Bay Roberts Heritage Society
Bay Roberts Heritage Society 2014 All rights reserved.
Bay Roberts
Newfoundland & Labrador
The Cable Building
321 Water Street
Bay Roberts,
NL, Canada

N 47.5963, W 53.2543

It was recognized that in order to interpret and present our history and culture, a museum
would be needed.  At the same time, the Bay Roberts Library Board was endeavouring to get
a new library building, and the Town Council needed to expand their office space.  The three
parties worked together to try and get one building to house all requirements under one roof
with shared services such as receptionist, washrooms, security, parking lot, and so on.  From
this, concept plans for a new “Civic Center” were prepared at no cost to either party and the
Society took a lead role in seeking government funding.  Our MHA, various Government
Ministers, the Premier, and ACOA all lauded the concept, but unfortunately did not provide
any funding.  Concurrently, in partnership with Heritage Canada, the Society crusaded for a
“Main Street Project,” similar to the project in Carbonear and in other parts of Canada. Sadly,
neither the Civic Center nor the Main Street proposal received funding at that time.

Not willing to abandon our mission, and while seeking funding, the Society began to survey,
map, stake or fence, and document all the known cemeteries within the Town.  Some were
long abandoned and showed little evidence of ever existing, but were identified by locals
such as Albert Menchions, Carl Badcock, and Roy Mercer.  Some were unique, such as the
Badcock Family cemetery in French’s Cove, the combined Anglican-Methodist cemetery on
Wareham’s Lane, and one of fieldstones on Fergus Island.  Today the Society has both a
written and computerized database of approximately 4,000 headstone inscriptions.  A
considerable number of graves were marked with wooden crosses or flat rocks without text
and some stone monuments were illegible due to weathering and erosion.  Hence only their
location is recorded on plot plans. The oldest legible stone was that of Charles Merser (sic.),
1766. The information is also available at the Family History Society, St. John's.
Photo of Headstone reconstruction.  
Click on photo to enlarge