Raleigh Film Project
A film was produced by Intero Productions that documented contemporary Raleigh. The production team, that spent two weeks in the community, interviewed the townspeople and obtained a rich history of the town. The film showcases the sweet history, the challenging present and the hopes for the positive rebirth of Raleigh. With a diverse cultural heritage spanning back to the migratory fisherman and taking roots in the mid 1800’s English settlement, Raleigh stands a bulwark of survival in the unforgiving North.
During your visit to our community or during your stay at our fishing village, visit our museum of artifacts and view our film (availble for purchase).
Traditional Mat Hooking
Traditional hooked mats were made using frames, brin and old silk stocking. But these days, old clothes, mainly t-shirts (torn into strips) and yarn are used to create these mats. These mats and rugs were made in all different sizes and would usually depict scenery, wildlife, dog teams, old fishing stages or any pattern that reflected the lifestyle of the era.
This is a skill that has practically been lost in recent years. In 2005 the RHC Inc. partnered with The College of the North Atlantic and the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador to offer a "Traditional Mat Hooking" program. An instructor (who received these skills from her mother) was hired and twelve students were trained. We now have resource people in the area who have learned the art of traditional mat hooking. These mats are available for resale through us or other craft outlets in the area.
Raleigh Youth Centre
The youth centre was officially opened in July 2004. The main focus of our youth centre is to serve as a place where our youth can learn the skill of our forefathers, such as knitting, rug hooking, producing traditional crafts, fishing, farming and preservation of our rich ecological reserves. Additionally, the centre offers our youth a place where they can socialize, play games, etc.
Restored Wharves and Stages
Back in the early 1900’s, the shores of Raleigh harbour were lined with wharfs, stages, fish flakes and the harbour was always full of fishing boats, all in pursuit of the cod fishery. Now all that remains in the community is one fishing premises and the RHC Inc. has secured these properties from their owners. The wharfs and the stages have been restored to their natural state.
Fishing crews, or trap crews, as they were called, consisted of a skipper, usually the head of the household, other family members, and one or two sharemen. These sharemen were usually from other small communities and would walk to Raleigh in the spring of the year to look for a fishing berth. At the end of the fishing season, the sharemen would receive a share of the profits for the summer, rather then set wages. Each fishing enterprise would have its own bunkhouses and a cookhouse built to house these sharemen during the fishing season. These buildings were known as Rooms. Raleigh Historical Corporation has constructed replicas of these bunkhouses to be used to showcase the history of Raleigh and to be used in our Adventure/Tourism program. In undertaking this project, special attention was shown to utilize local materials to ensure that all reconstruction appropriately reflects archaeological accuracy.
The Raleigh Historical Corporation has secured a traditional trap skiff or motorboat that was used to pursue the trap fishery in the early 1900’s. This boat has been in storage and well maintained since the cod moratorium in 1992. It is now ready to sail and take visitors to our traditional fishing grounds. A Rodney or a Punt has been built by local boat builders. This is a smaller boat that was usually about 10 feet long and was used with oars or was towed by the trap skiff to the fishing grounds to assist with the hauling of the cod trap. Visit our boat building shed, chat with our boat builders and experience the art of traditional boat building.
During the summer, when cod appeared in schools, fishermen used cod traps to catch the fish. This was a type of fixed gear that was boxed shape with a length of net stretching from shore to the entrance through which cod entered and were trapped. Experience first hand, how these traps were made and partake in the setting and mending of these traps.
The Raleigh Historical Corporation has already commenced and completed some of its restoration and preservation projects of its physical structures and buildings that have historical significance.
These structures (donated by local owners) include fishermen’s homes, wharfs, stages, boats, cod traps and other artifacts that were used to pursue the cod fishery of the early 1900’s.
Built in the early 1960’s, this building was originally a two-room Anglican School. In the 1970’s, it became an Anglican Church. In the fall of 2003, Raleigh Historical Corporation restored the building throughout.
It now houses a community centre on the second floor and office space and museum on the ground floor. The museum contains different artifacts that have been passed along to the RHC from its community people.
In Summer 2003, two students were hired as historical researchers. They identified and documented the early history of Raleigh, identified artifacts and obtained oral historical accounts of early life in Raleigh.