Guide to the Newfoundland Club Of America Collection

c. 1930 - 2003


7.5 cubic feet
Collection processed by Ellen E. Schmidt

Finding Aid Addendum

The Newfoundland Club of America (NCA) collection is arranged into seven series and multiple sub-series:
Series 1 Constitution and Bylaws; Series 2 Minutes; Series 3 Reports; Series 4 Correspondences and Records, with sub-series: a.) Committees b.) Ayers, Nell, c.) Drury, Kitty, d.) Lerner, Larry, e.) Membership Lists, f.) “The Newf and You”, g.) General; Series 5 Publications and Printed Materials, with sub-series: a.) Articles, b.) Miscellaneous Publications, c.) Newsletters “Newf Tide”, d.) Catalogues Series 6 Photographs; Series 7 Scrapbooks, with sub-series: a.) Forms b.) News Clippings, c.) Photographs.

Ch. Seafarer and Ch. Waseeka’s Wayfarer, c.1928
The most winning brace in their time, Seafarer and Wayfarer contributed much to the American Newf. Ch. Seafarer was one of the sons of Ch. Siki imported from England by Elizabeth Loring in the late 1920s; he and other Siki stock became the foundation of the modern American Newfoundland. Wayfarer, another English import, was one of Waseeka’s important foundation dams. (Photo by Morgan Savage)

Constitutions and Bylaws includes copies of the Bylaws from 1956 and Constitution and Bylaws from 1973. Minutes includes all available minutes from annual and specialty meetings, special meetings, and mail meetings, dating from 1950-1958, 1962-1965, 1970-1972, 1974, and 1976-1977. Reports includes all available committee and individual reports presented to the club from 1947-1952, 1955-1958, 1961-1965, 1970-1976, and 1978. These three series are arranged chronologically from oldest to most recent.

Correspondences and Records is the largest series in the collection and ranges from the 1930s to the 1990s.The majority of the series is dated 1976-1977, the dates many of the contributors to the collection were most active within the club. This series is arranged in the original order filed by the NCA or private collector, arranged by the importance of the sub-series, and chronologically from oldest to most recent within each sub-series.  Publications and Printed Materials includes articles and news clippings from 1937-1938, 1957-1959, 1967, 1975-1977, 1981 and 1988 concerning Newfoundlands or dog-related writings. It also contains materials produced by the NCA and its member clubs, such as copies of the official NCA newsletter, “Newf Tide,” that were printed between April 1971 and Winter 1979, and catalogues from specialty conformation shows and water tests between 1967 and 1993. These are arranged alphabetically by sub-series and chronologically from oldest to most recent within each sub-series.

Photographs date from c.1930-2001, although the majority of photographs in the series were taken 1962-1978. Finally, Scrapbooks includes the contents of four scrapbooks gifted to the NCA by influential members. Two have been maintained in their original casing—the Waseeka Kennels book and a Nell Ayers book devoted to the career of a famous dog. The items from the other two books were removed from their binders and placed in folders that are arranged alphabetically by sub-series and numerically by scrapbook number; the contents within the folders are in the same order as they appeared in the scrapbooks.


The Club
Although the popular Newfoundland was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886, it was not until the 20th century that Newfoundland fanciers made efforts to form official breed clubs. The first Newfoundland Club of America was recognized by the AKC May 19, 1914, with officers E.J. Lame, president; R.B. Fritsch, vice president; and C.R. Wood, secretary/treasurer and delegate to the AKC. The club, however, was a small local group, and shortly after the death of Mr. Woods, it collapsed; in February of 1928 this first NCA’s membership with the AKC was canceled for failure to pay dues.

Another early club, the North American Newfoundland Club, was established sometime between 1922 and 1924 and never sought to gain AKC recognition. Under officers Dr. M.J. Fenton, president; Hon. Harold Macpherson, vice president; D.C. Williams, vice president, and Edwin H. Morrison, secretary/treasurer, the NANC was slightly more active than the small NCA had been. The club drew up its own standard of the Newfoundland and in 1929 staged a water trial. This organization also dissolved for unknown reasons, and most of its members attached themselves to the new NCA.

The original minutes from the very first meeting of the Newfoundland Club of America, February 21, 1930.

