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W.W. Wareham & Sons Ltd. fonds, 1934-1967

10.75 metres of textual records

Administrative history

W.W. Wareham (1881-1961) owned and operated a fish and fishery supply business at Harbour Buffett, on Long Island, Placentia Bay from 1922 to 1967. The business was purchased by Wilfred William Wareham of Haystack, in 1922, from Thomas Wakely. It was originally established circa 1812 by Thomas Hann, an English merchant who came to Placentia to act as a supplier for the fishery. In 1890 Hann went bankrupt and another English fish merchant, G.C. Fearn, bought the operation. Fearn expanded the business by establishing a lobster factory at Harbour Buffett. In 1909, Percy Fearn (G.C's son) became manager and after three years the business was sold again. Thomas Wakley, the new owner, had come from England a few years earlier and set up a business in the nearby community of Haystack, Long Island. After he purchased the Harbour Buffett premises from Fearn, in 1912, he sent his son Isaac there to manage it. Wakely operated the establishment for ten years, until it was sold to Wilfred William Wareham. The business operated successfully in Harbour Buffett until resettlement forced it to close in 1967.

During its forty-five year history, W. W. Wareham & Sons Ltd. operated mainly as fish merchants, buying fish and supplying fishermen with fishing gear and provisions. They operated bankers in the fishery but did not own any foreign going vessels. Wareham was a member of the Newfoundland Associated Fish Exporters Limited (NAFEL), and was involved in the salt fish industry, buying fish from the other communities in the area, and selling through the central agency. As well as the operation at Harbour Buffett where the fish was collected and dried, Wareham's operated a branch at North Harbour, Placentia Bay, managed by Don Slade, and an office in St. John's managed by Harry Wareham. Other sons of W.W. Wareham, Leeland and Fred, managed the headquarters at Harbour Buffett.

Sources: Butler, Victor. The Little Nord Easter: Reminiscences of a Placentia Bayman. St. John's: Breakwater Books, 1980; Wareham, Baxter, Harbour Buffett, Student Research Paper, Maritime History Archive, 101-D-01-01

Scope and content

This fonds consists of the business records of the firm of W.W. Wareham & Sons Ltd., a general store and fishery supply business at Harbour Buffett, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The majority of the records cover the last fifteen years that the firm was operating , 1950s-1967, and provide a fairly complete record of the business. The fonds includes financial records, ledgers, journals, stock books, cash accounts, branch and trade accounts correspondence from suppliers and customers, schooner accounts, fish collection books, fish purchases and sales, production statistics and labour records.

This fonds is organized in six series: Correspondence, 1934-1962; Financial records, 1949-1967; Shipping and fisheries, 1934-1966; Employment, 1949-1961; Personal records, 1947-1949; Miscellaneous, 1966.

Custodial history

When Harbour Buffett was resettled in 1967, the business records were abandoned. Dr. Wilfred Wareham returned to Harbour Buffett and collected what was salvageable, and arranged, with his father's permission, to have the material stored at the Maritime History Archive until a formal donation was made.


Supplied title based on contents.

Donated by Dr. Wilfred Wareham, April 1987.

Copyright is held by the creator or his/her heirs.

Maritime History Archive finding aid 5

Location Bank 53, shelf 1-4

List of Series and Subseries

1.00: Correspondence

1.01 Local Letters

1.02 Letters-St. John's

1.03 Telegrams

2.00: Financial Records

2.01 Journals

2.02 Ledgers

2.03 Stock Books

2.04 Cash Account Books

2.05 Invoices

2.06 Branch and Trade Accounts

2.07 Charge Accounts

2.08 Expense Accounts

2.09 Bank Books

2.10 Bank Statements

2.11 Cheque Register

3.00: Miscellaneous

3.01 Miscellaneous Records

4.00: Shipping and Fisheries

4.01 Schooner Accounts

4.02 Registry and Log Books

4.03 Fish Purchases and Sales

4.04 Fish Sales

4.05 Fish Collection Books

4.06 NAFEL

5.00: Employment Records

5.01 Labour Records

6.00: Personal Records

6.01 Family Accounts and Labour

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