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History of BIDE ARM HARBOUR

(formerly known as BIDES ARM HARBOUR)

Canada Bay, District of St. Barbe

by Ivan George CANNING

 

 

 

Beginning in the late 1800s and continuing until about 1927 the area presently occupied by the new Community of Bide Arm was a wintering site for many residents of Englee. In October of each year these people piled their possessions aboard boats and transported them to Bides Arm. This was repeated in May when they loaded everything on komatiks (as many as seven or eight dog teams were in use at any given time) and returned to Englee to start the fishing season.   

During their winter stay at Bides Arm, they would be visited twice by a doctor (including Dr. Grenfell) and a dentist. Esau Fillier had built a clinic and waiting room area onto his house, and his wife Emma took care of the doctor and dentist as well as other medical matters free of cost. In most instances the medical services were adequate. However, one woman died, and because there was no space available in the house for the body, and the weather being bad, it was placed in canvas under a boat for a week until the weather improved and it could be taken to Englee for burial. 

 

Because there were no stores at the settlement of Bides Arm, everyone brought what they needed in October. If a person "ran out" of supplies, there were no more available. Nothing was wasted. You wouldn't find many empty cans lying around all winter. There were hard times but they were good times as well. Everybody was happy and helped each other. However, we should be thankful that we no longer suffer the hardships of these early settlers.             

 

 

Note: Mr. Canning was born May 13, 1913, the son of John and Jessie CANNING. He now resides in Roddickton. He married Mertle FILLIER who was born Sept. 10, 1914 to Esau and Emma Canning FILLIER. Emma and Esau built a clinic onto their house at Bide Arm and Emma was the nurse who worked with Dr. Grenfell when he came to Englee. Emma and Esau had 2 daughters, Mertle and Silvia.

 

 

 

BIDES ARM SETTLEMENT circa 1920

Bite Arm map in St. Barbe District

The above map was prepared and contributed by Ivan Canning.
It includes the same names as listed below.
These families lived in Bides Arm around 1920.

       
House # Surname Given Name Additional descripton or comments
       
      Shore line: Starting at the east side (bottom right side of map) and
moving around the Harbour. Houses 1 to 12 are located to the far east and are in
a cluster. There is a large dock and noted on the dock is "Master builder
William HOPKINS Constructed the 150 ton "EMMA WHITE" here in 1917".
1 COMPTON George Sr.  
2 COMPTON Arthur  
3 COMPTON Edward  
4 FILLIER Samuel  
5 COMPTON Alfred  
6 REID Robert  
7 ROWSELL Arch  
8 ROWSELL John  
9 COMPTON John  
10 BROWN Henry  
11 HOPKINS Reuben  
12 HOPKINS Robert  
      The next houses are just a short way around the habour,
along the foot path, and in a row
       
13 HANCOCK Joseph  
14 HANCOCK Darius  
15 BUDDEN Joe  
16 HANCOCK Albert  
17 JOHNSON Nat behind Nat's house there is a well. Behind the well is
the Salvation Army Church and School
18     Salvation Army Quarters
19 HANCOCK Mark  
20 HOPKINS Theophilus
21 LANE Naaman  
22 GILLARD John  
23 GILLARD Noah  
24 REID Arron  
25 ELLSWORTH Thomas  
26 HANCOCK Stanley  
27 GILL David  
28 NEWMAN Theophilus  
29 HANCOCK Shem Sr  
30     Large work shed
       
      Slipway, running into the water, to launch boats. Noted in the shipway is:
"Constructed here was the 190 ton Nellie Reeves and three-mast Armistice
(over 300 tons) so named because her keel was laid November 11, 1918. Master
ship builder was William HOPKINS."
31 HOPKINS William  
32 HOPKINS Willis  
      Another well, and just behind Charles Hopkins house is
the U.C. School ( United Church )
33 HOPKINS Charles  
      Path branching to west (left on map) with three houses
34 CANNING Obadiah  
35 JOHNSON Samuel  
36 COMPTON Noah  
      Starting behind the UC School and continuing along
the foot path away from the harbour
37 COMPTON John north side of foot path
38 FILLIER Isaac north side of foot path
39 FILLIER Henry north side of foot path
40 FILLIER Walter north side of foot path
41 NEWMAN John south side of foot path
42 FILLIER Esau south side of foot path, this house was also a doctor's clinic
43 FILLIER William south side of foot path
44 FILLIER Albert north side of foot path
45 DENNY Matthew south side of foot path
46 REID W.G. south side of foot path
47 LANE John south side of foot path
48 WILCOX John south side of foot path
49 CANNING John south side of foot path
50 GILLARD Fred north side of foot path
51 GILLARD Job south side of foot path
52     Community well
53 WILCOX Soloman south side of foot path
54 CANNING Zachariah north side of foot path
55 REEVES Isaac north side of foot path
56 COMPTON Elijah north side of foot path
57 BARNES Frank north side of foot path
58 CANNING Simon north side of foot path
59 COMPTON Josiah north side of foot path
60 COMPTON Thomas north side of foot path
61 COMPTON Thomas north side of foot path
62 COMPTON Lewis north side of foot path
63 HANCOCK Thomas north side of foot path
64 WEIR Nathaniel north side of foot path
65 COMPTON Harriet south side of foot path
66 HANCOCK Fred Sr north side of foot path
67 REID William north side of foot path
68 REID Eli north side of foot path
69 FILLIER Jacob north side of foot path
70 CANNING William north side of foot path

Submitted by Daphne Duffy and Linda Elkins-Schmitt

Page Revised: February - 2003 (Don Tate)

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