The third time was the charm for a national Newfoundland organization. On February 21, 1930, another Newfoundland Club of America was founded, with officers Quentin Twachman, president; Vivian Moultan, vice president, Harold Ingham, treasurer; and Miss Elizabeth Loring, secretary. This was the beginning of the club that still thrives today, and it was quickly accepted for AKC inclusion in May 1930.

By 1931 the club had proposed a standard for the Newfoundland dog—an adaptation of the English standard. In 1933 the club held its first National Specialty in conjunction with the Morris and Essex Kennel Club. After a short pause in growth during WWII, the club picked back up, hosting the first post-war National Specialty in 1948. Under the club’s new president, Miss Elizabeth Loring, up and coming member Kitty Drury was appointed chair of a committee to revise the Constitutions and Byaws. The revisions were accepted in 1950. 

The NCA continued to grow in the 1960s. In 1964 Kitty Drury was elected club president. In 1967 the NCA held its first independent National Specialty, an event that had manifested under the efforts of the then-president Rev. Robert Curry.

In 1970 the NCA began rewriting the Standard for the Newfoundland for the first time since its acceptance in 1931. Also in 1970, the club began publishing its official newsletter, “Newf Tide,” which is still being published. In 1973, the NCA held its first official Water Test, designed to test the water rescue talents of its “hero dog” breed.

Float diagram, c.1957
This diagram predates the NCA’s first official water test (not held until 1973) by over a decade, showing that the ability of their dogs to compete in such tests was as important to early fanciers as it is to today’s.

The club continued to grow through the 1980s and 1990s. In 1985 the NCA held its first official Draft Test, and in 1984 the breed was honored when Ch. Seaward’s Blackbeard won Best in Show at Westminster under judge Kitty Drury. In 1990 the standard was again rewritten, and this version is the one maintained by the club today.

The Breed
When European explorers began to rediscover the large Canadian island of Newfoundland in the late 17th century, they found there a breed of large, Mastiff-like black dogs “with size and strength to perform the task required of him.” How exactly this native breed developed is a highly debated mystery, but whatever its origins, it did not begin to resemble the breed known today as the Newfoundland until after the late 1700s. Between 1500 and 1700, the native breed was frequently crossed with newly arriving European breeds. Contributors to the emerging Newfoundland likely included Mastiffs and very large brown-and-white “estate dogs,” Portuguese Water Dogs, Collie-types, and perhaps even spaniels. By 1700, a unique breed of dog populated the island: It was large, heavy coated and heavy headed, with the strength and skill to be used as a draft animal, and a talent in water that made it a useful companion to the island’s fisherman. A black-and-white variety of the dog was common on the main island, while a mostly black variety inhabited the island’s outlying provinces.

In 1775, this native breed was officially named by English naval captain George Cartwright after the island of its origin. Very soon afterward, interest in the Newfoundland encouraged serious exportation of the dogs. Beginning around 1780, huge numbers of Newfoundlands were exported to England and the rest of Europe, seriously depleting their numbers on the island. Maintaining the breed fell to England and Europe, and it was in England particularly that the modern Newfoundland claims its creation. It was there that interested breeders began to refine the native breed into a dog that within a few years was recognized as a purebred. The Birmingham “National” dog show in 1860 boasted six specimens of the breed; two years later, entries of Newfoundlands had soared to 41, showing England’s booming interest in the large dogs. The animal artist Sir Edwin Landseer favored the black-and-white variety of Newfoundlands so much that the color type was soon called and is still known today as Landseer. At the same time, Scottish author James Barrie put the Newfoundland in the heart of his popular work Peter Pan in the character of the canine nurse, Nana. Such artistic attention, as well of the notoriety of Newfoundland show winners such as S. Atkin’s Cato and Howard Mapplebeck’s Leo, encouraged so much growth in the popularity of Newfoundlands during this era that they soon became iconic of the English Victorian family.

While in England the Newfoundland was being built into the breed recognized today, the dog was experiencing similar popularity in the United States. As in England, the Newfoundland reached an apex of popularity in America in the late 19th century. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1886, and by then it was considered a premier family dog.

