Bob Bartlett’s childhood


In some ways, Bob Bartlett had a complicated childhood in Brigus and, in summers, “on the Labrador.” He was the eldest child of Captain William Bartlett and Mary Jemima Bartlett, pictured above with him. He was close to his sister Beatrice, known as Triss, who was only a year younger than him. Here’s a short excerpt from my forthcoming book, Unchained Man, so you can enjoy a little glimpse into Bartlett the boy. The year is 1880.

When Bartlett was five years old, his family moved to a duplex at 22–24 North Street, Brigus. “Brookside,” as the house was called, was a former grist mill where its original owner had tried his hand—or rather those of his servants’—at milling oats, barley, and corn. North Street was prone to flooding; after heavy rains, the Bartletts and others often went down the street in a rowboat. This happened so often that Bartlett and his sister Beatrice, nicknamed Triss, became almost casual about it. On one such occasion, Mary Jemima quickly rounded up all her children but could not find Bob. She finally discovered him happily sailing about the kitchen in a washtub; the witty Triss dubbed this “Bob’s first sea voyage.”



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