Conception Bay Newfoundland
(pop. 1981, 626). A part of the town of Conception Bay South qv (C.B.S.) since 1986, Seal Cove is situated between Upper Gullies and Holyrood qqv. The western limit of C.B.S., in 1994 Seal Cove was generally considered to include nearby Lance Cove and Indian Pond qqv. Tradition has it that the earliest settlers came to Seal Cove from the older communities on the north side of Conception Bay. The community first appears in the census in 1857, with a population of 61. By 1884 it had a population of 117, and this number has continued to grow steadily.
Originally a fishing community, by the 1880s there were also some full-time farmers at Seal Cove. Work was also available in the granite quarry that opened in 1882 to supply construction materials to the railway. Quarrying remained important to the local economy; throughout the twentieth century many gravel pits were excavated. In 1903 a pyrophyllite quarry was opened at Long Pond qv, and Seal Cove was chosen as the site for the original loading pier. In 1923 Seal Cove River became the site of the United Towns Electric Company's first major hydro-electric project. Because of the wide variety of native flowers growing there, the Seal Cove River valley -- which runs from White Hill Pond to Seal Cove Pond -- has been recognized by botanists as a valuable ecological site. Starting in the 1920s, people from St. John's began to build summer homes and cottages in Seal Cove, and the place became a popular site for trouting expeditions. In the 1980s seasonal campgrounds and tourist cabins were built.
Traditionally, Seal Cove has been a Church of England community. A church was built by 1874, but starting in the 1880s most people attended church in Upper Gullies. There were a number of Salvationists in Seal Cove at the start of the 1900s, but by the 1930s it seems most of them had converted to Pentecostalism. In 1986 a new Pentecostal church was built to replace the one opened in the 1930s. Seal Cove had its own school from 1884 to 1974, after which all students began to attend larger schools in Conception Bay South. In 1963 a vocational school was built, which in 1992 became the Seal Cove Campus of Cabot College (see VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES). The community continued to grow in the 1980s, as several subdivisions were constructed. In 1994 Seal Cove was primarily a dormitory community for people working elsewhere on the Avalon Peninsula, although it did have a number of service, retail and construction-related businesses. Predominant family names include Anthony, Butler, Dawe, Dowden, Lear and Morgan.
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