Friday, August 10, 2012

North American History 101


Yesterday, I visited the site of North America's oldest successful British settlement.  Which is . . . ?

Let's not everybody raise their hands at once.

Okay, here's a hint.  They celebrated their 400th anniversary in 2010.  No, no, not Jamestown -- that was an abject failure.  One more hint:  Squanto showed up to advise them.  No, not Plymouth.  He sauntered down there after the original settlers advised the Pilgrims to occupy an abandoned Indian village there.

Give up?  Cupids, Newfoundland.  They've only recently begun excavating the original site.  Shown above is the house frame they built over the first great building, half of which was for storage and the other half for habitation.  Yet to be found are the blacksmith shop (though they're closing in on it) and the brewery.  I really think that some Canadian beer giant needs to fund that last part of the dig.

Part of the reason so few people in the U.S. have heard of Cupids is that the local folk are too kind to rub our faces in the fact that the inhabitants of their first British colony weren't afraid of hard work.  Unlike the fops and wusses of Jamestown.  So they just say it's the first Brit colony in Canada.

Tactful, really.

And yesterday . . .

I went to a screech-in last night and kissed a cod.  So today I can proudly say:  Ich bin ein (honorary) Newfoundlander.  And very happy about it too.


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