Fonds MG18 - Gleason L. Green

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Gleason L. Green

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  • Textual record

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40 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Gleason Leonard Green was born on 21 January 1898, on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. He was one of twelve children of Oliver Ottiwell Green (1876-1958) and Nettie Beatrice Brown (1876-1969). His father moved from Wood Island to Ingalls Head when he was young, and his mother grew up in Grand Harbour. Gleason went to work at age 12 and was the captain of a boat for someone else until he bought his first boat when he was 16. Gleason Green was always interested in boats and became a boat builder, as well as an expert at fishing and packing fish, principally the herring of the Bay of Fundy. He was also interested in building schools and served on the Grand Manan school board. He observed other schools under construction, so he could assist with the design of the new Grand Manan High School.

Gleason married Lulu "Lue" Verna Wilcox (1897- 1978), of Lubec, Maine, on 2 December 1920, and they had four daughters and four sons: daughters Gleneta Louise, Queenie Ada, Mona Merlene, and Rowena Ardis; and sons Henry Otis, Pearley Sherwood, Ivan Noel, and Donald Byron. Gleason and Lue also raised his first cousin's son, Payson Green, born in 1913. The life of Gleason Green, a descendent of Loyalist, William Green, who arrived in Grand Manan in 1830, was described in the "Reader's Digest" in the early 1960s, in its "Most Unforgettable Character I Have Ever Met" series. He was one of the Island's great storytellers, a member of the Knights of Pythias, and a member of the Grand Harbour Baptist Church. Gleason died on 16 July 1990.

As a fisherman and innovator, he devised better lines for fishing boats. His modifications were incorporated in the designs of several boat yards, especially at Cape St. Mary and Mavillette, Nova Scotia. The boat bodies were built in Nova Scotia and then brought to Grand Manan where he finished the cabin area. He never registered this operation as a business. His boat sales spanned the years 1938-1972. He retired from fishing in 1975 at the age of 77.

Gleason was a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge for 69 years and assisted in building the Knights Theatre from 1946 to 1948. He enjoyed being a storyteller, entertainer, and unofficial ambassador of Grand Manan wherever he traveled. Following his retirement his lifelong desire to travel was fulfilled in visiting Scandinavia, Newfoundland, St. Pierre, Iceland, and the Magdalene Islands, among other places.

Source: Gleneta Green Hettrick (daughter)

Custodial history

Gleason Green gave his records to his daughter Gleneta Green Hettrick, who donated the material to the Grand Manan Archive. Bradley Small - his grandson - donated correspondence to Gleason from Theriault's Boat Shop and Customs declarations and other papers pertaining to boats 1940-1947.

Scope and content

This fonds contains correspondence; sales statements; 2 tidetable books, 1925 and 1938; several entries of business interests other than fishing or boat building; and papers occurred in the building of a new house in 1940-1942; records and memorabilia from Gleason Green's membership in the Knights of Pythias Lodge and his travels to Scandinavia, Newfoundland, St. Pierre, Iceland, and the Magdalene Islands.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Gleneta Green Hettrick in 1988. And Bradley Small in 2009.


Language of material

  • English

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Associated materials

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has an oral history interview with Gleason, MC1776.

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Accession number M88.3

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