However, by 1918 and the close of the World War I, the Newfoundland in America was in a sorry state. War-time rationing had taken a serious toll on the breed’s numbers, but rescue came from Miss Elizabeth Loring, who stormed the show ring with Ch. Seafarer, an imported English dog and son of the great English champion Ch. Siki. Over the next few years, Loring imported other Siki sons, such as Ch. Harlingen Neptune of Waseeka, which were used as foundation stock for her Waseeka Kennels. Other Newfoundland fanciers imported more Siki stock. Almost all American champions can trace their lineage to these dogs.

Ch. Oquaga's Sea Pirate, c.1944
"Pat" was a widely winning dog in his time and was used as foundation stock by Mrs. Elinor Ayers-Jameson and Mr. Jack Cameron in their Camayer Kennels (later changed to Seaward Kennels). Pat is credited with adding better type to American-bred Landseer Newfoundlands.
(Photo by William Brown)

Elizabeth Loring’s Waseeka Kennel was the first large Newfoundland kennel in the United States, but she was soon joined in her ground-breaking breeding efforts. Maynard and Kitty Drury’s Dryad Kennels, and Major and Bea Godsol’s Coastwise Kennels were also established in the early 1930s. With Waseeka, these three kennels are considered the foundation kennels for the American Newfoundland. Another great kennel arose in the following years: Elinor Ayers-Jameson and Jack Cameron joined together to found Camayer Kennels with the intentions of reestablishing the Landseer type of Newfoundland. Their efforts brought back declining Landseer numbers, and using Ch. Oquaga’s Sea Pirate, or “Pat”—a superb black—they also enhanced the type of the black-and-white variety. Mrs. Ayers-Jameson later changed the kennel name to Seaward. Under her daughter Nell Ayers, Seaward would produce some of the 20th century’s greatest Newfoundlands, including Ch. Seaward’s Blackbeard or “Adam,” the most winning Newf of his time and the first of the breed to claim Best in Show at Westminster in 1984. In more recent years, the increasingly popular Newfoundland again demanded the public’s eye when Ch. Darbydale’s All Rise Pouch Cove or “Josh” became the second Newf to gain the Westminster BIS in 2004.

Scope and Content
The Correspondences and Records series contains some of the collection’s most historically interesting items, including the business records of the club’s various committees, the private correspondences of three individuals—Elinor “Nell” Ayers, Katherine “Kitty” Drury, and Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Lerner—who were highly influential to the development and growth of the NCA, correspondences and records concerning specific publications such as the membership lists and the educational pamphlet “The Newf and You,” and general club correspondences and records ranging from the 1930s to the 1990s.

The Ayers, Nell sub-series within Correspondences and Records include the private and club correspondences received and sent by Nell Ayers during her years serving as the NCA secretary and president. Items of particular interest include correspondences from Mrs. Ayers’ time as president, 1976-1983. The Drury, Kitty sub-series contains correspondences to and from Kitty Drury, one of the most influential members in NCA history and co-founder of the very important Dryad Kennels. This collection contains items given to Kitty from her acceptance to the NCA in 1932 through her many committee and officer positions, including president. The oldest items can be found in this sub-series and date back to the foundation of the club in 1930. Items of particular interest include the original handwritten minutes from the first 20 years of the club and translations of letters from Mrs. Drury’s Newfoundland contacts in Switzerland and Germany. The Lerner, Larry sub-series contains correspondences to and from NCA president Larry Lerner, primarily from 1976-1977. This is the largest of the Correspondences and Records sub-series.

Issues of the NCA newsletter “Newf Tide” are contained within the Publications and Printed Materials series. The “Newf Tide” was published quarterly in a magazine format beginning in 1970. This collection’s newsletters are from 1971-1979 and contain interesting information such as conformation results, specialty results, and articles of general interest on topics such as health and history. There were only three publications in 1975 as the fall and winter issues were combined.

Ch. Seaward's Blackbeard, 1984
Pictured here being awarded the coveted BIS at the Westminster Dog Show under judge Kitty Drury, "Adam" was one of the most winning dogs of his day. His great success showed that the Newfoundland had come a long way in the twentieth century--from almost disappearing after WWI to show-stopping popularity near the close of the century.
(Photo by William P. Gilbert)

Catalogues stored in file folders range in date from 1967-1980. Catalogues from 1981-1992 are stored on the AKC Archive shelves, except for large magazine style formats from 1988, 1991, and 1993 specialties and 1981 Water Tests, which are located in the file boxes.

The Photographs series includes a wide collection of Newfoundland pictures given to the NCA by club members. Many of these are pictures of famous winning Newfoundlands, shown in candid shots and show poses. A little more than half the photographs in this collection are identified. This series contains some of the oldest items in the collection, with photographs dating from 1928 and 1945/6.

Of particular interest in this collection are the four scrapbooks given to the NCA by Waseeka Kennels and by the estate of Nell Ayers. Two of the scrapbooks have been kept in their original binding: the Waseeka Kennels scrapbook and one of Nell Ayers’ books. The Waseeka Kennels book contains photocopies of articles dating c.1915-1932 that refer to Waseeka dogs or Newfoundlands in general; this scrapbook is contained in Binder 1. The Nell Ayers book is focused entirely on the show career of Ch. Seaward’s Blackbeard or “Adam,” the most winning Newfoundland of his time (mid 1980s). It contains newspaper clippings of Adam’s wins and is housed in Box 12. The two other scrapbooks, from the Nell Ayers estate include pictures, pedigrees and registrations forms dating from the founding of Seaward Kennels in 1944 by Elinore Ayers-Jameson until c.1985.

            Constitutions and Bylaws
Box 1   FF 1     “Bylaws” 1956

            FF 2     Print of Revision, 1973; “Bylaws” (2 copies), c.1973

            FF 3     1950

            FF 4     1951
            FF 5     1952

            FF 6     1953

            FF 7     1954

            FF 8     1955

            FF 9     1956

            FF 10   1957-1958

            FF 11   1962-1963

            FF 12   1964

            FF 13   1965

            FF 14   1970-1971

            FF 15   1971-1972

            FF 16   1972; 1974

            FF 17   1974

            FF 18   1976

            FF 19   1977

Oversize 1        1951

            FF 20   1947; 1948; 1951

            FF 21   1949

            FF 22   1950

            FF 23   1952

            FF 24   1955

            FF 25   1956

            FF 26   1956-1958

            FF 27   1961-1963

            FF 28   1964

            FF 29   1965

            FF 30   1970-1971

            FF 31   1971-1972

            FF 32   1971; 1973

            FF 33   1973-1975; 1978

            FF 34   1975-1976

            FF 35   1976   

Oversize 1        1964

            Correspondences and Records
Box 2   FF 1     Breeder’s List, 1976

            FF 2     Breeder’s List, 1976

            FF 3     Breeder’s List, 1976-1977

            FF 4     Breeder’s List, 1976-1977

            FF 5     Breeder’s List, 1976-1977

            FF 6     Breeder’s List, 1976-1977

            FF 7     Breeder’s List, 1983-1990

            FF 8     Code of Ethics and Grievances, 1976-1977

            FF 9     Constitution and Bylaws, 1976-1977

            FF 10   Breed Standard, 1975-1976

                        Ayers, Nell
Box 3   FF 1     1976-1977

            FF 2     Article on Seaward Kennels; Standard Committee comments, 1977     

            FF 3     1976-1982

            FF 4     1976-1982

            FF 5     1978-1983

            FF 6     News clipping on Seaward Kennels, 1984

Oversize 1        1976-1990

Oversize 2        News Clipping

                        Drury, Kitty
FF 7     First club minutes, 1930-1950; First prints of “The Bulletin” (first club publication), 1930; correspondences, 1930-1955

FF 8     1959

FF 9     1959

FF 10   1959

            Lerner, Larry
Box 4   FF 1     1975-1977

            FF 2     1976

FF 3     1976-1977

FF 4     1976-1977

FF 5     1976-1977

FF 6     1976-1977

FF 7     1976-1978

Oversize 1        1976-1977; 1975-1977

                        Membership Lists
Box 5   FF 1     1959

            FF 2     c. 1971-1975

                        “The Newf and You”
            FF 3     1976-1977

            FF 4     1950

            FF 5     1951

            FF 6     1952

FF 7     1953

FF 8     1954

FF 9     1954

FF 10   1954

FF 11   1955

FF 12   1956

FF 13   1956-1958

FF 14   1957

FF 15   1957

Box 6   FF 1     1961-1963

            FF 2     1964

FF 3     1964-1965

FF 4     c.1965-1966; 1991

FF 5     1969-1972

FF 6     1969-1972

FF 7     1974-1975

FF 8     1976-1977

FF 9     1978

FF 10   1981-1988

FF 11   1984

FF 12   1980; 1985

FF 13   1984-1985

FF 14   1985-1988

FF 15   1988

Oversize 1        1950-1988 (not inclusive)

