:134/5The crew had not trained in the typical way competitors train for the regatta nowadays, their sole practice was rowing their dories on the open ocean every other day.   

The most amazing part of this story is that their record stood for 80 years. The Outer Cove Fishermen's Crew were among the first to be inducted into the Royal St. John's Regatta Hall of fame after it was established in 1987. 

Their record time of  9:134/remained until 1981, when the St. John's Boys and Girls Club established a new record time: 9:12:04.
However, their victory was short lived. The following year, Mike Power assembled a crew to take back the championship. The crew consisted of Andrew Boland, Bert Hickey, Campbell Feehan, Gerard Ryan, Jim Hibbs and Owen Devereaux. The men, filled with determination, finished the race in the outstanding time of 9:03:48. Outer Cove rejoiced, as the record once again belonged to them.

If you ask anyone in the community what Outer Cove is most famous for, they will proudly tell you the story of the 1901 Fishermen's Crew; "the finest crew to grace the waters of Quidi Vidi."

-Katie Harvey

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Coincidental Account of Annie Burke and Nellie Fitzgerald

There is a heart-warming story that exists in this community, and it has been relayed to me by several visitors here at the museum. The narrative is of two Newfoundland woman who, completely by chance, ended up living side-by-side in Boston. Their names were Annie Burke (nee Cadigan) and Nellie Fitzgerald (nee Gibbons).

Annie Burke (nee Cadigan) ca. 1915

Annie Cadigan was born in 1891, and grew up in the community of Logy Bay. When she was 12 years old, she fell through a fishing stage and severely injured her leg. Local doctors believed her leg was irreversibly damaged, and so advised that it be amputated. Her sister, Mary, lived in Boston, and thought it may be best to have her sister come and see a Doctor whom she knew there, Dr. O'Shea. 

Nellie Fitzgerald (nee Gibbons) ca. 1914

Nellie Gibbons was born in the Redlands on the north shore of Conception Bay in 1888. She and a fellow named James Fitzgerald were writing to one another, and the courtship landed her in Boston in 1909. 

Annie arrived in Boston in 1905. Her sister was right to put her faith in Dr. O'Shea, as Annie's leg quickly healed under his care. After her recovery, she decided to stay in Boston and work as a cook in the O'Shea household. Dr. O'Shea began to take Annie with him on house calls, and so she became quite familiar with medical practices. 

Nellie was hired by the Harrington family as a governess shortly after her arrival in Boston. The Harrington's and the O'Shea's were neighbours, and so the girls became fast friends, both being young women from Newfoundland. 

The story that both women told often, and fondly, was the fourth of July they spent together. They decided they would have a sleep over at the O'Shea's house after a day of fun. When they arrived home, the house was dark, as everyone had gone to bed. They went to Annie's room and discovered, much to their dismay, that her bed had been stripped of its linens. 

Annie went to the linen closet and palmed through the sheets in the dark until she found what she thought was a bed sheet. The girls spread it over the bed and went to sleep. When they awoke the next morning they were shocked to discover they had slept on one of Mrs. O'Shea's decorative table cloth. Fortunately, Annie was able to wash, press and return the tablecloth without anyone noticing, narrowly avoiding a scolding from the lady of the house.

Annie returned to Newfoundland in 1914 to marry James Burke. Nellie was engaged to James Fitzgerald, the man who brought her to Boston in the first place, and they intended to stay in Boston. The girls lost touch when Annie returned home.

Nellie and James' plans soon changed when his father died and they had to return to Newfoundland to care for his mother. Annie had no idea that Nellie had returned to Newfoundland, until one faithful day in 1949.  

Nellie's youngest daughter, Theresa, was brought to the home of Annie by the boy she was dating. She sat in astonishment as Annie recounted that fourth of July in Boston, when her and a friend mistakenly slept on a tablecloth. Theresa had heard that same story from her own mother so many times, she could hardly believe her ears.

Annie Burke's house, where her door was always open to visitors (ca. 2003)

Theresa went home and asked her mother the name of the woman she had been friends with in Boston, and it was indeed Annie Burke, the woman she had met earlier that day.

The kids decided they would surprise the old friends by bringing Nellie to Annie's for a visit. It had been 36 years since the women had last seen each other. Nellie was not yet out of the car, and Annie was running to greet her old friend. She swooped her up in a hug and swung her around and around. It was as if they had never been apart at all.

