• Point May, Lamaline and Point Au Gaul, Newfoundland and Labrador

    April 1, 2017
  • We left Fortune and we were on the road to Point May, the hometown of the Mother-in-Law of our daughter when we noticed the Point Crewe Heritage Park and Spy Cove on the right hand side of the road. This place looks a little lonely and a bit desolate when you first enter. However, once you get there it is a very scenic attraction with picnic tables and a spy scope offering great close-ups of the French Islands.

    Point Crewe Heritage Park and Spy Cove

    As I mentioned in my previous blog, there is a huge history between St. Pierre, Miquelon and Newfoundland. The rum running during prohibition made trade with the French Islands necessary  to keep Newfoundland supplied with booze. Al Capone made numerous trips back in the 1930’s to take advantage of the close proximity of these French Islands to North America. The French Islands were a good and plentiful source of contraband booze back then!

    St. Pierre and Miquelon Islands in the Foreground!

    There has always been a very close relationship between the people of Newfoundland and the people of St. Pierre and Miquelon. There have been many marriages of folks back and forth over the years! The French were a big influence on Newfoundland in the early settlement days when many battles were fought between the English and the French for territory over the bountiful waters teaming with codfish which was like gold to the invaders of the day!

    Sightseeing at Point Crewe Heritage Park

    Point Crewe is a ghost community now, but in the 1921 census, close to 50 people lived there. We are blessed to have reminders of those who came before us and even though Point Crewe is no more, you can see why people settled in such a scenic and wonderful place!

    Wind Turbines just off the road to St. Lawrence

    Next stop was Point May which has less than 200 people living there today. Point May is a very pretty place, separated in two by a river, and of course connected by a bridge. The landscape is mostly flat, but is a great place for berry picking in the summer and hunting salt water ducks in season.

    Point May

    My daughter’s Mother-in-law was born here in Point May. None of her family still remains here. Point May is the most southern community on Da Boot, with most people here still connected to the fishery. With limited prospects going forward, I wonder about the future of communities like Point May. I understand our in-laws  made the courageous decision back in the 1970’s together  to seek fame and fortune in Southern Ontario. They are quite successful and are to be admired for their tenacity and forward thinking regarding their futures!

    View From Point May

    Next up Lamaline, about 12 km down the road, another small town with about 300 people. Lamaline is a very pretty town as well. It was here in Lamaline that our in-laws  met each other at the local high school. Lamaline has a Burin Peninsula Tsunami Exhibit. There are several of these on the Burin Peninsula.

    Breathtaking Scenery on Da Boot!

    On November 18, 1929 a tsunami struck resulting from an earthquake on the Grand Banks that is on a fault line. Giant waves struck at 40 km per hour flooding dozens of communities. There was massive property damage with homes washing out to see and 28 people lost their lives. It took many days before word came of the tsunami because back then news travelled not like it does today.

    There were stories of babies being washed out to sea still in their bassinets. My Mother is from Rushoon Placentia Bay and she tells the story of the big wave hitting Rushoon and lives being lost. When I was a child my Grandmother took us in over the hill picking berries and we came across the skeletal remains of an old boat. Nanny said it had been hove up there from the big wave. The Tsunami of 1929 was one of the greatest natural disasters in the history of Newfoundland!

    View of Rushoon: You can Imagine a Giant Wave Coming into the Harbour and taking out one of these old Homes!

    Just 5 km down the road from Lamaline is Point au Gaul with a population of less than a 100 people. Our in-law  was born here and he still has family living here. Point au Gaul is beautiful with a long point of land that juts out into the ocean. Parts of the town is underwater at high tide. The Tsunami of 1929 took several lives here from this little town. Over 100 buildings were destroyed by the giant wave!

    Sightseeing in Point au Gaul

    We visited briefly with his Mom who still lives in Point au Gaul in the summertime and her brother who was visiting at the time from Ontario. Even though our in-laws left here many years ago, they still feel a deep connection to the bottom of the Da Boot and they return every year to visit and reminisce. They were unlucky enough to have been visiting when Hurricane Igor hit in 2011 and got stuck there for two weeks as the bridges and roads had been washed out. At that time, the army was called in to help repair the severe damage caused by Hurricane Igor!

    Next onto St. Lawrence Where the Pollux and Truxton Perished!

    MK