Greenspond Photograph Collection

This collection consists of photographs of Greenspond, Bonavista Bay, that were taken in the early years of this century, c.l897-1920. Most of the photographs depict the Hutchins family, a prominent Greenspond merchant family, as well as views of the community and day to day life in Greenspond. The Hutchins family owned a photographic studio in Greenspond where portraits were taken and photographs processed. Edith Hutchins and her brother, Fred Hutchins, were well-known in the community as photographers. The photographs are a reflection of daily life in Greenspond as well as a pictorial record of the Hutchins family.

Historical Background
The Hutchins family ofGreenspond, Bonavista Bay, originated in Exeter, England. Early records show a Philip Hutchins who was born in Exeter in 1811, coming out to Newfoundland in the 1850s. According to Hutchinson's Directory, 1864-1865, Philip Hutchins operated a general merchandise store at 223-225 Water Street in St. John's at that time. Lovell's Directory for 1871 lists Philip Hutchins, an importer, at the same address and RochftJrt's Directory of Newfoundland, 1877, lists him as a general merchant. Sometime thereafter, Philip Hutchins returned to England. He died on April 27, 1886 at his residence Elm Side House, Mt. Pleasant, Exeter, aged 75 years.

The Hutchins firm in St. John's was then taken over by George Knowling (1841-1923), a nephew of Philip Hutchins. Business directories after 1886 list the firm as "George Knowling's", 223-225 Water Street. According to George Knowling's grandson, William Knowling, family legend has it that George came to St. John's in 1857 to work as a clerk in his uncle's St. John's business. There was a branch of the business in Greenspond. The two men later had a falling out and young George moved to Sydney, Nova Scotia (The Encyclopaedia of Newfoundland and Labrador claims he returned to England). In 1868 George returned to St. John's and the two men were reconciled. After Philip Hutchins died in 1886, George Knowling took over the St. John's branch of the business and other members of the Hutchins family took over the Greenspond branch.

Members of the Hutchins family show up in various records and publications. Charles Hutchins, a native of Glasgow, and nephew ofPhilip Hutchins, died of rheumatic fever on February 12, 1887. Several members of the Hutchins family worked for George Knowling's. According to McAlpine's St. John's Directory, 1908-1909, there was a Philip Hutchins working as a clerk His home address was given as 56 Hayward Avenue. Gertrude Hutchins worked in the telephone office and boarded at 46 Scott Street. George Hutchins worked as a floor walker and lived at 46 Scott Street. The parish records for Greenspond show a Rev. Edwin Weary, widower, aged 30, resident ofGreenspond and clerk in holy orders, marrying Alice Hutchins, age 27, spinster, c.1899. The witness was Philip Hutchins.

The Greenspond branch of the Hutchins business was operated by Philip Hutchins who was born in Manchester, England, in June 1864 and immigrated to Newfoundland in 1879 at age of 15. He had two sisters, Edith and Gertrude, and one brother, Fred. Philip Hutchins married Louise Winsor of Exploits who was born in April 1869. Philip and Louise had two sons and two daughters: Frank, date ofbirth not known, Harold who was born in St. John's on May 1897; Annie Louise who was born in St. John's on May 1904, and Edith Victoria who was born in Greenspond in May 1911. Harold enlisted on September 28, 1914. He joined the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on August 20, 1915 and served with the 1st Composite Battalion on the Western Egyptian Frontier from November 1915 to February 1916. On March 2, 1916 he returned to the British Expeditionary Force and was killed in action at Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916. His registration number was 602.

Edith Hutchins and Annie Lou Hutchins were educated in St. John's at Bishop Spencer College and both later attended Littledale College. Both women were active in community life on their return to Greenspond. They were very involved with church activities, Sunday School, choirs and concerts. They organized the first Girl Guide group in Greenspond. Membership at its peak was reached 100. They also gave piano lessons in their home and organized concerts, plays, and other cultural pursuits. They used the former Bank of Montreal building in Greenspond as a photography studio and as headquarters for the Girl Guides.

Philip Hutchins died July 16, 1946 and Louise Hutchins died April 23, 1957. Both were buried in the Church of England cemetery, Greenspond. Edith Hutchins married Jolliffe Quinton. After her father's death in 1946, Edith's husband ran the Hutchins business in Greenspond. Not long after, they closed the Hutchins store and they moved to Princeton, Trinity Bay. Edith died in 1952. Annie Louise Hutchins married Tom Hunt of Greenspond c. 1945. After Annie Lou died, Tom Hunt remained in the Hutchins family home. He lives there today with his sister, Mary Hunt.

The Hutchins family were friends with the local magistrate's family and the photographs reflect this friendship. There are several photographs of Magistrate Alfred Seymour (1855-1912) and his family at Government House in Greenspond. Seymour was born August 1, 1855, St. John's, the son of Henry Seymour of Exeter, England. He was educated at the Methodist College, St. John's and married Jessie Spencer from Harbour Grace. Seymour began in business as an apprentice draper with Job Brothers, but later joined his father's grocery in St. John's. In 1882 he was appointed customs officer at Harbour Grace. He was appointed sheriff of the Northern District (based at Harbour Grace) in 1892, judge of the Harbour Grace District Court in 1895 and magistrate in Greenspond in 1897. Seymour was transferred back to Harbour Grace in 1900. In 1908 he left the Bench to run in the general election as a People's Party candidate. He was defeated in that attempt, but was returned in 1909 as Member of the House of Assembly for Harbour Grace District. He died on May 11, 1912.

The Hutchins premises in Greenspond consisted of the main store as well as several wharves, stages and stores. Hutchins was originally 85 feet long and three stories high and was a general merchandising retail outlet. The Hutchins family residence occupied the east end of the building and included the top floor. The top floor was removed c. 1965 and the west end ofthe building was removed. The front ofthe store consisted of two large windows (visible in photographs) with a wide set of steps running the length of the building. The store was divided into departments such as household goods, millinery, clothing etc.

The photographs in Series 1 of this Collection were deposited in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives by Lorna Myles Balm 1995. The photographs were part of an album that had the name "E. Hutchins, 1905" written on the inside cover. Balm had received the photo album from a friend in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Photographs in Series 2 were donated by Tom Hunt, Greenspond, Bonavista Bay. The format and style show they are also Hutchins photographs.