I've always wanted to explore and photograph in Newfoundland, but for some reason, it was always on the back-burner. I finally worked-up the motivation to plan a trip. While it was mostly hiking and mountain adventures in Gros Morne National Park, we knew of a few abandoned locations that were part of our set list.
With baggage at the ready, and a rental car waiting for us, we boarded one of my company's King Air C90's and flew to Deer Lake, Newfoundland. While the flight was free, we ended up staying a few extra days because when the time came to be picked-up again, two of the aircraft encountered maintenance issues and one was down for a routine inspection. ...not that it bothered us much!
Looking out the window, as we flew over Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine. ..possibly the location of our next adventure.
Arriving in Gros Morne National Park, we first did a few days of hiking before visiting the first of the abandoned locations on our list:
The wreck of the S.S. Ethie, which ran aground 100 years ago.
After 100 years, there's not much left now except a massive engine block.
The town of Round Harbour, was part of the government resettlement project. Residents were encouraged to move to more developed towns, given $100000 to walk away from their homes. The town of Round Harbour now has only one permanent resident, who fishes out of the harbour. The rest of the town is approx 70% abandoned, with some occasionally used summer cottages. It was so quiet, we could hear the man talking on his porch from the other side of the harbour.
Mostly made of old pallets, this walkway was starting to fall apart. Many of the homes were easy to access, but terrifying. Many of them we did not explore because of how they were built over the rocky slopes. Falling through a floor would have you tumble down the rocks and into the sea.
"Don't come in here man... " I warned my friend, as I carefully stepped along the edge of the floor, where the rotten boards didn't flex as much. The humidity caused these homes to rot fast.
In many of the fishing villages, homes are not build to a particular code, and often the floor support beams and board are way too thin. Many buildings are viewed more as temporary shelters/cottages than permanent residence. While setting up for this shot, my tripod leg was sinking through the rotten wood. I wonder how long before the bed falls through the floor.
Top, Centre, is the only occupied home in the town. The rest are either part-time seasonal homes or completely abandoned.
The town of Harbour Round... which is about 8km away from Round Harbour, is where several of the fishermen re-settled from Round Harbour.