For generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians whose lives depended on the water, a boat was a veritable vessel – to security, to safety, and to survival. Being resourceful, resilient people, our forebearers fashioned their floating survival kits from the materials their unique environments provided. In the process, they became architects of not only the magnificent structures they built, but of an entire legacy – one whose existence was all but extinguished before 1997.
That was the year The Winterton Boat Building and Community Museum was started under the direction of the Town of Winterton’s Heritage Advisory Board. Recognizing the immense importance of wooden boat building in the construction of our cultural landscape, the organization sought to preserve the precious skills, knowledge and tools that today provide a pristine portrait of our collective past.
Expanding to become the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador (WBMNL) in 2008, the organization made its headquarters in Winterton, one of the many communities with a rich history of wooden boat building. It is here, through ongoing exhibits and workshops with descendants of wooden boat building masters, that a unique local legacy lives on – one that, like its authors, has persevered, despite the odds.