The stage was built in Tack’s Beach, Placentia Bay. It was a government owned building that was used for storing items that was brought to the community by boat for the people living in the community or for storing items pertaining to the fishery.
At the time of Resettlement, George Albert Guy and his brother Llewellyn Guy, inquired about the stage and wondered if it would be for sale. To their delight, it was given to them for free! They decided to take it down in sections and bring it to Arnold’s Cove and add to a store they had already owned.
During the late seventies, there was a storm, and at high tide, the stage and stores were washed down and driven to the bottom of the harbour. The original stage they owned was destroyed, but the section they added remained intact.
George had left the fishery by then, however, Llewellyn remained fishing and towed the building back to the same site where it remains today and is used by his son, Clyde Guy, as a fishing stage.
The Lobster factory was originally located on the other side of the harbour but was relocated under the cliff where the government wharf is at present.
Lobster and Salmon were packed in season. The building had two sections: one side was where the lobsters were boiled. In it, there was a large vat about 3’ wide x 1’ long. The floor was just an iron frame to rest the vat on and the fire was lit on the beach underneath the “boiler”. The live lobsters were put into the boiling water and cooked about 20 minutes. They were then dipped out with a dip net and, once cooled, were cracked and shelled. The other side of the building was for canning and packing. The lid for each can was stamped with a license number and the meat was placed in the cans. The lids were placed on the cans and sealed, one by one, with the sealer. Once the packing was done, the boiler was cleaned and washed. The cans were placed back in the boiler and boiled for about two hours. When this process was finished, the cans were lined up and a tool was used to puncture a small hole in each can to let the steam escape. By the time this was done, the room would be full of steam and spouting out through the doors! When the steam was vented, the tiny holes were sealed with hot soldering iron and solder. The cans were then wiped clean, labelled, and put in cases. Packing salmon was not as labour intensive as the lobster canning. The salmon was scaled, washed, gutted, cut into chunks, rewashed, and packed into the cans. The cooking process was much the same as the lobster including the stamping, canning, steaming, soldering, and labelling.
The land in which the stage sits on was owned by Albert Chick and was leased to W.S. Beck (Sound Island Stores Ltd.) for a period of fifty years at an annual lease rate of $23.00 to be paid in advance. Wayne’s stage was constructed in 1929 by W.S. Beck (Sound Island Store Ltd.)
The stage was constructed in 1929 and was a two story building with a general merchandise store on the top (at the road level) and fishing related goods and services on the water level. Nelson Adams operated the business for Sound Island Stores Ltd. until 1931 at which time he purchased it from the company for $1600.00. Adams ran the store as a general merchandise outlet until 1939.
During WWII, Adams served overseas. When he returned, he did not reopen the building for general trade. The stage acted as storage shed from 1939 until 1985 when Wayne Slade purchased it as a part of Nelson Adams estate.
The wharf, stage, flake and two storey shed can be dated back before the late 1930’s but the exact construction date is unknown. The flakes and shed were fairly large. There was a ramp going from the flakes to the second story of the shed which made it convenient to carry the dry fish directly from the flake to the inside store until it was sold. The stage and wharf contained wooden barrels and puncheons for washing the fish. There were also a couple of wooden box lines to salt and store cleaned fish. The splitting table had a piece of board going about halfway down the top that was used to rest the fish up against while the backbone was removed. There was a hole cut in the floor beneath the table called the “Trunkhole”. This was used to throw the fish remains and other algae to the water below. The stage also contained barrels to collect fish livers that were eventually turned into cod liver oil.
The Herring Factory/Stage was a wooden structure used for piping and barrelling herring. It was built around 1948 and was owned by Clayton Brinston until 1960. Joe Lockyer had resettled from Isle Valen in Placentia Bay and had bought the stage from Clayton Brinston to use as a fishing premise. He used it to split and salt the fish, store his fishing gear, and mend his nets. In 1982, Joe shortened the stage and let his son, Ken, use it for docking his boat.
The stage came back to the family in 1989, when Cecil Penney, Clayton’s son in law, purchased it to store his fishing nets, crab pots, lobster pots, ropes, and floats.
More to come...
The original premises was built by Wilson Wareham and passed down through generations to his son Billy, and grandson, Lloyd. This is a replica of the fishing premises including the stage, store, and flakes.
Ribbon cutting by Jessie Wareham, wife of Billy Wareham along with son, Lloyd and daughter ,Florence.
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