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Conception Bay North - Brigus

Ships and Men - Nicholas Smith

From an unidentified newspaper clipping found in a scrapbook at the Harbour Grace Library.

Ships and Men

Brigus, the home port of Capt. Bob Bartlett, has a prominent place in the saga of seafaring that has coloured Newfoundland's history.

In days gone by the port was the headquarters of a large fleet of ships that sailed the seven seas and vigorously prosecuted the local fishing, sealing and coasting trades.

But to-day the scene has changed. There are only two vessels sailing out of the port. The life of the place no longer fully centres round the waterfront, and in a hundred ways the Brigus of present is different.

Though some may say it's a change for the better, there are those who lament the passing of the seafaring era. Among the latter is Nicholas Smith, retired sea captain.

Mr. Smith has done his best to keep the salty tradition of Brigus alive. When he gave up going to sea he collected his diaries of many seasons and wrote the book "Fifty-two Years at the Labrador Fishery."

This veteran seaman who turned author late in life has added a valuable portion to the story of Brigus. His latest effort is a shipping record covering the period from 1880 to the present.

Mr. Smith has personal memories of each of the 82 ships listed. As a boy, he used to go on board the older vessels; as a man, he sailed and commanded some of the more recent ones. His record of them all is complete.

In looking over the list of Masters, Mr. Smith observed that only five of them are alive to-day. Most of the ships, too, have passed from the scene.

So, sighs the Brigus historian, all that remains is the list of the ships and the men who commanded them; that alone will endure.

We publish this list below, giving the names of the vessels and the skippers, and the tonnage.

Name of Vessel Captain Tons
Sherbrook Sam Wilcox 90
Zepho Sam Edwards 70
Pet Wm. Roberts 110
Superior Wm. Spooner 100
Native Lass Bob Gushue 60
Ariel Geo. Percey 50
M. E. Smith Moses Wilcox 55
Surprise Jos. Hickey 35
Peerless J. Kelly 150
Topray Nath. Norman 170
Rattler M. Norman 120
Ripple Wm. Norman 130
Trial Wm. Pomeroy 120
Times Wm. Way 60
Bellclutha J. Roberts 160
Treasurer Jas. Gushue 90
Sylph Geo. Gushue 50
Gillett Geo. Clarke 40
Meader S. Antle 120
Bright Water A. Roberts 50
Panther Wm. Bartlett 350
Zebra Sam. Bartlett 120
H. E. Grieve J. Bartlett 150
General Grant H. Bartlett 100
North Star T. Gushue 80
Laddie H. Bartlett 100
Kate Tom. Spracklin 70
Ocean Queen J. Clarke 75
Druid M. Neville 65
Clerity J. Spracklin 60
Dora T Spracklin 30
S. E. Teel G. Pomeroy 60
Rise Over Wm. Pomeroy 75
Alert A. Mundon 150
Atlanta H. Whelan 140
Pearl Tom Wilcox 135
Escort Rich. Walsh 140
Matilda S. Dooling 130
George Job Harvey 140
Myrtle Job Harvey 150
Hunter N. Rabbitts 150
William S. Whelan 160
Herald Jos. Bartlett 150
Sultana J. Clarke 160
Maxium Mos. Clarke 175
Dawn Geo. Clarke 150
Cornella M. Smith 50
Harvest Home T. Fowler 45
Isobel Sam Edwards 50
Swift Current M. Smith 70
Victor Wm. Bartlett 90
Dolphin H. Bartlett 60
Gideon J. Bartlett 65
Lady Hill J. Clarke 65
Lizzy S. Clarke 60
Lucy E. Wilcox 55
Ornament W. Andrews 50
Charlotte R. Clarke 50
Kersage C. Gushue 50
Packet J. Clarke 45
Hilton W. Burke 60
Ann N. Clarke 45
Sarah Agnes E. Hiscock 50
Laura Wm. Hiscock 75
Jessie H. Norman 50
Pilot J. Chalker 45
Puritan G. Gushue 90
Sisters Wm. Trench 45
Annie & James J. French 50
Majestic Wm. Wilcox 45
Alexander N. Smith 50
Willis C. Wm. Gushue 90
Irene J. Burke 50
Antecede G. Chalker 45
Pathfinder J. Chalker 40
Mahone Wm. Hiscock 50
Hyacinth Wm. Wilcox 35
Jane J. Rabbitts 100
Florence S. G. Rabbitts 90
Olivia J. Lacey 50
Mary Ruth Gus. Petten 100
Ellen Maxinor W. Pomeroy 100

© Bonnie Hickey & Stephen Baker