The Evening Telegram – 1800s

September 25, 1880

Carbonear Items – The Rev. Mr. Saunderson, Church of England Minister, passed through here yesterday en route for Random. The Rev. gentleman has just arrived from England, and is to take up his residence at Random Sound


October 8, 1881
On Friday, Sept. 30 – writes our Random correspondent – the schooner Llewellyn, left St. John’s for home. She had her usual crew and some passengers. All went on well till they reached the north side of Trinity Bay when, unfortunately, they ran on the Shag Rock, near Ireland’s Eye, and in less than ten minutes the schooner was completely under water. The passengers and crew – nine altogether – escaped with their lives and nothing more. The night was very dark and a stiff breeze blowing. The schooner was hired by William Cooper & Sons, of North West Arm, Random Island, who lost their winter’s fit out, which they had just bought. Perhaps the saddest part of the affair is in connection with the Rev. James Lumsden, Methodist Minister, who had only arrived from England by the last home boat, and was on his way to the Random Mission. He lost everything he had, and barely escaped without either a hat or boot. He is now left nearly destitute of clothing. To him the loss is considerable, not only with regard to clothing; for he had a splendid collection of books, many of them being presents from friends when leaving home. He had also a number of other presents. Few upon the commencement of their missionary career in Newfoundland have met with such a disheartening incident. The unfortunate affair has elicited the unmistakable sympathy of the people. Mrs. Toope and others in Ireland’s Eye treated the shipwrecked men with great consideration, and did their utmost to assist them in reaching their homes. The schooner was insured, but the poor man who owned her has lost heavily, as he had a large quantity of fishing gear on board at the time.


November 3, 1881

The Schooner “Annie” Badly Damaged.
On Tuesday night last the fore-and-aft schooner Annie, owned by Mr. George Shaw of Southwest Arm, Random, was badly damaged by a collision. It seems that while coming out of Trinity Bay, on her way to this port, she was ran into by a schooner bound in, supposed to belong to Hants Harbor. The Annie lost her jibboom and was cut down to the covering boards forward of the fore chains. No lights were shown by either craft.


December 3, 1883

To Be Sold by Public Auction, On MONDAY, the 31 Dec, at 12 o’clock, AT THE OFFICE OF THE SUBSCRIBERS, ALL THE Right, Title and Interest of Geo. Benson, late of Random Sound, Trinity Bay, fisherman, deceased, in and to all that parcel of LAND, situated at Random Sound, held under Grant from the Grown.
By order of Newman Frost and Rachel Frost, administrator and administratrix of said Geo. Benson.
For further particulars apply to BOWN & WOODS, Auctioneers


December 12, 1883

SUPREME COURT.  Eli Martin vs. The Railway Company.

This is a suit for the recovery of the value of 1,500 sleepers, at 25 cents, each, cut for and tendered to the defendant Company. Mr. McNeily, Q.C., presented the case for plaintiff, stating that Martin, acting under a verbal contract with the Company’s Agent—Sir A. Shea—cut, trimmed, and placed in the place of deposit in Random Sound, at the disposal of the defendants or their agents, the quantity of sleepers named. As they were not taken by the Company, plaintiff brought them to St. John’s in his craft, and made tender of them to the defendants; but the latter could not accept them. Sir A. Shea, the then Agent of the Railway Company, was called by Mr. Kent, and deposed that he had entered into no contract with Eli Martin, of Random Sound, Trinity Bay, to cut one thousand five hundred sleepers. If there were a contract it would be in writing. Cross-examined by Mr. McNeily, Q. G.—He (witness) doesn’t think that he ever made representations to the man about supplying sleepers. The tender for the contract (not the tender of sleepers) may have been made in the presence of Sir William Whiteway. We had conversations about sleepers with a great many of such people. I told nobody to go on without a written contract. I made no representations which were subsequently to take the form of a written contract. I don’t remember that the contract was torn up in the presence of Sir William Whiteway. I don’t think it all likely that I made such representations as would induce the man to cut sleepers. The Chief Justice also in this case took time to consider. In both cases Messrs. McNeily & McNeily for plaintiffs; Mr. Kent, Q.C., for defendant Company.


December 15, 1883

SUPREME COURT.  Eli Martin vs. The Railway Co. —♦ (Before the Honorable Sir F. B. T. Cakteb, Chief Justice.)

The evidence of Mr. John Steer, and the closing observations of counsel in the above case, were heard to-day.

Mr. Steer deposed—That Sir A. Shea asserted that he was ready to take the sleepers, and would send to Random for them. But he afterwards advised me to have them left on the bank at Shoal Harbour, and that they would take them from there. He (witness) knows nothing of the contract and wasn’t present when it was made. Martin was dissatisfied and spoke about throwing up the contract; but Mr. Shea told him to “Go on, go on.” Mr. Shea’s statements to him (witness) were in confirmation of the contract, not in rejection of it.

