A Website and a Monthly Newsletter about the Outer Bay of Islands, Newfoundland


A collection of Notes and some original Pictures related in some way to the history of the Bay of Islands, its people, events and attractions.

Select from the underlined Links or click on a thumbnail image below to see more.

David H Park : Master Boat Builder

David Henry Park spent all of his life in Lark Harbour, and most of that time he was around boats, or in them.  A son of David Park and Eunice Anne Quick, he married Florence Elizabeth Wheeler, daughter of John Walter Wheeler and Gertrude Mary Sheppard.  He was a tall, impressive man, whose adult life was given to fishing and the other skills essential for those in that business: the construction and maintenance of those items without which no fisherman could exist — boats.

Dave passed away in 1996, but he is still remembered as perhaps the last builder of larger boats in Lark Harbour.  Here are pictures of the construction and launching of Dave's last masterpiece.


Eddie Sheppard : Folk Artist of Lark Harbour

Eddie's great talent was the painting of wildlife pictures, and he spent much of his time creating murals with which he adorned fishermen's stages in various parts of the community.  The paintings were colourful and were much admired by all who saw them.  Unfortunately, time and exposure to the elements have now obliterated them, but on this Webpage you can see photographs of several of them.  Enjoy them as Eddie himself would have wished.

A Man to Remember - Dr J I O'Connell


 Dr O'Connell served as medical practitioner in Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands from 1926 to 1962, shortly before his death.  During those years he saved many lives and on at least one occasion risked his own life and that of the fisherman in whose boat he was travelling while going out to Lark Harbour to deliver a baby.

This narrative by his son Charlie, also a medical doctor, relates some of the incidents in his busy life.

The Gabriel Family of Lark Harbour

 The Gabriel family was originally from England and settled on the East Coast of Newfoundland.  About 1892 a son, William Alfred, came to Lark Harbour as teacher and stayed about 14 years.  William and his wife Mary raised several of their children in Lark Harbour and then moved to Corner Brook in 1906.

This webpage provides information about the family and their lives in Lark Harbour, and also before and after their years there,  Read about their courage, their achievements and the difficulties they faced in those times over a hundred years ago.  Their problems, extreme and difficult to bear, were quite typical of those times. though perhaps few families lost so many of their children in infancy as did the Gabriels. 


York Harbour Copper Mine 1897-1913

A brief history of the York Harbour Copper Mine from its beginnings in 1897 to its closing in 1913. 






John Cabot's ship the "Matthew"

 No evidence exists that John Cabot and his ship "Matthew" entered the Bay of Islands in 1497.  But the replica of the "Matthew" was there in 1997.  Here are pictures of that visit and details about the ship.






The Newfoundland Railway


Locomotive #593 was ordered by the Newfoundland Railway on 17 September 1920 from the Baldwin Company of Philadelphia, USA, and was delivered to St John's in 1921 for a cost of $36,870.





St John's, Canada's Oldest City


Pictures and Information of places in and around St John's:- Signal Hill, The Battery, Fort Amherst, Cape Spear . . .



School Rules 1879

Also in 1879 Rules were posted by Rev J J Curling for the schools run by the Anglican Mission of the Bay of Islands where he was in charge.  Most schools in the outport communities of Newfoundland were like those in the Bay of Islands.  Here you can see what the school day was like, how much the parents had to pay for their children to attend, and even what prizes were awarded.

Failure of Fisheries 1879-1880

In 1879 the cod and herring fisheries in the Bay had been very poor and many families had no money to carry them through the winter until the next season began.  A petition was prepared and a work program set up.  This paper describes the work, pay received, rules that had to be obeyed, and gives a list of names of those who signed.  If you know the Bay of Islands you will recognise many of the names - perhaps your ancestors or other relatives.

Newfoundland and the French Shore 1713-1904

Until 1904 Newfoundland fishermen were severely restricted in their operations on the West Coast, also known as the "French Shore" or the "Treaty Shore"... Three international treaties between England and France had been in force since 1713. This paper describes the complex problems those treaties created for Western Newfoundland and any settlers who tried to establish themselves there.

Grimsby, England - Demise of a Major Fishing Port 1960-1990

The town of Grimsby on the east coast of England has existed for a thousand years, and most of that time it has been involved in the business of fishing.  But in the late 1900s it fell upon hard times, and the fishery died so that by 1990 it had virtually disappeared.  This document tells the story of that decline.  It bears a great resemblance to what happened around the same time in Newfoundland.  Several pictures are included, all but one taken by me in 1970 when the port was still very active.  The last picture, in colour, was taken in 1999 by someone else whose credits for the picture are included.