Bay de Verde is located in Conception Bay, Newfoundland at
48 degrees 5 minutes North Latitude and 52 degrees 53 minutes
West Longitude, near the extreme end of that land mass generally referred to as the Bay de Verde Peninsula or what is today known in Provincial Tourist Brochures as “The Baccalieu Trail”. This peninsula extends from the Trans Canada Highway in the west to Baccalieu Island in the east.
The name Bay de Verde is of Portuguese origin. It is an historical fact that Portuguese and Spanish explorers frequented the area during their era of great discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries. The word ‘Verde’ in Portuguese simply means ‘green’, an obvious reference to the profusion of grass that grows there in the late spring and early summer. In John Guy's visit to Bay de Verde in 1612 when on his way from Cupids to Trinity Bay, he referred to it as ‘Greene Bay’. Being used as a fishing station by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, before the advent of the English, would make it one of the earliest sites of European activity in North America. Perhaps one of the earliest references to the Bay de Verde area is to Baccalieu Island which appears on Ruysch’s map of 1508. Ruysch was a cartographer who apparently had been on the first voyage of John Cabot to Newfoundland. Castaldi’s map of 1550 also records Baccalieu Island. Bay de Verde appears on Mason’s map of 1577. This map had apparently been copied from an English-Dutch map of an earlier time.
The earliest documented inhabitant of Bay de Verde was Isaac Dethick who came here in 1662 from Placentia with his family and servants. Dethick was an English planter forced out of Placentia when the French took over that town. There is no doubt that there were settlers such as the
Taverners already established at Bay de Verde when he arrived. Some 13 years later when Captain John Berry took an official census of the Conception Bay area, there were 95 inhabitants as well as 140 fishermen fishing at Bay de Verde from seven migratory fishing vessels for a total population of 235 people. Surprisingly, Isaac Dethick is not listed. Other family names at the time are Tobin, Smith and Hill. By 1682 the summer population was 278 and the winter population 121.
Taverner, Smith and Hill families were still there as well as Ery, Jeffrey and Rollins. As can be seen the permanent population has made a quite substantial 20% increase over this seven year period.
When the French began their devastating raids on the Avalon Peninsula in 1697 they found 90 good men at Bay de Verde. When you include women and children, there is no doubt the permanent population was close to 200 people. The raids under Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville wreaked havoc among the established planters. Everything was destroyed or taken as war booty. Now came the difficult task of rebuilding what had been destroyed. This the settlers did and there was calm until another French raid in 1705 by M. Montigny saw equal devastation. This time many of the established planters had more than they could take. Some of them left and moved to more fortified locations like St. John’s and Trinity. In 1708 there were only 30 people at Bay de Verde.
However, another group of settlers began to arrive after 1713 when the Treaty of Utrecht declared that Newfoundland was owned by Great Britain. The French were given fishing rights along the northeast coast. These new settlers now included Irish as well as English and although the English had more rights, the Irish began to establish themselves as well late in the 1700's. By 1753 the population of Bay de Verde was 128 comprised of 69 English and 59 Irish. The Plantation Book Records of 1804-5 show that the established planters were of English descent but the Irish were now beginning to obtain their share of property as well.
Bay de Verde History Timeline
1662 – Isaac Dethick settled at Bay de Verde after being deported from Placentia by the newly arrived French garrison.
1675 – There were seven families and their servants , numbering about 150 people total, occupying 11 rooms and stages in the harbour at this time.
1677 – Bay de Verde fishery produced 1,700 quintals of fish.
1693 – Bay de Verde fishery produced 4,450 quintals of fish.
1697 – The journal of Abbe Baudoin noted that "there were in this harbour fourteen settlers well established and ninety good men".
1714 – William Taverner, born at Bay de Verde, surveyed the south coast of Newfoundland for the English crown.
1729 – Bay de Verde became one of the six judicial districts created by Governor Henry Osborne.
1738 – Seventeen ships were engaged in the cod fishery.
1823 – Newfoundland School Society under the direction of Samuel Codner established its first free school.
1832 – John Lynch is teaching school in the Cooper shop of Timothy Dineen at Bay de Verde.
1838 – Northern Bay Roman Catholic Parish was established and Father Bernard Duffy began his ministry covering all of the North Shore including Bay de Verde .