On being cross-examined by Mr. Kent, witness stated :—Mr. Shea never said to me, ” Go on, go on, and out the sleepers.” They were placed on the bank, and were afterwards brought on to St. John’s, but I can’t say what time. He (Martin; brought them back to Shoal Harbor after they were rejected. He (Martin) lives in Heart’s Ease, Random Island.

To the Court—lt was after the 10th of April, 1882, that I wrote the letter to Eli Martin respecting Mr. Shea’s direction, to take the sleepers from their place on the bank; but witness could not fix the time (whether spring or fall) that they were brought on here. He (witness) had no communication with Mr. Shea after the sleepers were brought on. Witness could not positively say whether the sleepers were ever in Shoal Harbor or not. He doesn’t remember whether s demand was ever made by himself (witness) on Mr. Shea for the amount.


March 5, 1884


At St. Jones, Random South, on Feb. 16, [1884] after a long and painful illness, Mr. William Blundell, aged 60 years, leaving a large circle of friends to mourn their loss. [Harbor Grace Standard please copy.]


November 17, 1884

At St. Mary’s Church, by the Rev. E. Botwood, on the 15th inst., Mr. Simeon Seward, to Phoebe, daughter of, Mr. William Baker, all of Random Sound.


April 23, 1888


Proclamations appear in the Royal Gazette notifying the inhabitants of the undermentioned places that the Sheep Preservation Act will be enforced therein from May next, the request of one-third the electors resident in these places, which is tantamount to a large majority of the electorate, having been duly forwarded to the Executive, to that intent. In Trinity Bay, upon one requisition, the keep of dogs is prohibited in the following settlements, namely: Dildo, South Dildo and Old Shop, and upon a second requisition iv the following villages: Norman’s Cove, Chapel, Lodges, Little Bridge and Long Cove; and upon a third requisition in Heart’s Ease, Gooseberry Cove, Butter Cove, Ganny Cove Arm, Fox Harbor and Clay Pits; in Fortune Bay the act applies to the following settlements: Hermitage, Grale, Seal Cove and Dawson’s Cove; in Ferryland district to Bay of Bulls; in the electoral district of St. George’s it wi!l apply to “the whole of the Bay of Islands inside the North and South Heads, with all the islands therein and reaching to the heads of the Humber Sound, the Goose Arm and the North Arm, respectively;” and in St. John’s East to the villages of Flat Rock and Pouch Cove.


June 22, 1888


Body of a Man Picked up at Cochrane Pond.


Amongst the numerous parties of anglers who went to the distant lakes yesterday were Joseph Snow, a stable-keeper of the Sanitary Department; John Bussey, porter with Mr. G. S. Milligan, and Benjamin Keeping, of the Assembly staff of assistants; and fate directed their steps in a direction which led to their excursion having an important result. In the course of it they came upon the remains of a lost man floating in a gully where they were trouting. Cochrane Pond was their objective point; they reached it at 4.30 o’clock yesterday morning, and, having filled their baskets, employed the afternoon in a search for a “black” species of trout. To obtain them they left the lake mentioned and walked across a dry “reef” to a creek or gully. Their way took them over “Dixie’s line” a cutting through the primitive wilderness, which joins the Old Placentia Road. When they cast their lines in this particular gully they perceived an object a little distance from the bank, which one of them supposed to be a dead horse, and another a rock. Moved by curiosity to identify it closely, Snow cast his hook out to it and drew it to the shore. Then they discovered that it was the body of a human being. The head, the hair and the arms were visible; but they didn’t lift the remains ashore fearing that they could not do so and keep them intact. The pool was a still one, and was so formed that there was little possibility of the body drifting out of it. They accordingly left it in the position described, the hour being about 4.30 p.m., and soon after left for town, where they arrived at 10.15 p.m. They lodged information at the police office and, after midnight, a posse of constables, bearing a box, left for the fatal spot, to which they were guided by Joseph Snow, and at 11 o’clock this morning they returned and deposited the coffined remains in the morgue.

In the course of the day the body was identified by two men belonging to Portugal Cove, named Miller and Churchill, as being that of John Churchill, of Random, Trinity Bay, but formerly of Portugal Cove. He left his schooner, the Sunflower, John Peddle, master, lying at Messrs. Tessier’s wharf, on the 3rd instant, since which time all trace of him was lost till the present.


June 25, 1888

The body of the late John Churchill, who met so untimely an end near Cochrane Pond, was interred in the Methodist Cemetery, western district of this city, at seven o’clock on Saturday evening.


February 1, 1889

A deer-stalker badly injured
WOUNDED IN BOTH LEGS and Brought Home by His Comrades.

