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|
|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 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 Wisconsin...at 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!