Thursday, 28 May 2015

Searching for Plane Crash Relics

This past Monday myself and local journalist, Gary Hebbard, spent the afternoon scouring the property where, in 1946, a decorated military pilot crashed his plane into the Stack's family home in Outer Cove. 

The light blue house in the forefront of this photograph is the Stack house in present day. Photograph by Gary Hebbard.

It was a beautiful afternoon; sunny and warm, with a cool breeze coming from the ocean. The property is right on the waterfront, an absolutely perfect location overlooking the beach. We used a metal detector to scan the premises for any signs of aluminium, and other metals. For anyone who has even searched an area using a metal detector, you'll know what I mean when I say the process is both grueling and thrilling all at the same time. We sectioned off the area, working from the front to the back, as we thought if there were any remains of the plane, they would be around where the fence once stood. You see, the plane first hit the house, then slid across the lawn, through the fence, and off the cliff into the icy Newfoundland waters. As it hit the fence, more pieces would have fallen from the wreckage of the plane. 

Any remains of the plane would have been thoroughly collected by the military at the time of the crash, for evidence purposes, as the cause of the crash was unknown to them. We knew this as we began the process, hoping to find a small piece of aluminium that had been missed in this collection, and overgrown from years of neglect. 

Gary scanning the Stack property using a metal detector. Photograph by Katie Harvey,

Walking along, listening intently for that beep, beep, beep. Each time the metal detector picked up a reading greater than 60, Gary got down on his knees, cut a small square hole in the ground, and we looked for anything that may have been a part of that plane. Each time I heard the beeping of the detector, my heartbeat accelerated just a little. 

Gary testing a small patch of the yard for aluminium. Photograph by Katie Harvey.

Suddenly, the metal detector displayed a strong reading. The stronger the reading, the higher the pitch of the beeping. We both heard it, and I could again hear my heart in my ears; thump, thump, thump. Gary got down on his knees and cut a small hole in the fragile earth. Digging through the dirt, I expected something amazing to appear. And then, we found it. A minuscule fragment of wire was pulled out of the ground. I was amazed by what this metal detector could pick up. Now, this wire could have very well been wire that was a part of the plane, however we have no way of knowing for sure, and it didn't seem like a very exciting artifact to display for the museum's new exhibit about the crash.

We called it a day after two hours of scanning, kneeling, and digging. Unfortunately, we did not find what we wanted, but we plan to head out on location once again to continue the search.

Stay tuned for more updates on the exhibit I am planning. If you have any information, photographs or relics from this event, please contact Katie at lbmcocmuseum(at)gmail.com or 726-5272. I would love to hear from you, as I am collecting personal memories from people who were present the day of the crash.

                                                                                      -Katie Harvey

If you would like more information on the Outer Cove plane crash copy and paste the links below for a two part article written by Gary Hebbard:
http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2015-05-04/article-4133774/The-day-the-sky-fell/1
http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2015-05-04/article-4135014/Crash,-boom,-fire/1






  

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Museum's 18th Anniversary Celebration

 



This past Sunday marked a very special occasion for the Museum of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. Having opened our doors for the very first time exactly 18 years before, we held an open-house in honour of all the hard-work and progress that this museum has seen over the years.

We had a wonderful turn out, with seniors congregating for tea, coffee and cake, while children coloured nearby. There were many kind words said about the museum, as I spoke with visitors who were both amazed and nostalgic looking through our collection.




We had visitors from both VOCM and The Northeast Avalon Times, who knew just how special the day was for us. VOCM described the museum as "a hidden gem." We hope to at least change the hidden part of that statement.

I would like to thank everyone who came out to help us celebrate this wonderful occasion. And of course, I would like to thank the heritage committee for volunteering their time and putting this museum together in the first place. The dedication of this group of people is unbelievable. We hope to celebrate the museum again next year, and for many more years to come.

                                                                                      -Katie Harvey


Heritage Committee Chair, Julie Pomeroy with Museum Assistant, Annemarie Christie and Museum Coordinator, Katie Harvey.





  

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Mysterious Outer Cove Plane Crash of 1956

Col. Carl Payne in the cockpit of his P-47 fighter plane on the island of Ie Shime in 1945.
Photograph courtesy of The Telegram. 


January 9, 1956 was a day that many residence of Outer Cove were unlikely to soon forget. A small military plane, piloted by Col. Carle Payne, came crashing down onto the house of Richard and Kitty Stack. The house quickly caught fire, and members of the community rushed out with buckets of water to douse the flame. Luckily, those who were inside the house at the time of the crash were able to emerge unharmed, although assuredly quite shaken-up. 

Payne, unfortunately, was not as lucky. His body was recovered from the Outer Cove waters, as parts of the plane continued on and crashed into the ocean. Payne was said to have passed a complete physical only a few days prior to the crash, and the plane was relatively new with no mechanical problems. This begs the question, what went wrong on that faithful day of '56?

Inclement weather may have played a role in the crash, as it was an extremely foggy January day, with temperatures hovering just above zero. Payne petitioned his superior officer to grant him permission to take off, and although conditions were atrocious, he was eventually given the green light, fearful that he would be late for a conference in St-Hubert, Quebec.

The majority of the plane was never recovered, so it is impossible to rule out mechanical failures as the cause of the crash. Payne also never tried to eject himself from the plane, which suggests that he may have been incapacitated at the time of the crash, or if it all happened so quickly he was unable to properly react. 

The tragedy of '56 will not soon be forgetten, and here at the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum we would like to respectfully preserve this story. That's why we will be curating a small exhibit over the summer on this event, so that hopefully it will be remembered by generations to come.

If you have any photographs, stories or memories of this day please contact Katie at lbmcocmuseum(at)gmail.com or 726-5272.

                                                                                     -Katie Harvey 





Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Museum of LBMCOC Turns 18!

On May 24, 1997 the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum opened its doors for the very first time. A great deal of work went into the opening of this museum by a dedicated group of volunteers. We have grown substantially since that day in '97, having accumulated many artifacts from the community. We have since moved to a larger space, which is beautifully designed to represent all the elements of people's lives in LBMCOC; school, church, agriculture, sports, fishery, military and lifestyles. 

Please join us on Sunday, May 24, 2015 to celebrate eighteen years of operation. The open-house will run from 2:00-4:30pm, and light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, and there is plenty of parking available. We are located at 744 Logy Bay Road, behind the Town Hall. 

There are plenty of unique and peculiar things to see here. Below are a few examples of the artifacts we have on display.


Blow torch, c. 1900s


Premoette camara, c. 1920s

We hope to see lots of people here for the celebration. If you have any questions regarding the event please contact Katie at 726-5272 or lbmcocmuseum(at)gmail.com.

-Katie Harvey