Shoal Harbor, This Afternoon. A serious shooting accident occurred on Tuesday last. Three men from Southwest Arm, Random Sound, went in the country deer hunting. They surrounded a herd of deer on a triangular plain. One of the men named Reuben Martin altered his position unknowingly, and got in line with his opposite comrade’s gun. As the deer passed between them the said comrade fired. He missed the deer, but the bullet struck Martin, passing through the flesh of one thigh and grazing the bone and inflicting a severe wound in the other, but did not lodge there. Martin ran about one hundred yards and fell fainting. Shortly afterwards he was discovered by his comrades who brought him home, a distance of forty miles. He is now doing well.


July 1, 1889

 Plenty of Fish Heart's Ease_July 01 1889_2_Eveneing Telegram Fishery Operations in different parts of Trinity Bay

Plenty of Fish at Hearts Ease on Saturday

We are indebted to Mr. Henry Piercy, of the packet Louisa, for the following information anent the fishery at Heart’s Ease:- Fish struck in plentifully at Heart’s Ease on Saturday. James Seaward secured, with his traps, on Monday, 30 quintals; on Tuesday, 15 or 20. Joseph Seaward took between 30 and 40 quintals this week. Nearly all the traps there are doing well. Seines are also taking fish.



February 9, 1891


At Hearts Ease and Neighborhood.

Much Suffering at Gooseberry Cove.

From Heart’s Ease we get the following:— ” Sickness, with more than the average percentage of death, has been prevalent here this season. Measles made their appearance a short time ago, and the little village of Gooseberry Cove alone had five deaths in less than three weeks. Other villages also have suffered sickness and death from the same malady.

Two People Poisoned.

News has been received here from Northern Bight to the effect that, two days ago, a man and his wife died suddenly. The story goes, that the man picked up a dead rabbit, which was poisoned by some unknown person who had it out as bait for a fox. We have no constable here to investigate the matter; but l am sure the Government will send us someone to attend to such things as soon as intelligence of this fatal incident reaches them.

A Penalty necessary.

A severe penalty ought to be inflicted upon all persons guilty of such acts as the one referred to. Rabbits in Random are a great help to the poor people, and hundreds are employed catching them for food. If the use of fox poison be permitted, human life must necessarily suffer.

Game Protection.

The protection of game is another matter to which attention should be drawn. In this direction, there is nothing to prevent persons from killing partridge at their sweet will; and so the destruction goes on, both by guns and slips. I think we are entitled to a justice of the peace, or some other duly authorized persons to prevent such occurrences.”


May 10, 1891

  A Brilliant Metor Seen at Random SoundEditor “Evening Telegram”Sir, – A correspondent, writing from Random Sound, Trinity Bay, under date of 2nd inst., says: – “A very large meteor passed over us on the night before last, the 28thult. It appeared to be about six feet in diameter and emitted a pale blue light, sufficient to read by out of doors. Having lasted a few seconds, it burst, filling the sky with perishable stars. I give you this, thinking it may be of interest to some persons.”Yours truly, Astrologian.
St. John’s, March 10, 1891.


June 12, 1891

 Terrible Moratility_William Flynn_June 12 1891

Notes and Comments

Terrible Mortality

In sending us the obituary notice of Mrs. Catherine Shaw, which appears elsewhere, Mr. William Flynn, of Heart’s Ease, says: – “We have had seven deaths here in less than a week. This is a terrible rate of mortality for such a small place.”


July 10, 1891

ET July 10 1891 part 1

ET July 10 1891 part 2

 Affairs it Heart’s Ease.


Fishery Prospects Good


What Mr. Flynn Says.

Mr. William Flynn, of Heart’s Ease, who arrived here yesterday, called at our office this forenoon and left us a little budget of interesting news touching affairs in that direction. He says no less than seventeen deaths from la grippe have occurred in that small settlement during the past few weeks. In the case of one family named Rogers the father and mother died, after a few days’ illness, leaving seven destitute children. For some time the dead bodies lay in the house, without receiving any attention, the neighbors being too ill to render assistance. The necessity for a resident doctor there is very urgent.

From one to two quintals a day.

Fishery prospects are very good at Heart’s Ease and neighboring places — better, in fact, than they have been for many years. Small boats get from one to two quintals a day, and the average catch under salt at present is about ten quintals per man.

Adrift from some schooner.

The other day two boats were picked up in Trinity Bay and brought into Heart’s Ease — one a codseine skiff, the other a punt. Both contained quantities of fishing gear, and looked as if they bad broken adrift from some schooner while on her way to Labrador.


