French fishermen were said to be in Grand
Bank during this time.
First French Census taken in Newfoundland
shows “Grand Banc” (name probably originating from the
high bank that extends from Admiral’s Cove to the
harbour) with a population of 45.
Treaty of Utrecht, France relinquishes
its claim to Newfoundland including St. Pierre et
Miquelon. The French Population moved to Ile Royale
William Tavaner surveys the coast for the
Peace Treaty of Paris: French are given
St. Pierre et Miquelon, forcing the English population
at St. Pierre to relocate to Grand Bank and Fortune Bay.
First record of English settlement…
Captain James Cook mapped out the area
and moored his ship at Admiral’s Cove. Came ashore and
gathered buds off the small spruce tree to brew beer
(excellent source of vitamin C) for his crew.
By the end of the 1850s, Grand Bank had a
school, a doctor, a judicial system, a postal service
and a road system.
A change in fishing vessel from a shallop
to a schooner. With the change in vessel came a change
in fishing gear. The trawl was introduced. However, the
trawl could not be set directly from the schooner. There
was a need for a smaller boat, different from the punt;
we have the first appearance of the dory.
Breakwater and Dredging legislation was
Bank Fishery began and Samuel Harris’s
first season on the banks was a success. In short order,
a number of other Grand Bankers with schooners followed
(some of which include George Abraham Buffett, Simeon N.
Tibbo and Daniel Tibbo). The demand for schooners
dramatically increased. There were at one point (1885 &
1886) seven schooners being built in Grand Bank.
The Fish Drying Process
Once the schooners arrived in port, the
next stages would begin:
Remove surface salt: Used mops to scrub
the salt from the fish as water flowed through the
openings in the bottom of the pound (an open crate, 10
to 12 ft2).
Fish taken by horse and cart to one of
the beaches and placed in large piles called waterhorses
and left to drain.
The “beach women” were responsible for
spreading and tending to the fish while it was drying.
The fish was kept on the beach for a month, being spread
and turned every day and put in piles in the night and
Modern fresh fish processing plant was
built in Grand Bank and the schooners were replaced with
modern steel trawlers.