Heart’s Con­tent earns his­tor­i­cal hon­our

Her­itage dis­trict des­ig­na­tion de­notes over 100 years of his­tory

The Compass - - NEWS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Her­itage dis­trict

Pre­serv­ing the his­tory

When en­ter­ing Heart’s Con­tent along Route 80, mod­ern busi­nesses and homes wel­come you.

The road goes north, through sev­eral twists and turns un­til a large red and yel­low build­ing can be seen in the dis­tance — the ca­ble sta­tion.

This build­ing is one of many his­toric build­ing in the town, and the first stop on a jour­ney back in time.

Sur­round­ings dra­mat­i­cally change af­ter pass­ing the sta­tion. There are no more mod­ern busi­nesses or even many paved drive­ways.

The area has been kept well pre­served since 1866 when a transat­lantic ca­ble was in­stalled in the com­mu­nity. It was then it be­gan to grow.

On July 20 the Her­itage Foun­da­tion of New­found­land and Labrador named the area a reg­is­tered her­itage dis­trict.

Just shy of 100 lo­cal res­i­dents joined rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the foun­da­tion and govern­ment of­fi­cials to un­veil a new dis­tinc­tion plaque on the lawn of the Mizzen Her­itage Mu­seum, a place cho­sen be­cause of its cen­tral lo­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Dale Jarvis, her­itage de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer with the foun­da­tion, there are only a hand­ful of dis­tricts in the prov­ince with this pres­ti­gious des­ig­na­tion. One of the few is lo­cated in Har­bour Grace and an­other will be hon­oured Fri­day, Au­gust 2 in Bay Roberts.

One of the many unique build­ings that find its home in this deep-rooted dis­trict is the So­ci­ety of United Fish­er­man Lodge.

Lo­cal res­i­dent John War­ren is on the lo­cal her­itage com­mit­tee and ex­plained that the build­ing was re­struc­tured to match the orig­i­nal de­sign in 1993 af­ter be­ing named a his­toric build­ing.

He also said it was the first united fish­er­men’s lodge in the prov­ince which was used in 1873 for the brother­hood as a meet­ing place.

The ceil­ing is wrapped in lengths of wood and a stage was built to dis­play many of the fish­ing ar­ti­facts and sto­ries that fabri­cate the his­tory of the build­ing and those that used it.

Other build­ings that are found in the dis­trict are the Arnott house, the ca­ble staff houses, old Jack’s shop, the Hey­field Me­mo­rial united church and the mu­seum.

The day was rainy so the event started in the fish­er­man lodge where the crowd gath­ered to hear the an­nounce­ment that their town would be des­ig­nated a her­itage dis­trict.

Res­i­dents of all ages at­tended the event, hop­ing for the rain to let up for a few min­utes so the plaque could be un­veiled.

Mayor Don Blun­don spoke to the crowd about the many years he has been around and how proud he is to be a part of the cel­e­bra­tion.

“Heart’s Con­tent has more his­tory than many other com­mu­ni­ties,” he said. “This is of­fi­cially rec­og­niz­ing Trin­ity Bay at large.”

Provin­cial MHA for Trin­ity-Bay de Verde, Charlene John­son, told the crowd how im­por­tant the area is for her.

She com­pleted a course at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity re­cently and did a pa­per on the im­por­tance of women labour­ers dur­ing the war at the ca­ble sta­tion, some­thing she finds sig­nif­i­cant for the des­ig­na­tion.

“It is so im­por­tant to pre­serve the his­tory we have,” she noted.

Lisa Wil­son, an out­reach of­fi­cer for the foun­da­tion, com­pleted a book for the an­nounce­ment which was handed out to ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance.

“So many sto­ries, so many tra­di­tions,” was writ­ten to ex­plain some of the ex­pe­ri­ences and mem­o­ries res­i­dents have had over the years with dif­fer­ent build­ings in the her­itage dis­trict.

She did field work in the area for six months, but was com­plet­ing a chap­ter in her life in Heart’s Con­tent with the com­ple­tion of the book.

“This is the end of an era, but also a be­gin­ning,” Wil­son said. “Here we go, into the fu­ture.”

Un­veil­ing the plaque

Once all the speak­ers had fondly re­called their mem­o­ries of the area, the rain had let up.

Ev­ery­one walked across the street from the lodge and onto the lawn of the mu­seum where a large pole stuck out of the ground draped in a pur­ple velvet cloth.

Blun­don and John­son had the hon­our of re­mov­ing the cloth to un­veil the bronzed plaque that an­nounced the area an of­fi­cial her­itage dis­trict.

The event con­tin­ued with tea, cof- fee and snacks at the lodge where Chair­man of the board of the her­itage foun­da­tion con­cluded by say­ing, “This dis­trict is go­ing into the fu­ture with a great at­ti­tude and a sense of com­mu­nity.”

Mem­bers of the Heart’s Con­tent her­itage com­mit­tee and spe­cial guests gather in front of the newly erected mon­u­ment dur­ing a cel­e­bra­tion de­not­ing an area of the town as a provin­cial her­itage dis­trict. They are, from left, Wal­lace Ran­dall, Pa­tri­cia Smith, John War­ren, Claude Rock­wood, Lisa Wil­son, Jane Tav­er­nor, Paulette Cumby, Jackie Piercey Lloyd Smmith (ob­structed), Alice Cumby, Bob Balsom, Ed Arnott, Ted Rowe and Charlene John­son. Miss­ing from photo are Howard Tav­er­nor, Brian Fitz­patrick, Blanche Fitz­patrick and Betty White.

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins

The provin­cial her­itage foun­da­tion named an area of Heart’s Con­tent that is over a cen­tury old as a provin­cial her­itage dis­trict. The foun­da­tion un­veiled a bronze plaque on the lawn of the Mizzen Her­itage Mu­seum July 20.

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