Monday, 28 July 2014

Museums and a Pig Roast in South Western Newfoundland

by Keith and Heather Nicol 
    On Saturday, July 26 we decided to check out the 20th anniversary of the Pirates Haven pig roast in Robinsons. Usually when we explore the Western region of the province we head north to Gros Morne National Park and the Northern Peninsula, so this was an opportunity to  travel south and check out some places we had not visited before. First off we dropped in to see the Stephenville Regional Museum of Art and History which has been gradually developing its collection over the past 3 years. We met the manager Linda Collier and she showed us around the various displays. “Probably our most interesting artifacts are an old stove from nearby Sandy Point which dates to 1856 and an old map from 1927 that shows the land ownership in the Stephenville area. We also have a large collection of materials from the American base and we even have the last flag that was flown there” Linda told us. There are numerous other displays including an Aboriginal section. The museum is in the lower level of the Royal Canadian Legion in Stephenville and you can get guided tours from 1-5 pm up until the end of August, 2014. Check this museum out the next time you are visiting the Stephenville area. For information  ph. 643-5854 or 643-9757. 
Heather (left) chats with Linda Collier at the Museum of Art and History in Stephenville
Staying with the museum theme we then headed to nearby St. Georges where we saw the Mi’kmaw Museum. This museum has a great airy space on the second floor of the old courthouse and has numerous interpretive panels discussing the history of the Mi’kmaq people in Newfoundland. They also have a children’s art section which was getting good use while we were there where kids can create a medicine wheel and learn how to pronounce various Mi’kmaw words. The student guides were friendly and helpful and told us how a wigwam was constructed as well as the history of the building that the museum was housed in.  Museums dedicated to aboriginal peoples are rare in Newfoundland and this museum does of fine job of presenting information about how the Mi’kmaw people lived. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm until August 27, 2014. For more information see:

The Mi’kmaw Museum in St. Georges has a children's area which is a nice bonus

      By this time we were getting hungry and we were looking forward to our next stop at the Pirates Haven Chalets and Adventures which was having their 20th annual pig roast. Paul and Ruth Gale have been operating various tourism facilities in the Robinsons area of Southwestern Newfoundland for more than 20 years and their one constant has been an annual pig roast. They told us that many of the customers for this roast were people who were staying in their RV park or chalets but that people also come out for the day from Stephenville, Corner Brook and the Codroy area as well. We didn’t realize that roasting a pig was such a big endeavor and Paul told us that they started cooking the 120 pound pig at midnight and that it had to be tended  throughout  the night. But after 16 hours of cooking the meat was deliciously moist and they served close to 75 meals over the evening.  Paul also spoke enthusiastically about the 88 acres of land that they have and said that we had to come back when they weren’t so busy to check out Robinsons Head which he says had an amazing view of the coastline. They not only offer typical RV services but they also offer salmon fishing, ATV rentals and several events through the summer. Next on their programme is a dinner theatre event on August 2 and a Mardi Gras in mid October. Check out for more information. 
Ruth Gale serves a pork dinner fresh from the spit

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