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Dale Jarvis (CA)

Place Names of Newfoundland and Labrador

Place Names of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Explore the hidden stories, strange origins, and fascinating histories of Newfoundland and Labrador's place names, from Dildo to Dover and Nain to Nipper’s Harbour. On your journey you might learn how to cure gout in the stomach, raise a glass at The King of Clubs, and rub elbows with charcoal burners, heartbreakers, and the wife of Mad King George. You might even find the best spot to have a baby while paddling a canoe.

In the thousands of years that people have inhabited and visited Newfoundland and Labrador, Indigenous peoples, Basque whale hunters, French explorers, and Devon merchants have all left their mark on the map. But do you know which town father was a possible murder victim? Or which outport got its name from a stranger who showed up wearing three jackets? Or the community called after the patron saint of comedians?

Place Names of Newfoundland and Labrador is an entertaining and at times cheeky look at the towns we love and why we call them what we do.

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Flanker Press


Dale Jarvis works as the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, helping communities to safeguard traditional culture, the first full-time provincially funded folklorist position in Canada. Dale holds a B.Sc. in anthropology/archaeology from Trent University, and a M.A. in folklore from Memorial University. He is a past president of the Newfoundland Historic Trust, and has contributed as a board member and volunteer to many local arts and heritage organizations. He regularly teaches workshops on oral history, cultural documentation, folklore project management, and public folklore programming. By night, Dale is the proprietor of the St. John’s Haunted Hike ghost tour and raconteur of local tales. As a storyteller, he performs ghost stories, stories of the fairies and little people, tales of phantom ships and superstitions, and legends and traditional tales from Newfoundland, Labrador, and beyond. His repertoire includes long-form folk and fairy tales from the island, with a wide-ranging knowledge of local legends, tall tales, and myths. A newspaper columnist and author of several books on Newfoundland and Labrador ghost stories and folklore, he is a tireless promoter of local culture.

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