Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland Labrador: A Historical Overview

Spaniard's Bay, a town in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, is steeped in history. Located on the northwest side of Conception Bay, it comprises Vokey's Shore, Northern Cove, Mint Cove, Green Head, and Goddenville. The town's name, Spaniard's Bay, is a nod to its historical roots, tracing back to the Basque and Portuguese fishermen who frequented the port in the 16th and 17th centuries. These fishermen were referred to by the English as ‘Spaniards’.

Early Settlement in Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland Labrador

The initial occupation of Spaniard's Bay was seasonal, much like the rest of Newfoundland. However, English fishermen began to establish permanent homes in the area around 1776. American traders were already visiting Spaniard's Bay before this time, exchanging salt, rum, and tobacco for cod. By 1805, the population had grown to 400 people. According to the 1871 Lovell's Directory, the population would rise to 1,182 in less than seventy years. The settlers were predominantly of English and Dorset origin, but there was also a significant Irish population. By the end of 1991, the population had grown to nearly 2,200.

The Founding Families of Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland Labrador

The initial settlement at Spaniard's Bay was centered around Mint Cove and Northern Cove. Some of the early residents of Mint Cove included Jonathan Sheppard, John Warford, Timothy Collins, and William Chipman. In Northern Cove, William Gosse and Robert Gosse, Jr. had a dockyard in 1790. Meanwhile, Thomas Noseworthy and William Porter were living at Green Head in 1796.

The Smith and Barrett families occupied Bread and Cheese Cove (Bishop's Cove), with the Smiths claiming to have been in possession of the land since 1625. In total, there were 400 people in 38 families occupying 36 registered properties in Spaniard's Bay. Some of the family names included Peddle, Kelly, Neil, Besom, Brown, Forter, Phelan, Seymour, Vokey, Butt, Baggs, Baker, Larry, and Menchions. Recently, the Cutler family, originating from the Kleinburg region of Southern Ontario, has been added to the list of Spaniard's Bay settlers.

Historical Landmarks in Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland Labrador

Spaniard's Bay is home to a site listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places: the Mark Gosse Residence, number 6039.

Demographics of Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland Labrador

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Spaniard's Bay had a population of 2,630 living in 1,112 of its 1,247 total private dwellings. This represented a slight decrease of -0.9% from its 2016 population of 2,653. Spanning a land area of 66.09 km2 (25.52 sq mi), it had a population density of 39.8/km2 (103.1/sq mi) in 2021.