Shearstown, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discover Shearstown, Newfoundland Labrador: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Shearstown, a charming settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador, is a part of the Town of Bay Roberts. The community is beautifully nestled around Shearstown Brook, which flows into the Shearstown Estuary and eventually into Spaniard's Bay. The brook valley is predominantly composed of terraced sand and gravel deposits, likely remnants of an ice-distal glaciofluvial environment.

The Historical Journey of Shearstown, Newfoundland Labrador

In the early 1800s, men from Mercer's Cove and French's Cove began visiting the area bordering Bay Roberts and Spaniard's Bay to collect winter firewood, a practice known as "chasing the wood." Over time, some families started to overwinter there, eventually settling permanently. Shearstown first appeared separately in the Census in 1901, with a population of 577. By the 1921 Census, the population had grown to 704 persons in 145 households.

The pioneers of Shearstown included the families of Holmes, Earle, Hedderson, Badcock, Sparkes, Franey, French, Saunders, and Mercer. Originally known as Spaniard's Bay Pond, the name was changed to Shearstown in 1905 in honour of the Reverend W.C. Shears, the Anglican priest at Bay Roberts who also served at Spaniard's Bay. The community was also the birthplace of vernacular religious artist, Sister Ann Ameen (1909-1988).

During its early years, the most prosperous part of Shearstown was the area known as Muddy Hole, near the mouth of the Shearstown River. This was once a bustling trading place for the people of Shearstown and surrounding communities. Most of Shearstown has been a part of the municipality of Bay Roberts since 1965; in 1992 Shearstown West and Butlerville were also included in the municipality.

Community Organizations in Shearstown, Newfoundland Labrador

The first school and church in Shearstown were built in 1866, on the site occupied by St. Mark's School in 1994. The school was constructed as a one-room school, and rabbit and soup suppers were held to raise funds to supply coal and firewood for the building.

The original St. Mark's Anglican School was incorporated into the newer school, which was destroyed by arson in 2002. There was also a Methodist school/chapel by 1885. The current St. Mark's Church of England building was erected in 1898, and the first Methodist church in 1910 (replaced by a new Trinity United Church in 1962). A Pentecostal church was opened in 1953, with a new church under construction in 1994.

The Cromwell Loyal Orange Lodge No. 81, Shearstown, was constructed in 1898 and was dedicated with the name of Cromwell in 1901. It was one of the earlier community organizations to arrive in Shearstown. Its first master was Martin Sharpe. The Lodge is home to the Shearstown Brass Band, which was noted as having approximately 30 members ranging from young children to seasoned veterans in 2018.