This tranquil scene depicts the historic Port of St. John's, Newfoundland as it would have looked towards the end of the nineteenth century. Referred to as "North America's Oldest City", St. John's is the oldest settlement in North America to hold city status, with year-round settlement beginning sometime before 1620. Tradition declares that the city earned its name when explorer John Cabot became the first European to sail into the harbour, on June 24, 1497, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. Centre left we can see the crew of a typical coastal schooner of the day disembarking aboard a longboat for an evening on the town, while in the foreground two fishermen in another longboat land to retrieve a stubborn Landseer dog. Due to their superb swimming skills these dogs were utilized by Newfoundland fishermen to tow nets to the shore. They were also noted for their ability to help drowning people.


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