On September 8, 1885, Robert Hodder of Dog Bay accidentally shot George Powell of Red Rod Cove on Change Islands. As I began to do a little research on the incident it didn’t take long to learn that the tragedy had a family connection. The shooter, Robert Hodder, was my wife’s great grandfather. It was this, together with a full court document, given to me by a local resident and describing the graphic details of the shooting, that prompted me to tell the story of the tragic death of George Powell.
Here now is the true story of how fate brought together two men, unknown to each other, from two distant communities in outport Newfoundland on the same day, together in the wrong place at the wrong time. I invite you to come along with me and walk in their footsteps and permit me to use a little historical fiction to try and fill in the details of what may have happened on that fateful day in 1885.