The Cable Building, which houses the museum, is a National Historic Site of Canada because of its significance in transatlantic telegraph operations in the 20th century. It was added after the Heart's Content Cable Station, and incorporated some new telegraph technology. A private line between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt was even routed through the station, which was much more secure than the newer wireless technology.
After the Cable Station was closed in the 1960s, it changed hands and eventually fell into disrepair. The renovation work was spearheaded by the Bay Roberts Heritage Society and they have turned the building into a facility comprising the Town Hall, Town Archives, the Christopher Pratt Gallery, and the Road to Yesterday Museum.
After going through the military portion of the museum and looking at the cable outside, we decided it was time to continue our adventure elsewhere. Despite the looming fog that didn’t want to burn off, we ventured out to Mad Rock to see what we could see. Unfortunately, the view wasn’t clear but we climbed some rocks, posed for some pictures, and threw some (smaller) rocks in the ocean. On our way back, we stopped for a traditional Newfoundland lunch at the Mad Rock Café and Luke’s parents tried toutons for the first time. After we filled our boots, we drove to the picturesque community of Brigus.
While we had visited Brigus before, it was our first time visiting Hawthorne Cottage, the childhood home of famed artic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett. Hawthorne Cottage is a National Historic Site and was built by Bartlett’s maternal great-grandfather in 1830. The house is set up how it would have been in Bartlett’s time and a few of the rooms have become exhibition spaces to show photographs and memorabilia for his adventures. Bartlett lead over 40 expeditions to the Arctic, more than anyone else in history, and spent over 50 years mapping and exploring Northern waters. He explored the Arctic in the summer, completing sponsored research expeditions for American organizations, and lived in New York in the winter. He even captured some Arctic animals as part of his projects and before he transported them down to New York, he would stop off in Brigus and the animals would be kept in the backyard of Hawthorne Cottage.
We then spent the rest of the weekend at Ocean Pond soaking up the sun, throwing rocks for Maebe, and darting around the pond on boats. A few of us even braved the cold water and went for a swim in the pond. It was good fun and we were sad to see Luke’s parents go at the end of it all. Here are some more pictures from the weekend: