Before you enter Elk going south on Route 1 you pass Cuffey’s Cove cemetery. The cemetery contains the remains of some of those who worked at the chute in the cove that loaded lumber onto the schooners moored there.
This is what the chute looked like when it was operational.
The first settlers were Frank Farnier, known as Portuguese Frank, and a negro called Nigger Nat, whose real name was Nathaniel Smith, The two were said to have been shipmates on a coastal schooner. Slaves were often referred to as “cuffeys” and that is probably the source of the name. Another, less probable, source of the name is that Captain Fletcher of Navarro once saw a bear “cuffing” its cubs on the ocean bank in the cove and named it Cuffey’s Cove.
There was a great demand for railroad ties and Farnier gave work to dozens of tie-makers on his timber lands. Farnier built and operated a chute to load out the ties.
This photo was taken in1890. The note that went with the photos says that there was a small mill located at the edge of the cliff at Cuffey’s Cove. We presume that the mill was the building on the left. This is interesting because, to our knowledge, there has never been mention of a mill at Cuffey’s Cove heretofore. The photo was clearly taken from a schooner but there is no mention of which one.
The coast fields were rich and potatoes grown in Cuffey’s Cove became quite famous locally. At its height in 1883 Cuffey’s Cove had a population of 300 when Greenwood (Elk) had 50. Among the buildings were the San Francisco Hotel and Grand Hotel – see picture . However, the Greeenwood landing just a little bit down the road, had a much superior chute to the one at Cuffey’s Cove and the Cuffy Cove landing was made obsolete.
Left – Cuffey’s Cove in the foreground an Elk in the distance
Memories of Cuffey’s Cove and Early Greenwood by Flora Buchanan and Yerda Matson Dearing is an excellent source of information on Elk or Greenwood as the locals prefer.
For more information check out this excellent website about Elk