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Friday, August 10, 2018

No One Lives Here Anymore - Resettlement Part 7

According to census records, folks were moving from the outports on their own before Resettlement.

In 1921 the population of St. Kyran's was 106, it fell to 95 in 1935, and it was down to 69 persons in 19 homes by 1945.  By 1966 no one lived there anymore.

Lobster pot in picture a happy sight though season is only 2 months long in Newfoundland

There were even less residents in St. Leonard's.  I don't know how old the above photograph is, but those dresses the ladies on shore are wearing seem like a turn of the century fashion statement! The tidy garden rows on the hill above the beach at St. Leonard's probably were full of potatoes, turnip, carrots and cabbage to store in those cellars they had.

It was mostly a fishing life in St. Leonard's, with supplies and mail coming in by boat.  Mostly the boats would have been the traditional dory, but some might have been larger.  Here's a fun video of the song "Old Newfie Fisherman" which includes some great photographs.

If any of the group from St. Kyran's/St. Leonard's knows who is in this picture with the dory, please comment and let me know.  

Those bare hills in these photographs are now full of trees, not having sheep to keep things mowed down makes a difference!

Sheep in foreground - Homes of Jim Rodgers, Fred Leonard and Pete Leonard perhaps?

The grass we walked through as we made our way out of the woods and to the beach was so long it fell over and rippled in the wind.   Even still it was knee deep and I was careful where I placed my feet because who knew what lay beneath.

Brook runs through center of St. Leonard's toward the beach

When going through Wayne's mother's old photos I noticed the same hillside above the brook behind the fence in this photo of his sister Mary in her First Communion dress.

Sister Mary's First Communion - St. Leonard's

The beach was long and flat, and seemed like a great place to have a lobster boil, not to mention spend an afternoon with a metal detector.

Here's another old photo that shows a view similar to one I captured. Notice the little pond-like area behind the beach area.  Of course in this photo you can see a dory, fish stages for drying cod and other fishing structures.

In  my photo below nothing remains to show that fishermen called this place home.

In St. Leonard's the population was 62 persons in 15 dwellings in  the year 1921, and it dropped all the way to 37 persons in 11 homes by 1935.

My favorite spot was the cellar overlooking the beach

We did not have time to visit the older cemetery and on our next visit I'm eager to see how far the dates on the headstones go back.  My cousin Darryl can't wait to come out with us next summer and help us clear them out and look for himself.  He also loves to hike and explore and made me swear to call and let him know the minute we know when we are going.

Brother Jim in the "old" cemetery behind Chapel Pond

Clearing trees from around the old stone church and the cemetery will provide lumber and we'll get excellent exercise while performing a service that others will appreciate.  We'll definitely need to bring our bug-net jackets and pants because there were mosquitoes in there!

Jim Follett, Ted Hepditch, George Follett and
 Paddy Collins at the old stone church

Wait...provide lumber? Yes, Wayne has convinced me (quite easily) that a cabin is going to be erected in St. Leonard's...and maybe we'll be retiring sooner than we originally planned.  I have to get home and run some numbers and figure some things out but maybe this time next year we will be living a completely different kind of life.

The kind of life where you have time to sit on the porch, to pick as many berries as you can fit in your stomach, to walk for hours and see how many footpaths you can resurrect from a place far from modern life.

Nell Leonard with daughter Mary

Of course plans are brewing for a home base in Placentia as well.  And we'd keep our house in least until we decide on our next adventure!  We won't be Livyers in any one place, that just wouldn't suit our nomadic spirit - or would it?

Back to St. Kyran's for our trip back across the bay

Tons more to come from our trip to Newfoundland, and here's the movie from our trip out across Placentia Bay!

1 comment:

  1. Cool! I hope you can make it happen...tho I don't see you as a "porch sitter" for very long. :)