Natural Resources

Avalanches

Date: January 6, 1873

Location: Trinity

Easting: 325000

Northing: 5360000

Latitude: 48° 22' 00" N

Longitude: 53° 22' 00" W

Fatalities: 1

Injuries: 0

Source: Notes from Mildred Howard collection, Letter dated Jan 10 (7?) 1873 M Howard, 1992 p 188. Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser 1863-1985, Vital Statistics and items volume 3, publication number 6.

The Royal Gazette of January 1873 reported the following incident in Trinity:

"A very sad accident happened on the south side of the harbour on Monday. [Monday was the 6 Jan, previous Monday 31 Dec 1872]. Two men, brothers named CHURCHILL went from their home not many yards distant to dig out a well which was under a hill, when a large quantity of snow fell from 60 feet and buried them. One was dead, the other recovered" [Howard 1992].

No comprehensive census exists at this time but various business directories listing householders and occupations were published at this time (see Newfoundland Grand Banks web site). In 1871, three Churchills are known to be living in Trinity, George, Joseph and Richard, all fishermen. By 1894 only two Churchills are recorded, Richard and Edward, and in 1898 George Dennis and Richard Churchill are listed. It is possible that the man killed was Joseph Churchill. Lying across from the town of Trinity, on the other side of South West Arm, Sugar Loaf and Salvage Hill rise steeply from the water's edge to over 100 metres above the sea. These north facing slopes seem to be the most likely site of the avalanche, although fortunately no houses are found there now.

 
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