The Baccalieu Island Exhibit was officially opened as part of the Bay de Verde Heritage House on July 5, 1999. The exhibit was funded by the Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Tourism. It portrays the many and varied aspects of Baccalieu and is truly worth seeing.
Baccalieu Island is located three kilometers off the tip of the Bay de Verde peninsula. Listed on maps since the 16th century, it has played a very important role in navigation.
A lighthouse was built on the north end of the island in 1858 and acts as a beacon for ships making trans-Atlantic crossings as well as playing a key role in the local sea traffic. Another light and fog horn was placed on the south end of the island in 1904 serving as a guide for local sea traffic through Baccalieu Tickle.
The Ryans operated the lighthouse on the north end for almost one hundred years. Other families lived for a time on the island including the Walshs from Bay de Verde and the Rices from Red Head Cove.
Many fishermen from the north and south shores of the Bay de Verde Peninsula also made Baccalieu their home during the summer fishing season. Shipwrecks have been a common occurrence at Baccalieu Island with more than 200 lives lost in more than 20 documented wrecks.
Families living on the island played key roles in saving the lives of countless others.