September 16, 1891

 Gooseberry Cove_Labrador Fishery News, Sept 16 1891  FISHERY NEWS
From Gooseberry Cove.
Tho ” William” and ” Mermaid ” With 1200 Quintals.
A Gooseberry Cove correspondent, writing under date of the 8th instant, says :— ” Our two little schooners—the William and Mermaid—arrived from Labrador on the 3rd with 1,200 quintals of fish. These vessels are commanded, respectively, by Captain Richard Seward and Captain Robert Seward.
Excellent Reports.
Both schooners bring excellent reports of the work done this season on the coast of Labrador. No such abundance of fish was ever before witnessed there. Immense schools ran into the bays and harbors, and for some days they could be taken easily by trap, seine, hook and line and every other implement employed in the fishery. Captain Peddle, of Random is reported with 800 qtls., and several other Random schooners are loaded.


August 7, 1891

GOOD FARES TAKEN ♦ At Gooseberry Cove ♦ Mr. Shaw Heads the List.

Our Gooseberry Cove (near Heart’s Ease) correspondent writes as follows :—” The fishery in this direction continues remarkably good. Traps are now being taken up, but they have secured fine fares. Mr. Daniel Shaw heads the list. He hails for one hundred quintals, as the result of four weeks’ work. Both Sickness and Death interfered with him in the spring, and he was unable to prosecute the fishery early. But, all things taken into account, his voyage has been a fairly prosperous one. In the hook and line fishery Mr. Patrick Seward leads, and is closely followed by Captain James Langer. On Saturday last they loaded their boats, doing the best work of the season. Other boats have done exceedingly well. I may here state that the fish thus taken never enjoyed Mr. Neilson’s hospitality at the hatchery. We have Five Summer merchants in Fox Harbor, besides Mr. Alcook, who resides there and sells all through the year. One trader arrived there the other day, but, not being able to secure any store, he had to leave. We have two large schooners sailing out of this little harbor to the Labrador. They are commanded by Capt. Richard Seward and Capt. Robert Seward. We wish them much success.


April 29, 1892

Wednesday, April 20th.

The House opened, at four o’clock. Dr. Tait gave notice that he would, on to-morrow, ask leave to introduce a bill to amend the Public Health Act of 1880. Mr. Webber presented a petition from James Drover and others, of Hodge’s Cove, praying for a sum of money to erect a bridge across Hodge’s Cove Brook. Petitioners pointed out that the bridge was badly needed by them as they could not cross the river except by means of a boat which was not available at all times, and it was over a mile to go around by land. The bridge would prove a great benefit to the people of the locality, by enabling them to carry on their business with more despatch, besides being a great convenience to the clergymen of different denominations who visited the locality, and he hoped that, with the aid of his hon. colleagues, he would be able to meet the wishes of petitioners; also, a petition from D. Peddle and others, of Hodge’s Cove, on the subject of a road.


June 28, 1892

Outlook for Trinity Bay_June 28 1892  OUTLOOK IN TRINITY BAY.
Prospects Greatly Improved. Better off Than for Many Years.
We are pleased to learn from one of our representatives in Trinity Bay that prospects have greatly improved there since the advent to power of the present Government, and that the people generally of that important district are better off to-day than for many years past. A few days since we published a lengthy letter from a correspondent at one of the principal settlements in the lower part of the bay, in which he spoke very encouragingly of the outlook in that section. Now our attention is called to some of the thriving harbors and hamlets further up. At Heart’s Ease
Business IS Flourishing
as everything wears a hopeful aspect. The fishery has proved very successful during the past summer, gratifying results having been realized. Shipbuilding operations, too, are actively carried on, giving employment to large numbers. Mr. Edward Spurrill is getting a schooner built. She will be upwards of fifty tons and fitted out by Mr. J. J. Morris, of Trinity. The superintendent of the work is Mr. Joseph King. Another
Handsome Schooner,
of more than sixty tons, is also on the stocks. This vessel is being built by order of Mr. Edwin Duder of this city, for Capt. Richard Seward. The builder is Mr. James Pearcey of Scilly Cove. She promises to be one of the finest schooners ever launched in Trinity Bay. Agricultural pursuits in that part of the Bay continue to be prosecuted with steadily-increasing success. The quantity of cultivated land becomes
Larger and More Productive Every Year.
The management of the Road Board fails to give satisfaction; but it is hoped the friction complained of will be removed. The hunter is abroad and meets with a fair measure of success. A great many foxes, otters and other valuable fur animals have been captured already this season. Mr. Stephen Shaw, for his own gun, has secured five foxes, two deer and one seal. Our informant says: “Mr. Robert Seward shot at a coal black fox, but it got away from him. Up to the 18th instant the weather at Heart’s Ease appeared
Altogether Like Summer,
as regards the absence of frost and snow. Robins and other little birds were flying about the gardens, and, stranger still, small fish were swimming along the shore in schools. Perhaps they were enjoying Mr. Neilson’s hospitality all the fall, and came to spend the winter months with us.”




July 8, 1892


Near Heart’ss Ease.


By Upsetting of a Mail Skiff

Names of the Victims.

