Natural Resources

Avalanches

Date: February 25, 1876

Location: Woody Point - Curzon Village

Easting: 433300

Northing: 5485450

Latitude: 49° 31' 00" N

Longitude: 57° 55' 00" W

Fatalities: 3

Injuries: 0

Source: George Halfyard of Woody Point; Tony Berger, personal communications; Newfoundlander, 1876

Tony Berger, who grew up in Woody Point wrote to us as follows:

"In the spring of 1887 or 1888 a single house with three adults and a baby was pushed onto the ice by an avalanche. The adults were killed but the baby boy survived sheltered in his mother's arms. The house stood at the base of the Lookout Hills near what is known as Charlie Fons Brook about halfway between Mudge's Point and the last house now in Curzon Village. The date is probably fairly accurate as the 'baby' returned for a brief visit as an old man and met the father of Herb Taylor (my informant) a year or so before he died in his 90s."

The site seems prone to avalanches, at the base of a steep cliff. This was confirmed when a moderate sized avalanche was observed by a resident in the winter of 2000-2001. This avalanche was located above the current buildings in Curzon Village, swept down-slope breaking off trees but stopped well short of structures.

Further archival research indicated the date was in fact 1876. The Newfoundlander reported:

"Information has lately reached us of a very melancholy and fatal accident which took place here on the 25th February last at Bonne Bay. There was a very heavy gale of wind with snow and the latter accumulated in great quantity on a high hill behind the house of a man named Charles Fawn. After some time the snow came down like an avalanche against the house, completely breaking it up, when Fawn, his wife and youngest child were killed and buried in the snow. The servant who slept in the garret was thrown upon the ice of the bay, about two hundred yards from where the house stood; but without sustaining injury. He and others set to work to clear away the snow, and after some hours they found the three dead bodies, with Fawn¹s elder child (who had also been in the house) still alive. The dead were decently interred and the little survivor was doing well and in good care."

 
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