Friday, April 7, 2017

100 years


I have posted this quilt and its story before, but I wanted to mention it again today as it is the 100th anniversary of the events that inspired it.


One hundred years ago on April 7th, 1917, Joseph, Stephen, and Walter Jacobs, and their friend, Francis Pomeroy went out onto the ice to hunt, but they would not return. Months later, a fishing gaff belonging to one of the brothers (below) washed ashore with a message carved in the handle, the only clue as to what became of them.

The gaff, currently housed in the museum on Fogo Island

While on their hunt, the weather had closed in and the ice drifted away from shore, they had apparently wandered for a few days until realizing there was no hope of getting back to land. They carved "lay down perish April 11" on the wooden handle of the gaff and sit it adrift, hoping the tides would take it to shore.

The gaff is currently housed in a museum on Fogo Island, a seemingly innocent everyday artifact until you learn the story behind it. Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea happened upon it on a visit to the island and was inspired to write the song 'Laying Down to Perish'. Seeing Mr. Doyle in concert, he shared the story that inspired the song which in turn inspired my quilt.

While I have never been to the island and I know nothing of the men's families, one hundred years later I am thinking about them.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this again. I love the quilt and the story behind it.

    ReplyDelete