Conception Bay Newfoundland
(pop. 1976, 167). A fishing community located at the base of the Port de Grave peninsula 2 km (1.3 mi) southwest of the community of Port de Grave qv, there is considerable debate about the nomenclature of Bareneed. The community is mentioned by William Thoresby in his A Narrative of God's Love to William Thoresby in the 1700s as Bareneed (E.R. Seary: 1971), and by Edward Wix in his Six Months of a Newfoundland Missionary's Journal (1836?) as Bareneed. M.F. Howley (1907) conjectured that with the broad ``a'' of the West Country dialect, the name Barren Head, (referring to a land feature) would be pronounced ``bareneed'' in Devonshire dialect. Reports of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (S.P.G.) in 1851 stated that ``The settlement of Bareneed ... owes its name to the very barren nature and aspect of its locality and neighbourhood.'' In the Nineteenth Century a tradition became current that the name Bareneed referred to the bleakness of the landscape and the poverty and difficulty of life in the community. However, the history of this thriving fishing centre belies this conjecture and it has been vigorously refuted (C.E. Dawe: 1967). According to E.R. Seary (1971), quoting M.F. Howley (1907), the name is derived from a mortgage deed registered in 1807 wherein the property in the deed bequeathed to the mortgagor in 1787 by Jacob Snow to John Snow, was referred to as Bearing Head. Seary argues that it is a name ``which seems to imply that the head was known at any rate as a local navigational mark to sailors in Bay De Grave.'' However, he does not discount Howley's opinion, stating that ``despite its absence of more citations and precise information on the earlier pronunciation of the name, Howley's conjecture that Bareneed derives from an unauthenticated descriptive, Barren Head cannot be completely ruled out'' (E.R. Seary: 1971).
Bareneed is not mentioned as a community separate from Port de Grave in records before 1800; however, it is probable that the community, like Port de Grave, was settled by the late 1600s, first by English stationers and later by a year-round population. According to Dawe, the S.P.G. reported a church in Bareneed in 1816 and the first schoolmaster was appointed in 1822. Bishop Inglis of Nova Scotia consecrated St. Mark's Church in 1827 which Archdeacon Wix reported ``requires enlarging'' when he visited the community in 1835. Bareneed was first reported in the Census of 1836 with a population of 394, largely Church of England with some Roman Catholic (Irish) inhabitants. By 1839, 100 children were reported to be attending summer school with another day school accommodating sixty children and a winter night-school which was held for young men (C.E. Dawe: 1967). In the Census of 1857 two schools were reported, one Church of England and one Roman Catholic, to serve the growing population of 432 inhabitants. In 1860 the Royal Gazette reported that a new Church of England Church had been built at Bareneed ``Erected entirely at the expense of the inhabitants ... a very handsome, commodious and wellbuilt structure'' (Newfoundland Historical Society: Bareneed).
The basis of such steady growth in the Nineteenth Century community of Bareneed lay almost entirely in the vigour and success of its fishery; by 1800 Bareneed was an established community on the strength of its inshore cod fishery. The small, protected harbour afforded good anchorage and the Port de Grave peninsula was one of the major fishing centres in Conception Bay during the Eighteenth Century because of its proximity to prime fishing berths. It was the rise of the seal fishery, however, that brought growth and progress to Bareneed. By 1857 six sizeable vessels were reported in Bareneed employed in the Labrador fishery, and next to Brigus, Bareneed claimed the largest take of seals (over 20,000) reported that year. Hutchinson's Newfoundland Directory listed four merchant planters in 1864: Benjamin Batten, Thomas Batten, Richard Hennebury and Thomas Richards, and Lovell's Newfoundland Directory (1871) described Bareneed as ``A large fishing settlement.... The population mostly engaged in the summer in the prosecution of the Labrador fishery.''
Between 1901 and 1921 the population of Bareneed declined from 410 to 291 as new industry, particularly the opening of the Bell Island Mines and the building of the railway drew workers away from the community. The decline of the Labrador fishery, in the 1930s particularly, brought the population to 171. The smallboat inshore fishery and commuting to jobs supported Bareneed until the building of a breakwater by the 1970s and the opening of a fishplant in 1971-1972 brought large scale employment to the community and a market for resident fishermen, mostly from Port de Grave. In 1981 the plant was supplied by local area crews and processes 2 268 000 kg (5,000,000 lb) of crab and some capelin and cod per year. The operation is seasonal, from May to October and employs about 300 people in the area. The product is marketed to approximately seventeen countries. In 1981 Bareneed students attended elementary school in Port de Grave and high school in Bay Roberts.
Enjoy Your Visit
This Site is owned and maintained
Page Created 15 August 2001