Annie died in 1981 at 91 years old, and Nellie followed in 1983, at 94 years of age. Their children kept in touch over the years, and their great-grandchildren even attended school together.

As an aside, Annie put her experience as Dr. O'Shea's helper to good use. She was a midwife in the community for many years, and delivered hundreds of babies. If you ask someone in the community if they know of Annie Burke, they will likely tell you one or more of their relatives were delivered by this exceptional woman. 

Annie was also believed to have "the gift of second-sight." She often invited people into her home to read their tea leaves or cards. Many people still talk about her gift to this day.

-Katie Harvey

Source: The Story of Annie (Cadigan) Burke and Nellie (Gibbons) Fitzgerald by Maria Clift and Hayley Walsh

We have this heritage project in our resource room here at the museum, if you would like to learn more about this incredible story, drop by and take a look.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Doll Day: Learning and Fun in a Happy Afternoon

By Annemarie Christie

Annemarie discussing doll clothes                    Photo by Bill Brennan

Nine little girls and their dolls arrived at the museum on Monday, July 27th for the first ever Doll Day, presented at the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum. The girls were dressed for the occasion, many of them in matching outfits with their doll’s outfit. Little girls, dolls and fancy clothes have a long history, some of which we explored during the event. The event was created to teach children about this history and to ask some thoughtful questions, while at the same time having fun with their dolls and even enjoying a little “tea party” after.

Lila introducing her doll Lisa                                Photo by Bill Brennan

The event began with the girls writing up name labels for themselves, and also for their dolls. I asked them to introduce themselves and their dolls, and explain why the doll they brought is their favourite. I then discussed the history of dolls and various types of dolls, from early wooden dolls to the modern dolls I had brought. We talked about baby dolls, Barbie dolls, national costume dolls, character dolls (like Anne of Green Gables), modern porcelain dolls and “grown up” dolls in fancy dress and high heels, such as the museum has in their collection (see below). The girls were fascinated, asked lots of questions and shared their thoughts.

Two dolls in fancy dress; part of the “Nina” doll series created in the 1950s by the Canadian company, Dee an Cee.           Photo by Annemarie Christie

Katie took the girls on a short tour and scavenger hunt in the museum while the tea party was set up. When the girls returned we served apple juice from a teapot into real china tea cups, passed around some cookies and sat down with them to just relax and talk and have fun. Lollipops were handed out as well!

Willow at the tea party                                     Photo by Bill Brennan

Afterwards photos were taken of the girls and their dolls:

Vera and Chloe                 Photo by Annemarie Christie

Everybody who attended loves dolls. Even as adults many of us still love dolls and keep a favourite childhood doll forever. I am one of those, as is Katie, who brought her Anne of Green Gables doll. Why do we love dolls so much?  Dolls are fun, plain and simple! They are cute. And you can dress them in lots of different clothes. What’s not to love? We like to have them around and we like to play with them. Throw a tea party into the mix, and you have an afternoon of pure happiness. This is exactly what we experienced on our lovely Doll Day.

                                                                             -- Annemarie

Friday, 24 July 2015

“Friar Tuck” Salt and Pepper Shakers

By: Annemarie Christie 

You might wonder why monks would make appropriate figures for salt and pepper shakers, but they were very popular in the 1950s, and today these ceramic “Friar Tuck” salt and pepper shakers at the museum are a very collectible set.

Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum: Photo by Annemarie Christie

These two little charmers in the photo above reside in the Lifestyles section of the museum. They have no manufacturer’s name on them and no factory stamp. This leads to the conclusion that they were likely to have been manufactured in imitation of the Hummel “Friar Tuck” Monk salt and pepper shakers introduced by the German Goebel Porcelain Factory in the 1950s.  If they were genuine Goebel-made shakers they would have a Goebel mark (all genuine Hummel figurines have a crown mark, a bee in a v-shaped mark or one of the Goebel line marks on the bottom). The museum’s shakers could have been manufactured in the United States or Japan, and in spite of being an imitation, they are very detailed and painted by hand.

The original Goebel shakers were inspired by the porcelain Hummel figurines of Friar Tuck, also made by the Goebel factory, which date back to the early 1900s. The Hummel Monk figurines were purely decorative, whereas the Friar Tuck tableware series they produced was for table use. The tableware included sugar bowls and creamers, mustard pots and jugs, and even a Friar Tuck beer mug.

