The Klondyke to be named municipal heritage site
Decision made in order to preserve bridge
The Klondyke may soon be added to Bay Roberts’ list of heritage sites.
During Tuesday night’s regular council meeting, held on June 19th, Mayor Philip Wood gave up his position on the mayor’s chair for a few moments to speak on some topics he was particularly involved in. One was The Klondyke, and the future of the popular location.
Wood opened up conversation of the topic by making a motion that council designate The Klondyke as a municipal heritage site.
“This is coming from the heritage advisory committee,” Wood explained of the motion. “Essentially, by designating it a heritage site, we are protecting it, as it relates to the future.”
The Klondyke’s addition to the town’s list of municipal heritage sites puts it alongside other noteworthy areas in the community, such as the Western Union Cable Building, where all council meetings take place, as well as the Bay Roberts Railway Station. The Klondyke would be the fourth municipal heritage site designation for Bay Roberts.
The Klondyke served as a means of connecting Bay Roberts and Coley’s Point, which were, at the time of its construction, two separate communities.
“Why? Well, The Klondyke has a cultural value as a representation of the economic and social conditions of the area,” Wood said. “Firstly, it reflects the historical close ties, both economic and cultural, between Bay Roberts and Coley’s Point. The Klondyke also reflects the historical dependence of the area on the fishery, with the failure of the Labrador Fishery causing such strife that this was a make-work project that we needed in order to relieve suffering.”
Wood went on to speak briefly of the bridge’s history, noting that at the time, workers were paid a dollar a day to build it, further stressing the historical importance The Klondyke holds within the community. Before its existence, residents of Bay Roberts and Coley’s Point relied on a small ferry to travel back and forth between the two communities.
Wood went on to explain that, if the decision were to go through, a plaque would be placed somewhere on the site, properly naming it a municipal heritage site. Alongside this, The Klondyke would be listed with the heritage foundation, allowing for the proper preservation of the historical site.
“It’s not like a heritage building, where a building would require some maintenance changes and things like that,” said Deputy Mayor Walter Yetman. “With The Klondyke, it is what it is. There’s not much you can do with it, and this will help preserve that.”
Wood’s motion was met with unanimous agreement, and was carried.
The Klondyke acts as connection between Bay Roberts and Coley’s Point, which were, at one point in time, two separate communities.