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    Outport town of Carbonear, Newfoundland

Carbonear, Newfoundland panoramic photos through the years

Looking eastwards towards the north side of Carbonear thorough the various decades from the late 1890s to the 1940s. Photos and post cards from the Dave Parsons Collection.
Carbonear, Newfoundland Saunders, Howell and Company

Looking eastwards from the Saunders, Howell and Company lumber yard on the water with a pair of schooners. Photos from Ebay listings and Public Facebook Site - Carbonear Heritage Society.
Carbonear, Newfoundland panoramic photo with identified landmarks.

Looking eastwards from the shoreline at Carbonear industries, businesses and homes line the waters edge with the churches and the schools on higher ground. The photo was taken in the 1920s after the 1916 fire but before the 1929 and 1931 fires. Photo from Parsons Collection and Ads from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
1864 Rorke and Sons Ad  1864 Rorke and Sons Ad

John Rorke, Richard McCarthy, B.T.H. Gould and Nicholas Nichole merchant and agent ads from the 1864 Hutchinson's Newfoundland Directory. From the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
1930 Carbonear panorama with SS Sollund steamship

In 1930, the steamship SS Sollund was docked in Carbonear Newfoundland. Originally, the 1908 Norwegian built steamship named Agnella was part of the ‘Mosquito Fleet’ used by the United Fruit Company. In 1910 she was chartered for the New Orleans - Livingstone - Puerto Cortez route. In 1916 she was out of the banana trade and renamed the Sollund. Later she survived WWII convoys and bombings in England and took part in Operation Neptune, arriving in Normandy with ammunition on June 13,1944 leaving the same day and making 25 such voyages altogether. A Belize mailing stamp was even created of the ship. Photo from the Parsons Collection
1944 March Letter from Sam Parsons - Water Street, Carbonear, NFLD

Writing his brother Alfred Parsons (1883-1972) from Water Street, Carbonear on March 30, 1944, Sam Parsons (1875-  ) wrote of picking up Jim Parsons Sr. and Bertha Davis Parsons baptism certificates for $2.00. He also mentioned other families including the Moores, Ash and other local Carbonear residents. Sam suffered from aches and pains and his "working days are finished."  Letter from the Parsons Collection.
Water Street
Carbonear, NFLD
March 30, 1944

Dear Al, Your letter to hand sometime ago. Glad to hear from you. I have been going to write you every day, but when I get home my time is gone and I am off to bed. I am suffering such agony in my leg that I have no desire for anything. If you could see me trying to get around, you would certainly pity me, but I have to go as this is my only support. I am trying to hold on till my year expires, that will be last of August. I can’t do anything, my working days are finished.

Everything now will have to bye John – Johnie Moores at Freshwater there – W. & J. Moores, Carbonear is at this time passing out, he is living with Jack, Uncle Billie, Son, across the street. (once) Judge Penney since last writing. Lenard Ash and George Dean passed away. Ben Rowe is improved somewhat but in poor state.

I am sending you two certificates, births of Jim & Bertha. I took it to Mr. Davis, you will find it O.K. The charge was $2.00. You will forward same to them and see that they get it.

Sallie, Bert & Lillian are well. Mary is a great girl. Hardly know she is in the house. Sleeps all night. All wishes to be remembered to you & family. You will have to excuse this as I can’t rest with pain.

Hoping this will find you well.
64. Howard
Your Brother
Sam’l Parsons
1944 March Letter from Alfred Parsons in New Hampshire

Alfred Parsons living in New Hampshire, wrote of his brother Sam after retrieving Bertha and Jim's baptism certificates (included Sam's letter) and the passing of his wife (and Bertha's sister) Jane Moores Davis (1884-1943). Letter from the Parsons Collection.
Water Street
April 7th, 1944

Dear Bertha & Jim,
I received a letter from my brother, Sam, today and he sent me the two Certificate of Baptism that you asked me to write for. Sam is not feeling very well.

I will send you his letter so you can see for yourself, he have been having pain in his legs for sometime. Well Bertha, this is a very sad time for me. Last Easter Jane was taken from me and it’s just as fresh as it was yesterday. I miss her more everyday. I don’t seem to be able to shake it.

