In the early to mid 1900s, the people of Labrador often did without basic necessities, learning how to be innovative in order to provide quality care for their families. Elements such as running water and electricity were unheard of, yet people lived with dignity and pride, amidst families often ranging from ten to twenty children.
Women made all of the family's clothing with limited resources, from pants and dresses to sealskin boots. The option of going to the store and buying these things did not exist. With no electrical power, the clothes were pressed using an iron that was heated on top of the wood-stove. Washing a daily load of clothes meant the task of scrubbing them by hand using a wash tub, scrubbing board and homemade lye soap. Crafts were also a large part of everyday life, as old clothes were transformed into quilts or hooked mats to cover the floors. Women and children alike would spend hours by the oil lamp producing these invaluable items.
As there was no running water available, bucketfuls were lugged daily from nearby brooks or ponds. Families used basins and jugs on washstands in the kitchen and bedrooms. Men would travel inland by dog-teams to cut wood in order to provide heat for their homes. Among many other tasks, these dog teams would be used to carry mail between communities. Letters would be delivered to the post offices, which were located in people's homes, and placed in a single box that had individual slots for each family's mail.
Through a variety of artifacts and displays, including the set-up of an "old-fashioned" kitchen, the Labrador Straits Museum takes you back in time. The exhibits help portray what life was like in the Labrador Straits more than half a century ago in terms of travelling, hunting, crafting, cooking, schooling and dealing with everyday household activities. It represents the basis of a strong cultural heritage that can still be seen in the lives and homes of Labradorians.
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