1839 – First Church of England denominational school is established by the Newfoundland School Society and run by William Pippy..
1841 – Church of England wardens James Norris and William Barter established the Anglican Parish.
1843 – School master John Morrissey began a Roman Catholic denominational school.
1846 – Reverend John Roberts was appointed to the Church of England mission of Grates Cove – Bay de Verde.
1847 – Oliver Rouse arrived to take over the Anglican Parish and its missions.
1870 – The newly constituted Road Board began to establish roads.
1872 – Road was completed to Red Head Cove, Grates Cove and Old Perlican.
1880 – Roman Catholic Parish of the Assumption was established with Reverend Gregory Battcock as priest.
1881 – First telegraph line from Carbonear to Bay de Verde was established.
1891 – St. Barnabas Anglican Church was completed.
1892 – Construction began on Assumption Parish Roman Catholic Church.
1902 – Thomas Moore began to operate one of the first lobster canning plants in the community.
1911 – Fisherman’s Protective Union Store was opened.
1916 – Railway branchline from Carbonear to Bay de Verde was completed.
1929 – Electricity was turned on for the first time.
1932 – Railway branchline was shut down.
1946 – The Fisherman's Co-operative Society was established.
1950 – Patrick Noonan became the first mayor of Bay de Verde’s Town Council, which was established in July to provide services, including a municipal water supply system. Council rendered inactive in the next year.
1954 – Maurice and Patrick Quinlan bought out the business of James F. O'Neill.
1967 – St. Joseph’s Central High School opened.
1967 – Quinlan Brothers fish plant operated six of the twelve longliners fishing from the community processing cod and turbot. During peak season the plant employs over 300 people from Bay de Verde and surrounding communities.
1973 – Tricon Elementary School opened.
1975 – The Bay de Verde Town Council was reactivated after twenty-five years of dormancy.
1992 – The Cod fishery was closed down by the Federal Government of Canada. Crab and shrimp fishery continued to be successful at Bay de Verde.
1999 – The Bay de Verde Heritage House and Baccalieu Island Exhibit was officially opened.
1999 – The last child born in the 20th century in Bay de Verde was Nicolas Curl.
2002 – St. Joseph's Central High School closed.
2004 – The Town of Bay de Verde won the "TIDY TOWNS AWARD" in its population category.
A Brief History of the Town Council
In 1949 shortly after Confederation several of Bay de Verde’s more far-sighted and civic-minded individuals who had grown up with the perpetual problem of lack of water, decided to approach the newly elected Newfoundland Government to discuss the possibility of obtaining a water supply for the community. The result was the appointment of the first Town Council in 1950. However, having the basics of a municipal structure thrust upon them so suddenly, and not fully understanding how it would benefit the community, some residents began to vigorously oppose it. As a result, in1951 the struggling council disbanded without ever having fulfilled any of its objectives.
By the mid 1970's the civic and social structure of Bay de Verde had changed. A new drive began to obtain the same services that other towns in Newfoundland were already enjoying. In January of 1975 a new Town Council was elected and Bay de Verde was on its way to developing into the modern town it is today. A municipal tax structure was put in place, water and sewer projects began, a volunteer fire department was formed, new street lighting was installed and many of the roads were paved.
List of present Councillors
Gerard Murphy – Mayor
Gordon Coish – Deputy Mayor
Emberley – Councillor
Gerard J. Broderick – “
Caroline Potter –
Louis Keats –
Jenny Riggs –
– Town Clerk
Dale Walsh – Maintenance Supervisor
Bay de Verde Volunteer Fire Department
One of the first priorities of the newly elected Town Council was the establishment of a fire department. Indeed, some people say that it was the need for a Fire Department that gave impetus to the establishment of the Town Council. Most people now realized that a major fire in the community with all its homes clustered together would be catastrophic. This, along with the new fish plant and a developing waterfront made fire protection a definite necessity. Having learned from the mistakes of 1950, the new Fire Department was well organized and an effort was made to set it up in a professional manner.
They had very little trouble getting twenty-five volunteers from the community to make up that 'brigade' which started from very humble beginnings in the basement of the Town Hall. At first, the firemen raised money in any way they could, including going around from door to door asking for donations. In the beginning, the newly formed Ladies Auxiliary were extremely helpful in raising money as well as giving moral support. Over the years with the unqualified dedication of the firemen and the support of the Town Council, it has developed into a first class Fire Department.
