If Governor John Guy was Cupids’ most renowned resident, in neighbouring Brigus that distinction belongs to Capt. Bob Bartlett, who had his time in the limelight last year (2009). The renowned navigator is now remembered in a new exhibit at Hawthorne Cottage.
To the veteran moose hunter, the mistake is blatantly obvious and regrettable. However, to people with little if any knowledge of the animal, the error may be more difficult to spot.
Nugget the Moose, who stands beside the sign, Klondyke Hotel, on Water Street in Bay Roberts, may appear to be in mint condition. But looks can be deceiving. “Most people look at the moose as if he’s the way he’s supposed to be,” said Ray Butt, owner of the business. “But when we went to put the antlers on him, (we discovered) they were backwards.” Butt and his friends knew the difference. “ We were saying, ‘No, no. That’s not the way they go,’” Butt added.
To his chagrin, there was no easy way to rectify the error.
“ You can’t change the antlers. They came with dowels in them, and they had to be inserted that way,” Butt explained.
If Nugget were a live moose being chased in the woods, he wouldn’t fare so well, Butt suggested.
“Moose use their antlers for going through the woods. They throw back their head and plow their way through the woods, in the event someone is after them with a 303. If this poor little thing had to go through the woods, he’d be caught up,” Butt said with a laugh.
Built anatomically incorrect or not, Nugget is a big drawing card for the hotel.
“I wanted to make a landmark for people, to give them directions to the hotel,” Butt said.
When tourists ask directions to his hotel, he tells them to turn down Water Street and drive until they see a moose on the right hand side of the road.
Inquiring minds then chuckle, as if to say, “a moose isn’t going to be there by the time we get there.”
The stately Nugget has faithfully advertised the Klondyke Hotel for almost three years.
Initially, Butt wanted to place a horse outside his establishment. But he settled on a moose instead.
“A moose is more of a Newfoundland attraction,” he explained. “ When it comes to tourism, the moose is what people come to see.”
Butt went online and placed an order with a builder of life-sized animals in Chicago.
The result is a hollow, fibreglass moose, attached to steel plates in the ground by aluminium shoes pulled over his hoofs.
Not surprisingly, pedestrians and motorists do a double-take when they first spot Nugget, especially around dawn or dusk.
One woman, out for an early morning walk, caught the moose in the corner of her eye, Butt said.
“ She went up through the lane like you wouldn’t believe,” Butt added.
Her husband was about to shoot the animal with his camera when he exclaimed, “ that’s not moving!”
Nugget got his name late in 2009, in a name-the-moose contest at Holy Redeemer Elementary school, Spaniard’s Bay. Anthony Yetman, a Grade 5 student, was the winner. Butt, who sponsored the contest, donated $ 950 to the school’s breakfast program, while Anthony picked up $ 50 for his efforts.
The Klondyke Hotel received its name from its proximity to the causeway connecting Bay Roberts with Coley’s Point.
Klondyke can also refer to the Gold Rush, said Yetman. “A nugget is a lump of gold,” he added.
Hence, the moniker, Nugget the Moose.
Nugget the Moose standing as a mute advertisement for the Klondyke Hotel, Bay Roberts. Take particular note of his antlers, which are installed in reverse.