A her­itage worth pre­serv­ing in New Per­li­can

The Compass - - NEWS -

New Per­li­can is nes­tled be­tween Mount Mis­ery and Nor­man’s Hill on one side, with a shel­tered har­bour in be­tween, and by Nor­man’s Hill and the Farm Hills on the other side, where Vit­ter’s Cove beach and another har­bour area are lo­cated.

Where the name New Per­li­can comes from is not cer­tain, but English set­tle­ment in New Per­li­can, on the south side of Trin­ity Bay, dates from the 17th cen­tury.

The fol­low­ing is from www.bac­calieudigs.ca:

“One of the first ref­er­ences to a place called ‘Par­li­can,’ comes from a let­ter writ­ten by Capt. Charles Leigh in 1597 in which he men­tions a Span­ish ship, prob­a­bly Basque, an­chored in that har­bour. How­ever, this is al­most (note the word “al­most”) cer­tainly a ref­er­ence to Old Per­li­can lo­cated roughly 22 miles (35 km) far­ther out the bay. By at least 1612, ‘Par­li­can’ was known as Old Per­li­can (or Old Perneca). On his 1612 voy­age into Trin­ity Bay, John Guy makes sev­eral ref­er­ences to this place by that name. Since the very name Old Per­li­can sug­gests the ex­is­tance of a New Per­li­can, it seems likely that New Per­li­can was named by at least this time.”

Ref­er­ence is made in Thomas Row­ley’s (one of John Guy’s ex­plor­ers) let­ter in Septem­ber 1619 in which he says that he and a Mas­ter Hill were plan­ning to go from Cupids to Trin­ity Bay in 25 days’ time to trade with the Beothuk. In another let­ter dated Oct. 16, 1619 Row­ley states that Mas­ter Hill is leav­ing next week for Trin­ity Bay and in a let­ter dated Feb. 2, 1620, Row­ley states that if he can­not hire a car­pen­ter to help in build­ing his house in New Per­li­can, “we shall make means with­out with mas­ter hills car­pen­ters.”

Thomas Row­ley had been liv­ing at Cu­pers Cove (Cupids) since at least 1612. In 1618 he and Wil­liam Han­nan en­tered into part­ner­ship with Per­ci­val Wil­loughby to set­tle on the Trin­ity Bay side of Sir Per­ci­val’s lot. Row­ley planned to set­tle at New Per­li­can. Once es­tab­lished, the colonist in­tended to live by fish­ing, farm­ing, trad­ing with the In­di­ans and prospect­ing for min­er­als. Al­though this next let­ter is not dated, it is clear from its con­tent that it was writ­ten some­time be­tween Row­ley’s let­ter of Oct. 16, 1619 and his let­ter of Feb. 9, 1620.

In it he de­scribes his plans to set­tle “near Harts Con­tent … at New Pernecan” (bac­calieudigs.ca).

Even though the fore­go­ing in­di­cates a much ear­lier date of set­tle­ment, Bill Gil­bert, arche­ol­o­gist who dis­cov­ered the Hef­ford Plan­ta­tion near the Long Bridge be­hind the SUF Hall build­ing (now Lower Trin­ity South De­vel­op­ment As­soc.) has dated that plan­ta­tion to 1675, there­fore, this is the “con­firmed” date of set­tle­ment here.

This plan­ta­tion is thought to be the old­est in Canada that is still in­hab­ited by the de­scen­dants of the first set­tlers. Many ar­ti­facts are held at the Lower Trin­ity build­ing as well as at Cupids Mu­seum un­der the care of the Bac­calieu Trail Her­itage Corp. Her­itage New Per­li­can hopes to have some of them housed here in the com­mu­nity in the fu­ture.

Her­itage Day

This year was the 6th Her­itage Day in New Per­li­can. It is held on the sec­ond Satur­day in July. This year the com­mit­tee rec­og­nized the old­est res­i­dent, Ruth Ped­dle, 92 at her home in the morn­ing with a sur­prise bou­quet of flow­ers. Ruth was truly sur­prised and touched by this.

Her­itage Day be­comes big­ger ev­ery year. In fact, this year the Her­itage New Per­li­can com­mit­tee found it dif­fi­cult to fit all the pic­ture dis­plays, ar­ti­facts, items brought by towns­peo­ple, etc. into the com­mu­nity cen­tre in the up­stairs area for dis­play. This is a good thing!

