Peeps at Many Lands_ Newfoundland
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Newfoundland, by Ford Fairford, Illustratedby C. G. Lowther
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Peeps at Many Lands
Author: Ford Fairford
Release Date: October 3, 2018 [eBook #58016]
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK NEWFOUNDLAND***
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PEEPS AT MANY LANDS
CONTAINING TWELVE FULL-PAGE
ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR
C. G. LOWTHER
ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK
Printed in Great Britain
|I.||THE OLDEST BRITISH COLONY||1|
|II.||THE INHABITANTS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS||5|
|III.||PERILS OF THE SEA||13|
|IV.||HOME-LIFE IN NEWFOUNDLAND||19|
|V.||THE FISHERIES OF NEWFOUNDLAND||24|
|VI.||A LAND OF TIMBER AND MINERALS||30|
|VII.||ACROSS NEWFOUNDLAND BY RAIL||36|
|VIII.||THE NORWAY OF THE NEW WORLD||41|
|IX.||HAUNTS OF THE PIRATES||46|
|X.||MOUNTAINS OF ICE||51|
|XI.||A PERILOUS ADVENTURE||56|
|XII.||THE NEWFOUNDLAND DOG||60|
|XIII.||HUNTING THE WHALE||65|
|XIV.||SHOOTING AND FISHING||69|
|XV.||SEAL-HUNTING ON THE ICE||75|
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
|ST. JOHN’S FROM THE OLD GOLF LINKS||Frontispiece|
|AN ESQUIMAUX FAMILY||9|
|THE WATER “FLUME” AT PETTY HARBOUR, WHERE ELECTRIC POWER FOR ST. JOHN’S IS GENERATED||16|
|DRYING FISH ON THE “FISH FLAKES”||25|
|LORD NORTHCLIFFE’S PAPER MILLS AT GRAND FALLS||32|
|MARBLE MOUNTAIN, HUMBER RIVER||41|
|SEALS ON “PACK-ICE”||57|
|THE NEWFOUNDLAND DOG AS A BEAST OF BURDEN||64|
|A HUNTER’S CAMP||73|
|UNLOADING THE HIDE AND FAT OF SEALS AT ST. JOHN’S||80|
|INDIAN BURYING-PLACE NEAR EXPLOITS||On the cover|
Sketch-Map of Newfoundland on p. viii.
THE OLDEST BRITISH COLONY
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Newfoundland,although it is the most ancient of theBritish Colonies, is less known and understood inGreat Britain than any of her oversea possessions.It is generally believed that Newfoundland is somewherein the Arctic Circle; that the inhabitants areclothed in furs, live in snow huts, feed on codfish;and that for six months of the year the island isunapproachable on account of barriers of ice andimpenetrable fogs. This is altogether untrue.
If you consult a map of British North America, youwill see that Newfoundland is an island a little tothe north-east of Nova Scotia, in Canada. It stretchesright across to the entrance of the Gulf of St. Lawrence,its south-western projection being only sixtymiles from Cape Breton, from which point Canadiansmay reach the island in about six hours by crossingthe Cabot Straits. The eastern coast of Newfoundland2is 1,640 miles from Ireland, and the fastest“liner” crossing the Atlantic would cover thejourney in from three to four days, although thesteamships at present plying between Great Britainand the Colony are usually seven days accomplishingthe voyage.
Upon first looking at the map of the Colony, youare at once impressed by the similarity of its physicalfeatures to England or Scotland. If you were to cutoff the two peninsulas at the south-east corner, fromTrinity Bay to Fortune Bay, the remaining landwould not be at all unlike England.
The coast of Newfoundland is extremely rugged,and you will get an idea of the number and size ofthe bays if you bear in mind that the coast-line atpresent, measured from headland to headland, isabout 1,000 miles; whereas, if the bays werestraightened out, there would be a coast-line ofprobably 2,000 miles. Some of the bays are verydeep, and the huge, high rocks towering abovethem present a picturesque and majestic appearance.There is, perhaps, no country in the world that hassuch secure natural harbours. These land-lockedharbours are a great boon to the fishermen, for whenthe long, rolling waves of the Atlantic are eager todevour any vessels that may be in their way, theslender craft of the fishermen are securely nestledbetween a couple of immovable jutting headlands.
3On a map of North America Newfoundland usuallylooks very small. Of course, in comparison with theUnited States and Canada, it is small. An idea of itssize is best obtained by comparing it with Ireland, thanwhich country it is said to be about one-fifth larger.Its breadth is about fifty miles greater than England,and its length 140 miles less. About one-fourthof the island’s surface is covered by water, so thatone naturally expects to see many rivers, lakes, andponds. Three large rivers are the Gander, theExploits, and the Humber, all of which are teemingwith what are considered to be the finest salmon inthe world. Every summer British and Americantourists flock to these rivers, for not only can excellentfishing be obtained, but absolute quiet andmagnificent scenery are always to be enjoyed bythose who seek sport, health, and rest from the dustand din of ordinary workaday life. Lakes, too, arevery numerous, and to view sixty to seventy ofthem from the summit of a mountain is a scenenever to be forgotten by the beholder. As theselakes are invariably surrounded by spruce and firtrees, their existence may never be known to thetraveller unless he happen to be on some eminencefar above the common track of the ordinary pedestrian.One striking feature in connection with many of thelakes is the secluded hollows in which they are to befound on the tops of the high hills, as though they4had determined that their beauty should not beenjoyed without the effort of climbing on the partof the seeker of placid waters. When the climberreaches the crest of a high hill, it is quite a commonexperience to be unexpectedly confronted by a circleof water, from which scores of seagulls rise, startledby the intrusion of a stranger upon their solitaryretreat.
Although there are no very lofty mountains in theisland, there are numerous ranges of high hills, theLong Range extending for quite 200 miles in a north-easterlydirection from Cape Ray. In the winterthe hills present a beautiful appearance, with theirinnumerable white heads peering above the clumpsof spruce and fir trees, the charm of the bright bluebeing greatly enhanced by the contrast. But theyare most beautiful in autumn, when the undergrowthbegins to change its colour, and the leaves ofthe wild berries put on their glamorous robes ofscarlet.
However, as a chapter will be devoted to thescenery of this ancient island, we will pass on to anaccount of the early races, together with the presentinhabitants, their mode, of living and the means bywhich they obtain a livelihood.
THE INHABITANTS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS
There is always something interesting in an accountof the early inhabitants of a country; but, unfortunately,it is not possible to trace the first dwellersupon the soil of Britain’s ancient Colony of Newfoundland.There is much tradition associated withthe researches of historians, and very few descriptionsof the races inhabiting this large island in the earlyages can be considered at all authentic. The RedIndians can be traced with accuracy so long ago as1497, when Cabot, the celebrated navigator andexplorer, found his way to the great stretches offertile lands on the north-west of the Atlantic Ocean.
This race of Red Indians were known as theBeothiks. Doubtless they were a warlike people,and had their tribal battles, just as did the varioustribes once so numerous in Nova Scotia, NewBrunswick, and other parts of Canada. Their chiefoccupations would be hunting and fishing, for theisland abounded in geese, wild-duck, ptarmigan, bears,foxes, and deer, whilst the rivers were abundantlystocked with beaver, as well as salmon, trout, and6numerous other kinds of fishes. The weapons withwhich they captured their prey would be clubs, bowsand arrows, spears, and slings, so that they would neverbe in need of food, and the furs of the wild animalswould furnish them with all necessary clothing tokeep them warm in the long, cold days of winter.
John Guy, who