Hartigan business was in the herring trade and coastal trading (selling and trading goods along the costal villages). The business was called Hartigan Brothers – owned by Will, Nick and Mike Hartigan. One quote from an article in the St. John’s Evening Telegram September 15, 1975 is “In April 1903 at Rencontre East there were seventeen vessels (Grand Bank schooners) loading bait (for halibut fishing). All vessels that baited at Rencontre East paid $13 a dory load for their herring Well over a hundred loads were taken for a sum of over $1,500. The Hartigan Brothers baited two American vessels (from Gloucester), the Niagara and the Massachusetts, eight dory loads apiece at $12 a load.”
Another story from family oral history (from Patricia Burke) tells us that Patrick hired carpenters from St. John’s to build the three houses – one for each of his sons and their wives. Each house was connected with a telegraph line so they could communicate with each other. Many of the Hartigan children took up telegraphy as employment when they got older – Jack, Lulu and Rita – who married another telegraph operator, Tony Burke.