DEER LAKE The town has moved closer to holding a heritage fair in the fall with the hiring of a researcher.
In the works for the past few months, Deer Lake’s Heritage Project has brought in researcher Amanda Marie Hillyard to interview some of the town’s more senior residents to learn about the past, as well as carry out other duties of the project.
Hillyard said getting the seniors involved in the project keeps them active and helps shed loneliness. She’s heard stories about how it used to take a day-long boat trip on the Humber River to get from Deer Lake to Reidville. One senior talked about being at the airport when the first plane landed in 1957.
“This area has a lot of history and folklore that hasn’t been fully explored,” said Hillyard, who has a Masters in Folklore from Memorial University. “These seniors aren’t going to be around forever, a lot of them have passed away in the last few years and that’s history that has been lost forever.”
But how much history could there be in a town that was only incorporated in 1950? As it turns out, quite a bit according to economic development officer Damon Clarke.
Clarke said with facts like the canal was built using equipment that dug the Panama Canal and that at one time the transmission line between Corner Brook and Deer Lake was the longest such line in the world, it’s shaping up to be an interesting project.
“The Heritage Fair is being planned at the fall right now, we’re still sorting out where it will be held and the exact date,” he said. “It’s good for us to collect this history now because of some of the people who lived through (the town’s history) are still here, and they’re a primary resource that you can’t read about in a book.”
Hillyard will be interviewing more senior citizens over the next few weeks.