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St. John's East and West
St. John’s, the Capital of Newfoundland, is situated on the eastern shore of the peninsula of Avalon, 60 miles north of Capt Race, in latitude 47º 33’ 33” N., and 52º 44’ 10” of west longitude. It is 10º 52’ east of Halifax, and stands on the most eastern portion of the American land, Cape Spear, five miles south of St. John’s, alone projecting a little further towards the Old World. It is 1000 miles nearer England than New York, and but 1640 miles from the coast of Ireland.
It is admitted by all travelers that the approach to the harbour of St. John’s presents one of the most striking and picturesque views along the entire coast of America. In a lofty, iron-bound coast, a narrow opening presents itself, guarded by two great rocky portals. One of these is Signal Hill, 520 feet above the lever of the sea, on the summit of which stands the “Block House,” for signaling vessels as they approach the harbour. The other is the “South Side Hill,” rising 100 feet higher, picturesque, rugged, and broken. From its base a rocky promontory juts out, forming the entrance of the Narrows, on one side, on the summit of which is Fort Amherst Lighthouse, where is heard the hoarse roar of the restless Atlantic, as the waves bread on the rocks beneath. As the vessel glides between these rocky guardians, the voyager looks up, not without a feeling of awe, arising from the sublimity of the scene, at the great cliffs of dark-red sandstone, piled in broken masses on a foundation of gray slate rock. The entrance of the Narrows between these hills is about 1400 feet in width, and at the narrowest point, between Pancake and Chain Rock, the channel is not more than 600 feet. The Narrows are half a mile in length, and at their termination the harbour trends suddenly to the west, thus completely shutting out the swell from the ocean. In ten minutes after leaving the broad Atlantic, a steamer is moored at the wharf of a perfectly land-locked harbour. Vessels of the largest tonnage can enter at all periods of the tide, the rise of which does not exceed four feet. The harbour is a mile in length, and nearly half a mile in breadth. It is from five to ten fathoms in depth, and in the center 90 feet deep. At its head is a Dry Dock, recently completed, 600 feet in length, 83 in breadth, and 26 in depth, capable of admitting the largest steamer afloat, with the exception of the Great Eastern.
The greater part of the city is build on sloping ground, on the northern side of the harbour, from the waters of which it presents a striking appearance, being crowned by the Roman Catholic Cathedral on the summit. The site could hardly be surpassed. On the southern side of the harbour the hills spring so abruptly from the - PAGE MISSING -
The manufacture of seal and cod oil is carried on chiefly on the south side of the harbour. There are three iron foundries, two large machine shops, two boot and shoe factories, one nail factory, three furniture factories, two tobacco factories, three biscuit factories, and an extensive factory for the manufacture of cables, ropes, nets, twines, seines, &c.
In 1780, St. John’s had a population of 1,605; in 1801, of 3,420; in 1812, of 7,075; in 1835, of 15,000; in 1874, of 23,800. The census taken in 1884 gave the total population of the city proper as 28,610. In regard to religious denominations the population stood as follows in 1884:--
There are two Banks – the Union and Commercial – both fine ornamental buildings. The Public Hospital and the Penitentiary are outside the city, near Quidi-Vidi Lake; and the Lunatic Asylum, a handsome building of brick and stone, occupies a beautiful site four miles from St. John’s.
From St. John’s as a center, visitors can make pleasant excursions in various directions, and enjoy the fine scenery which is met with everywhere. The drive to Portugal Cove, on the shore of Conception Bay, nine miles from St. John’s, is very delightful in a fine summer day, and the scenery at the village and around the shore is wildly romantic and in some places beautiful. Virginia Water, a beautiful lake, fringed with dark dense woods, is three miles from St. John’s, and a little beyond it is Logie Bay, a small cove between projection cliffs, with bold and striking shore scenery. On the same shore are Outer Cove, Middle Cove and Torbay, all accessible by a fine road from the capital, and but a few miles distant. The drive to these pLAces presents some of the grandest specimens of the architecture of the sea, in majestic surf-beaten cliffs sculptured into the most fantastic and picturesque forms by the blows of the Atlantic billows throughout the long centuries of the past. Another favourite drive is to Petty Harbour, a fishing village nine miles south of St. John’s, situated at the mouth of a narrow glen, at the foot of bare frowning ridges. The views at various points are very picturesque. The same road leads to the Bay of Bulls, 18 miles from St. John’s, and Ferryland, 44 miles. The coast scenery, which constitutes the glory of the island, with its complexity of fjords, bays, coves, creeks, islands, head PAGE MISSING – END OF SKETCH
Governor, Commander-in-Chief, and Vice-Admiral,
His Excellency Sir JOHN HAWLEY GLOVER, G.C.M.G.
Private Secretary and A.D.C.
Captain ST. JOHN ST. GEORGE ORD, R.A.
THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL,
The Hon. Sir W. V. WHITEWAY, K.C.M.G., Premier.
The Hon. (Vacant).
The Hon. Edward Dalton Shea
The Hon. Alex. M. Mackay
The Hon. (Vacant).
The Hon. Edward White
Clerk of the Council – Hon. E. D. Shea
DEPARTMENTS OF JUSTICE
Chief Justice – Sir F. B. T. Carter, K.C.M.G.
Assistant Judge – Hon. Robert J. Pinsent, D.C.L.
Assistant Judge – Hon. Joseph J. Little.
Chief Clerk and Registrar – Prescott Emerson, Q.C.
Assistant Clerks – Otto Emerson and George J. Adams
Crier and Tipstaff – John Burke.
Judge – The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Deputy Judge – Prescott Emerson, Q.C.
Registrar – R. R. W. Lilly, Q.C.
Marshal – A. O. Hayward, Q.C.
CENTRAL DISTRICT COURT AND COURT OF SESSIONS.
Judges – D. W. Prowse, Q.C., and J. G. Conroy, B.A.
Clerk of Sessions – R. R. W. Lilly, Q. C.
Attorney General – Sir W. V. Whiteway, K.C.M.G.
Solicitor General – (Vacant)
The Hon. Edward Morris, President
The Hon. Edward White, M.E.C.
The Hon. E. D. Shea, M.E.C.
The Hon. John Winter, M.D.
The Hon. Augustus W. Harvey
The Hon. Robert Thorburn
The Hon. Thomas Talbot
The Hon. Charles R. Ayre
The Hon. Chas. Crowdy, M.D.
The Hon Philip Cleary
The Hon. James S. Pitts
The Hon. M. Monroe
The Hon. John Syme
The Hon. Jas McLaughlan
Acting Clerk – H. H. Carter
Acting Master in Chancery – Thomas J Kough
Usher of the Black Rod – Wm. F. Rennie
Transcribed by Mary Rawlinson (August 2003)
Page Revised: August 2003 (Don Tate)
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