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Shades of the Past Musuem, A Hidden Gem

By: Sharon Martin

Shades of the Past Musuem

Earlier this summer My brother and I embarked on an excursion to the resettled community of Flatrock near Carbonear to visit a musuem, consisting of a one room school house, a general store and a blacksmith's shop, housing hundreds and hundreds of artifacts, photographs and tools of the trade used "back in the day"!

Stan Deering was 10 years old when his family left Flatrock. An avid history buff and collector, Stan and his wife Loretta moved back to the Flatrock eight years ago. Accompanying him were his beloved thirty year old collection of artifacts and old photographs. He then built the museum to house this amazing collection.

Locating the museum is a bit tricky for anyone unfamiliar with the area and there are two ways to reach the spot one from the Victoria side and one from the Carbonear side, but after a few inquiries from the locals we reached the musuem.

We were welcomed by Stan Deering and his wife Loretta standing in front of the musuem which looked out over a large flat rock hence the name Flatrock. The minute we introduced ourselves, this very friendly couple took us under their wings and gave us the grand tour of the three buldings. The knowledge and history of the past came to life as Stan and Loretta showed us one artifact and picture after another, items and tools of the trade from such occupations as fishing, farming and mining.

The General store contains items from a period that anyone from age 40 on could relate to. Being born in the early fifties, items that fascinated me and brought back a pleasant breath of the past were the old gators with the side buckle, pull up nylons, cotton bloomers, buck shoes and soft leather baby boots. Remember the Sherrif Jello hockey coins of the original six NHL teams?...and how about old cod liver oil bottles and pipe tobacco tins?

General Store

The store is laid out as it would have been several decades ago, complete with weigh scales, cash register and an old telephone. The contents of this general store are too numerous to mention, so a visit is the only way to truly experience this step back in time.

The One room schoolhouse with it's wood stove, and collection of old text books also brought my schooldays back to life. Dick and Jane books, old scribblers with the multiplication tables at the back and as every Newfoundland child remembers: the grade four geography text book with the unforgetable Bunga who ate yams, and Netsook and Kalaya who lived up north were all part of the collection.

Stan and Loretta Deering's knowledge and passion of the history of not only Flatrock but of all of Newfoundland is remarkable. This destination makes for an ideal jaunt and you will not be disapointed. For further information on Shades of the Past Museum check out Their Facebook Page.

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