Powder-horns, pump organs and pews: tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the preservation of a 19th century wooden church in Newfoundland

Christie, Annemarie (2016) Powder-horns, pump organs and pews: tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the preservation of a 19th century wooden church in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (151MB)


This thesis examines the oral history and communal heritage connected with a nineteenth-century vernacular wooden church in Twillingate, Newfoundland that was saved from demolition in 1987. The ethnography was created through a series of personal interviews with a small group recorded over a number of years. The study describes the church building, and gathers the most commonly shared memories and stories into sections in order to highlight the connection to the impulse and motivation to preserve the building. The thesis introduces the reader to the history of Twillingate and Methodism in the area and describes the architectural history of the church building. It also describes the informants, their relationship to the old church and their memoryscape connected to the time of attending the church during the forties and fifties. The concepts of material culture, memory, and tangible and intangible heritage are examined within a folkloristic framework. Through the lenses of oral history and memory the thesis looks at calendar customs and life stories around the church, some of the material culture of the church, and finally discusses the importance of the church building as a physical centerpiece or lynchpin that holds the oral history, communal memories and sense of heritage in place for the group. “Heritage” is thus seen, not as the physical remnants of Twillingate’s past, but as a dynamic constellation of a preserved building, expressions of folklore associated with it, and the memories themselves, situated in the lives of the people who care for it.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12521
Item ID: 12521
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 261-273).
Keywords: History, Traditions, Community, Church, Architecture, Vernacular, Folklore, Newfoundland
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: August 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cultural property--Newfoundland and Labrador--Twillingate; Church architecture--Conservation and restoration; Methodist church buildings--Newfoundland and Labrador.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics