MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

St. George's

St. George's is located on the southeast side of St. George's Bay, on the west coast of Newfoundland, and was once known as "South Side" or "Little Bay." One of the earliest settlers was Joe Delaney, who came from Bras D' Or, Nova Scotia in the 1850s. St. George's population began to boom with the introduction of the railway in 1896, and it was then that most people began to relocate near the railway line from the nearby community of Sandy Point, which was quite heavily populated relative to other communities in the region. The railway brought new settlers to the area and after it was finished many people moved near "The Tank" or the railway station.

The incorporated communities of St. George's include South Side, Seal Rocks, and Shallop Cove. The first settlers appear to have been Mi'kmaq who concentrated in the vicinity of Seal Rocks. The first appearance of Seal Rocks in the census is in 1896, when it had a population of 190 (of whom 25 were Mi'kmaq). Then in 1874, Shallop Cove appeared with a population of 39 and in that same year 215 people were reported to be residing from Shallop Cove to Main Gut. Most inhabitants farmed and fished. Herring and cod were the most important fish. St. George's grew with the introduction of a steamship company and a lumber company. However, from the 1940s to the 1960s, the main employer was the Stephenville airbase. In 1994, the main employers in St. George's included the Stephenville Pulp and Paper mill, the Flat Bay Gypsum quarry, services industries, and logging.

 

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