A long time ago

In a land not so far away

Walking through Brigus, with its narrow streets and old houses, it’s not so hard to imagine what life may have been like when people depended entirely on the seas for their living.

In fact, one of the appealing things about the little village is that it has retained its historic character. And speaking of historic characters, the village was once home to a man of legendary character, a man who sailed to the arctic when doing so was to risk one’s life. Depending mostly on courage and wit, Captain Robert Bartlett led Arctic expeditions when he wasn’t relaxing at home in Hawthorne Cottage.

That was back in 1913-14, and by the 1930s his fame equaled that of Jacques Cousteau. These days, his name may not be spoken in the same breath as Cousteau, but he still has a place in Brigus. Literally. His house is a heritage building run by the Historic Sites of Newfoundland and Labrador. You can read all about it at the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador website. You can also learn about the Vikings at L’anse Aux Meadows and the whalers of Red Bay and other historic sites across the province.

And that’s how we learned about Captain Bob. We recently completed the Historic Sites new website, and in the process realized this all sounded somehow familiar. It’s possibly because 11 years ago John Atkins, before the & Co. was added, designed the previous version of the Historic Sites web presence. We have a history with the history keepers, you could say.