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Monday, August 27, 2012

On walkabout at Tacks Beach

Old Tacks Beach

Ern Penny was the lone occupant of Bests Harbour when we arrived from Merry Harbour on the fifth day of our Merasheen adventure.  We walked over to see him in Bests Harbour for a chat.  After some time he invited us into his home where I took this shot of a framed picture of Tacks Beach (foreground) and Bests Harbour (afterground).  It was useful as it put our walkabout in Tacks Beach in perspective.

Notice the "roads" leading around the harbour and to the church.

Hi there!

Someone who still visits Tacks Beach had a sense of humour.  I would probably have been more appropriate to have it facing out over the entrance to Tacks Beach.  I asked Ern about the name.  Was there a family of Tacks I asked?  No, apparently it was named such because schooners would tack into the harbour.

Traditional stage

A disappearing sight in Newfoundland, the stage served as a place to split and salt cod fish, store fishing equipment and a place to take the drying fish into when it rained.

Hanging on

An old wharf stretches into Tacks Beach harbour where a few of the relocated residents have summer places and hang on to memories of grander times.  Grander times indeed.  Tacks Beach was settled in the early 1800s.  The population reached a peak of 251 persons living in 49 households.

Foundations

 Perhaps one of the 49 families lived here where all that's left are the concrete foundations of what looked to have been a house.  The rounded edge of each pillar show where the sills for the house were laid before the concrete set.

Dearly departed

Tacks Beach was abandoned in 1966.  They left behind the ancestors but obviously not forgotten.  Someone is keeping the graveyard neat and tidy and propping up the fallen headstones.

Here lies Henry Brown

I didn't find it difficult to imagine being here a few days after Henry Brown departed this life on August 28, 1899.  I wondered about how many people stood around the grave to grieve as he was lowered into the earth.  At 78, he would have lived a full life, probably had a large family and formed many friendships.

Clyde, Dean and I walked around the cemetery.  I sensed a feeling of reverence.

The church

This is all that remains of the church after almost 50 years since the community was abandoned.  The church usually occupied a predominant place in outport Newfoundland; its position can be clearly seen in the first picture, the one I took at Ern's.  Where houses may have been towed away or disassembled, the church was left to return to the earth.

It was an interesting walkabout at Tacks Beach.  I think we were left with  sense of what the community was like when the last person turned out the lights.

With, that, we walked back to our campsite on the neck to prepare for our usual fire on the bech.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in bests hr which was part of tacks beach.

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