Conception Bay North - Brigus
Ships and Men - Nicholas SmithFrom 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|
|Native Lass||Bob Gushue||60|
|M. E. Smith||Moses Wilcox||55|
|Bright Water||A. Roberts||50|
|H. E. Grieve||J. Bartlett||150|
|General Grant||H. Bartlett||100|
|North Star||T. Gushue||80|
|Ocean Queen||J. Clarke||75|
|S. E. Teel||G. Pomeroy||60|
|Rise Over||Wm. Pomeroy||75|
|Harvest Home||T. Fowler||45|
|Swift Current||M. Smith||70|
|Lady Hill||J. Clarke||65|
|Sarah Agnes||E. Hiscock||50|
|Annie & James||J. French||50|
|Willis C.||Wm. Gushue||90|
|Florence S.||G. Rabbitts||90|
|Mary Ruth||Gus. Petten||100|
|Ellen Maxinor||W. Pomeroy||100|
Bonnie Hickey & Stephen Baker