Our Heart’s Ease correspondent, writing us under date of June 29th, [1892] says:—” It is my sorrowful duty to-day to acquaint you with a very sad accident which occurred here on Friday last, 24th instant [June 1892] three persons named, respectively, Jasper Yoe, aged 52 years; William Benson, 15, and Ann Baker, 25, were the victims. The packet skiff of Northern Bight left that place on the above-mentioned date. The destination of the boat was Fox Harbor, but she bad to call at several places on the way down, to land the mails. At 10 o’clock p.m., when entering the mouth of Heart’s Ease, the skiff was upset.

William Martin and his brother, while returning from the fishing ground, saw the skiff bottom up, pulled alongside, and righted it. Then, to their surprise, they found two dead bodies—one of them, poor Yoe, tangled in the fore-sheet, the other, the woman, in the bottom of the skiff. Young Benson’s body has not yet been recovered. The mails were in a bad condition, streaming with water. I cannot say whether any of the letters or papers were lost.”


February 1893

 Diphtheria at Hearts Ease

Diphtheria at Heart’s Ease

Four Deaths Already – Eight cases reported today – Letter from the School Teacher.

Dear Sir:- Diphtheria has broken out here and has already carried away four of our young people. There are eight cases down with it today. Young children generally succumb, but the strong constitutions of the older ones seems to enable them to resist its terrible ravages. We have no Doctor to investigate the matter, and it spreads very fast. As there are no doctor’s books here, we know not what remedy to apply. Indeed, there is no medicine of any king available. Grave fears entertained that we shall lose more than four before the scourge is stamped out. The teacher did not care to take the responsibility on himself to close the school until it was too late, thinking it was only a cold. If the Government would send us a package of medicine and instructions, I am sure it would come alright.

Faithfully yours, TEACHER, Heart’s Ease, Feb. 15, 1893.

Assistance already on the way.

[It is hardly necessary to say that steps have already been taken by the active and sympathetic members for Trinity District to have the necessary assistance sent with all possible despatch. Prompt measures will also be adopted to confine the malady to the infected houses. ]


June 3, 1893

 Captain E Seward mailboat Dart ET June 3 1893 part 1

Captain E Seward mailboat Dart ET June 3 1893 part 2


The Genial Captain of the S.S. “Dart ” Interviewed and the Route Described.

Captain E. Seward who assumes command of the steamer Dart, engaged for the mail service on Trinity Bay, was interviewed by a reporter of ours on board the trim little craft this morning. The captain states that he will be ready to leave for Trinity Bay this evening, and that he will start on the mail route on Tuesday next. The captain describes the route as follows:—Leaving Lower Shoal Harbor on Tuesday morning, the steamer will call at Hickman’s Harbor, Fox Harbor, Deer Harbor and Trinity. Leaving Trinity on Wednesday morning, she will call at New Bonaventure, Ireland’s Eye and from there, crossing the bay, she will call at Heart’s Content, and, recrossing, she will call at Fox Harbor and stay there for the night. On Thursday morning she will leave Fox Harbor and call at Little Heart’s Ease, Hodge’s Cove, Long Beach, North Bight and back to Fox Harbor. Leaving Fox Harbor on Friday morning she will call at Hickman’s Harbor, Ball Knap, Lee Bight, Elliot’s Cove and Lower Shoal Harbor, completing the route.

The captain states that there might be some little alteration in the route described after he has gone over it and tested the capabilities of the little boat.

Captain Seward is a man of a good deal of push and energy, and is of a very genial and obliging disposition, and no better man to have charge of the service could be found in “this Newfoundland of ours.”


June 20, 1894

Matters In Trinity Bay—Steam Tug Versus an Old Black Punt—No Toryism Wanted.

From Shoal Harbor to Trinity is a distance of fifty miles which, travelled twice a week, to and from, equals 200 miles. Last year, under the Whiteway Government, the staunch little steam-boat Dart was on the route, commanded by Captain Edmund Seward, and did good and satisfactory work for the public. During last summer this boat conveyed more than 300 passengers besides quantities of freight.

Note the contrast under the Goodridge-Morine faction! At this season of the year, when the traffic on Trinity Bay, in both the passenger and freight lines, is of considerable magnitude and importance, is it being performed by three or four men in a steamer? NO, but in an old black punt.

Retrogression with a vengeance!

Captain Seward informs us that about three weeks ago, eleven passengers in one trip and five in the next, from one place alone, could not be accommodated in this punt, and were left, to “paddle their own canoe” as best they could. Captain Seward, than whom there is not a man in Newfoundland who understands the navigation of Trinity Bay better, and who has performed the services for twelve years, when he found there was no chance to procure a steamer for the mail service on Trinity Bay, made application for his schooner to be received; but the gallant captain was informed that a punt, the ordinary “old black punt,” should perform the mail and passenger service on Trinity Bay this year. Whereupon he tendered for this punt and, although several dollars per trip below the man who got the job, his tender was refused, simply because Seward was a Whitewayite and the present incumbent, Milley, a Tory. Thus, then, Toryism versus Whiteway and Progress accounts for an old black punt performing the mail and passenger service on Trinity Bay today, instead of a tidy little steamboat with good accommodation, as furnished by the Whiteway Government.