Her­itage New Per­li­can has been given the full sup­port of the towns­peo­ple and for­mer towns­peo­ple. This year there were sev­eral new dis­plays by town res­i­dents. Peggy Bur­ridge brought one from the Bur­ridge fam­ily; Net­tie Martin brought the ge­ne­ol­ogy of the Martin fam­ily in New Per­li­can, who date back to the 1700s; we had some lo­cal peo­ple bring their hooked rugs of life in the past in New Per­li­can; there was a war vet­eran dis­play show­ing 101 war vet­er­ans from this small town; St. Mark’s Angli­can ceme­tery show­ing re­cent headstones uncovered in June 2013; Grant and Matthews fam­ily dis­plays by David Kelly and a Martin fam­ily dis­play from Verna Martin Gosse.

Our Her­itage New Per­li­can Face­book page started in May, 2012, with al­most 400 mem­bers and grow­ing daily. The sto­ries, fam­ily ge­ne­ol­ogy and pho­tos that are posted here by mem­bers as far away as Hawaii.

Her­itage New Per­li­can thanks all the mem­bers for shar­ing, so if you have not joined yet, please do so and spread the word to any­one in­ter­est- ed.

This year’s photo con­tests “new” and “old” were suc­cess­ful and the pho­tos en­tered were dif­fi­cult to rank, ac­cord­ing to judges Greg Shyshko and Eugene His­cock.

Each year Her­itage New Per­li­can un­veils new dry­mounted pho­tos that are dis­cov­ered and worth en­larg­ing to be shared with the pub­lic and dis­played in the town’s com­mu­nity cen­tre. This year the mu­nic­i­pally des­ig­nated sites were St. Mark’s Angli­can ceme­tery, thought to be the old­est Angli­can ceme­tery in the town, and Jean’s Head Light­house, which from 1905 has served the mariners of this area well. We were for­tu­nate to have six let­ters writ­ten to the news­pa­per in 1892 tran­scribed and avail­able to read at our event on the pros and cons of hav­ing the light­house on Jean’s Head.

Her­itage New Per­li­can was also pre­sented with a print from Ed Snook, who painted the Jean’s Head Light­house from old pic­tures and in­for­ma­tion ob­tained. It is dry mounted and on dis­play at the com­mu­nity cen­tre. Ed has done 40 prints only and from each print he will do­nate $5.00 to Her­itage New Per­li­can.

Our guest speaker for this year’s fes­tiv­i­ties was Ron Piercey, a for­mer res­i­dent of New Per­li­can who now lives in St. John’s, yet re­turns here of­ten and still has a love for the town. Ron de­lighted all with the rous­ing sto­ries of grow­ing up in New Per­li­can and his vi­sion for the fu­ture of the town.

The af­ter­noon was wrapped up with an old fash­ioned cup of tea and re­fresh­ments served with china teapots and cups/saucers by the our lady vol­un­teers. The dis­plays were held over for sev­eral days at the com­mu­nity cen­tre for those who didn’t get to at­tend the Satur­day event.

Her­itage New Per­li­can mem­bers are Lor­raine War­ren, Max War­ren, Betty Sim­monds, Gail Snook, Greg Twin­ing, Gary Lane, Linda Pel­ley, Pat His­cock and Eileen Matthews.

— Sub­mit­ted by Eileen Matthews, chair­per­son, Her­itage

New Per­li­can

A print by Ed Snook of Jean’s Head Light­house, which is now on dis­play at the com­mu­nity cen­tre in Old Per­li­can. The light­house is a des­ig­nated her­itage prop­erty.

The old­est res­i­dent of New Per­li­can, Ruth Ped­dle (cen­tre), is pre­sented with flow­ers by Pat His­cock (left) and Eileen Matthews of Her­itage New Per­li­can.

Steve Fudge and his girl­friend Kim An­drews hold his win­ning en­try for the Her­itage Day photo con­test.

Guests at this year’s Her­itage Day in New Per­li­can scan through the photo dis­plays.

New Per­li­can Mayor Linda Moyles (left) and Eileen Matthews of Her­itage New Per­li­can dis­play plaques des­ig­nat­ing St. Mark’s Angli­can Ceme­tery and Jean’s Head Light­house as des­ig­nated her­itage prop­er­ties.

Ron Piercey, for­mer res­i­dent of New Per­li­can who now lives in St. John’s, was a guest speaker at Her­itage Day.

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