Place Names of the Northern Peninsula
By E.R. Seary
Edited by Robert Hollett and Dr. William J. Kirwin
|Robert Hollett and Dr. William J. Kirwin
This material, first published in 1960, will be of interest to geographers, historians, folklorists and the just plain curious who want to know how Ha Ha Bay got its name.
Hollett and Kirwin have written in the foreword a careful explanation of the changes they have made, and why. The book contains a version of Seary's 1960 preface and his 1959 and 1960 introductions, which meticulously detail the cartographical history of the area and include tidbits that might be included in a Newfoundland trivia game. For example, the earliest recorded names on the Great Northern Peninsula are credited to Jacques Cartier during his first voyage to Canada in 1534: Already known was Karpont (now Quirpon), and named by Cartier was cap Pointu (now Cow Head).
The book explains the structures of names: single or multiple elements with modifiers and specifics of colour, size, direction, vegetation, etc. It also has a phonetic key, a glossary of foreign terms, and a wealth of other reference material. Each community name is accompanied by latitude and longitude, reference points, maps and a bit of history that shows its chronological development.
Here's a sample:
Rocky Harbour 49-35 57-56
(Gros Morne 12H/12W)
? Small bay (Cook 1767), ? Little Bay (Cook 1770), G of St Julien (Lane 1790), Roche harbout (NLP 1887), Roche (Rocky) Harbour (Adm 1209 1897).
"The shores nearly all round are bordered by rocky ledges" (NLP I, 353).
Okay, so it's not scintillating prose. But by searching the book we find the coves that make up Rocky Harbour: Lobster Cove Head (known to Cook as North Point in 1770) and The Bottom (Cove) were noted by Admiralty cartographers in 1887; Bear Cove (once Anse à l'Ours) and Woody Cove were known in 1882. Oh, well, maybe you have to be from there ….
Robert Hollett and William Kirwin are preparing two other place name monographs on Placentia Bay and Trinity Bay. Hm. How did Tickle Harbour get its name?
[Image of Book Cover]