EPITAPH for an independent woman
These objects were found in an abandoned house in the outport community of King’s Cove, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland where Bride Sullivan lived with her father until his death in 1963. Bride stayed on in the house well into her 80’s managing the property on her own; fetching water from an outdoor well, chopping ‘splits’ for the woodstove, and tending the small farm animals. When I entered the house through a fallen door in 2006, it looked as though she had just stepped out for a moment. Cupboards were full, laundry was done, beds were made, and yet Bride had been gone for 7 years. The accumulation of stuff, in drawers, on tables, in closets; tools, notebooks, quilts, spectacles, clocks, dishes, etc. was remarkable. It seemed like every item that had crossed the threshold of this house remained in it and I had inadvertently inherited all of it. Bride’s house is her legacy; it holds the story of one woman’s life lived in rural Newfoundland.