Chart Color Legend
Documented Settlement - Red | Probable Settlement - Blue | Seasonal Settlement - Green
At the head of Caplin Bay, the cliffs along the bay give way to a wide sandy beach. Before the 1950s, there was a natural narrow channel on the northeast side of this beach, connecting the waters of the bay to a small pond. The area around this channel is known locally as The Gut. Over the centuries, this natural channel provided access to the sheltered pond, which was suitable for the protection of smaller boats used in the inshore cod fishery. In the late 1950s, a government works project replaced the natural channel with a wider and deeper channel, and deepened the pond as well. This new man-made channel was located about 100 feet southwest of its natural predecessor. It was built to permit the passage of larger, wider, and higher fishing craft into the pond, even at low tide.
The early voters lists indicate that the area near The Gut was occupied by two families, Stephen and Joseph Gatherall. The relationship of these two men, and the timeframe of their arrival at Caplin Bay, is not exactly known. However, research indicates that Stephen Gatherall may have been the resident of Bay Bulls who married Honorah Mokeler at Bay Bulls in 1833. A clipping from a St. John's newspaper shows that a Honorah Gatherall, born at Bay Bulls about 1812, died at Caplin Bay on June 19, 1890.
Stephen's property was the farthest east, 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 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 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.
ome of the Power families also built their homes in this area. The land, along the hillside, north of The Gut and the Gut Pond, was almost exclusively in possession of descendants of John Power. It is also interesting to note that these Power families had an early Gatherall connection. Records show that John Power of Caplin Bay married Mary Gatherall, of Bay Bulls, in 1830. This marriage may suggest a kinship with Stephen and Joseph Gatherall (of Bay Bulls ?) who also moved to Caplin Bay, and occupied land in the same area.
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© Kevin Reddigan (2002 - 2018)
Page Last Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 02:33:34 PM EST