            Publications and Printed Material
Box 7   FF 1     1937-1938

FF 2     1957

FF 3     1958; 1977

FF 4     1967

FF 5     1972

Oversize 2        News Clippings, 1971; 1978; 1984

            Misc. Pubs.
FF 6     1959; 1975-1976; 1979

FF 7     c.1981

FF 8     1988

            “Newf Tide”
FF 9     April 1971-Fall 1973 (not inclusive)

FF 10   Winter 1973/74-Summer 1975 (inclusive)

FF 11   Fall/Winter 1975-August/September 1977 (not inclusive)

FF 12   Jan/Feb 1978-Winter 1979 (inclusive)

Box 8   FF 1     Specialties, 1967-1974

            FF 2     Specialties, 1975-1978

            FF 3     Specialties, 1978

            FF 4     Specialties, 1977-1978

            FF 5     Specialties, 1978

            FF 6     Specialties, 1979

            FF 7     Specialties, 1979-1980

            FF 8     Specialties, 1988

            FF 9     Specialties, 1991

            FF 10   Specialties, 1993

Box 9   FF 1     Water Tests, 1974

FF 2     Water Tests, 1975

FF 3     Water Tests, 1977

FF 4     Water Tests, 1978       

FF 5     Water Tests, 1979

FF 6     Water Tests, 1980

FF 7     Water Tests, 1980

FF 8     Water Tests, 1981

FF 9     Water Tests, 1981

Oversized 1      Water Tests, 1974; 1975

Box 10 FF 1     c. 1960; 1968-1978; 1985 (Edenglen’s Titanic, CD/TD)

FF 2     c. 1928; 1945/6; 1952; 1959; 1971-1979 (Ch. Seafarer; Can./Am. Ch. Topmast’ Pied Piper)

FF 3     1962

FF 4     1963

FF 5     1964

FF 6     1965

FF 7     1966

FF 8     1967

FF 9     1968 (Ch. Edenglen’s Francis Drake [Larry Lerner’s “Fido”] )

FF 10   1969

FF 11   1970

FF 12   1971 (Edenglen’s Chocolate Chip, CD/TD)

FF 13   1972 (Ch. Edenglen’s Great Harry [Larry Lerner’s “Harry”] )

FF 14   1973

FF 15   1974

FF 16   1975

FF 17   1976

FF 18   c.1982-1985 (Ch. Seaward’s Blackbeard)

FF 19   National Specialty winners, 1983

FF 20 1999-2001

Oversize 2        Ch. Heffalump’s Ellis, 1978

Box 11 FF 1     Awards: Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1952; 1955

FF 2     Awards: Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1952; 1955; 1963; 1967; 1982; 1983; 1986

FF 3     Pedigrees: Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1945; 1947; 1951; 1952

FF 4     Pedigrees: Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1952; 1954-1960

Oversize 3        Pedigrees: Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1945-1962 (not inclusive)

FF 5     Registrations: Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1953-1966


            News Clippings
FF 6     Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1954-1955; 1971

FF 7     Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1991; c.1952-1956

FF 8     Waseeka, c. 1940

FF 9     Seaward/Nell Ayers, c.1950-1959

FF 10   Seaward/Nell Ayers, c.1960-1969

FF 11   Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1946; 1971; 1976; 1978 (Ch. Oquaga’s Sea Pirate)

FF 12   Seaward/Nell Ayers, 1959; 1961-1962; 1972; 1974; 1976; 1981

Box 12             Complete scrapbook: Seaward/Nell Ayers, focus on Ch. Seaward’s Black Beard/ “Adam”, c. 1979-1985

Binder 1           Waseeka Kennels scrapbook, c.1915-1932


Statement by Bo Lande (author of “The Newfoundland,” Field & Stream, June 1947), recorded in This is the Newfoundland: Official Publication of the Newfoundland Club of America, ed. Mrs. Maynard K. Drury, ills. Ernest H. Hart (Jersey City, NJ: Crown Publishers, 1971), 21.