One big family
now but to take what we need and leave the rest of it.”
With her sons arriving in town on their longliner, Rosalind and her husband will spend these final days gathering what they can as they leave behind a home and their way of making a living.
The future of William’s Harbour
Despite the abandoned vehicles and withering buildings now so prominent, William’s Harbour is not destined to be just another ghost town. Fuelled largely by a love for the area, the town will remain in use in the warmer months. Like Howard, Louise and George plan to return each summer, and have already begun rearranging for a summer home.
“We’ll be back in the summer, that’s what keeps us going,” said George.
Howard has plans to bar off his basement and bring in a wood furnace to make his William’s Harbour property more cabin-like and suitable for the off-the-grid lifestyle.
It will be a different time for the community, with a greater dependence on generators, wood furnaces and gathering water from William’s Harbour’s natural spring. Although, for families like the Russells who grew up in the area, in many ways it will be like returning to childhood.
“We lived like that for years and years,” Howard reminisced. “We’ll miss the running water and that only because we let ourselves get use to it.”
After the power and running water are shut off on Nov. 10, the airstrip will be torn apart and its phone service tower taken down. These essentials of the modern world will be gone, but for those who cherish the self-sufficient and older ways of living, the resettlement by no means will be the end of William’s Harbour.
“I wish it could all be left for people who want to stay. But to tell the truth we were getting nowhere, we had no young people,” said Howard. “But I know I’ll be back here, and my grandkids love to come out here. So, they’ll be back, they always come back.”