The Old Bark Pot is located along Beach Road in The Pool, Ferryland, NL. This large iron pot has been a fixture in the area for generations. The designation is confined to the pot itself and five metres of land extending from the footprint of the pot.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
The Old Bark Pot has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Ferryland because of its historic, cultural and aesthetic value.
The Old Bark Pot has historic value as a physical record of the area’s history, serving as both a historic record and an artifact on the landscape. It has further historic value due to its age and as a physical reminder of a way of life once common in rural Newfoundland. The Old Bark Pot has been in this location along the cobble beach in The Pool for generations. The pot was used by fishermen who would bark nets and twine here each year in preparation for the inshore cod fishery. The nets and twine would be soaked in a mixture of water and bark which was boiled in the bark pot. The mixture would coat the nets and twine and prevent the rotting of the natural fibres that were traditionally used for fishing gear. After being soaked, the nets and twine would be spread on the beaches nearby to dry. The bark pot was communal property and fishermen from all over the community would use it every year in preparation for the inshore fishery.
The Old Bark Pot has cultural value for residents of Ferryland who have a shared recollection of the use of The Old Bark Pot. For centuries it was a common sight in outports to see fishermen gathered around bark pots in preparation for the fishing season. A fire would be started under the pot, water and bark were boiled inside and fishing gear – and often sails – were dipped into the mixture. With the introduction of new rot resistant materials for making nets and other fishing gear, fishermen no longer had to use bark pots. Many of the pots were removed, discarded or recycled for other uses. The Old Bark Pot in The Pool was left undisturbed and is now a reminder of an earlier time and place.
The Old Bark Pot has aesthetic value as a unique visual reminder of the past use of this particular part of the community. Now an area focused mainly on services for tourists, The Pool had been a focal point of fishing and mercantile activity in the community. This specific area of The Pool was once the site of fishing premises, large drying flakes and the homes of several fishermen. A renovated mercantile premises and The Old Bark Pot are the only physical reminders of the past use of the site.
Source: Town of Ferryland Regular Council Meeting July 1, 2008.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the historic, cultural and aesthetic value of The Old Bark Pot, including:
– original iron bark pot;
– location and orientation of bark pot on Beach Road, and;
– continued public access to the bark pot site.
Location and History
Town of Ferryland