Martha H. Dickson (later Cameron) was a nurse employed by the International Grenfell Association (IGA) in the community of Harrington Harbour, Quebec, from 1911 to 1914. She was born in Sonora, Nova Scotia on 23 September 1885. She graduated nursing from the Jeffrey Hale Hospital in Quebec.
After leaving Harrington Harbour she married John MacKenzie Cameron (1875-1954) and they had five children. Cameron was a widower and they also raised four children from his previous marriage. For the last 36 years of her life Martha Dickson Cameron was completely blind, she died 9 October 1967.
The album created by Martha H. Dickson is a fascinating pictorial record of the community of Harrington Harbour and some of the livyers. It was created by Nurse Dickson as she worked with Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, founder of the famous medical mission in the region. Grenfell built a hospital on the island, earning the village its nickname of Hospital Island.
Harrington Harbour Hospital served the Lower North Shore area of Quebec from Harrington Harbour to Blanc Sablon and Natashquan.The album was created prior to the settlement of the Labrador Boundary Dispute (1927). Some images were described as “Labrador”, referencing the common identification of the region at the time as the Canadian Labrador. The region is now recognized as the Lower North Shore of Quebec.
Harrington Harbour was named after Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington.
Local tradition claims that this is the island on which 16th century French noblewoman Marguerite de La Rocque was marooned by her relative Jean-François Roberval as punishment for an affair. “Marguerite’s Cave” is one of the attractions on the island.
Another attraction is the Jacques Cartier Monument, commemorating the French explorer and surveyor of the Gulf of St Lawrence.
Harrington Harbour is a small village on average 300 residents, originally settled by Newfoundland families in search of fish stocks in the second half of the 19th century.
Some of the people identified in the album were her colleagues and neighbors. Dr. Tullo, Rev. C. Stevens, Deacon Robert Bobbitt, Reverend J.F. and Mrs. MacDonald, Marion V. Brewster, R.N., Dr. John Grieve and Dr. Henry Mather Hare.
Please click on the link below to see the photograph album of Martha H. Dickson Cameron