The Bonavista Museum is housed by The Ryan Premises National Historic Site and is currently located on the second floor of the Retail Store. Visitors are invited to explore the fascinating history of life and work in one of Newfoundland's oldest inshore fishing communities.
Established in 1969, the museum began when Jack Miles donated his large personal collection of artifacts and documents. The museum continued to grow steadily, and continues to grow, as local residents donate historical treasures from their homes and properties. The artifacts displayed in the museum offer a glimpse into the lives of fishing families in Bonavista in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The inshore codfishery has always been the foundation of Bonavista's development and the Bonavista museum reflects this reality with its displays. As well, visitors to the museum will find displays on domestic life, medicine and dentistry, and other trades such as carpentry, coopering, and blacksmithing. The museum preserves the heritage of a dynamic and historic community of people who continue to construct their lives from the bounty of the ocean.
A major attraction in the Bonavista Museum is a multimedia floor-to-ceiling work entitled Fragments from the Inshore Archives, features the sculpture From the Hand of the Father to the Hand of the Son -- a body-cast of the hands of a 78-year-old fisherman and his son intertwined with fishing lines and nets. The piece also includes drawings, written material, and maps of trawl berths and rocks in the Bonavista area's fishing grounds. This work is an expression of Pam Hall's interest, love and concern for the people and environment of coastal Newfoundland.
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Seasonal Operation: May through October
Hours of Operation
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., daily