Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discover Trepassey, Newfoundland Labrador: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Trepassey, Newfoundland Labrador, is a small fishing community nestled in the southeastern corner of the Avalon Peninsula. This charming town, located in Trepassey Bay, is steeped in history and natural beauty. It is also known for its significant role in aviation history, as it was from Trepassey Harbour that Amelia Earhart embarked on her historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Rich History of Trepassey, Newfoundland Labrador

The name Trepassey originates from the French word 'trépassés' (dead men), a moniker it shares with Baie des Trépassés on the Brittany coast of France. This name is believed to have been chosen due to the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred off its coast. Over time, the name was anglicized to 'Trepassey', which also refers to the harbour, the bay, and the community.

Trepassey's history dates back to the 16th century when French explorer Jacques Cartier passed through Trepassey Bay during his second voyage of exploration in 1536. The area was later inhabited by French, Spanish, and Portuguese settlers who lived and fished near the area. However, it was not until the late 17th century that the French successfully settled the area.

During The War of The Spanish Succession in 1702, Commodore John Leake of the Royal Navy led a large naval expedition into the harbour, capturing many French fishing ships and driving the French from Trepassey. The town later became a settlement where English and French borders in Newfoundland met until the signing of the Treaty of Utretch. The town saw an influx of fishermen from the West Country of England, followed by a large number of Irish settlers. By the 1770s, the Irish formed the majority of the population.

Trepassey experienced a boom in the fishing industry following the Second World War, leading to increased affluence. However, the town's prosperity declined in 1991 with the closing of the local fish plant, which resulted in significant job losses.

A Timeline of Trepassey, Newfoundland Labrador

Trepassey's rich history is marked by significant events and milestones. The town first appeared on European maps as a supply depot in 1505 and was known to early Portuguese explorers as "Rio das Rosas" or "River of Roses". From the 16th century onward, Trepassey became a port for English, French, and Iberian fishing fleets on the Grand Banks.

The 17th century saw the first attempts to permanently settle Trepassey and establish a plantation, possibly by Sir William Vaughan. The French also eventually settled the area, calling it "La Baie des Trépassés" or "Bay of Souls". Over time, the name "Trépassés" became anglicized into "Trepassey".

In 1702, Commodore John Leake led a series of English raids along Newfoundland's coast, effectively driving the French from Trepassey. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 gave complete control of Newfoundland to Great Britain.

The 20th century brought significant developments to Trepassey. In 1914, the Newfoundland Railway Branch Line was completed, linking Trepassey with St. John’s. In 1919, United States Navy Curtiss Flying Boats left Trepassey harbour, completing the first successful (although not non-stop) transatlantic flight. In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, taking off from Trepassey Harbour.

Demographics of Trepassey, Newfoundland Labrador

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Trepassey had a population of 405 living in 224 of its 299 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -15.8% from its 2016 population of 481. With a land area of 54.21 km2 (20.93 sq mi), Trepassey had a population density of 7.5/km2 (19.3/sq mi) in 2021.

Trepassey, Newfoundland Labrador, with its rich history and natural beauty, offers a unique blend of historical and natural attractions for visitors and residents alike. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying the charm of a small fishing community, Trepassey has something to offer everyone.