All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

The Museum

Museum Treasures

Gordon Barnes - Lost Trunk

Gordon Barnes speaks about the lost trunk

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Length: 2:13 Min
File Size: 7.9 MB

This is a trunk that belonged to this young lady here. Mildred Coombs was her name. Well, she married this chap Rodway and... ahh...they were heading off to Nova Scotia to go on a honeymoon or take a vacation just after they married .. ahh... The train went off the track out around the Glenwood area of Newfoundland. And -the- as the cars had lamps in them... ahh... the car that... aahh... she was in - it was in nighttime and they were in bed - the car caught on fire and he went back to save her, her husband Moses Rodway and, of course, they both died in the accident.

The trunk survived the accident and Marion Anderson, who had married a Naval Officer from - from - Canada was going away and her father said don't buy a trunk take the one that Aunt Mildred had. So she did that and... ahh... when she found out that we are... ahh... opening the museum here, she thought this trunk would be a nice artifact for us to have. So she phoned me up and asked me if I wanted it and I said, "certainly." And she... ahh... put it in her car at one point in the summer of 2002 and drove down here and gave it to me. So that's why it is now in our museum as one of our prize artefacts.

Right here is a letter that the minister in Harbor Buffin, where they were from... ahh... had written to her parents. And the thing that is interesting about the letter, and we do have the original here in the museum, - this is a copy - It's a letter edged in black. Now growing up I heard songs with the words in it "letters edged in black" and heard about it but I've never actually seen one. And this is the only one I've ever seen. Cause you can see the - it has a black border around the letter. And this was common obviously in those days when they were writing to announce the death, or to offer symphony, or explain about a death. The letter would - be - have a black border on it so you knew you were getting bad news or some sad news at least.