The American Man and some spots in Tilton
Many may know them by the name inukshuk, but in Spaniard’s Bay they were called the American Man.
There were three of them: one on the south side of Long Pond, Tilton, in an area where the slide path went up over the pond; the southeast corner of Spider Pond and the northwest bight of Spider Pond.
Back in the time of Responsible Government brothers Edward and David Brown were paid the sum of $50 to build them. Only one, at the northwest bight of Spider Pond remains.
They were built for weather purposes - sense of direction during very stormy weather conditions.
Men from Tilton, Spaniard’s Bay, Upper Island Cove and Riverhead would go in over Long Pond and from there in over Spider Pond with horse and slide to cut firewood, rails and stakes, etc. for their personal use. While travelling over said ponds with their horse and slide during adverse weather conditions, the piles of rocks known as the American Man, would be their landmarks in order to find their way up and down over the two ponds, more especially Spider Pond.
The Americans were good friends of Newfoundland back in the early 1900s, particularly during the days of Responsible Government. They fished during those days along the coast of Labrador.
While fishing they would erect piles of rocks in different areas along the coastline to mark the good fishing grounds.
When our ancestors began fishing the Labrador coast, they noticed the large piles of rocks and later found out they were erected by the Americans, and why they erected them.
When the fishermen came home in the late fall after fishing all summer, they decided to build the three piles of rocks to guide them up and down over Long Pond and Spider Pond during stormy conditions. Taking into consideration the fact the piles of rocks they saw on the Labrador Coast were built by the Americans they decided that a good name for them would be The American Man. That name remains today, more especially with the older generation who travelled back and forth over the ponds in earlier years.
Here are some points of interest about the community of Tilton.
An area in the west end of the community was referred to as the Paris. A few families by the name of Fitzgeralds lived in that area, i. e. John Joseph,
Thomas and Gerry.
The Battery, or Up on the Hill, was located in the northwest end of the community.
Bet Nearys Plain was on the north side of Long Pond. In early years many people from Tilton and Spaniard’s Bay would go there to pick blueberries, partridgeberries and squash berries.
The old road that went out over Tilton Barrens to Riverhead in the early 1900s passed by an area known as the Muskrat Bog where there was a hole of good drinking spring water. Many people travelling there would stop for a drink.
The Old Horse is a very large rock measuring about 8 by 8 feet at the base, and approximately 10 feet high. It is located a short distance from the Muskrat Bog on the same old road going to Riverhead.
The Bully’s Boo Hole: there was an old road that went in over the barrens between Long Pond and Round Pond. It passed by what was known as the Bully’s Hole - a large rock cliff with a hole in the centre. A person could get down in it and hide away.
The old road from Bully’s Boo Hole continued on and passed by what was in early years known as Morriserys Spring. This was a large hole of good clear drinking water. People travelling in and out over the old road would stop for a drink of the cool, clear spring water. From information available, it appears that a man by the name of Morrisery discovered it.
The Big Head was a large round piece of land shaped like a big head. It is located in the northeast corner of Big Pond, Tilton.
Another big round hill locat- ed to the south west of Big Pond, Tilton, between Tilton and what was then known as Goddenville was called the Buck Hill. In early years many people would travel in that area to pick berries. There was also an old horse and cart road, called Boneyards Road that went from Tilton to Goddenville. It passed by a short distance from the Buck Hill. In the early 1900s the Anglican minister would travel that road across the country as a short cut from the Anglican Church in Goddenville to the Anglican Church at Tilton for church service.
Shutes Hill is located between Hutching Lane and the house owned by the late John Vokey, and in later years by the late Jacob Vokey.
Gerald Crane is a member of the Spaniard’s Bay Heritage Society
AMERICAN MAN - The ‘man’ was a marker built from rock to help guide people during bad weather. This particular ‘man’ is one of three near Spider Pond, reputed to have been built by brothers Dave Brown, Dec. 3, 1892-July 2, 1939 and Edward Brown, Feb. 14, 1891-Feb. 2, 1968. Last year Gerald Crane had this photo taken with the one remaining American Man.