As Loved Our Fathers

Published: September 13th 2009
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Our party sets off...Our party sets off...Our party sets off...

Our parents, Aunt Suzie, George, and I at Snooks Arm as we set off for Indian Burying Place.
Excepting China, much of our journey this year will take us to places that are completely foreign to us. In this first part of our journey we have been lucky to revisit familar places like Chicago, Toronto, Guelph, and St. John´s, and to catch up with friends and family. Uniquely, our Newfoundland stop took us to a place that was both foreign and familar, a place we had never seen before, but one we claim as home.

Most Newfoundlanders are descendants of Irish and English immigrants who came here in one way or another through the cod fishery. They settled every nook and granny along the coast. My great-great-great grandfather James White came from England sometime in the 1820's, and settled in a tiny cove on the Nortre Dame Bay. There is some uncertainty in the name, but we believe it was called Indian Burying Place. There was only one other family in Indian Burying Place when James came, and he married one of the daughters. He had been a doctor in England, so God knows why he came. His sons and his son´s sons were fishermen, thus may not have been able to read or write. My great grandfather
Hiking inHiking inHiking in

Indian Burying Place is a 3-hr hike from Snooks Arm, the nearest inhabited village.
moved my family out sometime in 1920´s as he found work in the mines. By the 1950´s everyone else had moved out of that town as well, leaving the abandoned village to the elements.

Although off the map as it was, Indian Burying Place is still visited in the summer by former residents and their descendents, and was known by the fisherman in neighbouring communities. In 2005, my Dad enlisted the help of these fisherman to lead a trip back with my mother, sister, aunt and cousins. As far we know, that was the first time any Whites had been there in almost 80 years. I missed that trip and another a couple of years later. This year was my turn. On Friday, August 28th, following a 7-hour car ride and a 2 1/2 hour hike through multiple bogs, Eva and I stood on a hill overlooking the former community of Indian Burying Place. Not much is left - about 8 houses in various states of decay and 2 overgrown cemeteries. But it is a pretty place with a sheltered cove, high banks on either side, and a stream running through the center. Some non-native plants such as rhubarb, hops, and red currants remained from the days when people lived and farmed there. It was probably as good a place as any on the island to live when there were plenty of cod just offshore.

We went with my father, mother, and Aunt Susie, and stayed for two nights. Except for our visits to the cemeteries and the old houses, we spent most of our time doing the normal things one does on a camping trip: cooking, eating, playing cards, and toasting marshmallows on a fire; but I felt moved the whole time I was there. My ancestors would have lived a hard life compared to mine. They caught and grew enough food or else starved. They had enough fuel in the winter or froze. Injuries, boating accidents, and pregnancies were dealt with without any outside help. I am grateful they toughed it out so I could be here.

P.S. Sincerest thanks to my dear and lovely wife Eva who hiked for over 2 hours through the Newfoundland bogs, twice, one time in the poring rain, and who one time fell in said bog up to her waist, who did not utter a single word of complaint nor mention the promised boat around the bog.

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Indian Burying PlaceIndian Burying Place
Indian Burying Place

View from the top of the nearest peak.
Abandoned fishing buildings & flakesAbandoned fishing buildings & flakes
Abandoned fishing buildings & flakes

Flakes were used for drying cod back in the day.
Our cabinOur cabin
Our cabin

Complete with a wood stove, this cabin is maintained (barely) for visitors to the abandoned village.
George's great-great-grandparent's gravesGeorge's great-great-grandparent's graves
George's great-great-grandparent's graves

George at the graves of James and Mary White, who died in the early 1900's.
George at the wellGeorge at the well
George at the well

This structure was built over a natural spring where we got our fresh water for drinking and cooking.

29th January 2010

This looks like another one of Newfoundland's hidden gems. I have had the opportunity to travel to many abandoned communities around the province and I can agree with the author about the awe-inspiring feeling that these places seem to resonate. It must have been extra special knowing that it was where you came from. It is now on my list of places to visit!
13th March 2010

Hi, This is Mona Fudge writing you from Brighton, Green BAy, NL. I'm looking for info on the Adams. Do you know if the adams in Indian Burying Place and surrounding areas have any roots in Twillingate? You see my nan was a Adams. The only family in Twillingate. Her name was Mona too. Her mom and Dad were Arthur and Martha Adams.As far as we know, My dad is the only one in Twillingate now who is Adams. His name is Frederick Pond.If you have any info on this would you email me back. That would be greatly appreciated. This place is absolutely beautiful by the way. PS: My nan was born on August 19, 1903. Thank you in advance for your time.
13th April 2010

families of I.B.P.
George @ Eva. just wanted to thank you for this wonderful write up on I.B.P. I myself am a relative of James White and have been doing alot of searching for these ppl as well and cannot wait to go home again to visit this place of our ancestors that were so relentless and couageous! thanks again... sherry
20th May 2010

