Famous Visitors at the Nurse Home

Zane Grey
For years we have tried to pinpoint the time that Zane Grey boarded with the Nurse family while working on one of his novels. He worked in the storage room portion of the barn behind the house. The house was under construction in 1914, so it is highly unlikely that Grey stayed with the family during that time.

The 1921 census was done during the summer months, during which time Richard Nurse was living in St. Jacques. Therefore, the family did not return to Pool’s Cove at least until the fall of 1921. Berkley and Helen married at St. John’s on 10 Oct 1925, and then lived at Trinity until the summer of 1927. So, in order for Helen to recall Zane Grey’s visit, it had to have happened between the fall of 1921 and the fall of 1925.

Zane Grey had a great passion for fishing and traveled to many parts of the world to pursue his interest. He set a number of records for deep sea fishing, including the landing of a Bluefin Tuna at Nova Scotia in 1924, his only record-setting catch in Canada. It is entirely possible, since he was in the vicinity, that he may have visited Newfoundland, and Pool’s Cove, at that time.

Governor of Newfoundland
Helen also remembered Richard Nurse entertaining the Governor of Newfoundland. Sir William Allerdyce became governor in 1922. He and Lady Allerdyce visited Pool’s Cove in the spring of 1924. Before Allerdyce’s time, Richard had been living in St. Jacques. When Allerdyce’s successor took over in 1928, Richard was dead. Therefore, it is most likely that Sir William Allerdyce is the governor that the Nurse family entertained and it probably occurred in the spring of 1924, while Helen was still in Pool’s Cove.

Captain Angus Walters
Another well-known visitor to be entertained by the Nurses was Captain Angus Walters, Master of the schooner Bluenose. The famous schooner was launched in 1921 and won every International Fishermen’s Series from 1921 to 1938, which was the last one. Again, Captain Walters’ visit to the Nurse home had to have taken place between the fall of 1921 and the fall of 1925, when Helen was living there. She later told her grandson, Stephen, that the Captain once gave her five dollars, which was a lot of money at that time.

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