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Salmon Cove, Conception Bay

(inc. 1974; pop. 1991, 791). A community on the North Shore of Conception Bay, Salmon Cove lies approximately 6 km northeast of Carbonear. The open cove has a long, sandy beach, the site of a provincial park. A nearby pond provides the only shelter for small boats in bad weather. On the outskirts of the cove is a meadow, the site of an abandoned neighbourhood known as Marshall's Folly.

As early as about 1680 the area appeared on French and English maps as crique de saumon or Salmon Cove. Settled in the mid-1700s, the cove was the site of three houses, gardens and fishing premises belonging to planter Charles Garland qv in 1768. Garland's premises were to be occupied by one Richard Marshall in 1807. John Rose and John Slade were living in Marshall's Folly in 1801, and these surnames were still common in the area in 1994. The Case family were other early settlers.

Salmon Cove and nearby Perry's Cove qv had a combined population of 271 in 1836, consisting of 153 Methodists, 75 Roman Catholics and 43 Church of England members. Agriculture and the shore fishery were the main activities of the community. In 1845, 581 people were living in Salmon Cove and Perry's Cove, while there were 10 families at Marshall's Folly. A small population at Salmon Cove Head was also noted in Census returns from 1857 (20 people) and 1869 (12 people). Lovell's Newfoundland Directory of 1871 records the family names Dwyer, Peckham, Rose and White. The Roses and Slades remained the only recorded residents of Marshall's Folly until 1.105 when a Wareham family was also resident. The majority of people in Salmon Cove belonged to the Methodist church, with a minority of Roman Catholics, while the entire community of Marshall's Folly was by this time also Methodist. Though a clergyman was noted at Salmon Cove in 1884, the first church appears not to have been built until c.1907. A school had existed since at least 1884.

Apart from a few shore fishermen, from the 1840s the majority of the population of Salmon Cove would appear to have been engaged in the Labrador fishery, as stationers qv. In 1891, 87 people went to the Labrador fishery, but from this date the number of families going to the Labrador declined. After the opening of the Bell Island iron mines, mining was a major source of employment, employing 26 men in 1901 and 77 by 1921. In the 1930s the shore fishery declined and Marshall's Folly was no longer listed in Census returns. Like other Conception Bay settlements, Salmon Cove suffered a drop in population in the following decades. By the 1970s most services and much of the employment available locally was in Carbonear. Children from the community attended schools in nearby Victoria qv.

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