Other Bay de Verde
- Heritage House and Baccalieu Island Exhibit
- Active Fishing Community with both a major crab and shrimp plant
- Two Historic Churches, Roman Catholic and Anglican (Over 100 years old)
- Scenic view of beautiful Conception Bay
- Iceberg and Whale Watching
||Roman Catholic Church
A Brief History of the Churches in Bay de
church built by the Roman Catholics in Bay de Verde was
constructed about 1810 under the tenure of Father Thomas
Ewer who was parish priest at Harbour Grace. It was located
north of the present day church in the Old Chapel Rock
Cemetery. In 1896 construction began on the present church
under the tenure of Father Joseph V. Donnelly who had become
parish priest in 1883 just three years after Bay de Verde
had become a parish. The new church was built just to the
south of the old church on land donated by James Noonan.
Because of the unique architecture of Father Donnelly’s
church plans, three master carpenters were hired for its
construction. They were James O’Neill and John Brady from
Bay de Verde and Thomas Hogan from Northern Bay.
Parishioners also gave freely of their labor when needed.
The new Church of the Assumption was ready for use in 1897
and was officially consecrated by Bishop McDonald in 1903.
Church of England
Don Barter in his book Surviving on the Headland,
construction of the first Church of England church in Bay de
Verde began in 1821. However, when Oliver Rouse arrived in
August of 1847, it was in such poor condition that he
immediately set about putting the wheels in motion to begin
building a new church. The second St. Barnabas Church was
located some distance to the east of the old one in the
general area of where the Anglican Church is today on Church
Hill. It was completed in 1856 and consecrated by Bishop
Field on November 25, 1857.
In 1886 construction began on the third St. Barnabas
Church under the tenure of Reverend William How. It was
located just to the east of the old existing church on a
piece of land purchased from Edward Cotter. Although some
wages were paid, most of the work on the church was done
free labor by the parishioners. Reverend How left in 1890
and the task of completing the new church was left to his
successor Reverend Frank Smart. The new St. Barnabas Church
was consecrated by Bishop Jones on May 12, 1891.
Joseph's Central High School
Tricon Elementary School
A Brief History of
the Schools in Bay de Verde
Bay de Verde was settled in the last half of the
1600’s and from that time until the early 1800’s there was
very little if any formal education. A few private schools
operated in St. John's and in the Conception Bay area but for
the majority of children there was no formal education. Very
few people could read or write unless they were children of
merchants who were sometimes sent to private schools in St.
John’s or went back to England to be educated there.
Samuel Codner, an Englishman who had become a St.
John's merchant, was the first to try to remedy this
situation. As the story goes, when Mr. Codner was returning to
England in 1821 he got caught in a terrific Atlantic storm. He
was somewhat of a religious man and in the fury of the storm
vowed that if he reached home safely, "he would
devote his resources to the spreading of religious
virtues". Fate was good to Codner and he and his
fellow passengers were safely delivered from the storm. True
to his word, on June 30, 1821, in a London coffee house,
Codner and others founded the Society for Educating the Poor
of Newfoundland. He was successful over the next several years
in procuring funds from various sources and as a result the
Society set up schools in many parts of Newfoundland.
In the first official census taken in 1836 by the newly
elected legislature of Newfoundland, neither a school nor a
teacher is listed at Bay de Verde. However, there is evidence
to indicate that children were being educated. In his Last
Will and Testament dated May 30, 1832, Timothy Dineen, a
native of Lismore but who had been living at Bay de Verde for
40 years clearly states that, "John Lynch is to
have the Cooper's shop during such time as it may answer him
to teach school in, rent free". This was the
first mention of any type of education being carried out in
Bay de Verde. John
Lynch was the same man who had come from Ireland on the
ill-fated ship Fanny in 1811 and had left the ship at Bay de
With the passing of the first Education Act in 1836,
nine Boards of Education for Newfoundland were established.
This was the first real start of formal education in most of
the out ports. On April 30, 1838, the government member for
the District of Conception Bay, Mr. James Prendergast, visited
Bay de Verde to find out how many people would contribute to
the support of school-masters. In his report Mr. Prendergast
stated that, "the inhabitants appear to appreciate
the intentions of the Legislature and to be desirous that a
school should be established among them." The
school was indeed established in 1843, for Mr. Prendergast
reported in his 1847 School Report to the Legislature that a
school has been operated here for four years by teacher John
Morrissey. In 1847, another school was built at Bay de Verde
by the Catholic Board of Education for the Carbonear District.
