Conception Bay Newfoundland
(inc.1965; pop. 1976, 977). A town on the west side of Conception Bay 87 km (54 mi) from St. John's and about 20 km (12 mi) south of Bay Roberts. Although there are indications that the area was settled before that time, it did not appear in the census until 1857. Then it had a population of 280. Many of the early settlers came from Bareneed and Port de Grave when these two settlements ran out of space for curing fish and when the Labrador fishery became prominent
Clarke's Beach never had an inshore fishery but many of its settlers prosecuted the Labrador fishery. The fishermen usually got their berths from merchants at Cupids, Brigus or Bay Roberts. There was a marked decline in this fishery in the 1890s as many people stopped going to Labrador in the summer. This decline coincided with an increase in agricultural production and the beginning of sawmill operations, which, combined with a number of business operations, helped maintain stability in population.
In the 1880s and 1890s there was a sawmill in Clarke's Beach operated by Horwood Lumber Company. It employed 112 men in 1891 although it did not last much beyond this date. There were two other sawmills there in the early 1900s, and c. 1920 fish casks and drums were being made. The business, operated by Chesley Fillier & Son Limited in 1980, was begun by Samuel Batten in 1908 and bought by Chesley Fillier in 1939. Williams' Drug Store, which was still in operation in 1980, was begun in 1909.
In 1941 Clarence Moore started a general store and later went into trucking and wholesaling; by 1980 he operated a funeral home. The only sawmill in operation at Clarke's Beach in the 1970s was established by George Wilson in 1943. Garfield Ralph set up business in groceries, dry goods, hardware and footwear in 1944 and the business was still in operation in 1980. A supermarket was established by Everett Moores in 1971. The Bank of Nova Scotia was established for a few years in Clarke's Beach c. 1910 and reestablished in 1970. The major religious denominations in Clarke's Beach in 1980 were the Pentecostal Assemblies, the United Church and the Salvation Army. In the Nineteenth Century the Church of England was a major denomination in Clarke's Beach but about 1880 the Reformed Episcopalian Church (See CHURCH OF ENGLAND, REFORMED) was established there from a splinter group of the Church of England. This denomination had 115 members in 1891 but by 1901 only one member was listed. Most of the others had become Methodists or had joined the recently established Salvation Army. The Pentecostal Assemblies came in 1922 and in 1924 built one of the first Pentecostal churches in Newfoundland. The first Methodist Church had been built in 1874. The first school in the general area was opened at Salmon Cove by the Colonial and Continental Church Society in 1834
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