Yarns – Newfoundlanders are well known for their humor and story telling, some true and some not.  This form of storytelling is known as Yarning or Yarns.  If you have any yarns to share please email Joyce and share them with us.

Special Thanks to Ross Bussey for submitting the following and we look forward to receiving many more:


The Bell Island Iron Ore Mines were in full operation or production and many men from Port de Grave travelled to the island to work in the mines.  Sam Dawe went to bell Island with the miners but he went to work on Sam McCarthy’s Farm.  The nickname stuck with him and my generation believed his surname to be McCarthy.


Today many believe the concrete foundation at the upper side of the Jailhouse Mountain to be that of the jail.  However, such is not the case.  The foundation is that of the home of Tobias Bussey.  The location of the jailhouse can be seen from a sketch of Port de Grave by W. Gosse Esq. 1841.


 Years ago before fishermen would go catching fish they first had to catch bait fish which were usually squid.  They would usually gather in one place and catch the squid by using squid jiggers.  the first fisherman on site would moor his punt (small boat) and when another fisherman arrived he would tie on to the first.

Such a situation presented the opportunity for a prank to be played:

Two young men decided to moor a punt on the squidding ground and to place a dummy in it.  The first fisherman to arrive on the squidding ground did so before daybreak or sunrise and greeted the person already there but got no response.  He than threw him his painter but still got no response.  The fisherman then decide to moor his own punt and began to fish for squid.

The next fisherman to arrive on the squidding ground greeted his friend and threw him his painter and was tied on.  He then asked his friend if he knew who was in the other boat.  His friend replied that he did not, but whoever it was must be having a bad day because he wouldn’t take his painter and had not spoken a word to him.

At daybreak it became apparent why there had been no response verbally or otherwise from the first fisherman.

On another morning a fisherman arrived on the squidding ground somewhat exhausted. He told the other fishermen there that he had had all he could do to row against the tide in the bay.  The other fishermen were surprised because they had not found the tide to be that strong.  On closer examination they found that someone had suspended a large rock underneath the fisherman’s punt, thereby making it difficult to row.  The rock was suspended by tying it to the scrubbers on both sides of his punt.

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