Fonds - Earle Sons and Company fonds

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Title proper

Earle Sons and Company fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on last company represented in the fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1873-1969 (Creation)
    Earle Sons and Company

Physical description area

Physical description

6.7 m of textual records

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Administrative history

Earle Sons & Co. Ltd. was a major mercantile firm in the Notre Dame Bay region during the period 1917-67. The company engaged in the purchase, production and export of salt codfish, cod oil, salmon, lobster, seals and other staple products, and in importing food, provisions and fishing equipment for retail.

The Earle family business was established by Henry J. Earle (1841-1934) who originally came to Fogo as a bookkeeper for Slade & Co. When the Slade Co. was dissolved in 1869, Earle formed a partnership with John W. Owen, a former clerk of Slade's, as Owen & Earle, and took over the Slade premises at Fogo and Twillingate. Around 1893, the company was dissolved with Owen carrying on trade at Twillingate and Earle at Fogo. By the end of the century, Earle also had branches in Twillingate, Herring Neck, and Change Islands.

With his sons, Henry Earle continued the business under his own name until 1917, when it was incorporated as Earle Sons and Company, Limited. His son Harold then took over the management of the business and expanded the operation to include canning and freezing fish. The Change Islands branch, which operated a lobster cannery until 1900, was phased out in the 1950s. The Twillingate premises were sold to a competitor, Ashbourne Fisheries Limited, in 1918.

Earle then rented premises from Colbourne's and continued to operate there until 1928. At that time, Harold Earle purchased a business from Rolls (his wife's relatives) in Barr'd Islands and land in Joe Batt's Arm and Tilting. The company operated cod oil factories in Joe Batt's Arm, Barr'd Islands, and Tilting until the 1950s. Premises at Wigwam Point (Fogo) were acquired from the Newfoundland and Labrador Export Company in the 1950s.

Final operations ceased at Fogo in 1967. The collapse of the Labrador fishery and the depletion of fish stocks in Notre Dame Bay brought an end to the Earle business after 74 years.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records (1873-1969) for Earle Sons and Company, Limited, and its predecessor company, Owen and Earle. The records originated at the company's head office at Fogo, and branches at Change Islands, Herring Neck, Barr'd Islands, Joe Batt's Arm, and Tilting, Newfoundland.

The fonds includes correspondence, bills of lading, freight books, shipping orders, receipts, and financial records for Fogo, Joe Batt's Arm, and Tilting. It also includes some records from the partnership between Henry J. Earle and John Owen.

Fonds is arranged in five series: Correspondence (1873-1968); Financial records (1878-1968); Labour records (1949-1966); Miscellaneous records (1878-1950); and Shipping records (1932-1969).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Most of the records were donated to the Maritime History Archive (MHA) by Brian Earle in 1980. In 1992, the MHA acquired the records for the Hodge business at Joe Batt's Arm, which included journals and ledgers for the Earle business at Fogo, Joe Batt's Arm, and Tilting. These are now included in the Earle Sons and Company fonds.


As there did not appear to be any original order to the records at the time of acquisition, the archivist superimposed an order.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Users should be aware that copyright rules and regulations may apply to some parts of this fonds.

Finding aids

Finding aid is available.

Associated materials

J. W. Hodge (Joe Batt's Arm) fonds

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - April 29, 2013

Language of description

  • English

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