The background to the creation of the now famous Hummel figurines is an interesting one. The Goebel company made an exclusive agreement with Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel and the Convent of Siessen that granted Goebel the right to adapt the artist’s drawings into three-dimensional porcelain figurines. It would seem logical that the monk figurine was based on one of Sister Maria’s drawings.

If you compare the above photo of the museum’s shakers with the photo below of the original Hummel shakers, you can see the difference between the imitation and the originals. The museum’s shakers have slightly different hair, and the figures are holding the bible directly in front of them, rather than at their sides. They also have a slightly impish look on their faces, which makes them even cuter than the original Hummel shakers, in my opinion!

Hummel salt and pepper shakers: Photo courtesy of eBay

If you have a further interest in collectible salt and pepper shakers there is a group called The Salt and Pepper Club, whose sole focus is on shakers (you can find them online at

I hope everyone enjoyed my first blog post for the Logy Bay-Outer Cove-Middle Cove Museum. Come on in and see the shakers for yourself!


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Exhibition Highlights Women

Photograph by Katie Harvey

The Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum presents a new exhibit which highlights the role of women in the household, and the history of women's beauty. The exhibit on beauty contains such items as: jewellery boxes, hair pins, a gold brooch and a very unique powder case.

Photograph by Kenneth J. Harvey

Powder cases, more commonly known as compacts, date to the early 1900s. In those times, make-up had not gained widespread social acceptance, and so were concealed by women. Purses had special compartments to store your compact, and later they were attached to finger chains so they could be displayed. 

It was considered taboo for women to talk about going to the bathroom, so they would excuse themselves to go “powder their noses.” Compacts were reusable in the past, but in the 1960s they began to be manufactured as disposable. 

Photograph by Kenneth J. Harvey

In the past, the household was strictly the woman's domain. She was responsible for taking care of the children, and tending to any housework that needed to be done. Darren Hynes writes:

"Housework was year-round and was exclusively the woman's domain. Women and girls had to cook, set the table, wash the dishes, do the wash, iron, sew, sweep the [floor], and rock the baby. Some activities took place on certain days, for example, scrubbing might be done on Saturday, as was polishing shoes, cleaning the cutlery, and preparing Sunday clothes. Added to the round of housework and child-raising were activities such as carding and spinning wool and knitting it into garments, 'fancy work', sewing (making clothes and joining quilts), and making mats."

The exhibit displays artifacts that women would have used to wash and iron clothes, as well as a beautiful old spinning wheel which was used to spin wool. Come visit the museum and learn see how women lived in the past.

-Katie Harvey

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Memories of Outer Cove Plane Crash: Mena and Charlie Power

Mena and Charlie Power. Photograph by Kenneth J. Harvey

For Mena and Charlie Power, the day of the Outer Cove Plane Crash will forever remain etched in their minds, and not simply for the reasons you may imagine. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing this lovely couple last week for our exhibit on the crash, and here is a brief part of the story they told:

"Well it was a memorial day for us because that night, early in the morning, rather, I went out to the hospital. I was expecting a baby, a bit premature; I think it was four weeks premature. It was early in the morning. Not a blade of snow. Just went with a pair of slippers, right? Yeah, and it was quite foggy when we were leaving, you could see the sky blowing in then; about 2:00 in the morning. Of course, James was born just as I got there. This pilot had the same birthday – he died on his birthday." - Mena Power

Want to hear more about Mena and Charlie's memories of that day? Their entire story, along with several others, will be revealed in our new exhibit on Saturday, September 5 from 2:00-4:00pm. We hope to see you here.

-Katie Harvey 

Annual Caplin Scull at Middle Cove Beach: Mabel and Gerald Upshall

Caplin on Middle Cove Beach. Photo by Julie Pomeroy.

Guest Blog Post by Julie Pomeroy

When I was on my way to work last Friday I noticed activity on Middle Cove Beach so I stopped in to see if the caplin were rolling. They were not rolling at that time, but there were still some there a few feet back from shore. While I was there I came across this couple, Mabel and Gerald Upshall. Mabel is originally from Bay Roberts and Gerald is from St. John’s. They lived in Toronto for many years but moved back home about 20 years ago and now live in St. John’s. They have been coming to Middle Cove Beach every year since they moved back home to get their feed of Caplin.

Mabel and Gerald Upshall with their caplin. Photo by Julie Pomeroy.

