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First storyboard unveiled by Southwest Arm group


The Southwest Arm Historical Society unveiled their first storyboard last week at the start of the Heart’s Ease Beach Trail – just behind St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Gooseberry Cove.

This storyboard illustrates the importance and long history of Heart’s Ease Beach.

It tells us that “for thousands of years Heart’s Ease Beach was home to hunters and fishermen who came to harvest a remarkable abundance of marine life including seals, seabirds, fish, and whales.”

Elaine Spurrell, president of the Southwest Historical Society, welcomed everyone to the unveiling and Peggy Hogan, project lead, thanked all those who contributed to the project.

This was followed by a talk on the history of Heart’s Ease Beach by Les Dean, former resident with an indepth knowledge of the history of the Random area.

According to Dean, “The abandoned community of Heart’s Ease Beach, located between Gooseberry Cove and West Random Head, was amongst the earliest European migratory fishing stations in Newfoundland. It is believed to have been frequented from the early 1500s by French Basques and from the late 1500s by English migratory ships from the south of England.

Sir (Captain) Richard Whitbourne of Exmouth, Devon, first visited the site between 1582 and 1614 and recorded an incident in which a band of Beothucks raided an English fishing ship from Topsham in Devon.

The site was so well known that it appeared on an early 1621 English map of Newfoundland as ‘Harts Easse’.

It occupies a relatively sheltered location and its large shingle beach for drying salt cod near once productive cod fishing grounds made it a most attractive fishing site over the centuries.”

In 1991, Dean found Maritime Archaic Indian stone tools on the Beach and these have since been confirmed by archaeologists to date back approximately 4000 years.

We learn from the storyboard that “Jack and Grace Baker and their four children took up residence at the Beach c1750. Many others followed: the Pinsons, Dodges, Langers, Hulls, Hiscocks, Pitchers, and Warrens.

The community had grown to 68 people by the 1870s. Across the cobble beach you will find their old gardens. The precious soil was developed for growing food leaving the homes and out buildings to perch among the rocks.

Joseph and Mary Dodge were the last residents – they passed away in the early 1920s. By then the other families had moved on, many to communities in the Random area. Economics and social change marked the end of the Beach community.

For more historical information on Heart’s Ease Beach visit the Southwest Arm Historical Society website at www.swahsociety.com

The storyboard was unveiled by 96 year old Janie Seward, the oldest resident of Gooseberry Cove.

As the storyboard says, come and “walk the Beach and imagine hearing their voices: the Maritime Archaic, the Dorset Palaeoeskimo, the Beothuk, and the Europeans. The water was their highway, the islands and headlands their hunting zones.”

The Southwest Arm Historical Society is planning on completing and installing other storyboards throughout the Southwest Arm area in the coming years.

 

Wanda Garrett is Vice-president of the Southwest Arm Historical Society.

 

This storyboard illustrates the importance and long history of Heart’s Ease Beach.

It tells us that “for thousands of years Heart’s Ease Beach was home to hunters and fishermen who came to harvest a remarkable abundance of marine life including seals, seabirds, fish, and whales.”

Elaine Spurrell, president of the Southwest Historical Society, welcomed everyone to the unveiling and Peggy Hogan, project lead, thanked all those who contributed to the project.

This was followed by a talk on the history of Heart’s Ease Beach by Les Dean, former resident with an indepth knowledge of the history of the Random area.

According to Dean, “The abandoned community of Heart’s Ease Beach, located between Gooseberry Cove and West Random Head, was amongst the earliest European migratory fishing stations in Newfoundland. It is believed to have been frequented from the early 1500s by French Basques and from the late 1500s by English migratory ships from the south of England.

Sir (Captain) Richard Whitbourne of Exmouth, Devon, first visited the site between 1582 and 1614 and recorded an incident in which a band of Beothucks raided an English fishing ship from Topsham in Devon.

The site was so well known that it appeared on an early 1621 English map of Newfoundland as ‘Harts Easse’.

It occupies a relatively sheltered location and its large shingle beach for drying salt cod near once productive cod fishing grounds made it a most attractive fishing site over the centuries.”

In 1991, Dean found Maritime Archaic Indian stone tools on the Beach and these have since been confirmed by archaeologists to date back approximately 4000 years.

We learn from the storyboard that “Jack and Grace Baker and their four children took up residence at the Beach c1750. Many others followed: the Pinsons, Dodges, Langers, Hulls, Hiscocks, Pitchers, and Warrens.

The community had grown to 68 people by the 1870s. Across the cobble beach you will find their old gardens. The precious soil was developed for growing food leaving the homes and out buildings to perch among the rocks.

Joseph and Mary Dodge were the last residents – they passed away in the early 1920s. By then the other families had moved on, many to communities in the Random area. Economics and social change marked the end of the Beach community.

For more historical information on Heart’s Ease Beach visit the Southwest Arm Historical Society website at www.swahsociety.com

The storyboard was unveiled by 96 year old Janie Seward, the oldest resident of Gooseberry Cove.

As the storyboard says, come and “walk the Beach and imagine hearing their voices: the Maritime Archaic, the Dorset Palaeoeskimo, the Beothuk, and the Europeans. The water was their highway, the islands and headlands their hunting zones.”

The Southwest Arm Historical Society is planning on completing and installing other storyboards throughout the Southwest Arm area in the coming years.

 

Wanda Garrett is Vice-president of the Southwest Arm Historical Society.

 

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