As we headed farther south toward Newfoundland, we made an impromptu landing at Indian Harbour. Special to resource staff member Dave Paddon, the stop gave us a chance to see the remaining foundation of a cottage hospital and several abandoned seasonal fishing sites. We soon learned that Dave’s grandfather ran the hospital (established by medical missionary Wilfred Grenfell) and tended to patients in communities along the Labrador coastline aboard the hospital ship Maraval.
As Dave related the history of the site to more Ocean Endeavour passengers, Dad and I climbed the hilltop overlooking the harbor and explored the grounds surrounding the weathered fishing shacks. Directly below the remains of the hospital stood two gravestones marked by the year 1918, testament to the far-reaching effect of the Spanish flu even in such a remote location. We left the shelter of Indian Harbour in late afternoon as the sun sunk lower in the sky, wondering when the next person would come upon this place and know its history.