Silver Harvest: The Fundy Weirmen's Story


95 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-86492-086-5




Maurice J. Scarlett is a geography professor at the Memorial University
of Newfoundland.


This handsomely produced book is the product of a close cooperation between Ernest Wentworth, founding president of the Fundy Weir Fishermen’s Association and Richard Wilbur, who describes himself as the “wordsmith.” Wentworth brings to the task an intimate and lifelong experience of the fishery and has tapped the individual experience and knowledge of a host of other people to create an impressive mass of fact and viewpoint, of description and dialogue.

Although divided into seven chapters the book has no list of contents and the ordering of the material is not always obvious. Chapters include “The Quarry and the Trap: Sardines and Weirs,” followed by ones on the Connors brothers and other pioneers on boat building, on boatmen, and on history since the 1930s.

The treatment is anecdotal and discursive. Illustration is of old drawings and an impressive range of black and white photographs, all of which are well reproduced, though perhaps not always best located with respect to the text they illustrate.

Anyone acquainted with the herring/sardine fishery of the southern part of the Bay of Fundy, past or present, will probably find this book a mine of information, often trivial, but often vivid and a mirror of the lives and outlooks of those involved. For outsiders there is still reason to read, and if they do no more than browse through the illustrations and dip almost haphazardly into the text they can hardly fail to be rewarded.

This book is not a scholarly survey and itdoes not set out to instruct in any narrow pedagogical sense. Its perspective is very close-range and the wider implications arc largely ignored, both at the level of the whole Atlantic region and in national terms. It is a popular treatment, with all the merits that the term implies. Fiddlehead Poetry Books & Goose Lane Editions have done the authors proud in their superb production work.


Wilbur, J.R.H., “Silver Harvest: The Fundy Weirmen's Story,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,