Absolutely delighted to see these photos. My Mom was Ivy White and was born there in 1915. Tried to get there 3 years ago and got as far as Nippers Harbour. The water was too rough to go by boat. Did not know then that there was a path we could have hiked..for sure I would hav done it. Hope to try another time. Thanks for the great photos. Maxine Russell
3rd June 2010

Indian Burial Place
Hi there, I just read your site with great interest. My grandfather John (Jack) Mansfied was born in Indian Burial Place, NL. Unfortunately he died in 1985 at the age of 84. He was a miner from a very young age and worked at the mines in Tilt Cove and other surrounding mines (Bett's Cove) being one, eventually, moving with his widowed mother and younger brothers and sisters to work in the mines on Bell Island in the 1920's. He worked in the Bell Island Mines until they too closed in the 1960's. I remember when I was little he would take a trip out to Nipper's Harbour once every year, where relatives of his resettled when they left Indian Burial Place. My Grandfather's mother was a "May" or "Maye", and daughter of William May, one of the first,settlers there who came from England in the very early 1800's. He married a Proule. I just thought I'd share my little bit of information about Indian Burial Place with you. If you are interested there is a beautifull photo journal book a well known photographer published a few years ago highlighting some of the old resettled communities in Newfoundland and there is a beautifully done chapter on Indian Burial Place. There is a story about the first settlers encounters with indians (I suspect that they were Beothouk) while erecting their homes would find each time they tried to install their glass windows would have the glass stolen right out of them. Thank you for the very nice and interesting site about Indian Burial Place and I hope you found my ramblings of interest. By the way do you think any of the Indians intermingled with the white settlers?? I've always wondered. It's a thought. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to connect with my roots. Take Care Pauline Morgan
18th July 2010

My sisters & I visited Snooks Arm a couple days ago. Thats were our Grandfather came from. We were wondering where Indian Burial Place is...looks like ye found it! Your pics are awesome!! Thanks for sharing with us. Shirley Foss-Young
4th January 2011
Indian Burying Place

Enjoyed the pictures of IBP -my Ancestors were from there-(Adams)
28th March 2011

Was kinda of surprised to see these pictures, my family is from Burying Place(Prole), spent alot of time there when I was younger going out in boat. I still go to Nippers Harbour once or twice a year, as some family still lives there. There isn't much left in IBP, there used to be a trail but it has grown over now. If your in Nippers Harbour look up Edward or Don Prole, they were born in IBP and if the water is calm probably would be able to take you there. As well as tell you some of the history. Really enjoyed the pictures!
24th December 2011

While touring Indian Burial Place, did you see a tomb stone with the name Michael Power etched in stone or wood? If so, would you e mail any information you may have gathered. Mr. Power was a young school teacher, originally from Carbonear, NL who died in his early to mid twenties while living in Indian Burial Place.
3rd March 2012
George's great-great-grandparent's graves

This is my husband's great great great grandfather
Thank you for posting this picture on the web. We have been doing some family history and had linked his maternal family tree back to James white of Indian Burying place. It was lovely to do a web search and find your trek story and pictures. My husband and I live in Reading England, just west of London. We will now start doing some more research to see if we can find the James White in England... Any information would be appreciated. jeanette
22nd March 2012

I loved your pictures. I am a descendant (great x6 granddaughter) of John and Emma Adams the first settlers of IBG. I would love to go there some day. Cheers.
22nd March 2012

Hi cousin George!
Was delighted to see the pictures of Indian Burying Place...hope to get there someday! I will definately NOT be hiking ,lol. FYI George,the other family was the Adam's family,and James married Ann{e} who was the daughter of my great,great,great great grandfather John Adams.
20th October 2012

James White
I have relatives from Twillingate. My great great grandparents are James White and Hannah Whitehorn. They were born around 1837-47. Died 1917-1921. Do you know if James and Mary are related?
22nd February 2013

I visited Indian Burying Place around 1975 with my parents and grandfather Arch White who was born there. He had not been back since, I believe, the 1920's when he moved to Corner Brook, NL.
14th November 2014

Lost in the Woods
This past July I took off from Snooks Arm into the woods in an effort to find Indian Burying Place. I got completely lost. The trail just disappeared. 3 hours later I spotted a cabin near Snooks Arm in the distance and was so relieved. I never did find IBP. Well, at least Down Home is publishing my account of getting lost there. Can you help me find IBP? Thanks.
24th March 2015
Abandoned lobster traps

We are happy to see the pics you posted as im sure we are related
26th April 2015
Hiking in

Thank you for your images!
I am doing research on my ancestry and I am a descendant of James and Emma Adams who are believed to be the first settlers of IBP. Thank you so much for helping me connect to my roots! Perhaps we are cousins in some way!

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