I was up last Sunday to see Maurice but had to go back Sunday. Florence and I , we did not have time to go anywhere. We came home Sunday afternoon. You can send the money to Sam. I will address an envelope for you, if that will help you any, write him a few lines. He will be glad to hear from you. Hoping this finds you and Jim and Willie all well and enjoying yourselves.

Yours truly,
Alfred Parsons
27 Leonard St.
Rochester, New Hampshire
1944 Baptism certificate for James Taylor Parsons United Church Carbonear 

One of the baptism certificates from 1944 Sam picked up in Carbonear for James Taylor Parsons Sr. who was baptized in the Methodist United Church by J. B. Heal in Carbonear on May 22, 1878. The certificate was written by Rev. H. M. Davis from the original record of births. Parsons Collection
1944 Letter from Sam Parsons - Water Street, Carbonear, NFLD

Writing from Water Street, Carbonear on July 3, 1944, a cousin of Bertha Davis Parsons and James Parsons Jr., Sam Parsons wrote of times earlier when he stayed with Jim and his family in Chelsea, Boston on Maverick Street.  Letter from the Parsons Collection.
Water Street
Carbonear, NFLD
July 3, 1944

Dear Jim,

You will please excuse me for not writing you before. I know you will think it strange, really, I’m ashamed of myself. I haven’t forgotten you, really, I have often thought of you and the Family and the happy times we had together. Them times are gone and we both are got older.

Yes, tomorrow is the Glorious Fourth. I can go back to my first time, when I lived with you. I don’t know it it’s the same now as then. That was on “Maverick Street." Things have changed since then. Livie, you daughter is grown up and the little fellow (I think his name was “Willie”) are married, and, fly like the birds in the nest. Feathered and gone. Such is life.

When writing Al, I would often wish to be remembered to you and family.

Well, Jim, how are you? Well I hope. For my self, I have been laid up all the winter with sciatic all the past winter. Probably you may have heard Al speak of it. It’s a dreadful pain. And it still hangs on. I am in hopes with the warm weather it may get better.

I am glad you got them Certificate O.K. I did not expect any remuneration for what I did. I was only too glad to do so. But thanks very much. I hope they will prove just to you I only have the one child. But he is married and have a darling little girl, 8 months, 1st July. Al will tell you all about that and you also can see her picture, mother and child. We called her “Mary” after my little girl.

We have had very poor weather - only a couple hot days.

Jim, I would love to be able to run in and see you all. What a talk we would have. Give my respects to your good wife. Hope she is enjoying good health. Tell Livie I don’t forget the little verse, about the three little Keys. Say me to her & Willy & Ly. You wouldn’t know old Carbonear now. Hoping this will find you well.

I remain your old friend, Samuel Parsons.

Good Luck.

P.S. I forgot to tell you. Bert is doing business. Started last fall. Doing very good. Jim, I would love to hear from you anytime and answer any questions you would like to know. And I will tell you all the Home News.


Carbonear, Newfoundland panoramic photo with identified landmarks.

Looking from Saddle Hill, the town of Carbonear sits in a sheltered harbor with homes and businesses on both the north and south sides of the water. Photo from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
1864 Rorke and Sons Ad  1897 Carbonear Merchant Ads

Aspey and Co., Duff and Balmer, Mrs Keneally, Tucker and Cameron, John Rorke and Sons merchant and agent ads from the McAlpine's Maritime Provinces directory for 1870-1871 and McAlpine's Newfoundland directory, 1894 to 1897. From the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Carbonear, Newfoundland map and town photos
Listed on the earliest Newfoundland maps, the busy outport town of Carbonear was a focus of the early cod fish industry and a home and place of employment for centuries of families including the Parsons, Davis, Moores, Butts, Pike, Pottle Rorke and more. The map above is a 1914 Fire Insurance Map from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with photos from the collections of Dave Parsons, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Public Facebook Site, Carbonear Heritage Society.
Small farms in Carbonear, Newfoundland

Looking southwards, small farms or "fishing rooms" dotted with boxy homes are divided by rows of spruce sapling fencing much like the coastline residences back in England at the time. Mosquito Point jabs out into Carbonear Harbor with a minimally populated south shore. Trees are absent having been removed for centuries during the fishing industries construction of stages and flakes and then later settlers homes and fences. Post card from the Dave Parsons Collection.
Carbonear history article from 1947 Atlantic Guardian Magazine

1947 Carbonear history article in The Atlantic Guardian Magazine from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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