Photo Credit: Quidi Vidi, sketch by William Grey, Sketches of Newfoundland, 1858

Using archival documents in public programming is always  the goal of archivists in this country and one of the best examples of this marriage is the new CBC Newfoundland and Labrador series  “Down at the Lake” a series of four short documentaries on the history of the development of Quidi Vidi Lake, St. John’s.

Quidi Vidi Lake is home to the Royal St. John’s Regatta, a two-century old  race and probably one of the most celebrated annual sporting events in North America. The first recorded documentation of an organized event taking place is in 1818, but historians believe that rowing matches were taking place among ship’s crews in St. John’s Harbour since at least the 1700’s. But much more happens on the shores of that historic Pond!! Using archival material and local historical enthusiasts CBC Newfoundland and Labrador tells some great stories.

 The first episode delves into the stories of Quidi Vidi Village: how the area got its name, a church that’s now a home, and development plans around the lake. The second part of the series explores stone structures on the south shore of lake (that are still in use today), and tales of some jail breaks.

The third part of looks at some unusual sports and two graves that predate the cemetery they’re in.  The fourth and final installment of the CBC NL series about Quidi Vidi delves into the music, wild parties and a hotel that was owned by an eccentric entrepreneur on the north side of the lake.

You can watch all 4 parts here:
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If  this production is not enough come over to The Rooms  for the exhibit: UP THE POND: THE ROYAL ST. JOHN’S REGATTA

The Regatta is a two-century old St. John’s rowing event and gigantic garden party held the first Wednesday of every August at Quidi Vidi Lake, weather depending. This year The Rooms commemorates this longstanding day of racing and fun “up the pond.”

Come to the Rooms and explore Regatta stories, legendary crews and lakeside traditions through artifacts, historic imagery and memorabilia.