Captain Seward called at our office to inform us that the people of Trinity District are heartily sick of, and disgusted at, the meanness, fraud and deception that is being practised by the Tory usurpers. All the electors of that old premier district want, is a chance—the ballot box—to show the kind of Government they want, the men they want, and what they intend before long to have, too.


May 4, 1895


Mr. William Stoyles Loses Pretty Well All His Earthly Possessions — Letter from Rev. James Smith —

An Appeal for Help. Editor Evening Telegram. Dear Sir,—On the morning of Tuesday, 30th ult. [April 1895], between the hours of three and five, nearly all the earthly possessions of Mr. William Stoyles of this place, were destroyed by fire. Mr. Stoyles’s eldest son arose in the early morning and made on a fire in the kitchen stove, to prepare to go into the country; but, finding the weather unfavourable, again retired. Mrs. Stoyles remained up an hour later, but saw No Signs of Fire When She Retired. Nothing was known of any danger until Mr. Stoyles heard his son leap from his bed, but making no alarm. The father rushed upstairs and found the roof and ceiling wrapped in flame. He then screamed to his children to save themselves, which they did just as they came from their beds. One of the daughters, however, sustained considerable injury on the back from falling fire. The sleeping apartment of Mr. Stoyles being on the ground floor, he managed to save his bed, but no bedding. How the fire originated is not known, but probably from the heat of the stove pipe where it passed through the roof. His is indeed a severe loss, as it means the utter destruction of the accumulations of a life-time of hard and persistent toil, and is aggravated by the fact that he has for some time been suffering from hemorrhage of the lungs, and is now in precarious health. The loss includes: house in which the family were living, with all the household goods, clothing, etc., a new house close by, which was nearly ready for occupancy, and in which were stored sails and running gear of his fishing craft (all new last summer – nets, rope, lines, and also a new punt which Mr. Stoyles had built himself during the past winter by desperate effort. This is an eminently worthy case for the thoughtful consideration of any persons who may be able to alleviate, in any degree, distress so great. Mr. Stoyles has been a man of perseverance and industry seldom surpassed. This community is small, and the people, for the most part, poor, yet out of their penury are giving in lumber and labor to provide a house for their sorely afflicted fellow-citizen. Our best is but little, and we are compelled to solicit from all friends of the suffering, elsewhere, such help as is utterly beyond our power to furnish. The time is short, and whatever is done must needs he done quickly. Any contributions in cash, clothing, nails, etc., may be left with Mr. A. J. Dove, at Goodfellow & Co.’s. or sent to my address.

JAMES SMITH, Methodist Minister. Northern Bight , Trinity Bay.
May 27, 1895

To-day Messrs. Bowring Brothers are signing for, and giving supplies to, the Polar Bear, William Haines; Jane, William Vey; John Wickford, Gardner Brothers; all to prosecute the Labrador fishery.


October 16, 1895


A Schooner Sea-Tossed and Doomed to Destruction—Excitement Among the Spectators-Running for the Scene of the Wreck—The Rudder Broken—Caught in the Shifting Sands— Rescue of the Crew.

Never did the inhabitants of this place and those in close proximity to us ever witness such a distressing and pitiful sight as on yesterday morning when they looked off upon the phosphorescent deep and beheld a schooner scudding under bare poles and “sea-tossed” — soon to be ashore, where? No person knew just then. Much anxiety was felt alike by all for the lives of the men on board. Many stood looking sad and awe-stricken, for there seemed little hope of saving them from an ocean grave. After the elapse of a few minutes the might of the terrible wind and sea had brought her nearer to land, and it was obvious to all that at Lance Cove, two miles from here, and midway between Old Perlican and Hant’s Harbor, she would find a lodging place.

Soon all the men were seen running for the scene of the wreck, the gusts of wind almost lifting them from off their feet. Will she go to leeward of Western Point? was the question asked one of another. A few more dreaded moments passed and it was seen that she would. Then, signals were given to the men on board, a flag was hoisted on land for their guidance; but quickly she’s aground, the rudder is broken in pieces, a few more seas and she is lifted over the rocks and sticks in the shifting sand. In a little while ropes were ready, a boat that did service as a life-boat was launched, into which the men, numbering eight, were brought with some difficulty to land.

