Klaire H.

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador

Vista Regional Heritage Fair

Restoring Our Heritage, One Nail At A Time

My project was on maintaining our heritage through restoration of older homes and buildings. Bonavista has over 1000 heritage homes! Before a home is restored a detailed history is gathered and the property is restored to its original design as much as possible. Every house has its own story and now through restoration they have a chance to create new stories for generations to come!

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I found completing my Heritage Fair project quite enjoyable. I really loved the design of the homes! The staircases, stained glass windows, wooden floors, peeling wallpaper, and gingerbread moldings were so pretty. Visiting the carpenter shop where new windows, doors and other wood turnings are made was also lots of fun!

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

There were two main lessons that I learned from my Heritage Fair project. Foremost I learned to appreciate the beautiful architectural design of homes located in my hometown of Bonavista. We are so lucky to have so many heritage buildings! I also learned how important it is to maintain our distinct heritage. Simple things like clothes hanging on a clothesline or a white picket fence add such character to a small town like ours.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Life today sure is a lot easier then it was years ago. But some things have remained the same. Homeowners took great pride of ownership in the past as they do now. We learn to utilize the resources we have available to us. I loved visiting the restored homes and hearing the history of each one. I never knew that the reason ceilings were so low in older homes was because it was so costly to heat the home. Only wealthy families had homes with high ceilings. Sand was often packed between the walls of homes to prevent rats and other rodents from chewing through. Modern homes are a lot more comfortable today then they were in the past!