February 14, 1918
This is a geographical romance that will take you to the many nooks and crannies of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a poem for Valentine’s Day!
Each of the bolded words in this poem is a place name in Newfoundland and Labrador. Please note that some of the place names have changed and or have been resettled and may no longer be on the official provincial map. Take some time with the provincial map and travel with Annie Opsquotch about this province to try and find her true love!!
A Newfoundland and Labrador Geographical Romance
Annie Opsquotch just could not make up her mind. She was smitten by two men, Joe Batt and Sam Hitches. Little did she know that there was another who was in love with her and was determined to keep her to himself! But her mind was made up, she was determined to find her true love!
Now Annie Opsquotch got a mash,
But wasn’t very sure,
If she loved Old Sam Hitches less
Or Young Joe Batt the Moore
Bad Neighbour when he heard it,
In his Heart’s Ease felt alarm,
And sent Joe Batt to Burying Place;
Gave Sam a Bloody Arm.
Then Annie’s scornful Ha, Ha,
Was Tentamount to snubs,
When Mose Ambrose heard of her Exploit
He felt like Jack O’Clubs
Her Beau Bois, she then went in quest,
And traveled day and Knight,
And swore she wouldn’t Stepaside
Till she found her Heart’s Delight.
She took a Gin and Brandy,
Her Bareneed to appease,
She took a stock of Horse Chops,
Like wise some Bread and Cheese.
She started on Blue Pinions,
With the swiftness of a Hare,
She went to sleep with Heart’s Content,
But woke up in Despair.
Thru Cat’s Cove, Dogs Cove, Hogs Nose,
Thru Bear’s Cove, Lion’s Den,
Past Beaver, Seal and Badger
And Duck and Deer and Clam;
Thru Fox and Goose and Wolf Bay
Rat, Weasel, Turtle, Swan,
Thru, Salmon, Swile and Puffin,
And rested her at Lawn.
Thru Lobster, Loon and Clown Cove
With haste she did Pushthrough,
Thru Gouffe, Greeps and Gaggles
Knife Cove and Lance au Lou;
Cupid’s message via Pacquet
Put an end to her alarms,
At last she got her Heart’s Desire,
Snug, Safe in Joe Batt’s Arms.
The poem was written under a pen name, or “nom de plume” by Bald Nap. It is possible that the writer was from Bald Nap described as an outport on Bay d’Espoir located in the Trinity District.
This poem makes reference to approximately sixty five place names.
Archival Collection: At the Rooms Provincial Archives explore the Nomenclature Board fonds , Description number GN 157. This collection consists of of incoming correspondence to the secretary, Nomenclature Board (1920-1943; 1950),including petitions about proposed community name changes.
Where in the province are these places located? WE have found most – but a few (?) we have not found. Perhaps you can help.
The Annieopsquotch Mountains are located in the southwestern interior of the island of Newfoundland, east of Bay St. George. Its name is Mi’kmaq and literally translated means ‘terrible rocks.’
Sam Hitches: A small fishing station on Long Island between Despair and Hermitage. Distance from Fortune Bay is nine miles, from Gaultois by boat is seven miles.
Joe Batt: A fishing settlement on north east side of Fogo Island. Distance from Fogo is five miles.
Moore’s Cove, near Shoal Tickle. Shoal Tickle was the smallest of the four communities that were settled outside the Town of Fogo.
“The Bad Neighbour” is about three quarters of a mile off Burgeo.
Heart’s Ease is primarily a shortened name for Heart’s Ease Beach (near Gooseberry Cove, Trinity Bay). The community ceased existence in the 1920s.
Indian Burying Place, Notre Dame Bay is located approximately halfway between Nippers Harbour to the south, and Shoe Cove to the north. It can be reached by boat, walking overland, or by skidoo in the winter from Snook’s Arm.
Bloddy’s Arm: A salmon river, in the Fogo division of the District of Twillingate and Fogo.
Ha Ha: Newfoundland has more than a few hahas, including Ha Ha Bay, Ha Ha Mountain, and The Ha Ha.
Mose Ambrose: Located along Route 363, Mose Ambrose, Harbour Breton area, was originally called Mon Jambe and later became known as Mozambrose. Like most communities along the south coast, Mose Ambrose was first established as fishing rooms for ventures from England.
Exploit’s River: One of the most important inlets in Newfoundland. Distance from Twillingate by boat is 24 miles.
Jack O’ Clubs is now known as Aguathuna, located in the Stephenville Western Region.
Beau Bois on the Burin Peninsula, only a 10-minute drive from Marystown.
Knight’s Cove is a village located southwest of Bonavista and west of Catalina.
Stepaside is located on the south coast of Newfoundland (on the Placentia Bay side of Burin Peninsula).
Heart’s Delight-Islington is a town on the south side of Trinity Bay.
Bear Cove can mean a number of places; there were at least eight in the province.
Lion’s Den: Fogo Island.
Beaver Cove changed its name to Beaverton in 1968.
Badger is a town in north-central on the Exploits River. It supplied pulp and paper for the mills in Grand Falls-Windsor for many years, and was famous for its large spring log drives.
Black Duck Cove, near Ireland’s Eye, Trinity Bay.
Deer: as in Deer Lake, western Newfoundland.
Clam Bank Cove, now known as Lourdes.
Fox Harbour, Placentia Bay.
Goose Bay, Bonavista Bay or Labrador.
Lower Wolf Cove, now Springdale.
Rat (Rattling Brook), now Heatherton.
Weasel Island: Mi’kmaq burial site in Hermitage District.
Swan: Swan Island, Bay of Exploits.
Salmon Cove, now called Avondale.
Swile Rock, Trinity Bay.
Lawn, Burin Peninsula.
Lobster Harbour, NDB, now Port Anson.
Loons Cove, now called Lewins Cove.
Gin Cove, north side of Smith’s Sound, Trinity Bay
Bareneed is located east of Bay Roberts, on the west side of Conception Bay.
Horse Chops is a small island off the coast of Labrador, near the mouth of Sandwich Bay or the cape near the entrance of Engliah Harbour, Trinity Bay.
Bread and Cheese, located south of Bay Bulls.
Blue Pinions: A small fishing settlement on west side of Fortune Bay, district of Fortune Bay. Distance from Bellorem is five miles by road, near St. Jacques.
Hare (Hare Bay) is a natural bay located on the eastern side of the Northern Peninsula.
Heart’s Content, a community nestled along the sea on the Baccalieu Trail.
Despair (Bay d’Espoir). It’s sometimes claimed that the name Bay Despair represents an English corruption of the French.
Cat’s Cove, on the Burin Peninsula.
Dog Cove, on St. Brendan’s Island.
Hog’s Nose: Trinity Harbour, Trinity Bay.
Clown Cove, near Carbonear.
Pushthrough: A resettled fishing community located on Newfoundland’s south coast, about 20 kilometres northwest of Hermitage.
Gaggles: a place to which logs are hauled, preparatory to transportation by water or rail.
Knife Cove, Knife Bay (or Baie de Couteau, or Knife Cove) is a natural bay or cove. Cornelius Island is nearby.
L’Anse-au-Loup is located between Forteau and L’Anse-au-Diable.
Cupids: the oldest English colony in Canada and the second oldest English in North America! A place for lovers!
Pacquet (“hideaway” in French) is located in White Bay, on the Baie Verte Peninsula.
Heart’s Desire, south side of Trinity Bay.
Snug Harbour, approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Charlottetown.
Safe Harbour is a resettled fishing community located around a well-sheltered harbour on the north side of Bonavista Bay.
Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island.
Bald Nap is an outport on Bay d’Espoir, located in the Trinity District.