- Things to Do This Week
- Boat Tours
- Hiking & Walking
- Berry Picking
- Festivals & Theatres
- Art Galleries
- Auk Island Winery
- Root Cellars
- Historic Landmarks
- Other Attractions
Did you know ...
The name Twillingate comes from the French word "Toulinquet" which was given to the islands by French fishermen, who named them after a group of islands off the French coast, near Brest, also called Toulinquet.
Root cellar spotting is the latest craze in Twilllingate!
In fact, Twillingate resident dr. John Satterberg was so inspired by them that he published a coffee table book called Root Cellars of Twillingate as well as a poster featuring some of his photographs of Twillingate's root cellars.
Root cellars reflect the ingenuity of the colonial settlers in a time of struggle who used them for keeping food at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to prevent spoilage. Typically, a variety of vegetables are placed in the root cellar in the autumn, after harvesting.
Vegetables stored in the root cellar primarily consist of potatoes, turnips, and carrots. Other food supplies placed in the root cellar over the winter months include beets, onions, preserves/jams, salt meat, salt and salt fish.
Twillingate Root Cellars
Twillingate has more than 232 documented root cellars, thanks to a project by Twillingate resident, Otto Sansome, who photographed and documented history of these unique structures. This work is now part of Memorial University's digital archives.
In 2011 Memorial University folklore student, Crystal Braye, continued this research and worked with Wilma Hartmann at the Anchor Inn Hotel on a project to collect even more information about each root cellar. The Harris Centre published this story about this project.
Root Cellar Architecture
Canadian Geographic talks about the "root cellar revival" as a source or sustainable refrigeration and also talks about Elliston in Newfoundland that is officially claimed the title: "Root Cellar Capital of the World". If you are interested in learning more about root cellars in Newfoundland, visit this site to see different types of root cellars.
Join the Twillingate Root Cellar Spotters!
Visitors to Twillingate love to explore the area and try to find as many root cellars as they can. There are over 232 recorded - how many can you find? To start you hunt check out the GPS Coordinates in our root cellar photo gallery.
Send in your photos and be featured on our website.