All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

The Museum

Museum Exhibits

5 - Coastal Boat Gallery

A video tour of Coastal Boat Gallery

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Length: 2:36 Min
File Size: 12.4 MB

You are now in the Coastal Boat Galleries. This gallery explores how the Railway and Coastal Boat service connected the hundreds of isolated fishing villages which dotted the coast of Newfoundland. Here the museum shares stories about valiant people and proud ships in Newfoundland's coastal boat glory days. The galleries tell of the Alphabet fleet, created in 1898. A series of paintings and photographs depict the various ships. Here you see a painting of the SS Bruce, the first ship in the coastal service to connect Newfoundland with Nova Scotia.

The ship's telegraph was an important device for the ship's pilot on the bridge. It communicated with the engineers in the engine room to power the vessel at a desired speed

Required for night-time steaming under the International Rules of the Road for open ocean-going vessels, mast lamps, like this, were displayed along the ship's heading. The forward lamp was placed at a distance ahead of and below the after-lamp. On two-masted vessels, the first lamp was placed on the forward mast at a height about 15 feet lower than the lamp on the after mast. The effect allowed an observer on shore or another vessel to visually determine the ship's heading, knowing the lower of the two lights was in the lead.

This ink stand which was part of the captain's cabin on the SS Burgeo is also on display.

Travelling the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador was never easy. The weather, the icebergs, and the rough coast presented a constant challenge to both mariners and their ships.

Captain Martin Gilbert Dalton was one of the many captains in the service of the Newfoundland Railway. Marine Superintendent of the Coastal Boat Service from 1924 until his retirement in 1955, he was instrumental in rescuing the survivors of the Florizel in 1917.

The Museum also tells the story of the tragic end of the SS Caribou. In the early morning hours of October 14, 1942, the Caribou was torpedoed and sunk in the Cabot Strait by a German submarine. Captain Taverner - Master of the SS Caribou, his two sons, and 134 other people lost their lives.