Ferryland is one of the oldest settlements in Newfoundland and Labrador. Established in 1620 as Newfoundland’s second successful colony by Sir George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, Ferryland was first recorded on maps as early as 1550 with the French name Forillon, meaning cape or point. Both the French and Portuguese used its safe harbour as a fishing station until the early seventeenth century, when the English became dominant in the fishery off the east coast of Newfoundland and Lord Baltimore established his Colony of Avalonia there.
During the next three centuries, the English dominated the fishery on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and steadily expanded their grip on Britain’s oldest colony. The bountiful cod fishery brought thousands of Irish “youngsters” out to Talonvanish, “the far-off island of fish,” and most of them settled along the east coast of the Avalon Peninsula, from St. John’s to St. Mary’s Bay.
Ferryland’s long history of almost 500 years has been a colourful and at times difficult one, but the community survived all hardships and remains today the vibrant and historical “Capital” of the “Shore.”
About the Author
Bernard D. Fardy was born in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1949. On completion of high school he left the province and travelled and lived for several years in western Canada and the United States. He returned to Newfoundland in 1971 and studied Forestry Technology at the Cabot Institute of Applied Arts and Technology. Upon graduation he was employed by the Newfoundland Government and worked for twenty-five years with the Department of Forestry and Agriculture as a Forestry, Land Use and Cartographic Technician. An avid student of Canadian and Newfoundland history, he has written several books and his articles have appeared in the Newfoundland Quarterly and Canadian Frontier.
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