Thursday, August 20, 2015

Can you help solve the mitt mystery of Long Beach, Trinity Bay? #nlheritage

I recently got an intriguing email from Wanda Garrett of the Southwest Arm Historical Society, concerning a pair of children's mitts dug up by her father. Wanda writes:
A few years ago, my father dug up two children's mitts on his land in Long Beach. I am trying to find out some historical information about the mitts - how old they are, etc.

The mitts appear to be children's mitts as they are small. They are two different sizes. It appears that the mitts were dipped in some type of solution to make them waterproof - maybe linseed oil?

The land where the mitts were found is now owned by my parents but it used to belong to my grandparents. When my parents took over the land, my grandparents' home was in bad shape and falling down so they had it bulldozed and buried on the land. We don't know if the mitts were in the house when it was bulldozed or not. My grandparents purchased the land and house in the '50s. The original owners of the land lived there from 1873-1961. 
I asked my mother (who is 81) if she remembers seeing these mitts before but she does not. I also asked her brothers, who are a little younger than her, and they also do not remember them. Therefore I am thinking they belonged to the people who owned the house and land before my grandparents. When they sold the house to my grandparents, they left some belongings in a back room upstairs. These mitts may have been among their items.
Have you seen or worn mitts like this? If you have, send me an email at, or leave a comment below.

- Dale Jarvis


t sears said...

i have seen these before not the exact pair of coarse but similiar they were used by fisherman when rowing a boat i was told and they had a habit of cutting the cloth part off that would go up your wrist as it was easier slipping off or putting another pair inside or what ever. that was told to me years ago when i used to visit outports of nl selling insurance .. spoke to alot of people in there shed , or stage ,store what ever you want to call it. thats what an old guy told me when i mentioned about how it looked like the bottoms were trimmed .but i could be wrong

Jean Knowles said...

This would be much more likely to be gutta percha or indiarubber than linseed oil, which tends to show more of the grain of the original fibres.

Dave Adey said...

I recall seeing an old pair of these as well when I was a kid rummaging around in the sheds we had. My father never threw away anything and there was a lot of stuff that probably dated back over a hundred years. Every now and then someone will post something on Facebook and right off I know I saw it before. Sadly after my parents had died we sold the property and what wasn't saved went to the dump...who knows what fabulous items were thrown away.