BLOW●ME●DOWNER

A Website and a Monthly Newsletter about the Outer Bay of Islands, Newfoundland

PEOPLE, PLACES and EVENTS

These Webpages, nearly all with pictures, are about People, Places and Events connected in different ways with the Outer Bay of Islands: PEOPLE who lived or worked here; PLACES which are part of our towns or have associations them; and EVENTS of or relating to our history.

They are PDF documents, and they require a PDF reader.  If you don't have one, you can download a free one from Foxit or Adobe.

To view the Webpages, click either the title or its accompanying thumbnail picture to automatically download it.  The download may take a moment or two, depending on the size of the document, number of graphics in it, speed of your Internet connection, and the volume of Internet traffic at the time.  If you have comments, EMAIL me.  Please also sign the Guestbook, especially if this is your first visit to my Website.

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David H Park : Master Boat Builder

David Henry Park (1907-1996)  spent all of his life in Lark Harbour, and most of that time he was around boats, or in them.  A son of David Park and Eunice Anne Quick, he married Florence Elizabeth Wheeler (1919-1994), daughter of John Walter Wheeler and Gertrude Mary Sheppard.  He was a tall, impressive man, whose adult life was given to fishing and the other skills essential in that business: the construction and maintenance of boats.

Dave passed away in 1996 at the age of 89, but he is still remembered as perhaps the last builder of larger boats in Lark Harbour.  Here are pictures of Dave and his work during the construction and launching of his last masterpiece in the 1970s.

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Eddie Sheppard : Folk Artist of Lark Harbour

The great talent of Edward Stephen Sheppard (1955-1997) was the painting of wildlife pictures. He spent much of his time painting on canvas, but his finest achievements were the murals with which he adorned fishermen's stages in various parts of the community.  These paintings were colourful and were much admired by all who saw them.  Unfortunately, time and exposure to the elements have now obliterated them, but on this Webpage you can see photographs of several of them.  Enjoy them as Eddie himself would have wished. 

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A Man to Remember - Dr J I O'Connell

Dr John Ignatius O'Connell MD (1874-1962) served as medical practitioner in Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands from 1926 to 1962, shortly before his death.  During those years he saved many lives and on at least one occasion risked his own life and that of the fisherman in whose boat he was travelling while going out to Lark Harbour to deliver a baby.

This narrative by his son Charlie, also a medical doctor, relates some of the incidents in the doctor's busy life.

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The Gabriel Family of Lark Harbour

The Gabriel family was originally from England and settled on the East Coast of Newfoundland.  About 1892 a son, William Alfred (1857-1951), came to Lark Harbour as teacher and lay reader, and stayed about 14 years.  He and his wife Mary Masters (1863-1940), raised several of their children in Lark Harbour and then moved to Corner Brook in 1906 where they spent the rest of their lives.

This document provides information mostly about the Gabriel family's lives while they lived in Lark Harbour, but also before and after those years.  Read about their courage, their achievements and the difficulties they faced in those times a hundred years ago.  Their problems, extreme and difficult to bear, were quite typical of those times in the outports of Newfoundland, though perhaps few families lost so many of their children in infancy as did the Gabriels.

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York Harbour Copper Mine 1897-1913

 

A brief history of the York Harbour Copper Mine from its beginnings in 1897 to its closing in 1913. 

 

 

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John Cabot's little ship the "Matthew"

 

No evidence exists that John Cabot and his ship "Matthew" entered the Bay of Islands in 1497.  But the replica of the "Matthew" changed all that on its visit there in 1997.

Here are pictures of that visit and some details about the ship.

 

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The Newfoundland Railway

Locomotive #593 was ordered by the Newfoundland Railway on 17 September 1920 from the Baldwin Company of Philadelphia, USA, and was delivered to St John's in 1921 for a cost of $36,870.  These pictures show the Locomotive on display along with various other interesting items in Humbermouth, Corner Brook.

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St John's, Canada's Oldest City

 

Pictures and Information from the 1990s of some of the most interesting places in and around St John's : Signal Hill, The Battery, Fort Amherst, Cape Spear . . .

 

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School Rules 1879

In 1879 schools were opened under the leadership of Rev J J Curling and the Anglican Mission of the Bay of Islands where he was in charge.  Most schools in the small outport communities of Newfoundland were like those in the Bay of Islands.  On this poster, an original in the Archives of the Anglican Synod of Western Newfoundland, you can see what the school day was like, how much the parents had to pay for their children to attend, and even what prizes were awarded to good students.  No mention is made of what happened to the bad ones!

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Failure of Fisheries 1879-1880

In 1879 the cod and herring fisheries in the Bay of Islands had been very poor and many families had no money to carry them through the winter until the next season began.  A Petition was prepared and sent to the Newfoundland Government in St John's, and a work program was set up under the guidance of Rev J J Curling and others.  This document describes the work, pay received, and rules that had to be followed by those employed.  There is also a list of names of those in need who signed the Petition.  If you know the Bay of Islands you will recognise many of the names - perhaps some of them were your ancestors or other relatives.
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Newfoundland and the French Shore 1713-1904


Until 1904 Newfoundland fishermen were severely restricted in their operations on the West Coast, also known as the "French Shore" or the "Treaty Shore"... Three international treaties between England and France had been in force since 1713. This paper describes the complex problems those treaties created, and how the issue was finally resolved for Western Newfoundland and the settlers who had established themselves there.
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Grimsby, England - Demise of a Major Fishing Port 1960-1990

The town of Grimsby on the east coast of England has existed for a thousand years, and most of that time it has been involved in the business of fishing.  But in the late 1900s, as here in Newfoundland, the industry fell upon hard times, and the fishery died so that by 1990 it had virtually disappeared from Grimsby.  This document tells the story of the decline, which has much in common with events around the same time in Newfoundland.  Several pictures are included, all but one taken by me in 1970 when the port was still very active.  The last picture, in colour, was taken in 1999 by someone else whose credits for the picture are included.

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View down the Bay

From Crow Hill, Corner Brook, looking west, you can see Blow-Me-Down Mountain in the distance.  Route 450 to Lark Harbour follows the south (left) side of the Bay for about 50km and is delineated by the white buildings along the shore.

Blow-Me-Down Mountain from Copper Mine Brook near York Harbour


If you don't know where Newfoundland is . . . look here !


Congregation of St James Church, Lark Harbour, NL, sings "Silent Night", Christmas 2010

In 2010 the Anglican Church of Canada sponsored a project where churches across Canada could sing "Silent Night" and be presented on YouTube for all the world to see.

Click HERE to see and hear St James Church congregation singing.

Links to other pages on this website

The Bay of Islands  -  Information, pictures, map

The Town of Lark Harbour - History, Information, Pictures

The Town of York Harbour - History, Information, Pictures

The Church in the Outer Bay  - Early days of the Anglican Church

Some Interesting History   - Events & Items of interest in the Bay's History

Slide Show - Pictures around the Bay

Documents to Download - Past Blow-Me-Downers etc

Stuart's Newfie Webpage- Introduction to the archived page

Stuart's Newfie Webpage - direct link to the archived webpage

Guestbook - please sign it before you leave


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Links to other Websites

Here are some other websites that might be of interest:


Atlantic Canada Webring and Ringsurf list many websites relating to Atlantic Canada.  Lots to see here.