do you remember

Aug 03, 2012,

 

PHOTO: FLYING BOAT DOCK ON GANDER LAKE

 

Cliff Powell, on left, and his brother Graham enjoyed themselves on the shores of Gander Lake in this photo (taken in the late 1940s).  We thought it might be interesting to hear what others recall about the place.
        


Cliff has this to say about his photo…
        
That’s me on the left and Graham on the right. Jack James (who later became airport manager) owned the Constance, called after his daughter. I believe it was used as a search and rescue boat in the early days. I know it was used in the Sabina crash in 1946 up southwest Gander.  The dock is the old marine base where they refueled flying boats going from New York to Foynes, Ireland and return. I don’t believe there were many kids around at that time swimming there,
        
All this structure is gone. The building in the background is the boat house, to the right is a place to launch boats that were owned by various people, and farther up the hill there were some cabins in the woods belonging to Ganderites.  To the left and farther back, Shell Oil had a building for their refuelers,
        
A short distance up the hill is where the Arrow air crash took place.
The small boats were used in Gander Lake mostly. I hope this answers your querries.
Cliff

Here is some feedback from others who remember:

        
That was a great contribution from Cliff Powell. I read it with interest. You should go after some of the "older" members of the group to get them to make similar contributions about their arrival in Gander. Did you notice, in the picture of the boys at Gander Lake, that John James' boat "Constance" was in the background? Jack named if after his daughter, whom we knew as Connie. Note also all the infrastructure on the lake, none of which is there today.
        
Thanks for that!
Jim Butler, GA Class of 1959

        
And Jim had this to add:
        
When we were growing up in Gander there were two sites on Gander Lake that were accessible from town, the Burner Hill road site, where there was a huge boathouse and docking space; and the second site, further to the east, where the Silent Witness site is today.  At that site was a large dock which could accommodate many boats.
        
The Powell photo, IMHO, was taken at the Silent Witness site, long before the Silent Witness of course. Also at this site some locals had built cabins and, I think, there was a structure that was called the "pump house" where water for the airport and town was pumped from the lake. 
Jim Butler, GA Class of 1959

        
Great work Faye, and especially the memories from Cliff.  Those were two good looking dudes , Cliff and Graham ( as was the rest of the family).  Lots of hardship just surviving in a new area not yet developed.     
Things were just beginning to progress further when we lived there, and we thought nothing of going to school in the Army barracks, or whatever they turned into school buildings for Hunt Memorial, etc. 
        
It was the best of times. 
Audrey Mingo Grantham, GA Class of 1958

        
Perhaps one of the two young swains could tell of the after dark activities.
Clarence Dewling, GA teacher 1957 era

        
This foto brings back many memories. When we were in our teens, me, Alby, and his brother Tommy Austin would go to the "lake”.         We’d climb up to the peak of the boathouse and dive in, even in August the water temperature was about 60-65 degrees, extremely cold.
        
Gander Lake was a wonderful place to visit and I have many fond memories of great times in all seasons on the year.
        
the way, I worked with Cliff Powell for many years at ATC and if you are in contact with him please say hello for me.
        
Again thank you very much for the wonderful fotos.
Jim Garland, GA Class of 1956

        
There was another boathouse at Gander Lake down from the bottom of Burner Hill, this was also the pump house site that pumped water to the old wooden tank up where the forces base is located now. I  remember seeing a rescue boat that was in that small shack and it was hoisted up out of the water, not a large craft but a speed boat and I believe the Americans owned that one.
        
Diesel engines powered the pumps and staff was there all the time, in wintertime our water was pumped from Deadman’s Pond. A bit later on when we got a Bombardier (snow tracked vehicle) we could get back and forth over this steep incline; this is where the cop took me to get my driver’s license. Imagine stopping halfway up hill in a manual transmission car and have to work the clutch and brake pedals to keep from rolling backwards!!   
Cliff Powell

        
Faye, I remember this place very well. It was a favorite place to go on the weekends, especially when we were in our teens and someone was lucky enough to have a license and could borrow their parents’ car. The building was Jack James’ (Airport Manager) boathouse. I think the big boat tied up to the wharf was his. He was Connie James’ father. They also had a summer cottage close by along the shore. Noel and Guy James’ parents also had a cottage there, and there were some AND CO. CAMPS   along the shore. We often went for picnics with friends there..........
Mary Osmond Warren, GA Class of 1959

        
Thanks everyone, Keep the great pictures and comments coming.
         Faye Lewis Raynard,
         GA Class of 1959

 

 

back button