In a report to the Legislature on May 22, 1847 by J. P.
Gleeson, money in the amount of 55 pounds is “paid for
materials, etc., for a school-house about to be commenced at
Bay de Verde”.
In 1853 the Newfoundland Government established what
they called Commercial Schools, a concept that was introduced
to Bay de Verde in 1859. In a report to the Board of Education
in 1865, the School Inspector stated that there was a
Commercial School at Bay de Verde under the jurisdiction of
the Catholic Board. This was no doubt the same school building
that had been built in 1847. Mr. Patrick Fox was the teacher
and the total attendance was seventy-four pupils.
Toward the end of
the 19th century the Roman Catholic Parish, under
the direction of Father Joseph Donnelly, built a new
combination hall-school. It was built adjacent to the old
Roman Catholic Cemetery on the south side of the harbour near
Walsh's Hill. Father Donnelly had been born in St. John’s
and studied in Rome and had obviously developed a keen
interest in architecture. After building the church and parish
house, he began construction of a new school. The building was
a two-story structure with two classrooms on the top level and
an amphitheatre on the lower level. The gradually sloping
amphitheatre was similar to the Elizabethan theatres of
England, something quite unique to a Newfoundland outport.
School and community concerts were held there on a regular
basis. When Father William Casey was assigned to the parish in
1940 he thought that this school building had outlived its
usefulness and had it torn down. On almost the same site he
built a one story, two-room school. The building had none of
the practical usefulness of the old building and none of the
unique Victorian architectural style. The new St. Mary's
School was opened in September of 1942 and in 1956 two more
classrooms were built across from the parish house on the
By the 1920's, according to Donald Barter in his book Surviving
on the Headland, the Anglican hall-school at the top
of Church Hill was in a dilapidated condition. In 1925 under
the direction of Reverend Henry Gilbert a new school was built
in the north end of Church Hill Cemetery. The new St. Barnabas
School was officially opened on November 17, 1926. In 1961 due
to an increase in enrolment a new school was built in Bear’s
Cove, which was used to accommodate the high school students.
In the 1960’s many of the School Boards of
Newfoundland began to make changes to school infrastructure
with the building of central high schools. In 1967 the Roman
Catholic Parish of Bay de Verde in conjunction with the Roman
Catholic School Board for Conception Bay North built St.
Joseph’s Central High School just east of the Bay de
Verde-Grates Cove highway intersection. This school opened
with an enrollment of 160 students and served primarily the
Catholic children of the communities of Bay de Verde, Red Head
Cove, Grates Cove, Low Point and Caplin Cove. Realizing a
better opportunity for education was available at this school,
students slowly began withdrawing from the other Anglican
In 1972, the Roman Catholic and the Avalon North
Integrated School Boards of Conception Bay North entered into
a formal agreement known as a ‘shared services agreement’.
Tricon Elementary was built almost directly across the highway
from St. Joseph’s Central High. The system officially
started in September of 1973 but due to storm damage it was
not until January of 1974 that 235 primary and elementary
students from the surrounding communities began attending
Tricon for the first time.
In 1997 Denominational Education was abolished in
Newfoundland and with this change came once again a reduction
in the number of schools. St. Joseph’s Central High School
was closed in June of 2002 after providing educational
services to the students of the area for 35 years. In the summer of 2007 the building was removed from the
site. A new
school, Baccalieu Collegiate was opened in the nearby
community of Old Perlican in September of 2002 to accommodate
students on the north and south shores of the lower half of
the Bay de Verde Peninsula. Tricon Elementary still remains
open today as a K-6 system with a student enrolment of 101
students from the nearby communities of Bay de Verde, Red Head
Cove, Grates Cove, Old Perlican, Sibley’s Cove, Lead Cove,
Brownsdale and Caplin Cove.
