Port de Grave, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discovering Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador: A Peninsula Rich in History and Culture

Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador, is a captivating peninsula located on Conception Bay in Canada. This unincorporated area, known as Division No. 1, Subdivision L for statistical purposes, is home to several communities including Bareneed, Black Duck Pond, Otterbury, Ship Cove, Blow Me Down, Hibb's Cove, Pick Eyes, and Hussey's Cove. With a population of approximately 975 as of 2006, this community is part of the provincial electoral district of Port de Grave. Accessible by road via Route 72, Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador, is a destination steeped in history and culture.

The Historical Significance of Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador

The Port de Grave peninsula has been a hub of activity since the 16th century, with Europeans being some of the first to utilize the land. The French, in particular, used the beaches to dry their catch as they fished off the nearby waters, naming one of the many harbours they used "Graves". By the end of the 16th century, the area from Carbonear to Brigus, with Port de Grave in the middle, had become a significant area in the English fishery.

Official records indicate that a property in Ship Cove has been occupied since 1595 by the Dawe family, making this the oldest registered land claim in Newfoundland. By the mid-17th century, Port de Grave had become a leading area in the evolving resident small boat fishery established by "planters" from West Country England. These settlers established a permanent population, making the peninsula the ancestral home of the Dawe, Butler, Tucker, Mugford, Snow, Porter, Andrews, Webber, Stevens, and Anthony families.

The Trials and Triumphs of Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador

Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador, has seen its share of trials and triumphs. During King William's War, the village was destroyed in the Avalon Peninsula Campaign. It was destroyed again by the French during Queen Anne's War in 1705, with hostages taken during a 1705 raid to try to dislodge the defenders of Carbonear Island.

From 1750 to 1850, Port de Grave was the commercial center for the area, with numerous Devonshire and Scottish mercantile houses and Jersey traders present. Among those were the names of Newmans, Pinsents, MacPhersons, Prowses, Furneaux, Baine, and Johnston.

The Evolution of Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador

In the early 19th century, a major seal hunting industry developed in Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador, and the population of the community increased to its peak of 1400. After 1880, the population declined due to large steamships now being used for the sealing fishery. After World War II and Confederation, the local inshore fishery expanded rapidly and by the mid-1970s housed 3 fish plants and had major inshore multipurpose fishing fleets. It became known as one of the most prominent and progressive fishing communities in the province.

Today, Port de Grave is still recognized as a very prominent fishing centre, despite the 1992 cod moratorium. This rich history and enduring culture make Port de Grave, Newfoundland Labrador, a fascinating destination for history buffs and cultural enthusiasts alike.