The schooner was the Winnie Pierce, 42 tons, three years old, owned by Mr. Joseph Morris of Trinity. The names of the crew are Edward Spurrell, master, Moses Spurrell, Uriah Spurrell, David Spurrell, John Jacobs, William Balsam, Heman Bryant, and Charles Bryant, all inhabitant of Heart’s Ease and vicinity of Trinity Bay. They left St. John’s on Thursday morning at 2 o’clock, and reached Bay de Verde at 2 p.m. the same day, with double-reefed sails. Owing to the wind blowing strong from N.E., and it being dark, with rain, they anchored there. The master says that at 2 o’clock on Friday morning he was called on deck and, as a wise mariner should, took a searching look at the sky, ordered his crew on deck, and left again with the wind in their favor, blowing lightly from the south. All went well for some time, until when about 12 miles in the bay, they were met by this hurricane from the north, which completely carried away the staysail and mainsail and slit and tattered to pieces the foresail. The wind was still rising, and the white surf, churning and boiling over her, both combined to send forth that uncannv and gruesome sound that betokens a tempest and foretells sorrow on the sea. He then took the wheel and gave the mandate for each man to look out for himself. He confessed that there was but little hope, and told them so. The schooner became unmanageable at times; once she pitched over so far as to be on her “beam-end,” and there was fear that she would not be righted.

The wonder to many is how she escaped the rocks and shoals of Salvage Point (of which there are many), the terror of navigators. Often the wrathful-looking billows threatened to swallow her up in their gaping jaws, and the crew expected the worst every moment. But one brave man, in the person of Mr. Chas. Bryant, like Paul, did his best to stimulate them with courage and bade them to “be of good cheer,” saying he was prepared for whatever awaited them. No doubt, he often repeated the sailor’s beautiful litany: “O Christ, whose voice the waters heard, and hushed their raging at Thy word; who walkedst on the foaming deep, and calm amidst its rage didst sleep: Oh hear us when we cry to Thee, for we’re in peril on the sea.” Horace said that the man who first ventured on the sea must have had a heart bound with oak and triple-brass. The heart of this good man is not bound with either; yet it never failed him.

Much sympathy is felt for him, as he has lost considerably, and for William Balsam, a poor man, with a family of nine children, who had a winter’s supply of food, with other necessaries on board, a little of it being saved, but it is next to good for nothing. Also much sympathy is felt for the master and his brothers, whose loss has been great. They are now hospitably entertained by Messrs. John Brownson, Jas. Strong and others, until the sea becomes smooth, when they will be carried to their respective homes, and I feel sure they will never forget this experience, and their hearts will ever give thanks and praise to “Him who walked the waves of Galilee.”

W.J. B., Russell’s Cove, Oct. 12, 1895.


December 26, 1895

News from Trinity Bay. – A gentleman from Random, Trinity Bay, reports fairly good times amongst lumberers and others, at the heads of the arms, who have been enabled to avail of railway work during the past season. In places less favored the people generally are not so well provided for.

January 30, 1896

Extensive Repairs  to be done to the old “Jane Ainsley” – The old vessel Jane Ainsley, owned by Mr. Levi Frost, Harbor Grace, goes to Northern Bight, Trinity Bay, for a thorough overhauling and extensive repairs. There will be a lot of employment given on her. This vessel is one of the very few of the old scaling fleet. In 1873, when commanded by Capt. John Kennedy, of Crocker’s Cove, she brought in Capt. George Hartery and his crew of the large brig John B. Campbell, owned by Mr. W. J. S. Donnelly, Harbor Grace, which was abandoned south of Cape Spear, during a great storm on Sheelah’s night.


October 6, 1896

 Edmund Seward_Editorial Notes_Evening Telegram_October 6, 1896 Fish was scarce there, he tells us, except in the cases, too few, where schooners had done well on the French Shore. Some few had been fairly fished at Labrador. That splendid sample of the Newfoundland fisherman. Captain Edmund Seward, nothing daunted by ill-link earlier in the season, sailed in August for Labrador, and arrived home about September 15 with a full load.


February 4, 1897

Train Notes

Three cars of freight were taken out by morning train – one car load for the pulp manufactory at Northern Bight. Mr. Albert Hare took passage for the manufactory. The Rev. Mr. Godden left for his mission at Random, and Mr. Daniel Ryan for his home at King’s Cove.


May 27, 1897

New Schooner Dandy. Built by Stephen Smith for Patrick Walsh. There is now on the harbor a substantial schooner which will measure about thirty-two tons. She was built the past winter at Hodge’s Cove, Random Sound, T. B., and launched there two weeks ago. Stephen Smith built her for Patrick Walsh of Fermuse, dealing at Goodridge’s. The vessel is creditable to her builder, and may she be a boon to Walsh. In evidence of the solidity of the craft it has been stated that there were used in her construction:—1,100 treenails, 850 weight of galvanized nails and 33 rods of iron, used for bolls.


June 2, 1897

The schooner Silver Spray is at present here from Random, T.B. She is a new schooner of about 45 tons, built the past winter by Mr. John Vey, who is owner and master. The vessel is of good symmetry, and sailed well on the passage here.


