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Meaning of Baccalieu

Beginning - Ending
of Baccalieu Trail

Trinity Bay

Conception Bay

Services Offered
by Members


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Carbonear Island
(8 pages)

from the Baccalieu Trail Visitor's Guide

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Carbonear, Carbonear Island
Back to Conception Bay


Carbonear with View of Carbonear Island

Sites of Interest
Railway Station Museum
The Rorke Premises Museum
Plaque to Princess Sheila
Harbour Rock Hill
Trinity-Conception Regional Community Centre

Major Events
Carbonear Day - 1st Mon in Aug
Folk Festival - Last week in July
NaGeira Theatre Festival -July/Aug

Things to Do
Visit T-C Square Shopping Centre
Horseback Riding
Town Recreation Centre
Indoor Swimming Pool
Extensive Walking Trails

Carbonear, seated like a jewel in a peaceful valley, is a beautiful town. As one of the largest towns on the Trail (population 4759 -2001 census), it has all the services expected in a modern town, including a regional shopping centre, the regional community centre which has a large, modern library, the regional hospital, and a large recreational facility, which includes an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a basketball court, baseball fields, a soccer field, and an athletic track.

Trinity Conception Regional Community Center

The Conception Bay Regional Community Center houses a 384 seat theatre featuring concerts and theatricals almost every weekend. In the summer months the Nageira Theatre Festival provides first class entertainment. The new theatre is now the official home of the annual Kiwanis Music Festival. It also houses the council office and public library. Next door to the Community center is the Railway Station Museum, which provides a window on the town's fascinating history.

Carbonear, one of the oldest towns in North America, having been first mentioned by Fishing Admirals in 1550, has a rich cultural history which includes pirates, battles, a princess and a prosperous fishery. As you enter the town, you can see Carbonear Island, the site of a number of battles, located at the mouth of the harbour. In 1812 Mr H.C.Watts requested three guns to protect the town from American privateers. Two of the guns can be seen today on Harbour Rock Hill. Heritage Structures, museums, and monuments add to the historic feel of the town.

Harbour Rock Hill

The Rorke Premises, which is a rare existing example of a merchant fishery premises in Newfoundland, have been renovated to include an Interpretation Centre. John Rorke, a native of Athlone, County Caven, Ireland came to Newfoundland as a clerk. In 1838 he moved to Carbonear and bought out the premises of an existing business. The Rorke Stores, which were constructed entirely of wood, were built in the 1870s and remained in use until the 1970s. They form an integral part of the mercantile history of the community, as well as the fishing heritage of the region.

Across the street from the Rorke merchant store houses stands Rorke's Stone Jug, the oldest existing building on Water Street in Carbonear and the only building of its kind in the community, as it is of stone construction. Members of the family say the present structure was built in 1863 and that the slabs of stone were cut at Kelly's Island. There were living quarters above the ground floor.

George Earle Promenade, Tract Consulting Photograph

The Legend of the Irish Princess Sheila NaGeira
According to legend Sheila Na Geira was a young Irish woman of noble birth, who became the "Carbonear Princess." As the story goes, in 1602 Sheila�s ship, crew, and passengers were captured by Dutch pirates. Peter Easton, who at that time was a privateer working for Queen Elizabeth I, freed the captives, taking them to Newfoundland. On the way, Sheila and Gilbert Pike, the navigation officer, fell in love and married. Gilbert Pike left Easton�s crew when Easton became a pirate, and the couple settled in the Mosquito Valley. Sheila became a model pioneer woman. She was renowned for caring for the sick and planting of crops while the men were at sea. Her grave site is in the small park off Pike�s Lane.

Carbonear Island

Carbonear Island

Carbonear Island, a site for eagles, seabirds and whales, was recognized for its National Historic Significance in 1981.

The Island was a stronghold for Newfoundland settlers against attacks. As early as 1614, Carbonear Island's natural defenses were used when the settlement was raided by the pirate, Peter Easton. Later, the Island became refuge for townspeople during the attacks of the French and during raids by American Privateers.

In the spring of 1696, Pierre D'Iberville received orders to destroy the English settlements in Newfoundland. As the French advanced, people from surrounding villages of the Avalon Peninsula took refuge on Carbonear Island to prepare their makeshift evacuation center for attack.
The fortification of the Island in 1679 played an important role in sustaining an English stronghold in Newfoundland against French sieges in 1697, 1705 and 1762.

Carbonear Motel & Island View Crafts, Fong�s Motel & Restaurant, NaGeira House B&B;, Dining Room, & Gift Shop, Earle's Riding Stables, NaGeira Theatre Festival, Celtic Music Crafts - Irish Pipes , Potter’s Mill - Art Galleries/ Crafts, Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union, Noel Motors & Transit Ltd. & Associated Companies, and Sooley’s Petro-Canada Gas Bar, Convenience Store are members providing services in Carbonear.

Railway Station Museum

Baccalieu Trail Tourism Association
Telephone: (709) 596-3474

Fax: (709)596-3424 email: [email protected]
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