Discovering New Perlican, Newfoundland Labrador: A Historical and Geographical Overview
New Perlican, a quaint town nestled in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, is a hidden gem with a rich history and unique geographical features. With a population of 200, according to the Canada 2021 Census, this town offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The Geography of New Perlican, Newfoundland Labrador
The town of New Perlican is underlain by black and gray shales from the Precambrian era. The main soil type is a stony loam podzol, part of the Turk's Cove series. The vegetation is a complex mix of coniferous forest, predominantly balsam fir, and heath barren. This unique combination of geological and botanical features makes New Perlican a fascinating destination for nature enthusiasts.
The Rich History of New Perlican, Newfoundland Labrador
New Perlican is one of the oldest settlements in Newfoundland and Labrador. The town was first mentioned by Thomas Rowley, one of the initial settlers at the Cupids Colony, who planned to move to New Perlican in 1619. The town is home to the Hefford Plantation, which was first settled by William Hefford and his family in 1675. Archaeological excavations have uncovered artifacts dating back to the 17th century, including a William III ha'penny and a Spanish American silver one real coin.
During King William's War, the village was destroyed in the Avalon Peninsula Campaign. However, it has been continuously inhabited since the 17th century, making it one of the oldest settlements in Canada still occupied by descendants of the first settlers.
The Demographics of New Perlican, Newfoundland Labrador
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, New Perlican had a population of 200 living in 107 of its 173 total private dwellings. This represented a 7.5% increase from its 2016 population of 186. With a land area of 24.45 km2 (9.44 sq mi), the town had a population density of 8.2/km2 (21.2/sq mi) in 2021.
The Cultural Heritage of New Perlican, Newfoundland Labrador
The first Anglican church in New Perlican, St. Mark's, was built in 1834. The church, along with its adjacent graveyard, was a significant part of the town's cultural heritage. The graveyard featured grave markers made from local stones, likely carved in a nearby community. The church was later replaced by St. Augustine's, erected in a different location.
By the 1900s, New Perlican was a sheltered harbour with saltbox houses scattered throughout the town. The Pittman shipbuilding area, where many ocean-going schooners were built, was a prominent feature near the water. The landscape changed in the 1920s, with the town becoming home to many fishing stages and schooners. By the 1950s, the town had two churches, St. Matthew’s United Church and the second St. Augustine’s church.
New Perlican, Newfoundland Labrador, with its rich history, unique geography, and cultural heritage, is a fascinating destination for those interested in exploring Canada's past.