A History of Dildo–New Harbour
The Dildo–New Harbour area of Trinity Bay has a rich history, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indians, who inhabited Dildo Island about 4,000 years ago. Early in the seventeenth century, visitors from John Guy’s colony at Cupids examined Beothuk Indian encampments at Dildo Pond and on Dildo Island. In the nineteenth century, Dildo Island was the site of a major cod hatchery and in six years released one billion cod fry into Newfoundland waters. The Lester House of Trinity had fishermen stationed on Dildo Island and at New Harbour for the fishing seasons by the early 1760s. By the early 1800s the Lesters had established a major shipbuilding enterprise at New Harbour, an industry that continued until 1935. A major economic boost to the area came with the start of whaling out of South Dildo in the late 1940s. The combination of whaling, fish processing, and preparation of mink food at the South Dildo complex provided employment for hundreds during the ’50s and ’60s. It is difficult to separate the histories of both communities, since from the beginning Dildo and New Harbour have been intimately interconnected by social interaction and common economic pursuits. This book celebrates the unique outport heritage of Newfoundland through the shared experiences of the livyers of these two proud communities.
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