A Castaway at Sandy Cove
Digby County Nova Scotia, From actual surveys drawn & engraved under the direction of H.F. Walling (detail, Sandy Cove), H.F. Walling,
Imagine that you get up one morning to start your day. You are a fisherman from the small community of Sandy Cove, on the little peninsula of Digby Neck, overlooking the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. It’s a September morning. All through the night there’s been wind and rain, and now the mist is slow to rise on this chilly, grey, humid fall day. You’ve just started your day, when you hear the news: someone is on the beach, near the big rock. Someone whose legs have been cut off!
These were the astonishing circumstances in which the man who would become Jerome was discovered on September 8, 1863: abandoned on a beach with the tide coming in, soaking wet and shivering with the cold.
Who was he? How did he get there? Why didn’t he answer the questions people asked him? But he was not the first castaway to be left behind on the Sandy Cove beach, and he wouldn’t be the last.
Soon after the arrival of the man who would later be named Jerome, the Overseers of the Poor, who were responsible for the poor of Digby Neck in Digby County, decided to place the invalid with someone who could take care of him. There he remained until February 3, 1864. To this day the locals insist that throughout his stay in Digby Neck, Jerome lived with the Gidneys of Mink Cove, though there is no document to support this contention.
- Overseers of the Poor No 3 and others, Petition of Overseers of the Poor No 3 and others pray to be reimbursed their expenses for transient pauper, April 29, 1864
- Financial Secretary's Office, Petition for the care of castaway sailors at Sandy Cove, 1866, October 27, 1866
- H.F. Walling, Digby County Nova Scotia, From actual surveys drawn & engraved under the direction of H.F. Walling (detail, Sandy Cove), Halifax, 1864
- H.F. Walling, Digby County Nova Scotia, From actual surveys drawn & engraved under the direction of H.F. Walling (detail, Sandy Cove Business Directory), Halifax, 1864
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