The study houses a library of books and personal diaries dating from the 1700s. For the genealogy buffs, a growing collection of family histories and a complete catalogue of all the headstones in cemeteries on New World Island and Twillingate up to 1993 are available for research.
The Twillingate Sun:
Digitized copies of The Twillingate Sun are available in PDF format and can be searched using the museum computer system. Stored on DVD, the collection contains nearly all editions of The Twillingate Sun dating 1880 to 1953.
The first edition of The Twillingate Sun was published on June 20th, 1880 by J.P. Thompson. As the only Newspaper on the north-east coast of Newfoundland, The Twillingate Sun was published each Saturday from an office on the north side of Twillingate with E.C. Clark as editor and proprietor. The usual consumer price was 3 cents per paper. For a yearly subscription, local residents paid $1.50 while Canadian and American subscribers paid $1.70 and $2.00 respectively. All fees were to be paid in advance.
The Twillingate Sun was distributed throughout Notre Dame Bay and kept Newfoundlanders, especially Twillingaters, living abroad connected with home. The paper focused on local news and offered information on births, deaths, and marriages. On a number of occasions, fundraising projects for the first hospital were promoted by The Twillingate Sun. The reader would always be informed of the most current church schedules, socials and shipping news. “Wanted”, “For Sale”, and “Jokes” columns were a regular feature in the publication.
Local businesses such as E.J. Linfields, Arthur Manuel & Sons, Ashbournes Ltd., Hodge Brothers, John Gillett & Sons, Pardy’s Convenient Store, and Edwin Facey & Sons often advertised their services and wares in The Twillingate Sun. Many firms from St. John’s also took advantage of the excellent advertising offered by the paper including: Ayres & Sons, Purity Factory, Parker & Munroe, and F.M. O’Leary Ltd.
The Twillingate Sun did not, however, limit itself to the happenings of Newfoundland. During times of war, the newspaper kept people up to date on world events and the condition of those fighting overseas. The career of opera singer Georgina Stirling was highlighted by the various reports found in The Twillingate Sun – especially her performances in Europe before the Italian Royal Family as well as her performances in St. John’s following the Great Fire.
The last issue of The Twillingate Sun was distributed January 31, 1953. An editor’s quote from one of the final issues read:
The years have caught up with us. To continue publication it would be necessary to completely mechanize the plant, a course of action running into many thousands of dollars, a course which cannot be considered for a small weekly such as this.
In 1994, all original copies of The Twillingate Sun held at the Twillingate Museum where sent to the Provincial Public Library, St. John’s, and microfilmed (9 Reels). Funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation was approved in 2007 in the amount of $2,678.00. This money was granted through the Cultural Economic Development Program to provide support for the preservation of collections through the purchase of archival conservation material and the digitization of local newspaper. Twillingate Museum then entered a partnership with the Maritime History Archives and Memorial University to digitize the microfilm version of The Twillingate Sun. As a result, nearly all editions of The Twillingate Sun are now available at the Memorial University website. The Twillingate Museum also offers .PDF files of the various editions of The Twillingate Sun as part of its growing archival collection. The preservation of Twillingate’s first newspaper has been a tremendous assistance to the many people researching local and family history.
Editions of Twillingate’s first newspaper may also be found at the Maritime History Archives of Memorial University at: http://collections.mun.ca/cdm4/titleListing.php
Genealogical Research: Jill Marshall is a researcher with 20 years experience in Newfoundland family history research. Jill may be contacted at:
39 St. Michael’s Avenue