Did You Know?  
Roland L. Noel

At the opening of the new school in 1958 the Hon. Premier Joseph R. Smallwood commented "Freshwater is one of ten or twelve oldest settlements in Canada". He also stated "Freshwater was reeking in history".

In 1697 Freshwater had 20 Men, 2 fishing businesses, 4 boats and 2,000 quintals of fish were caught. Clowns Cove then spelt  Kelun Cove had 22 men, 3 fishing businesses, 9 boats and  2,000 quintals of fish were caught according to Pere Baudoin's Journal of 1697. For more information click on links

In February 1840 the packet boat St. Patrick crossing Conception Bay ran into a raging snowstorm and was wrecked on the rocks off Clowns Cove Head, known as the Sound Rocks. Five of the crew and passengers lost their lives.  In recent memory some residents of the town say they have heard the baffling of the ship’s sails and the passengers’ frantic cries for help. Today the noises are referred to as “the hollers on the sound.”

Thomas Grant, a resident of Freshwater, built the first decked sealing vessel in Newfoundland on the beach in Freshwater Cove.

Edward Bemister of Freshwater developed a fishing operation in Freshwater, Carbonear and Henley Harbour, Labrador. According to family tradition, he and his vessel were captured by the Americans during the War of 1812 and Bemister was taken to Boston against his will. He survived however, and returned to Freshwater where he married Susannah Grant and raised a family.

A Mr. Butt of Freshwater was taken from his ship in Boston Harbour and pressed into service in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was killed during one of the battles.

In 1867 scarlet fever swept through Freshwater and the Noel family lost nine children in a 29-day period. John Noel alone lost five children, two in one day.

George William Jeffers, born and educated in Freshwater, held the positions of professor and Head of the Department of  Natural Sciences at Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia from 1926-1968 . In 1969, the college named one of its building the Jeffers Auditorium. For more information click on links.

Cecil Giles Reynolds, started his educated in Freshwater and went on to be a jubilee scholarship winner to Mt. Allison and is Freshwaters only Rhodes scholar. Later after a long academic career  professor Reynolds was named head of the English Department at the University of Maine and passed away two years ago. 

John H. Butt from Freshwater was one of three sailors from the vessel Kestrel who helped save the crew of the schooner Busy Bee. He received a gold watch for his gallant effort.

 In the early 1900's, Freshwater had its own railroad station, courthouse, post office and telegraph office and Clowns Cove had cod liver oil and lobster processing plants.

Three young men from Freshwater Silas Jeffers, Ernest Moores and Samuel Moores were at the Battle of the Somme in France on July 1st, 1916.  

Silas Jeffers a member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, raced across No Man’s Land and was killed in the battle of Beaumont Hamel, known today as the July Drive. 753 Newfoundlanders went over the top and when the battle was over only 68 answered roll call.  His memorial can be found in the old cemetery in Freshwater.

Ernest Moores, serving with the Canadian Scotch Regiment, was wounded, but recovered to return to the front lines. 

Samuel Moores, serving with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was wounded during the battle for Beaumont Hamel on July 1st, 1916 . He recovered in a hospital in England and was thrown back into the hell of the Somme in October, 1916 and was killed in action on October 12th, 1916. His remains were never found but his memorial is in the old cemetery in Freshwater.

Charles Butt of Freshwater was one the first seven men who went to Cobb’s Camp to clear land to build a runway. That camp later became the town of Gander.

On June 6th, 1944, Ruben Noel of Freshwater served with the British Royal Navy ferrying soldiers ashore to Gold Beach during the Normandy Invasion now known as D-Day.

William (Roy) Noel of Freshwater, a member of the Royal Newfoundland 166 Field Artillery, fought in North Africa and Italy in World War II. During the Battle of Monte Cassino his artillery crew was one of the closest shelling the monastery. 

The W & J Moores Ltd., once a prominent business in the Conception Bay area, was started in Freshwater by William and John Moores and was later moved to Carbonear.

Joseph G. and William L. (Roy) Noel started Noel’s Bus and Taxi Service in Freshwater in 1946. In 1953 they moved the business to Carbonear and incorporated it as Noel Motors and Transit, Ltd.

Noel’s Funeral Home in Carbonear is an offspring of W. C. Noel and Sons, a casket manufacturing and funeral service in Freshwater.

It was at Freshwater Premier Joseph R. Smallwood gave one of his first political speeches in support of Confederation. (Later Freshwater supported Confederation by a 98 percent majority vote).

Since 1949, when Newfoundland joined Canada, five residents of Freshwater have been or are now members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Ruben Noel, Clayton Parsons, Joe Butt, Woodrow Parsons, and Beverley Noel.

Joe Butt and Ruben Noel were members of the Newfoundland Rangers before the Rangers were taken over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Three young men from Freshwater were members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary: Clayton Parsons, Dale Noel and Samuel Jeffers, who was seriously injured in the line of duty.

H. Stanley Marshall  of  Freshwater  is President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortis Inc. He has served in this position since 1996. For more information click on links.

Susie (Parsons)  Penney of Freshwater and George Edward Butt of Flatrock are both 101 years old and enjoy good health and each will celebrate  their 102nd birthday in August 2000.

Dr. Herbert L. Pottle of Flatrock was a Member of Newfoundland's Commission Government.  He held the position of Health and Welfare Minister in the Smallwood Administration.  

Dr. Clarence Pottle of Flatrock ( nephew of Herbert L. ) was Superintendent of  the Mental Health System in Newfoundland.

Donald Evely of Flatrock was Superintendent of the Amalgamation School System in Newfoundland.

   

Copyright © 1999 by Roland L. Noel. All rights reserved. Revised: 22 Jul 2000 18:46:09 -0400
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