Cape Broyle is located on the eastern side of the Avalon Peninsula, halfway between St. John's and Cape Race. There are several theories about the etymology of the name: it may derive from the Portuguese word, albrolho, meaning "pointed rock in the sea," or from brolle, which means "to roar."
The earliest record of the community is from 1618, when Sir William Vaughan founded a colony there. The community was once referred to as Baltimore's Harbour, but in the 1696 census the name reverts back to Cape Broyle. Irish settlers arrived after the 1780s. The first road was built in 1840. The settlement remained relatively isolated, however, as the road was usable mainly in the winter months. The first school constructed in the area was built in 1870. From 1857 through 1955, cod liver oil was produced in Cape Broyle, generating employment for the community. During the 1950s, two power plants were built, employing roughly 100 persons for about three years. A fish plant opened in 1979. Early settlers included the Walsh, Alyward, and O'Brien families.
Some of the people listed below lived in Admiral's Cove, a small settlement located on the north side of Cape Broyle Harbour, almost opposite Cape Broyle Head. The two communities shared the same school, church, graveyard, and fishing grounds.
MacEdward Leach collected from eighteen people in Cape Broyle and Admiral's Cove in 1950:
Photo courtesy of Dr. Beverley Diamond, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Photo of Cape Broyle by Carolyn Hawkins. used by permission.