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Walter Torraville's Stage (Fisheries Heritage Preservation Program)

Walter Torraville's Stage, Change Islands, NL
Walter Torraville's Stage, Change Islands, NL
Walter Torraville's Stage, Change Islands, NL
Walter Torraville's Stage, Change Islands, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Fisheries Heritage Preservation Program

Notes of Interest

Located along Main Tickle on the northwestern shore of the North Island of Change Islands, this one-storey stage with a curved roof was built around 1900 by businessman Walter Torraville. The building was originally used for collecting and storing cod liver oil, while Torraville's main premises was located to the east of the stage. In the late 1930s, Henry (Harry) Waterman purchased the stage. Harry fished in the Labrador fishery and used the stage to store salt fish and fishing gear. Harry's stepson George Kearley inherited the stage and continued to use it for fisheries purposes until the mid-1960s, when Fred Chaffey rented the stage. Chaffey operated the first ferry linking Change Islands to Cobbs Arm on the mainland and used the stage as a ferry terminal.

There was concern that the stage was in danger of collapsing when it was purchased by Change Islands based Stages and Stores Heritage Foundation. With the assistance of the Fisheries Heritage Preservation Program, a restoration project was undertaken to rejuvenate the property. First the stage had to be raised two and a half feet using hydraulic jacks. The adjacent land had been filled in during the mid-1960s as part of the construction of the causeway linking the two islands that make up Change Islands. New shores and cribbing were put in place under the stage, new clapboard, trims, windows and doors were installed, new felt and strapping applied to the roof and the entire stage was painted. A new access bridge and large stage head were also constructed.

Location and History

Community Change Islands
Municipality Town of Change Islands
Construction (circa) 1900 - 1900
Builder
Walter Torraville
Style 20th Century Vernacular