An area on the north side of Ganny Cove Arm, between Butter Cove and the Rattle at Little Heart’s Ease, was referred to by local people as Thomas’ or Thomas’ Point. Thomas’ got its name from Thomas Spurrell, the head of the sole family who lived there. Thomas built a house, barn, cellar, wharf and stage on the property. The remains of these buildings were still there in the 1930s.Thomas was born in 1867 at Butter Cove to Urias and Elizabeth (nee Lambert) Spurrell. In 1893, Thomas married Rebecca Short of Deep Bight. They likely moved to Thomas’ shortly after their marriage as their first child, Sarah Elizabeth, was born there in 1894. Thomas and Rebecca had nine children, seven girls and two boys. Sarah Elizabeth and Rachel Eva died at St. John’s as young women. Annie Alice died in infancy. Mary Lillian Belle and Amelia Malvina went off to work as domestics in St. John’s and later, as domestics, with a well to do family in New York. Jane married in 1918 and lived at St. John’s until she died in 1939. Mary Martha married and lived at Colliers, NL. Sons Uriah and Joseph both married and lived at St. John’s.

It may seem strange that a young couple would settle in a place where no one else was living, but it has to be remembered that Butter Cove would have had very little land available to build a new house at that time. Also, Thomas and his family were not far from either Butter Cove or Little Heart’s Ease. A short walk through the woods or a rowboat ride would take them to either of these two communities.

After the death of his first wife, Thomas married Mary Ann Soper in 1921. They must have moved to St. John’s shortly after their marriage as they show up in the 1921 census for St. John’s, along with Thomas’ daughter, Martha. Thomas had left his sons, Joseph, aged 13, and Samuel, aged 15, at Thomas’. Shortly after 1921, Thomas sent word to his sons to sell the cow and arrange passage for themselves to St. John’s. Thomas, Mary Ann, Joseph and Samuel lived on Lower Battery Road until Thomas’ death in 1941. His property at the Battery, along with his fishing premises, was expropriated in 1942 for building of the American Dock.



Note: This article is subject to further correction and revision.