Conception Bay Newfoundland
(inc. 1977; pop. 1991,
1842). St. Phillips is a settlement on the shores of Broad Cove, Conception
Bay, approximately 12 km west of St. John's. In 1992 the community
amalgamated with Portugal
Cove and Hogan's
Pond qqv to form the municipality of Portugal Cove-St.
Phillips. St. Phillips, named after the local Anglican church, was known as
Broad Cove until 1905, when the name was changed to avoid confusion with
numerous other Broad Coves.
Although St. Phillips has spread a considerable distance inland along
qv and in the valley formed by Broad Cove Brook, historically the
community's centre was a small harbour at the head of Broad Cove. The
northeast side of the cove was settled as early as 1765 by the Tucker
family, and John Squires was living on the southwest side of the cove by
1790. In 1994 these two family names were still by far the most common at
St. Phillips. Other names include Morgan, Pear, Maynard, Mitchell, Oliver
and Parrell. By the first Census in 1836, 181 people were living
there. These early settlers were mostly involved in the shore fishery, but
considerable gardens and some livestock were also kept, with surplus
produce finding a ready market in St. John's. As overland communications
with St. John's were improved, settlement spread inland, so that farming
became more important than fishing by the time Thorburn Road was built in
the 1880s. A school had been built by 1836, and by 1845 a Church of England
chapel had also been built. Roman Catholics comprised only 54 people of a
population of 301 in 1857.
As proximity to St. John's allowed fishermen and farmers to deal
directly with the city, there were no local merchants in the fishery supply
business and (typical of the outports surrounding the capital) there was
little in the way of a local class of shopkeepers and vessel-owners.
Between 1905 and 1910, however, a lobster factory was run locally by Lot
Earle. Eli Clarke was another local entrepreneur, with a steam-powered
sawmill on Broad Cove Brook in the early 1900s. Mining on Bell Island also
employed many residents from about 1900 to 1950, while during World War II
many people found work on the construction of military bases in the St.
In the later half of the twentieth century farming and fishing
continued to be the major local industries, but the community has
increasingly become a dormitory community of St. John's. A number of small
businesses have been established in the community, including several
connected with the construction industry.
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Page Created 15 August 2001