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  Conception Bay Newfoundland 

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St. Philip's Cove

(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 Thorburn Road 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. John's area.

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