The Gut


Chart Color Legend

Documented Settlement - Red | Probable Settlement - Blue | Seasonal Settlement - Green


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2
7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0
8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


At the head of Caplin Bay, the cliffs along the bay give way to a wide sandy area generally referred to as The Beach. Before the late 1950s, there was a natural narrow channel on the northeast side of The Beach, connecting the waters of the bay to the Gut Pond, hence this channel was known locally as The Gut. Over the centuries, The Gut provided access to the pond, which was suitable for sheltering smaller boats used in the inshore cod fishery. In the late 1950s, a Government works project replaced this natural access with a wider and deeper channel, and they deepened the Gut Pond as well. This new man-made channel was located about 100 feet south of its natural predecessor. It was built to permit the passage of larger, wider, and higher fishing craft into the Gut Pond, even at high tide. Another Government project, in the 1970s, moved The Gut farther south, again to widen and deepen the channel and to heighten its overhead clearance.

Over the years, some of the Power families, especially the descendants of John Power, built their homes in this area, along the hillside overlooking The Gut and the Gut Pond, and behind Morry's property granted to them in 1790. Records show that John Power of Caplin Bay married Mary Gatherall, of Bay Bulls, at Witless Bay, in 1830. This marriage suggests Mary's kinship with Stephen and Joseph Gatherall, likely explaining why they moved to Caplin Bay, about 1833, and occupied land in the same general area. The early Voters Lists recorded that the area northeast of The Gut was occupied by the families of Stephen and Joseph Gatherall by 1840. As far as I can tell, these two men who settled at Caplin Bay were brothers. Research indicates that Stephen Gatherall married Honorah Mokeler at Bay Bulls in 1833. A clipping from a St. John's newspaper verifies that a Honorah Gatherall, born at Bay Bulls about 1812, died at Caplin Bay on June 19, 1890. No such record found for Joseph's wife, but it appears likely she was the former Mary Williams of Bay Bulls. Joseph and Mary married at St. John's in 1828.

Stephen's settled to the northeast of The Gut, adjoining the property of the North Side Ryans. Eventually, possession of this property passed into the Rossiter family, with the marriage of Stephen's daughter, Theresa, to Matthew Rossiter in 1880. The old Rossiter house on this property was torn down in 1980, the year after the death of Honorah Rossiter, spinster daughter of Matthew and Theresa, who lived there since her birth in 1890. Joseph Gatherall's property was located just west of Stephen's, closer to The Gut. Joseph's grandsons, John and Joseph Gatherall never married, but lived on this property until they passed away. The house and land passed into the possession of their niece, Kate Carney, who married John Thomas Boland. The old Boland house was torn down in the late 1950s. Jeremiah Conway, of Heart's Content also settled in this area in the early 1890s when he married Elizabeth Gatherall. At the turn of the twentieth century, Richard Costello of Cape Broyle, who married Margaret Gatherall, settled next door to his wife's brothers. Richard was born at Cape Broyle but his paternal ancestors came to Cape Broyle from Conception Harbour, Conception Bay. Richard was not the only son from this Costello family to marry into this Gatherall family; two of his brothers were married to two of his wife Margaret's sisters.

Another individual who married into the Gatherall family was Jeremiah Conway, who was originally from Heart's Content, Trinity Bay. He married Elizabeth Gatherall in 1891. They never had any children and Elizabeth died in 1914. Jeremiah remarried, this time to Catherine Kavanagh and they had three daughters. It is not clear exactly where their home was located, but as far as I can tell, it was in the same general area overlooking the shoreline close to The Gut.

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