Broom Point – Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
I enjoy the scenery and grandeur of the physical world and Gros Morne National Park has so much of that to enjoy. According to geologists this is one amazing place to see evidence of 500 million years of our earth’s history (see http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/natcul/doc/trans.aspx). But I am much more drawn to the human element – what would it be like to live here both now and in the past (there is evidence that people lived in this area for the past 4,500 years). Broom Point gave me a wonderful opportunity to see and imagine a life of fishing in this area. Of course we were here on a beautiful, sunny, pleasantly warm day.
There is evidence that this can be a very blustery place, however. All along this cost we could see trees that were bent away from the shore from years of strong winds, winds so strong that vegetation didn’t grow on the ocean side.
Three Mudge brothers and their families lived and fished here from 1941 to 1975. The property is currently owned by the National Park and consists of a home and their fish store that serves as a place to store hand-made boats and fishing gear.
This is a three bedroom home, two bedrooms on the left side and one at the back on the right.
The kitchen contained a cook stove, a small table, and a daybed. That means that it was meant to sleep 7 people, minimum. I think things could get close and noisy on bad-weather days. I assume there were two other homes like this so each brother had a home. I wonder if the wives got along. I wonder if the brothers ever fought. Did they get together for Saturday night card games or did they just work and sleep? Did they get tired of eating fish?
There was a fire in the stove and the sweet smell of the burning wood drifted on the breeze outside. If you look closely you can faintly see the gas motor under the washing machine that provided the power to run it.
The fact that the outhouse had to be supported in this way told me that there could be some mighty strong winds and life could be harsh. I went to a one-room school without plumbing so I know what it is like to drop my pants and sit on a wood seat in freezing weather.
Click on Maritime Provinces – Canada to the right for more photography and stories of our trip.