I saw them there about 8:30 that morning, and they were telling me that they missed them rolling in with the tide earlier that morning but they were going to get what they could with their net. Gerald uses a landing net for catching caplin, saying that he doesn’t like using a seine and finds this net easier. They will fry up their catch for lunch and freeze what’s left over for a time when they’re in the mood for caplin later in the year. They will also bring some to her brother who is now 90 years old and not able to get around to get his own anymore.

Mabel told me that she separates the spawny ones from the regular ones. She can’t stand to eat the spawny ones, but her husband Gerald likes them better. Mabel also told me that she cleans the caplin before she frys them up. She removes the head, tail, and fins and then washes them off. A practice that her father in law once told her ruined them.

They both remember years ago when people commonly put caplin on their potato fields. Do you have any stories about caplin; how you catch them, how you eat them? If so, please contact Lisa at or (709) 726-5272 for a chance to be featured on our blog. Or, drop in for a cup of tea and share your stories for our archival audio recordings.

*Note: contact information has been edited to reflect the 2016 season

Friday, 10 July 2015

Annual Caplin Scull at Middle Cove Beach: Casting a Line

Waiting on the caplin. Photo by Kenneth J. Harvey.

Today is a good day.

After weeks of (impatiently) waiting, the caplin have finally arrived at Middle Cove Beach. 

Leading up to their arrival, the beach has been completely congested with people hoping to catch a glimpse of one of nature's most spectacular occurrences. Not to mention, they want to snag a few tasty morsels to bring home with them. 

This event draws thousands of people to the beach every year, and the waiting, I have come to realize, is an event in and of itself. 

Yes, there is quite the song and dance associated with the waiting. Local newspapers have been publishing regular updates, Twitter and Facebook are blowing up with people who want to know where the caplin are, what they are doing, and how long they have been doing it. 

Needless to say, there is no shortage of instant information on the caplin scull. I followed #CaplinRoll2015 quite closely this year. That feed, coupled with the help of our lovely Twitter followers, granted me the information I needed, and I knew the minute the caplin had arrived.

When I received the news, I jumped into the car and headed for the beach. Rounding the corner, I was shocked by the amount of cars that were littered just about everywhere that they could squeeze. Finding a parking spot was lots of fun.

I arrived on the beach, and my God, the people! I had never participated in the caplin scull; this was my very first time. I have to say, it is an amazing sight for someone who has never seen it before. There were people everywhere, wearing rubber boots, carrying nets and buckets of all shapes and sizes.

The caplin were about 20 feet out from the shore. You could tell because they create what looks like a cloud of dark water. People were just hanging around, waiting for the tide to turn and bring the caplin to them. 

One gentleman really had it figured out. He was out in the shallow water, casting his fishing line out into the schools of caplin. Each time he cast his line, he was able to hook a caplin in the side, simply due to the fact that there was so many in one spot.

His system was simple; cast out, hook the caplin, reel it in, unhook it, toss it to his 10-year-old-son, and the boy would put it in the bucket. It was incredible to watch.

Father tossing his son caplin. The caplin is in mid-air. Photo by Katie Harvey.

I sat near the father and son duo, and chatted with the son for a bit. He said this was his first time participating in the caplin scull too, but he was a real natural. He proudly showed the caplin his father had hooked to anyone who asked, inviting them to rub their fingers along the soft back of the small fish.

Boy with caplin. Photo by Katie Harvey.

I will be blogging and tweeting about the caplin scull at Middle Cove Beach as long as they stick around. You can follow along @LCMCOCMuseum. I will also be collecting stories and memories, so if you see me on the beach with my phone and a camera or recorder, come say hi. You may be featured on our blog, or even in a short film Kenneth J. Harvey and I are putting together. As always, you can contact me at lbmcocmuseum(at) or (709) 726-5272.

-Katie Harvey

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Archaeologist for a Day: Cultivating Children's Interest in Heritage

Explaining the tools. Photo by Annemarie Christie.

On Friday, July 3 the museum hosted a children's program for the first time called "Be an Archaeologist for a Day." The program was designed to teach children what it is exactly that archaeologists and museum workers do on a day-to-day basis, and also to cultivate their interest in heritage.

We began with a mock archaeological dig. The children were all given tools to dig, and buckets filled with sand and artifacts. The children recovered things like candle holders, dinosaur bones, wooden beads, old coins, thimbles, and much more.

