Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discover Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador: A Coastal Gem with a Rich History

Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador, is a quaint town nestled on the Southwest Coast of the Island of Newfoundland. With a population of 559 as of 2021, this small town is located approximately 16 km east from the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal in Port aux Basques along Route 470.

Exploring Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador: Trails, Museums, and More

The town boasts two scenic walking trails: Harvey Trail and Boat Cove Trail. Harvey Trail is named after George Harvey and his family, while Boat Cove Trail gets its name from Boat Cove Pond, a former source of drinking water for the residents. Both trails offer stunning views of the harbour and the town.

The Walters House museum, housed in an old-style building, provides a glimpse into the past life in Isle aux Morts. This house served as the first school and church in the town.

Today, Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador, is home to a local bar and a school for students from kindergarten to grade 9. During the summer season, a museum and local cafe are open for visitors.

The town also hosts a week-long festival, Ann Harvey Days, in late July. This event commemorates Ann Harvey and her family for their brave rescues of sailors stranded on sinking ships.

The Rich History of Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador

Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador, has a rich Atlantic heritage and stunning coastal scenery. The community was first settled as a fishing port on nearby islands. In the 1800s, the families moved from the islands to land, settling in what is now present-day Isle aux Morts.

In 1868, the first school was built, which also served as a chapel for church services. This building is now the Walters House Museum. The local Orange lodge was constructed in 1914 by a group of men who previously used the school for their meetings.

The first fishery products plant was built in 1939, becoming the heart of the community for the next fifty years. LeGallais Memorial, built in 1958, served as a grade school until 1989 when the new LeGallais Memorial school opened.

The town is also mentioned in the lyrics to the Tragically Hip song "The Dire Wolf" on their In Violet Light album.

The Origin of the Name: Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador

The town is named after a formerly inhabited nearby island, referencing the many shipwrecks off the coast. Isle aux Morts translates from old French as "Island of the Dead".

Archeological Finds in Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador

On November 26, 1981, Wayne Mushrow discovered a rare and working Portuguese mariner's astrolabe on a shipwreck near Isle aux Morts. In 1983, at the same site, Mushrow found a French mariner's astrolabe. Both astrolabes were designated heritage treasures by the provincial government in 2001 and placed in the collection of the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Demographics of Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Isle aux Morts had a population of 559 living in 258 of its 292 total private dwellings. With a land area of 7.75 km2, it had a population density of 72.1/km2 in 2021.

Sports and Recreation in Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland Labrador

The town has an outdoor ice rink maintained by volunteers. In nearby Port aux Basques, there is a state-of-the-art sports complex with an ice rink, curling rink, bowling alley, swimming pool, and fitness center. The vast country and barren landscape make snowmobile and ATV use very popular.

Each February, the community hosts a Winter Classic Pond Hockey Tournament, where locals and ex-pats join to break up the long cold winter.