December 3, 1897

We believe that shipbuilding will be carried on with renewed vigor in this [Trinity] bay the coming winter, by its industrious inhabitants. Four schooners are already in course of construction. Messrs. Drover, of Hodge’s Cove, have laid the keel of a fine craft for themselves; and Mr. A. Gardner, of British Harbor, is about to commence building one for Mr. Barbour, of Pool’s Island, which schooners will run in the Labrador trade.


May 9, 1898

SHIPPING DISASTER. Loss of the Schooner “Avalanche.”
The schooner Avalanche, belonging to James Frost, of Random, Trinity Bay, was lost near the “Bulls” Cape Saint Mary’s, on Thursday last; the master and crew of six men saving themselves in the boat. The disaster occurred a half mile from the shore, and so suddenly, in the heavy north-east gale, that the crew had no time to save anything, escaping only in the clothing they wore. They had been engaged in the herring fishery of Sound Island and were returning when tin; accident occurred.

May 14, 1898

A fine schooner, of about 45 tons, was launched at Long Beach, Trinity Bay, on Thursday week by Mr. William Vey, the builder. She will be employed in the Labrador fishery.


May 14, 1898

 ET 1898 05 14  A New Church – Mr. John Day, of Long Beach, Trinity Bay, laid the foundation of a new Church of England church in that settlement the past winter. He expects to have the building finished early next fall.


May 17, 1898

Seven new schooners were built and launched at the South West Arm of Random the past winter. Mr. John Vardy built a 25-ton schooner for a coaster between Trinity Bay and St. John’s.



December 5, 1898

Marine Notes

Quite a number of new schooners will be built in and around Random, T.B., the coming winter. Mr. Ambrose is building a fine schooner at Northern Bight, and Mr. Solomon Drodge a vessel for trading and coasting at Heart’s Ease. Mr. E. Seward will build one at Clarenville.


December 17, 1898


People of Random Incensed Against the Government.

Editor Evening Telegram.

Dear Sir,—Please allow me a small space in your paper to tell the public of our grievances hero. A sum of $900 was granted by the Tory Government last fall to build a road from Northern Bight to the Railway. Mr. Norman Frost was given control of the money and had the appointment of the walking bosses’. The special grant was sent to Stephen Smith, John Vey and Norman Frost, and as the latter had power to appoint the bosses, you may be sure he did justice to the family of Frosts. His own brothers— James and Levi were appointed walking bosses, and two of his nephews also got special jobs, Eleven bosses were appointed to spend $500. The road does not appear to be of much benefit, to the public, but of great benefit to the Frosts, as it goes directly to their mill. The people of Random are very much obliged to the Tory Government for the way they are treating them. It looks as if there were no people there but the Frosts. We all know, of course, that when Winter reigns frosts generally come to the front. Otherwise a Frost would not be made a mail carrier, another Frost Chairman of the Road Board, another Frost Postmaster, and Nehemiah Frost a J.P. For these reasons, when the Tory Party come to Random again to look for support from the people, they will get a regular freezing out. Instead of calling this place Northern Bight, the Government, now they are changing the names of places, should call it Frosts’ Bits, with the accent on the last word.

Yours truly, LIBERAL. Northern Bight. Dec. 12th, 1898.


October 13, 1899


 Edmund Seward_From the Banks_Oct 13, 1899  FROM THE BANKS.

The schooner Victoria, Capt. Edmund Seward, arrived from the Banks yesterday with a fairly good trip of 150 qtls. fish. Capt. Seward started on salted squid, and after a short time managed to jig some fresh, when they loaded dory after dory as fast as they could take up their trawls. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday heavy gales of wind were experienced, and a sea breaking over the little schooner drove a puncheon of oil against the companion. Taking everything into consideration, Capt. Seward decided to bear up for St. John’s. He fished on the Virgins, and is now ready to start again.


December 8, 1898

 Edmund Seward_New Schooner_Evening Telegram_December 8, 1898  Local Happenings

New Schooner – Mr. Edmund Seward is about to build a new schooner at Clarenville the coming winter. Mr. Vardy, of Hickman’s Harbor, will probably build one also.


September 22, 1899

Personal Notes

A mill swept away – We learn from Random Sound, Trinity Bay, that a saw mill, erected by the Smiths of Island Cove, at the South West Arm, was swept seventy yards away from the original position by the late floods. The mill had been sawing but one hour when it was swept away with all its contents.


December 11, 1899

Four new schooners are being built at Heart’s Ease this winter. They will range from 25 to 50 tons each. They are being built by Thos. Stringer, Eleizar [Eleazar] Drodge, William Piddle [Peddle] and Daniel Shaw.


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett and Lester Green, September 2014

Updated by Wanda Garrett, April 2015; January 2016; October 2016; June 2019

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.