Digging for artifacts. Photo by Annemarie Christie.

Next, we cleaned the artifacts. The children learned that artifacts are very delicate, and so they must be handled with great care. We used toothbrushes and lukewarm water to clean the items they had found when digging. The kids each had an opportunity to share what they had found, which everyone did with great pride. We explained why these artifacts were relevant, which gave the kids a look into the past, and how people used to live. 

To finish things off our Museum Coordinator, Katie, gave a demonstration on how to properly handle artifacts, and how we label them. The kids were amazed at the tiny numbers that are written on each artifact to identify them, and some even decided they wanted to practice writing as small as they could when the demonstration was complete. 

Giving a demonstration on how to properly handle artifacts. Photo by Annemarie Christie. 

It was a wonderful day, as the museum was brought to life with the children's curiosity and intrigue. I asked the kid's at the end of the program if anyone wanted to be an archaeologist when they grow up, and many enthusiastic hands flew into the air. 

We are hoping to host the program again over the course of the summer, so keep your eyes open for information on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Artifacts that have been cleaned and left to dry at the end of the day. Photo by Annemarie Christie. 

-Katie Harvey

Thursday, 2 July 2015

May Bush

If you take a drive through the community of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove during the month of May, you are bound to see a few may bushes that are being displayed by locals. What is a may bush you ask? Well, it has its roots in Ireland, and is, as you may have guessed, predominately a Roman Catholic practice. People tie a fir or spruce tree onto their fences, or their decks - pretty much anywhere that is visible to passer-byers - for the month of May, and will sometimes leave them up until the end of June. People may decorate them in a variety of ways, using things like flowers and ribbons. 

There are several different reasons why people engage in this tradition. In Ireland, this practice was believed to ward off evil, and bring good luck to those who took part in the practice. It is also typically associated with The Virgin Mary; May being "Mary's Month" in the Catholic Faith. Lara Maynard writes:

"Newfoundlanders who erect may bushes nowadays usually cite the commemoration of "Mary's month" as the reason for doing so. Indeed, their may bushes are often predominantly or solely decorated in blue ribbons, blue being the colour often associated with Mary in iconography. Some people add red ribbons to their bushes in June in commemoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and do not take them down until the end of that month."

I am looking to collect narratives from residents of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove who still take part in the may bush tradition. Please contact Katie at lbmcocmuseum(at) or (709) 726-5272 if you have any information.

-Katie Harvey

Friday, 26 June 2015

10 Amazing Artifacts of NL: The Sick Call Kit

We are very pleased to announce that Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum is featured in this month's issue of Downhome Magazine. The article highlights ten interesting and unique artifacts from across the province. We are honoured to be included in this exclusive selection of amazing artifacts; each an important parts of Newfoundland's culture and history. 

Want to know a little more about the history of our featured artifact? Of course you do. 

This artifact is known as a Sick Kit, or a Sick Call Kit. Sick Kits were used by priests to administer last rites to those who were too sick to leave their homes. Roman Catholics often had Sick Kits in their homes, but priests also possessed them for any necessary occasion. They were easy to travel with, as the kit can be closed, and each item securely placed in its rightful spot. Each piece in the Sick Kit had a unique and vital role. 

The candles were lit when the priest came to the door, where he was greeted, and then led to the dying individual by candlelight. The priest brought holy water with him, which he transferred to the small bowl at the base of the crucifix, using the handled spoon to carefully transfer the holy water. The small brush was dipped into the holy water, and sprinkled on the sick person. 

The two shallow silver dishes each had an individual purpose. The first was used to hold oil - which was used to anoint the sick individual - and the second was used to hold cotton or stale bread, so that the priest could wipe the oil from his hands. 

Last rites refers to a priest's administration (usually in the following order) of Penance, Anointing and Viaticum. This ritual is meant to prepare the dying person's soul for death. Penance is the confession of one's sins in order to be absolved, and thus allows the person to get into heaven. Anointing is the act of pouring or sprinkling oil over one's head or body. This is done with the purpose of relieving suffering. Viaticum is another term for the Eucharist, and is latin for "provision for the jouney." Viaticum only takes place if the dying individual is in fact able to receive it.  

The history of this particular Sick Kit is very interesting. It is quite old, as it dates prior to 1897. It was originally owned by John and Annie Griffen who were residents of the community. It was passed down through three generations of people, and eventually was donated to the museum by Mary Kennedy in memory of her family. 

