St. Lawrence

Discover St. Lawrence, Newfoundland Labrador: A Town Rich in History and Resilience

St. Lawrence, a quaint town nestled on the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, is a place where history and resilience intertwine. With a population of 1,115 as per the 2021 Canadian Census, this town is a testament to the enduring spirit of its inhabitants. The town is home to families bearing the names of Turpin, Tarrant, Slaney, Pike, Lake, Drake, and Edwards, among others.

The Historical Journey of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland Labrador

The town of St. Lawrence was christened by shipwrecked sailors who arrived in Newfoundland in 1583 with Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Their vessel, the Delight, tragically sank off Sable Island, leading sixteen of her crew to drift in a lifeboat for seven days before reaching the South Coast in Little St. Lawrence. Richard Clarke, the master of the ill-fated ship, penned a dramatic account of the event in 1584.

St. Lawrence was familiar to English, French, and Basque fishermen in the 1500s, and even hosted a few French stages for the early fishing season. However, the actual settlement began in the early to mid-1700s. The area was surveyed by Captain James Cook in 1765. By 1784, St. Lawrence was bustling with activity, with Newmans opening its store in Little St. Lawrence, rivaling the business of St. John's, the capital city. However, the store closed its doors in 1811.

Tragedy and Bravery in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland Labrador: The USS Pollux and USS Truxtun

On 18 February 1942, tragedy struck when the USS Truxtun and USS Pollux ran aground near Chambers Cove and Lawn Point, respectively, leading to the death of over 200 American sailors. The citizens of Lawn and St. Lawrence displayed immense bravery and community spirit, saving approximately 200 sailors. In gratitude for their efforts, the U.S. Navy built a hospital in St. Lawrence in 1954. A memorial, 'Echoes of Valour', was erected in 1992 to honor the mining industry, the sailors who perished in the disasters, and those who lost their lives in the world wars.

Demographics of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland Labrador

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, St. Lawrence had a population of 1,115 living in 485 of its 598 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -6.5% from its 2016 population of 1,192. With a land area of 34.86 km2 (13.46 sq mi), the town had a population density of 32.0/km2 (82.8/sq mi) in 2021.

The Climate of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland Labrador

St. Lawrence experiences a subarctic climate, albeit one moderated by the ocean, making it more akin to a subpolar oceanic climate or the similar climate of the Kuril Islands off Eurasia. The seasonal lag rivals that of the Pacific coast in California, with August being the warmest month and September and July having very similar temperatures. The coldest month is February. Summer lasts from mid-July through mid-September, and winter from late November through early May.