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Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site of Canada is open to the public during the summer months. It offers a lively look at the golden age of outport life in the beautiful town of Brigus.
Group & School tours are also available by appointment through the spring and fall. You can visit the gift shop at the back of the house, for a wide selection of hand-crafted items as well as books related to Captain Bob and the arctic.
Beautiful Hawthorne Cottage was the Brigus home of Captain Robert Bartlett. Born in 1875, his international fame came after he commanded the Roosevelt for Admiral Peary’s North Pole expeditions as well as the Karluk in Steffanson’s Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-14). His seagoing career spanned 50 years, and in the 1930′s “Captain Bob’s” exploits were as famous as Jacques Cousteau. With his schooner the Effie M. Morrissey he sailed north on scientific voyages, collecting animals for zoos and taking crews of teenage boys on training voyages.
The Cottage itself has a rich and diverse history and is recognized for its picturesque architecture. More than 170 years old, it was moved on log rollers ten kilometres to its present location in 1834. Captain Bob’s mother, Mary Leamon, inherited the house. Since the seafaring men of Brigus were away for much of the year, “Nana Barr” and two of Bob’s sisters, Emma & Eleanor, were the main residents, maintaining the home and community connections. The cottage passed from Nana Barr to Bob, and eventually to his sisters. As Captain Bob’s fame grew, the women had many visitors, and other family members came back in the summer to visit.
Hawthorne Cottage was a centre point in the life of the Town of Brigus. Through sealing, fishing, and Arctic exploration, the Bartlett family reflects the way of life of a family, a community, and a province. They reached out far beyond the world of an outport village, and forged connections of international importance. You can learn more about Hawthorne Cottage and outport life in the booklet, “But Summer Will Come”, by historian James Candow.
Visitors to Hawthorne Cottage would be ushered into the “Arctic” Room to see memorabilia of Captain Bob’s voyages. Both the historical significance of Bartlett’s work and the architectural quality of Hawthorne Cottage have been recognized by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Plaques commemorating Captain Bartlett and Hawthorne Cottage can be found while strolling around the beautiful community of Brigus.
“Live on the Lawn”, a series of live theatre performances by the Baccalieu Players, takes place 4 days a week at 2:00 pm on the Cottage grounds. The plays reflect the life of Bob Bartlett, as well as the vibrant culture of Brigus. All revenue earned through on-site admission fees and giftshop sales is used to support the operation of Hawthorne Cottage.
For more information on hours of operation, summer events or school tours, call (709) 528-4004 during the summer months. During the off-season, call 1-877-753-9262, for details on off-season special appointment site visits.