Harbour Grace

Harbour Grace, NL, incorporated as a town in 1945, population 3131 (2011c), 3074 (2006c). The Town of Harbour Grace, with its commodious harbour in western Conception Bay, was named for the French Havre de Grâce.

Harbour Grace, NL, incorporated as a town in 1945, population 3131 (2011c), 3074 (2006c). The Town of Harbour Grace, with its commodious harbour in western Conception Bay, was named for the French Havre de Grâce. A base of pirate Peter Easton 1610-13, its settlement was begun about 1618, perhaps by former settlers of the Cupids colony. Until 1923 it had the second-largest population in Newfoundland.

Prospering from the Labrador cod and seal fisheries, the Anglo-Irish community was by the 19th century the location of one of Newfoundland's earliest denominational schools (1843). In 1859 it was the site of sectarian riots during the general election, and in 1883 of bitter sectarian violence resulting in 5 deaths. The Methodist movement was introduced to British North America from Harbour Grace in 1766 by Reverend Laurence Coughlan, a convert of John Wesley. Several pioneering attempts at transatlantic and round-the-world flights were made from here 1919-32. In 1932 Amelia Earhart, leaving Harbour Grace, was the first woman to pilot a plane over the Atlantic.

The community is today a service centre and supports several small industries. Until the cod moratorium came into effect in the early 1990s, fish processing was also important.


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