Wesleyville, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discover Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador: A Coastal Community with a Rich History

Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador, is a quaint coastal community nestled on the Straight Shore of Bonavista Bay. This small town, located on the northeast coast of Newfoundland, is in close proximity to the communities of Greenspond and Newtown. Established in the early 19th century, Wesleyville has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the sea.

The Historical Journey of Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador

The first settlers of Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador, originally inhabited Swain's Island, often referred to as the "parent of Wesleyville." Between 1870 and 1930, these settlers relocated to the mainland, forming what is now known as Wesleyville. The town was named in 1884 after John Wesley, a founder of the Methodist movement.

By 1891, Wesleyville's population had grown to nearly 2,000, primarily sustained by the Labrador fishery. However, the decline of the fishery in the 1930s led to a decrease in population, with less than 1,000 residents remaining by 1945. The construction of roads, a hospital, and a highway in the 1950s brought about an improvement in services and businesses, helping the population to grow once again.

Today, Wesleyville is part of the municipality of New-Wes-Valley, which has a population of approximately 2,100 and includes the villages and towns of Pool's Island, Badger's Quay, Valleyfield, Brookfield, Pound Cove, Templeman, and Newtown. The main employer is a fish processing plant in Valleyfield, owned by Beothic Fish Processors. Wesleyville is renowned for its historical involvement in the sealing industry.

The Church History of Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador

In the 19th century, only a few resident missionaries were stationed in Newfoundland. These missionaries, including a resident minister in Greenspond, would visit surrounding communities to perform services. As the Methodist population in these communities grew rapidly, the Greenspond Mission between 1862 and 1884 was divided into circuits, including the Wesleyville Circuit established in 1884.

The first minister for the Wesleyville Circuit was Rev. George Bullen, followed by Rev. James Lumsden in 1885. The Methodist population increased from 120 to 226 during Lumsden's ministry. The first Methodist church was built in Wesleyville in 1874, with a parsonage added in 1887 and a new section built onto the church in 1889. By 1912, a new Methodist church was constructed to accommodate the growing congregation.

The Educational History of Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador

The first church built in Wesleyville in 1874 also served as the first day school. The first dedicated Methodist school was built in 1876, and a Sunday school commenced in 1877. By 1885, there were 80 children enrolled in Sunday school and 40 people in adult classes.

Interesting Facts about Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador

Wesleyville, Newfoundland Labrador, is the birthplace of renowned Canadian artist David Blackwood. The town also has a connection to the Greenland Disaster of 1898, as John Wicks of Wesleyville perished in the tragedy under Captain George Barbour. Additionally, the late 19th-century ferryman of Wesleyville was Robert Biddlecombe.