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Newspaper Clipping

The Public Ledger (Vol. I, No. 2), Tuesday, July 27, 1875, p.2

Descriptive article on the people and geography of Piper's Hole-Black River watershed areas for 1875.

Source: MUNQEII CNS. Submitted by an anonymous researcher.


(From our Western Shore Correspondant)

Placentia Bay, 16th July, 1875


The Weather so far during the caplin school has been very rough -- boats with difficulty holding the ground. But very little fish has been caught at the Cape during the past ten days. Bait has been very scarce in the Bay, and also at the Cape, sometimes being two or three days in deep water. What fish is caught has no signs of caplin in it and appears to be poorly fed. Sometimes few trips were caught with hook and line during the week ending 10th July. The codseines have done but little, the fish not striking the shore. The small craft in the Bay and about Merasheen and vacinity have done fair during the past week. About Paradise and Oderin the catch is short. The bait is very eccentric in its movements, causing a great loss of time to the fishermen. Cod oil will be short in quantity this year, as the liver is very poor; so far, not fat enough to float itself.

At this time last year there was a great deal of dry fish in the Bay, ready for shipment; now there is not one quintal fit to put on board of a craft, and three-fourths of the people have none washed out.

Several American fishing schooners have been in the bay looking for bait. They report plenty of fish on the banks. Our merchants will soon have to try their luck at bank fishing, otherwise the Yankees will beat us off our own grounds.

They surveying steamer Gulnare Capt. Maxwell, is engaged in the survey of the bottom of this Bay - three-fourths of it not having been surveyed since the time of Cook, who seems to have overlooked a number of the islands and shoals, which lie in conspicious places.

The railway surveying party, under Mr. Lynch, were at North Habour Waters on the 3rd. inst., six miles from Black River. They commenced their survey one mile and a half from Bay Bulls Arm, and took the route to northeast of the Powder Horn Hills, instead of the southwest, as laid down by Mr. Bellairs. Mr. Lynch thinks very favorably of the country through which he has passed, and he has seen some fine valleys. After crossing the Black River ridge, he will meet with an undulating country. He expects to meet the Exploits party and complete early in September, when they will return to survey the Peninsula of Avalon. Some of Mr. Lynch's men deserted at North Harbour Waters. The work was too hard for them and "the flies too hot". An Indian went to LaManche to procure others in their places.

Black River Station is situated in the northwest corner of Placentia Bay; opposite is Sound Island, standing in a nook, as it were. From Black River a pretty view of about fourteen miles can be bad through the reach, looking southwest, formed by Woody and Barren Islands. On the west of Back River is Piper's Hole, an estuary or arm of the sea, running up about seven miles, and into which falls Piper's Hole River. This estuary is large. At its mouth are several islands. The hills on each side rise abruptly, but further inland slope away. As you go inland, the land is low, level and covered with verdure of almost every description. The estuary winds through the country, sometimes narrowing to 200 yards, and again opening out into lakes or ponds, forming here and there peninsulas, which would be splended places for farms. Passing Kelly's Point, Bell Shute, and then Cape Pine, you come to Brown's clearing, the only spot of cleared land in the arm. Here fourteen barrels of potatoes are set out, a large patch of cabbage and turnip, and a patch of hay seed and clover -- hay thirty inches high and clover twenty-seven inches, without manure. All the labor on this clearing has been performed by one man who has tilled all the ground with a spade. You can here see several fine pine trees from Forty to fifty feet high. As you go further up, after leaving Brown's clearing, the Rattling Brook is on the left, a stream which, taking its rise from several ponds on the hill, runs down a steep incline in a series of rapids. Farther on is the Bear's Folly - a cliff about 400 feet high, and over which a bear is said to have fallen. The little romantic-looking basin called the Salmon Hole, is the termination of the estuary. Should you wish to see more of the country, the river is before, up which you can go. Piper's Hole is a very pretty place. The banks are covered with ferns, wild grasses, wild pea blossoms, purple, yellow, pink and white flowers, blossoms of the bakeapple, partridge and other berries. Here you see fir, spruce, birch, poplar, juniper, asp, sycamore, dogwod, pine and iron-wood trees. It is a beautiful spot, and would need a better writer to describe it than I am.

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Upper Placentia Bay