Ephraim C. Balsom, was born at Clarenville on the 23, Dec. 1902
Where he grew up and lived all his life. His Father William was born
at For Harbour (now South Port) and came to Clarenville when he was just
a boy to live with his uncle, after the death of His Father. His Mother
was the former Sara Strong of Clarenville.
He says he attended the old Schoolhouse with a junk of wood under his
arm more then one morning to provide heat for the Schoolroom. Grade 4
was the highest Education that he was able to atain, because of the
death of his Father he had to find work in order to provide for his
Family. At the age of 13 he moved back to South Port to live with his
Uncle John Balsom for 2 years, then went Fishing. After the 2 years he
then took a Train to Rattling Brook NL. To work in the Lumber woods for
a while, then doing odd Jobs including 3 years working at the Railway
Yards shoveling Coal. His Salary was $80.00 a month, which he gave to
his Mother to help provide for his younger Brothers and Sisters. Mr.
Balsom also worked as a Steam Shovel operator at Deer Lake Power Plant.
In 1934 he went to work for the government of Newfoundland as Game
Warden, His first assignment was the distribution of beavers around the
Province, with the reserve pond being 12 miles in back of Clarenville,
know as Tug Pond Game reserve his work covered a radius of approx. 100
miles with 5 patrol Cabins spread out through this area. He spent 16
years at this assignment working mostly alone, and remembers them as
being exciting times.
During the Summer months he traveled on foot, in the winter he traveled
by Dog team, made up of a 5 dog team “ A dog is a Man’s best friend” as
the saying goes, turns out to be true as the Leader of his Dog team (Laddie)
Mr. Balsom’s best friend for over 15 years saved his bacon more then
once through blinding Snow Storms.
“Uncle Eph” as he was known to most People, spent 35 years in Country
through out Newfoundland. He never used a Compass for directions, but
followed the Sun and trail marks. Usually he came home every 2 weeks to
freshen his supply of food, sometimes he didn’t make it home for over 3
weeks. He was involved with the moving of Moose from western
Newfoundland, to Labrador.
In 1937 he married Blanche Bennit from Grand Falls they had 3 Children
Sandra, Allan, and Terry also raising a step-daughter Catherine,
Blanches Daughter from a previous Marriage.
Upon his retirement he spent a very active life doing a lot of camping
and salmon fishing around the province and in the wintertime cutting
wood and setting a few Rabbit snares, enjoying the Country where he
spent so many days.