Interview With Henry Herridge

Question: What did you do for fun?
     Answer: We used to go cliff-climbing and sometimes we played skip rope or hopscotch. Sometimes we would get half a puncheon (large tub) and see who could jump into it. In summer we went swimming at Anderson’s Cove Pond, which had a nice cove at one end. Then, in winter we could skate on the same pond. We picked blackberries too as there were lots of them around Anderson’s Cove. We always had a bonfire on “Bonfire Knob”, a big knob up behind the school.

Question: What pets did you have?
     Answer: I had two dogs, a cat named Tibby and once I had a rabbit. I caught a crow one time and named it Jack. It was so tame that it chased me about. I would yell at it to go back and it hung its head and turned around. I also had a robin for all of one summer and I kept it in a house with a net around it.

Question: Did you get an allowance?
     Answer: No, money was too scarce. We would go off in the harbour in row dories and jig little fish. We cleaned the fish, split them and salted them. When the traders came around, we sold them. I once had two tiers of fish packed in a tobacco box. I don’t remember how much I got for them but I know I bought a lot of candy.

Question: What did your house look like?
     Answer: It was a two-story house and the roof was almost flat. It was built on cribwork because there wasn’t much land where we were, so most of the house was over the ocean. You could stick a bamboo pole out the window and catch tomcods. We also had two stores (sheds). One was close to the house and had a drum in it for a stove where meals were often cooked in the summer. The other store was built with materials we got when Cyril Thornhill tore down his first shop. It was out back and had an attic where we packed our fishing gear. There was a bridge made of chopped “lungers” going from the house to the store.

Question: What about the yard?
     Answer: We had a little bit of land by the road going up to Stones Cove, and a little bit on the other side between the house and the cribwork. The slip for pulling up our dory was over a big rock. When the dory was pulled up, it was right beside the store.

We had a little vegetable garden up past the store for cabbage, carrot and a few potatoes. Then we had another garden up in Mary’s Cove for cabbage, turnip, and other vegetables.

Question: What was the community like?
     Answer: There was two parts to Anderson’s Cove – “Up-the-Harbour” and “Down-the-Harbour.” The two parts were joined by a long bridge around the cliff that was about a hundred feet up over the water. When the bridge started to get bad, a road was built up over the hill and came out down by the school. The school was handy about in the middle of the place. The Church was “Up-the-Harbour.”

Question: Were any famous people born in Anderson’s Cove?
     Answer: Not many famous people. Uncle Charlie Thornhill was always called the “Mayor”. There was Garfield Fizzard who has written some books. And there were some well-known fishing Captains from the Thornhill family: Arch, Reuben, Frank and William.

Question: What did people do to earn a living?
     Answer: They went fishing, in dories and on banking schooners in the summer. In the winter, they caught herring to sell to the bankers. Herring would be spread wherever you could find a place – even along the side of the road. I think it was Grand Bank Fisheries that hired us one time to pack the herring in barrels for fifty cents an hour.

Question: Was there ever a mine in Anderson’s Cove?
     Answer: Well, there was a little one over on Stood’s Hill, a little way up Long Harbour. It was run by an American named Roy W. Rawley. We got 89 cents an hour there.

Question: What was mined there?
     Answer: Florspar, but the mine didn’t last long. The mineral belonged to the same vein that was owned by the mine at St. Lawrence.

Question: Were there any industries or factories?
     Answer: The herring factory, that’s all. It was owned and operated by Frank Banikin from Russia. When he started, he got everyone in Anderson’s Cove to cut logs for him to build his wharf. It was winter and we towed them out Long Harbour. When the wharf was finished, he built the factory. It was 40 feet wide by 60 feet long. He had about a dozen or more men from Terrenceville working there and about the same number from Anderson’s Cove. We sold our herring to him and then went to work in the factory packing them. He paid 79 cents an hour, which was very good pay at that time. There were four coopers from Swift Current working there. He also had a little cook house for the men who didn’t belong there. The cook was Minnie Hardiman.

Question: How did you keep warm?
     Answer: We cut lots of firewood up in Long Harbour and we had coal to burn in the stove. There was just one stove to heat the whole house, except for the parlour (living room). We used the same stove for heat and for cooking. In winter, when we got up in the morning everything would be frozen. The first thing we had to do was light the fire. We had a “pot-belly stove” in the parlour which was only used for special visitors, like a minister.

Question: What kind of lights did you have?
     Answer: All kerosene lamps. First we had small table lamps, and then we got the bigger Alladin lamps, with the mantle in them. They gave more light. For working outside in the dark, we used lanterns and torches. The torches were about eight to ten inches in diameter, filled with torch wick, had no chimney, and gave lots of light but they smelled terrible! We also had flashlights for getting around from house to house at night because there was no such thing as street lights.

Question: Where did you get your hair cut?
     Answer: We had barbers. I used to cut some with the old hand clippers for ten cents a cut. I would go to George Pope, the barber at Stones Cove – I cut his hair and then he cut mine. Phil Dodge took over after I gave it up. He had been in the sanatorium with tuberculosis. When he came home he set up a barber shop in a room on his house. The women also did each other’s hair. Your great-grandmother, Sophie, did a lot of what they called “proms” back then which made their hair all curly. (A “prom” is the same as having a “body” in your hair.)

Done by great-granddaughter Faith Loveless, for a Heritage Fair Project.
February 25, 2007

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