If you have any old school pictures that you would like to see included
please send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org
||On April 18, 1990 Augusta Barter was invested with the Order of Canada
at Rideau Hall in Ottawa by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn for her long years of service as an outport nurse attending to the medical needs of the people in the Bay de Verde area.
||Mrs. Blanche (Blundon) Rowe, a resident of Carbonear celebrated her 100th birthday on June 15, 2005. She was born at Bay de Verde in
1905 to Stephen Blundon and Isabelle Way and
was the sister of the late Harvey John Blundon. Mrs. Rowe passed away on July 27, 2007 at Carbonear at the age of 102.
||Mrs. Dorcas (Blundon) Bursey, now a
resident of St. John's celebrated her 100th birthday on
July 16, 2009. She was born at Bay de Verde in 1909 to
Stephen Blundon and Isabelle Way and is the sister of
||Paul Emberley has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award and the Community Volunteer Services Award for his lifelong service to the community.
||Patrick Quinlan was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Baccalieu Trail Board of Trade for his contribution to Industry and Commerce.
||Maurice Quinlan was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Baccalieu Trail Board of Trade for his contribution to Industry and Commerce.
||Paul O'Neill who was born at Bay de Verde was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Baccalieu Board of Trade for his contribution to Education.
Mr. O'Neill has also received the Order of Canada as
well as a Doctorate from Memorial University of
Newfoundland and Labrador.
||On June 10, 1988 Andrew Doyle received the
Medal of Bravery from Governor General Jeanne Sauve in
Ottawa. Andrew was instrumental in effecting the rescue
of John LeGrow of the tugboat Taskall off St.
John's on October 10, 1984. He also received the
Commissioner's Commendation from the Canadian Coast
Guard as well as a plaque for bravery from the St.
John's local of the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
||In March of 2001 William E. Pryor received,
posthumously, the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. Billy was a longtime volunteer firefighter and served his fellow fishermen as member of the local fishermen's committee for almost two decades. He was also involved in many church positions and committees. Billy loved to lend out his talents as a singer of traditional Newfoundland songs for fundraising events.
Please report any
errors or omissions
|Mary Jane (Pryor)
(Tizzard) (CULL) COISH
|Nellie (Lockyer) ROGERS
|Maria (Noonan) MURPHY
|Mary (Coish) NORRIS
|Hazel (Blundon) LEGGE
|Annie L (Stephens) BLUNDON
|Ida (Emberley) PRIDDLE
|Cecil Gordon COISH
|Gladys (Blundon) BARRETT
|Mary Ann (Coish) EMBERLEY
|Lydia (Jacobs) EMBERLEY
|Carmel (Cotter) STEIGER
|Johanna (Cotter) WOODROW
|Eileen (Brady) KENT
|Velma Myrtis (Emberley) CHURLEY
|Martina (Broaders)(NOONAN) LEGGE
|Norma P. (Blundon) NOEL
|Rose (Royal) MILLS
|Paula (Moore) BRODERICK
|Gertrude (Moore) BRODERICK
|Bridget (Noonan) ROYAL
|Nellie (Woodrow) OSMOND
|Gladys (Sutton) EMBERLEY
|Blanche (Blundon) ROWE
|Alice (Keyes) NORTH
|Bridget (Sis) RIGGS
|Mary (Woodrow) FORTUNE
|Elizabeth (Betty) NOONAN
|Annie (Emberley) GOODWIN
|Phyllis (Blundon) WORTHMAN
|Martha (Blundon) JONES
|Eleanor D. (Thorne) RIGGS
|Elsie (Emberley) EDWARDS
|Isabelle (Sutton) GOSSE
|Emma "Emmie" (Benson) LOCKYER
|Maxine (Emberley) SMITH
|Mary Ann (North) MURPHY
|Sister Theresa KEYES
|Kathleen (Noonan) BROADERS
|Mary (Keyes) POWER
|Effie (Norris) BAKER
|Winnifred (Critch) NORRIS
|Marguerite (Doyle) EMBERLEY
|Mary (Sutton) COOPER
|Sadie (Spurrell) BLUNDON
|Marie (Brady) GRIFFIN
|Joyce (Blundon) VEY
|Nina (Lockyer) BARTER
|Lynn (Burt) COISH
|Stella (Norris) OLIVER
|Stella (Rixon) COISH
|Irene (Blundon) MOORE
|Alice (Woodrow) KEOUGH
|Shirley (Mercer) BURT
|Ethel (Lockyer) EMBERLEY
|Ina (Blundon) SNELGROVE