Want to read about the other amazing artifacts from across the province featured in this article? Pick up your copy of Downhome Magazine at Downhome Shoppe and Gallery on 303 Water Street. 

Check out the link below to read about one of the featured amazing artifacts. Cow Head's Murderous Axe:

-Katie Harvey

Friday, 5 June 2015

Memories of Outer Cove Plane Crash: Mary Roche

Mary Roche relaying her memory of the Outer Cove plane crash. Photograph by Kenneth J. Harvey

As mentioned in previous posts, the museum is creating a new exhibit on the Outer Cove plane crash of 1956. Our curator, Katie Harvey, is conducting a series of interviews with people who remember that day. The exhibit will contain as many first-hand accounts of the event as possible.

Mary Roche lives directly behind the house that was hit by the plane, and so she remembers the day very clearly. I interviewed her yesterday about her memory, and her story will be outlined in the exhibit. 

Here is a small portion of what she told me:

"I heard this big bang and I thought the horse was out . . . and I thought the kids were after throwing a rock and the horse bucked up against the house or something. 
And I went out singing out, 'God bless it!'
'Mom, it's not us, we had nothing to do it. That's... Look down.' 
And I said 'What is it?' And my son said, 'There's a plane.' 
I thought he was joking. 
He said, 'Mom, come out til you sees.' 
And when I went out sure enough you could see the smoke coming up."

The whole story will be revealed in the unveiling of our new
exhibit, which will take place on Saturday, September 5 from 2:00-4:00pm.

                                                                                -Katie Harvey                                          

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Searching for Plane Crash Relics

This past Monday myself and local journalist, Gary Hebbard, spent the afternoon scouring the property where, in 1946, a decorated military pilot crashed his plane into the Stack's family home in Outer Cove. 

The light blue house in the forefront of this photograph is the Stack house in present day. Photograph by Gary Hebbard.

It was a beautiful afternoon; sunny and warm, with a cool breeze coming from the ocean. The property is right on the waterfront, an absolutely perfect location overlooking the beach. We used a metal detector to scan the premises for any signs of aluminium, and other metals. For anyone who has even searched an area using a metal detector, you'll know what I mean when I say the process is both grueling and thrilling all at the same time. We sectioned off the area, working from the front to the back, as we thought if there were any remains of the plane, they would be around where the fence once stood. You see, the plane first hit the house, then slid across the lawn, through the fence, and off the cliff into the icy Newfoundland waters. As it hit the fence, more pieces would have fallen from the wreckage of the plane. 

Any remains of the plane would have been thoroughly collected by the military at the time of the crash, for evidence purposes, as the cause of the crash was unknown to them. We knew this as we began the process, hoping to find a small piece of aluminium that had been missed in this collection, and overgrown from years of neglect. 

Gary scanning the Stack property using a metal detector. Photograph by Katie Harvey,

Walking along, listening intently for that beep, beep, beep. Each time the metal detector picked up a reading greater than 60, Gary got down on his knees, cut a small square hole in the ground, and we looked for anything that may have been a part of that plane. Each time I heard the beeping of the detector, my heartbeat accelerated just a little. 

Gary testing a small patch of the yard for aluminium. Photograph by Katie Harvey.

Suddenly, the metal detector displayed a strong reading. The stronger the reading, the higher the pitch of the beeping. We both heard it, and I could again hear my heart in my ears; thump, thump, thump. Gary got down on his knees and cut a small hole in the fragile earth. Digging through the dirt, I expected something amazing to appear. And then, we found it. A minuscule fragment of wire was pulled out of the ground. I was amazed by what this metal detector could pick up. Now, this wire could have very well been wire that was a part of the plane, however we have no way of knowing for sure, and it didn't seem like a very exciting artifact to display for the museum's new exhibit about the crash.

We called it a day after two hours of scanning, kneeling, and digging. Unfortunately, we did not find what we wanted, but we plan to head out on location once again to continue the search.

Stay tuned for more updates on the exhibit I am planning. If you have any information, photographs or relics from this event, please contact Katie at lbmcocmuseum(at) or 726-5272. I would love to hear from you, as I am collecting personal memories from people who were present the day of the crash.

                                                                                      -Katie Harvey

If you would like more information on the Outer Cove plane crash copy and paste the links below for a two part article written by Gary Hebbard:,-boom,-fire/1