Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stuff gets around

Among the artefacts recovered this year at the Indian Harbour archaeological dig: a fragment of Basque roofing tile.

How'd it get there? trade? recycling? the Basques themselves? Either way, it's a good story!

Friday, June 24, 2011

All about the name

From Dr. Rollman's column in The Telegram, June 18th:

In our province, names among the Moravian Inuit of Labrador became quite important and exhibit some unique naming practices.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, when an adult Inuk became a Christian through baptism, he would receive a new Christian name. Kingminguse, the first Inuk baptized at Nain, was named Petrus, or Peter, on Feb. 19, 1776, a date still remembered today by a local holiday.

Likewise, in Okak, the first Christian couple to be baptized, on Aug. 29, 1778, by Brother Johann Ludwig Beck, were Tautudlek and Kablutsiak, who received the Christian names of Isaac and Elizabeth.
Full column.

Monday, June 20, 2011

100 years ago: June 20, 1911

Government Buys Them From Dr. Grenfell for Far North-West

Ottawa, June 20.—The Government of Canada has made addition to the transportation facilities of the country in the form of fifty reindeer. The purchase was made from Dr. Grenfell, of Labrador, who is being paid fifty-one dollars each for the animals. They will be taken from Labrador by boat to Quebec in September, and will go by train to Edmonton or to Athabasca Landing, if the Canadian Northern has rails down to that point, early in the autumn. Scows will be built to complete the journey down the Athabaska River to Fort Smith, which is the destination of the herd.

The reindeer have proved a great success in Labrador. The conditions have been found entirely suitable for them, and the original herd of three hundred have grown by natural increase to some twelve hundred. They have proved to be as good for travel as in Lapland, and their flesh and milk have proved a boon on more than one occasion.

It is believed that they will prove even more useful in the Canadian north, where dog teams are now used for winter travel.

— Toronto Star, June 20, 1911

Sunday, June 19, 2011

80 years ago: June 19, 1931

Explorer To Use Short Wave Sets

NEW YORK, June 19.—David Binney Putnam, youthful explorer and author, who will sail June 18 for Labrador and Iceland on a scientific expedition, will keep in touch with the United States and the rest of the world by short-wave radio and television receivers.

Putnam, who will be 18 a few days before he sails, will be second in command under Captain Desmond Holdridge of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Putnam is to make ethnological collections in Labrador and Iceland.

The Johalla, a Nova Scotia 47-foot schooner, will be equipped with a gasoline engine and short wave radio and television receivers.

This will be Putnam's second trip to the sub-artic. The party will largely retrace the route of Leif Ericsson's pioneer journey.

— Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, June 19, 1931

Saturday, June 18, 2011

80 years ago: June 18, 1931

Proposes to Develop Labrador Shell Deposits

Northern Products Co., which has been granted exclusive right to the export of marine shells from the coast of Labrador by the Newfoundland government, effective July 31, 1931, is considering shipments of shell to Newfoundland during the coming season in steamers with a capacity of 3,500 to 5,000 tons. Shell will be processed, and sacked at St. John's for shipment to foreign markets.

Some $100,000 has been spent to date on exploitation of markets, it is reported, and the company is now in a position to operate the deposits on the Labrador coast on a large scale. The marine shell industry is one of the chief industries in Florida and there is an annual world demand of some 1,000,000 tons of which the United States takes 400,000 tons. Development work undertaken by Northern Products Co. has been done by local capital.

Financial Post, June 18, 1931

Friday, June 17, 2011

80 years ago: June 17, 1931

Grenfell Opposes Sale of Labrador
Feels Disposal of Territory by Newfoundland Would Be Mistake

(By the Canadian Press.)

Halifax, N.S., June 16.—Reiterating his previously expressed opposition to any ssale of the Labrador by Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell, here today en route from New York to St. John's, said such a sale would be a "regrettable error." Experts were needed to develop Labrador and Newfoundland, he said, and he had great respect for the potential wealth of the latter territory.

The general economic depression had hit Newfoundland hard and prices of fish and fur were very low, said Sir Wilfrid. Fishermen were experiencing difficulty in getting advances or loans.

Dr. Grenfell will conduct an aerial surve of the coast of Northern Labrador this summer for the purpose of aiding navigation north of the Strait of Belle Isle. Among other advantages, many attractions of the north would be available to tourists if a safe route north of the strait were found.

Aerial Chart Planned

Sydney, N.S., June 16.—En route to northern Labrador to chart that territory by aerial photography for Sir Wilfrid Grenfell, the Forbes expedition, consisting of the mother ship Ramah and two large and well equipped aeroplanes will arrive here about June 22, according to information reaching Sydney. It is unknown whether the plans will arrive from Boston under their own power or will be shipped here by freight and assembled for a takeoff from harbor waters.

Dr. Alexander Forbes, head of the expedition, is a scientist of Harvard University and chief of the Department of Physiology. His schooner, Ramah, is an up to date craft equipped to buck any ice that may be encountered along the coast. The sea planes will be especially adapted for work in the narrow northern harbors.

A drum of special fuel for the planes has been received here. Most of the summer's gas supply has been sent by steamer to St. John's, for further shipment to Labrador.

— Montreal Gazette, June 17, 1931

Thursday, June 16, 2011

100 years ago: June 16, 1911


Steamer Could Not Reach Labrador on Account of the Ice.

Canadian Press Despatch
St. John's, Nfld., June 16. — Prevented by ice from reaching the northern part of Labrador with provisions and other relief stores, the steamer Boethic, which is in the Labrador mail service, has returned to this port. The steamer put in at ports along the southern coast, but found no section requiring relief. In the spring there were reports that in some parts of Labrador the inhabitants were threatened with starvation.
—Toronto Star, June 16, 1911