A new display that pays tribute to a postmaster who died in a fire more than acentury ago was unveiled last month at the Carbonear Heritage Society Museum on Water Street.
Tryphoena Nicoll, a Canada Post postmaster, lost her life in a fire at the post office in 1904.
The display contains three framed glass encasements. The christening dress displayed was sewn and embroidered by Nicoll, and 15 members of her family were christened in this over the years. It was donated by the Nicoll family.
Canada Post donated $1,500 to pay for the display cases.
Nicoll perished in the fire after saving two other residents. Her great niece, 94-year-old Nan French, who lives in Belleville, Ontario, attended the ceremony.
In the book "Stories of Carbonear," author Chris Rolton writes, "On June 25, 1904, at 1:30 a.m., a fire started in the basement of the old post office and spread quickly. On the first floor, postmistress Tryphoena Nicholl was the first to notice the smoke and flames. She quickly ran upstairs to alert her niece, Susannah Pike, and Rev. Levi Curtis, who was visiting the town."
Both Susannah and Rev. Curtis survived but Tryphoena "was forced back by rapidly spreading fire. She was overcome by smoke and flames and collapsed. Her charred body was found when the fire was extinguished."
A monument was erected in her honour and in part, the inscription reads: "Erected by voluntary subscription in memory of Tryphoena Nicholl, Postmistress, who gave her life at the Post Office fire, in heroic and successful effort to save the lives of others. The Post Office was destroyed by fire on June 25, 1904."
- Submitted by Canada Post