The Public Ledger (Vol. XX II, No. 2, 0093), Tuesday March 26, 1844, p. 3Overland Journey from Twillingate to St. John's, by Mr. Salmon of Slade & Co and his Indian guide in 1844
Source: MUNQEII CNS. Submitted by an anonymous researcher.
The following account of a journey overland from Twillingate to St. John's, by a Mr. Salmon, of the mercantile establishment of Messrs. Slade & Co in company with a Micmac Indian, will attract some degree of attention in the present dearth of general and of local interest. It has already appeared in the columns of the Post, from which we extract it.
"On the 14th February left Twillingate and arrived at Morton's Harbour, distance 8 miles; passed through Gew Woold - 15th, passed through Cottrel's Island, 3 days previously the Bay people having chased and killed a very large Polar or white Bear - 16th, passed up the bay, and through many islands, where the signs of red Indians were in abundance, such as Red Ochre Pit, where they got the clay to rub themselves; and large openings in the spruce trees, where they had procured sap by ripping off the bark, the juice being of a very sweet nature. We heard that the Mic-Mac Indians were chasing deer on Black Island --17th reached Lower Sandy Point, a fishing station belonging to Mr. Peyton walked to their winter houses, and saw the wigwams of two Indian families, most of the women being busily employed filling rackets, or snow shoes, and making moccasins of deer skin; here we found the snow nearly six feet deep, and having walked from Twillingate in my rackets, and the ice being through the snow in some parts of the Bay, I was obliged to remain some time to have them repaired - 19th, arrived at Upper Sandy Point (Mr. Peyton's house,) and there began to prepare for our journey across the country. On the 24th we started, and immediately took the woods with my Indian guide and a man that accompanied me from Twillingate; we were provisioned for ten days and by the time everything was made up, the two men had about 56 lbs. each and myself 40 lbs. We walked up the little rattling brook and crossed several large ponds; on every side of us the spruce and juniper trees were very large - stopped at 3 o'clock and immediately began to prepare for the night by cutting wood to burn, and clearing away a spot of ground of snow (5 ½ feet deep) and making a bough-house to pass the night in. The following day (Sunday) the weather ws too bad for travelling, snowing heavy and drifting, remained and strengthened our Tilt; walked a short distance and discovered two beaver houses, in the evening froze very hard, and we unfortunately set fire to our bough-tilt -- 26th, still followed the brook, and passed through woods that had been burnt twenty five years ago, to another brook called Cooper's Brook - 27th passed at the foot of the Blue Mountains and crossed the track of many foxes and hares, and arrived at the Gander Bay Min Brook, a large and splended river: on the banks are pine of the largest size - 28th, travelled up the river, and came to some tremendous rattles; the river being open in those parts, the walking was very heavy and constantly had to pass over very bad ice, owing to the current passing so swift - 29th, left Gander Bay Main Brook and entered upon Great Gull Brook, following that river for thirty miles, and arrived within the sight of the barrens; crossed the footing of several wolves chasing deer, saw a splendid black fox, and in the evening made a good birch rhind Tilt; the trees were cracking with the severe cold all night. March 1 st. - left Gambo on the left, and passed through a deal of low underwood; the walking being severe and heavy, owing to the snow clogging our rackets; poor places to pass the night - 2d. took to the barrens, one vast plains far as the eye could reach towards the North-west and South-east; in the evening we could just make out a very high hill rising in the distance, which the Indian called the Great Tolt - 3rd, were nearly reached the foot of the Tolt, and was very glad to get into a small spot of woods for shelter; found that my eyes and those of our Indian guide began to fail us. (touched with blindess) - 4th, passed over nothing but Ponds continually, and a great sight of deer; towards evening we came upan a herd of 18, and the Indian killed one dead, another dropped soon after; came across three wolves - 5th, bad weather for travelling, obliged to lie by and cooked what vension we liked, being a godsend -- 6th, to-day we walked without our rackets for the first time since we left home, the snow only two feet and a half deep, it having been gradually decreasing from the northward - 7th, came across more wolves and numbers of deer, the Indian pointed out to me the little Tolt, which we passed, and arrived at Black Head, and the following morning we came out at Piper's Hole, Placentia Bay, and arrived at Sound Island - 9th, left Mr. Hallet's and walked to Arnold's Cove - 10th, took the country and passed the back of Trinity, constantly passing over hills of immense hight, with very little wood, hardly enough to pass the night in - 11th, started early and crossed the Placentia road, and passed the White Mountains - 12th, crossed the river and came upon St. Marys; passed over the marsh and stopped in the woods for the night, pouring with rain, and blowing a gale of wind - 13th, passed Salmonier, and arrived at Holyrood through a most horried drain called a road - 14, arrived at Kelligrews - 15th, arrived at St. John's.
© NL GenWeb