Lines On The Death Of Professor Danielle
(Johnny Burke)

A well-known person in the town,
a man we all knew well,
Has passed away from worldly care,
Professor Danielle;
For in St John's he lived for years,
an artist of renown,
Well known by every class and creed
all over our small town.

He was a genius in his art
and always very neat,
His quaint remarks and witty way,
his stories were a treat;
And as a dancer smart and light
he did no doubt excel,
As many who in olden times
his steps remember well.

Although eccentric in his way,
his heart was good and true,
He always gave a helping hand
to those in want he knew;
He always proved the orphans' friend,
their sad young hearts to cheer,
And always gave an outing to
the little ones each year.

He built the well-known Octagon,
where years he did reside,
And in this home he loved so well,
last Friday night he died;
All preparations he did make
without the slightest fear,
And even lined his coffin
for he felt the end was near.

His portly form his friends will miss
when they drive in that way,
The same old greeting they won't see
since he is called away;
That well-known figure now ain't there
we oft saw in the door,
Of Charles Henry Danielle,
belong to Baltimore.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL, 1902 ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, p.49, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke.

From the Dictionary Of Canadian Biography Online 1901-1910 (Volume XIII) by Michael Francis Harrington © 2000 University of Toronto:
Charles Henry Danielle - born Baltimore, MD, [1830-1902] died near Irvine, Newfoundland; dancing teacher, costume maker, restaurateur, and resort owner. After the great fire in July of 1892, "Professor" Danielle built the sumptuous Royal Lake Pavillion on Quidi Vidi Lake, the first suburban roadhouse in the colony. In 1895 he dismantled the pavilion and transported it by rail to a picturesque site on the Topsail Road near Irvine Station. There he erected the Octagon Castle, a building that was to make him famous and whose name still survives in the nearby Octagon Pond.

Excerpted from a review by Elyssa Warkentin of the book, Scorned And Beloved: Dead Of Winter Meetings With Canadian Eccentrics by Bill Richardson, 327pp/Knopf, Canada:
Professor Charles Henry Danielle built the Octagon Castle in St John's, Newfoundland, which stood as a major tourist attraction until it mysteriously burned down in 1915. Danielle's funeral was even more unusual as he left orders that he should be buried in a glass coffin in a complex, bizarre and carefully-orchestrated ceremony.
~ The Manitoban, The University of Manitoba Students' Newspaper, December 9, 1998.

Octagon Castle post 1896

Professor Charles Henry Danielle's Octagon Castle, post 1896 (Memorial University of Newfoundland. Libraries. Archives and Special Collections Division)


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