Heritage Fortune (1997) Inc.
(A Brief Outline of Its History, Mandate and Future Goals)
Heritage Fortune (1997) Inc. was officially formed on 16 April 1997 and incorporated in July of that year. It holds memberships in the Heritage Run Tourism Association and the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This is a totally non-profit organization, whose mandate is to collect, preserve and protect the historical and cultural heritage of the town of Fortune before it is lost forever. We believe that heritage is the beliefs, customs and the traditions that have been handed down to us by our ancestors. It is our duty, and responsibility, to pass that heritage on to our descendants. Therefore, we have an obligation to ourselves, as well as others, to preserve our culture, which is a very unique one.
One important function of the group was the establishment and operation of a community museum to house the various collections of artifacts we have access to. In May of 1997 the former Masonic building, Victoria Lodge #1378, was designated to Heritage Fortune Inc., on indefinite loan, for the purpose of establishing a community museum. It is now known as Victoria Hall Museum, in recognition of the historical significance of the Masonic Lodge in the town. The building itself is an ‘artifact', constructed in 1883 and designed by Henry Jabez Haddon, a man who was instrumental to the social and cultural development of the community.
Victoria Hall Museum has been open for several years and has received visitors from many parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, other provinces within Canada, the United States and St. Pierre et Miquelon. Names and comments left in the museum's Guest Book indicate that visitors have enjoyed their tours.
In July 2003 Heritage Fortune (1997) Inc. acquired ownership of a private residence in the community which was restored to its original style and opened to the public as the George and Mary Lake Heritage House. Reflecting the home life of the ordinary working-class family at the turn of the 20th century, it has become a popular tourist stop.
In the future, Heritage Fortune Inc. hopes to establish and operate a Heritage House in the community. Negotiations are currently underway to obtain a structure which would depict the lifestyle of an average 19th century working-class man and his family. The group will continue to be actively involved in the development and promotion of the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve and its role in both the history and future of the community. They are also looking at ways to capitalize on the town's unique position as the Gateway to St. Pierre et Miquelon, our relationship with the French Islands and the history it entails.
Artifacts -- HFI Logo
Victoria Hall Museum -- George & Mary Lake Heritage House