St. Paul Island
"The Graveyard of the Gulf"

Stories & History

St. Paul Island has a rich and fascinating history. Unfortunately, much of the information available is anecdotal, and much of the information one comes across either on the internet or in published articles contains errors or rumors which are not entirely true. This page will address some of these pieces of St. Paul history and stories, and hopefully clear up some of the errors.

The Laing Twins

In published articles I have noticed references made to the grave of lighthouse keeper's children from the late 1800's. The grave, perhaps the only marked grave on the island, is located at Atlantic Cove. Buried here are the 5 1/2 month old twins, Violet and Eric Laing, children of a wireless operator. They died in August of 1936. The cause of their death was contaminated water. It has been said that previous occupants had emptied waste in the coal bin, rather than using the proper facilities. Pictured is William Budge, who spent 5 years on the island when his father was Keeper of the southwest light in the 1950's, and his son Anthony, while on the island in July 2000.

The Sovereign

The Sovereign was a British troop ship carrying reinforcements to Quebec. In 1814 it wrecked on the cliffs in the area known as Sovereign Cove. The rocks near Atlantic Cove have been called Sovereign Rocks. It is not clear why they are called that, because the ship was not wrecked on these rocks. It is said that the ship carried the payroll for the British troops. The payroll was in Mexican silver dollars, the usual medium of exchange in North America at the time. It has been said that some of these silver dollars have been found over the years. There were few survivors, and the victims numbering around 200 were buried in mass graves in the fields near Atlantic Cove.

Duane Traver 2000-2005