Past Springdale NL resident Norm Peters, born in 1909, is still well-known in some circles. Having worked as a prospector, he made the local discovery of the mineral he named Virginite (known as Mariposite, when found in California). In 1955, he discovered what was to become the Baie Verte Asbestos Mine.
Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Digital Archives Initiative website hosts a 22 minute interview with Norm, recorded in the 1980s. In the interview he talks about his personal prospecting background, the history of Springdale and mining in the area.
Norm talks of the past logging industry and sawmills of Springdale, and the sawmill on an island at the mouth of Indian River. He talks of the local mining boom brought by the Whalesback, Gull Pond and Little Bay mines.
Anyone with a current day fly-out job may enjoy his description of the ultimate turn-around. Norm recalls working and staying in the deep wilds of Newfoundland’s interior from Spring on until Fall, just before the first freeze up. (Find it at 5:50 in the recording.)
He also offers some insights into the nature of the mining industry, as well as the impact of recreational vehicles and logging on the interior of the island.